Everyday People PNG : Lydia Didi Maru

Hey PNG, my name is Lydia Didi Maru, better known by family, friends and more as DIDI MARU, and I am from Dirikomana and Gabagaba in the Rigo District.

I have been a single mum for almost eight years now and I am loving the time spent with my nuclear family because I can fully focus on my parents, siblings and my children.

The father of my children and I have been wonderfully blessed with two beautiful, talented and intelligent kids, and they are the best things that happened to us.

Our oldest son is 15 years old and in grade nine, he is a very talented free style dancer, his little sister at 11 years old and in grade 4 is a singer, and as I like to say, she and singing – they go hand in hand.

I come from a musical family where singing was and always has been part of our culture, and once you start tracing our stories back to our forefathers, music represented and stood for a variety of significant things back then. Music is in our blood.

Music has always been an integral part of my life and despite being raised in the church, I always admired how my dad and uncles would have themselves a jam session that resulted in some amazing sounds to serenade the soul. The kind that knew no judgement nor hate but just the oneness with those who took part with the singing, or were just enjoying the serenity of appreciated tunes.

Growing up, such experiences were immaculate from a child’s point of view, memories that remain etched in my heart and mind, and as a kid, I always wondered how and why music had the ability to unite anything and everything in its path.

It was moments like these that as a mere child at the age of 4 or 5, I wanted that magical experience and fast forward to today, I get to share the experience with others in and around the world in my own unique way.

Because music is universal, I have been inspired by anything and everything and everyone I kid you not, if it speaks to my soul then I am set to put a tune to it. The world is bursting with lessons and experiences, cautionary tales and wondrous fairytale moments, we just need to synch with what feels right and move towards it, bearing in mind that everything in life is seasonal. Nothing ever really stays the same and music will always evolve.

Through my musical journey, I have had my fair share of setbacks and usually its due to financial constraints and I see that same struggle everywhere in this age of COVID, and when gigs become scarce it is challenging to sort studio fees as they can be quite dear.

With the little I make from the few gigs I can acquire, studio time is not much of a necessity as providing for my kids and family as it usually detracts me from writing my songs.

Life has taught me much growing up and my take is simple. I like to regard myself as an agent of change regardless of my status as a human being, I am blessed that I am able to be a voice for those who do not have one, and through music I can break barriers.

If I was ever asked what else I would be doing if I wasn’t blessed musically, I would say that I’d have an 8 to 5 job in the Human Resource Department only because I love working with people.

Music has taken me on a thrilling ride and I have been lucky enough to meet wonderful human beings and perform with them too. I have performed for all kinds of events like charity, corporate appeals, product launchings, stadiums and even on an airplane for a Christmas inflight entertainment and so many more.

So much is happening in the world of music and in PNG, if given the choice to change anything, I would definitely make sure the industry is recognized as an entity of its own.

I always hope that with the music and entertainment I deliver that I leave a lasting impression that is both memorable and inspiring. People do not remember you for what you might have said but they will definitely remember you for how you made them feel.

I am working on a single that has truth on so many levels when it is to do with our everyday relationships…and I hope you all enjoy it once I release it before the year ends. 

Carol Kidu