Debate, Singing and Public Speaking was my forte. It was something I knew how to do very well (not so sure about that now). Enemies & Foes respected my stand on a podium.
I was the Queen.
I had used JSS 1 to practice and by JSS 2, I was already the 'Debate Kungfu Master'. At this time, we were asked to debate on the phrase 'Female leaders are better than Male leaders'. I remember researching on Benazir Bhutto and Margaret Thatcher. The Research created a yearning to be a strong and independent woman and in my own small way make a difference in this world. Of course, the yearning caused me to lead the female team against the male team. We won with over a 100 points.
So last week, when I googled Meryl Streep in some other information research I was doing, I discovered that she had depicted Margaret Thatcher in a movie called 'Iron Lady'. I felt some sort of nostalgia when I remembered the woman whose politics and fame had helped me win my debate in JSS 2. I immediately clicked on the link to the page of the famous lady and started reading. I gleaned from the Wikipedia page that she had ruled at a time when England was in some situation with Racism, Tyranny and a failing Economy and had stabilized the Economy to some great extent.
She was so strict with her uncompromising politics and leadership style that a Russian nicknamed her 'The Iron lady'. This is the phrase that has stuck over the years. She is also credited to have revitalised Britain's economy, curbed trade unions and re-established the nation as a world power.
As I read, I was intrigued by this woman. She was a woman and she did it. She succeeded in a world that few men did. She was indeed the Iron Lady.
Believe it or not, I began to analyse my life and see what she did that I could do to live like she did.
I researched on her family.
She had twins. Carol & Mark Thatcher. Carol is not married and Mark is married to his second wife. I researched a little further into his first wife ( I mean she would have been privy to the family secrets) and now that she was divorced, there was a huge chance that she would spill her guts about the Thatcher family. Comon, gossip girl. Give us some.
Diane Burgdof, first wife of Mark Thatcher did spill her guts. She talked about the 'Iron Lady'. She spoke about how tight lipped she was (normal British Aristocracy). She spoke about the love Sir Dennis and Margaret had. Even though Margaret Thatcher was Sir Dennis second wife, he loved her to bits. She was a Chemist when they married but he financed his second wife's training as a barrister and basically stood by her. She attributed her sanity during her prime ministership to her husband (Soooooo cute)
More importantly was the fact that I noticed from all the articles I read was that the husband was known as an irreverent, good-natured man with a talent for friendship.
He made good of a situation that most African men would fail at. He supported his woman from the back. I daresay he was the rock she stood on even if the world did not know it.
So imagine my surprise today when I passed by the reception at work and saw CNN reporting that she was dead. I felt sad. I felt like I lost someone really close to me.
Today she has died. Today the world honours her. Not just for stubbornness but also for creatively putting the England back on the map of relevant nations in the world. And like she said when she became Prime Minister, a woman who runs the home has a very good idea of how to run a country.
I salute her. She left her mark in the sands of time. She was here on earth. She made a difference.
Would we have made a difference? Would the world testify that we were here? Would we have left this world a little better just because we were here?
Let us hope your life and mine will have meant and done something when we die.