By Bolanle Olosunde
The Nigerian woman has been striving to be heard from time immemorial. Things are better today, because the 21st century came with certain liberations and mind-set that made it easier for a woman to have a voice and attain relevance in society. However, to a large extent it’s still a man’s world. The mere fact that the word shero was included in the English dictionary as a later thought, is a testament to this. So, permit me to ignore the ‘S’ and just stick with hero, cos it’s annoying that even Microsoft word keeps marking the word Sheroe as red.
So, the woman hero I will be identifying with is Patience Jonathan. (**coughs, and smiles**), because she has a voice, and it was heard. Many of you will refuse to agree with me. Many of you will consider my choice of a woman hero hilarious. Many of you will think that this is just a joke to me. But, I am serious.
Nigeria was a different country during the last political administration, because we had a first lady that ensured that she was heard. We didn’t necessarily like her, or respect her for that matter, but we felt her. She was proof that Nigerian men listen to their wives, or at least can listen to their wives given the right circumstance. Patience kept her home in order. She was respected by her husband, and was by his side at all times, standing by him and validating him. Many women would criticise her for embarrassing him so much, but if you put them before the public glare, you will be shocked by the kind of dirty linens you will find. And that’s my way of saying that no one is perfect.
Mrs Goodluck Jonathan was also good for the nation. She might have ridiculed us abroad, to the nations of the world, but she was only being African. She couldn’t speak English well, and so what? You need to listen to some of the past wives of presidents in countries like Korea, Germany or Israel. English is not their language, and they treated it as such. Patience might have said the most awkward thing in the middle of a crisis, but it made us laugh. Mama Peace brought life to social media, she brought communalism to Nigerians from all over the world. And it was good for a nation like ours, where the prices of things in the market constantly kept changing.
I know they said the former first lady embezzled money, and that is a major stain. If it’s true, it’s a shameful act that strikes her off any S/Heroism trophy. But, what hero from history is perfect. An example that comes to mind is King David of Israel, because he was the man after God’s heart. In spite of all his success, he was still an adulterer, and a murderer. So, calm down with the former first lady.
I am not celebrating brashness, rudeness, or ignorance. I am celebrating originality, boldness, and fearlessness. This is because, if at least half the percentage of women in Nigeria can embrace the Patience Jonathan attitude (minus the awkward ones), we will have a more industrious, forward moving, and exciting country. Even, our men will become greater at what they do, so much that other countries of the world, will refer to Nigeria as lucky.