8th march is celebrated as international women’s day. This year has been a game-changer for many. For me, the feeling of being a part of a community has played a huge role in my professional growth. The blogging world has been really supportive when it comes to reading, writing best practices, prompts and more. Another amazing realization has been the presence of a sisterhood that celebrated each other’s achievements. Celebrating this essence of sisterhood, on international women’s day, I’d like to share my learnings and inspirations from “the Iron Lady of Pakistan ” Muniba Mazari.
Her story is not only awe-inspiring but also highly motivating. To endure what she has and still move ahead and achieve the things she has, has been my biggest learning from her life. Her story started with marriage at the age of mere 18 years. At 21 years of age, she met with an accident because her husband fell asleep while driving. This incident bought her life to a standstill. She was placed on bed rest for 2 year as she suffered paraplegia (paralysis of both legs due to injury to the spinal cord) but that was not just it.
They say life gives the toughest battles to the strongest warriors. Life had similar plans for Muniba. The doctor declared she wouldn’t have movement in her upper limbs. That meant she wouldn’t be able to do the one thing she loved “paint”. Another shock that came to her was because of the crush injury to her spine, she won’t be able to conceive ever.
I can only imagine the pain she would have felt, both physical and mental. Two years of bed rest, staring at blank walls and coming to terms with the harsh realities of her life, only broke her spirits. But with improvements in her condition, her spirits rose and she decided to take the reins of her life in her hands. She did all she wanted to do, being wheelchair-bound.
She adopted an orphan boy and raised him as his own. The two share a strong bond and the fact that she is wheelchair-bound didn’t deter her spirits. She convinced the authorities to not judge her child-rearing abilities on the basis of her physical condition.
She took over the canvas once again and painted her heart out and achieved many accolades for it too.
Her achievements are commendable. Today she is an artist(1), activist, anchor, model, singer and motivational speaker. Most of her career, however, has been built on painting and motivational speaking. Apart from this, Muniba was chosen by Ponds as the Pond’s Miracle Woman. She was also chosen by the international hairdressing salon, Toni & Guy, to become the first-ever wheelchair-using model in Asia. Her first campaign for them was called Women of Substance.
She has participated as a motivational speaker in many talk shows like TED Talks Islamabad, Vcon Malaysia, Vcon Dubai and more.
Her undying spirit in life and her charity work has earned her a palace in the
- 100 inspirational women of 2015 by BBC,
- 500 most inspirational Muslims of the world
- First Pakistani Muslim woman UN Goodwill ambassador
- Forbes 30 under 30 (2016)
My learnings from the life of Muniba Mazari:
- Fate can’t bough you down if you don’t want it to
- Nothing is impossible
- Life is only 4 days long and 2 days have passed already, so seize the reins in your hands and go get what you want.