A Pair Of Trousers For Her

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

A PAIR OF TROUSERS FOR HER

She had taken the oath. To defend the common citizen and put to an end all the noises of corruption, insecurity and unemployment. Oh! And tribalism. Being a female leader in her country was no child’s play. It was not just risky but dangerous. Why? She was the first woman to sit in the big seat. Since her country gained independence in the twentieth century.

She had to fight a score of monsters and dragons. Like religion. Hers did not allow women to say anything about anything. The religion was tough. A woman could only lead in the kitchen. She was to be seen and not to be heard. Having a woman as a leader was disgrace. Religious leaders claimed and they could stab you if you failed to listen. She had to quit religion. A manly step, some said. And quiting made her receive a billion and one curses which, surprisingly, never worked. She was told that she would grow a tail and a horn on her back. She never experienced any perculiar growth.

Then her countrymen. They were so against her campaigns. They even failed to attend them. Women said that she was wasting time.

“We are our own enemies,” Fauzia had said.

“We won’t vote for her even with our eyes closed!” Miriam was one with Fauzia.

But votes proved wrong. She emerged victorious and there. The first female head of state. Two years in power. The unprintable insults came from a few misguided lips. In fact most citizens were planning to vote for her come the next general elections so that she may enjoy two terms in power. She had quit religion, right? Her husband decided that ‘till religion do us part’ was better than ‘till death do us part’. He went ahead to marry another woman and sired two girls.

Does a heroine have to go through all these? Really? If voted in a second time, would she accept? She did not want another term. Five years were enough to change her country. And yes, she could. Look. Infrastructure had improved a great deal. When she said she would build a road she did exactly that! Not a single day would one see potholes on the road. She made sure the engineers were sane and sober and they did not mix tarmac with mud. Schools … let us not talk about them! They were what schools should be. Her country was rising from the ashes. A day would not pass without increased amenities. Be it a holiday or not.

And what drove her? She was not the one to say that what a man can do a woman can do as better. No! She was neither male nor female when it came to leadership. She played her roles well. Gender equality to her did not mean empowering one sex to overcome the other. Children were children and people people. All deserved equal opportunities. Where a girl got to the university, a boy also went to the university. All had equal brains so she saw no reason as to why one should be preferred to the other. Some people really talked, but when evening came, they slept. They would wake up and find her unbowed. Defiance written in her eyes.

So when it was announced publicly that she had passed on, spirits shrunk. Even grown-up men with porcupines on their chins shed tears. They were not crocodile tears. Were they to celebrate her demise? Were they to wail all day? She had left a mark. For the two years she had been in power, she had done what could have taken the country two centuries to do as much. The country could host a universal tournament, for example. And not only had she changed the hearts of men and women in her country. Other nations around and billions of miles away felt her glory. She was a source of inspiration. Fare thee well, Mama Taifa.

“If one should have a heart to lead any nation, they should forget who they are. They should be as she was. We will miss her,” the words of the president from a neighbouring country were right. She would be missed.

Would there be anyone ready to put on her pair of trousers and lead as she did?

★★★★★

Adapted from
Man of The Cloth and Other Stories
An Anthology of Short Stories
by Brady Kenya
©2014
First Edition

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