Pakistan’s ‘Iron Lady’ is Muniba Mazari. And she is named so rightfully and truthfully. Mazari is a Pakistani artist, a motivational speaker and the most head-turning of all- she is a model. Her beauty knows no compromise. She is also Pakistan’s first wheel-chair using model. Her words are nothing short of inspiring.
Muniba Mazari, at the age of 21, faced a car accident and lost the ability to walk. She has been in the wheelchair ever since. In her speech at the BBC Top 100 Most Influential Women’s speech, she makes some hard-hitting statements that tell everyone, nothing can stop you but yourself. And that failure is an option but giving up is not.
“they call it adversity, I call it opportunity. Call it a weakness, I call it strength. Call me disabled, I call myself differently abled. They see my disability, I see my ability.”
Followed, was a thunderous applause.
She follows saying some harsh truths. Her statements say that in life, there will be incidents so powerful, they will change your body’s DNA and genetic makeup. They not only break your body but sometimes also deform it. With an anticipated crowd, she then says that these incidents transform your soul and mold people into the best version of themselves.
Mazari belonged to a very conservative Baloch family and got married at the age of 18. She couldn’t say no and simply stated that if it made her father happy, she would do it. A few months after the marriage, her husband fell asleep on the wheel, and they met with an accident in their car on the motorway. She states that her husband managed to save himself but she sustained a huge list of injuries including a fractured radius ulna. The strong-willed woman recounts her injuries,
“three vertebrae of my backbone were completely crushed and I got paralyzed for the rest of my life.”
Pakistan’s Iron Lady
Why is she called the Iron Lady? Surprisingly, her title is not just metaphoric.
“There’s a lot of titanium at my back to fix my back that’s why people in Pakistan call me the iron lady of Pakistan,”
she says whilst describing her treatment.
“We all have fears, fears of unknown. Fear of losing people, money, health,”
Muniba says, she wrote down her fears and decided to overcome them one by one, such as her husband wants to leave her and the Iron Lady says that acknowledging her fear of this and overcoming it, was a liberating experience. She became the National Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women, Pakistan. Muniba states that she started appearing in public more often and talks in public for inclusion, equality and so forth. She says she has stopped worrying about the things that she has lost.
“People who were meant to be with me are with me.”
In an emotional and powerful conclusion, the Iron Lady Muniba Mazari exclaims,
“Sometimes, somebody’s absence makes you a better person. Cherish their absence, it’s always it’s always a blessing in disguise.”
You can watch her incredibly powerful speech here:
Muniba Mazari, through her speech, has not only taught people that disability is never curving but she also made solid stances on fear and loss and how, as she stated, they are blessings in disguise. Her speech gave us goosebumps. Are you as speechless and moved as we are? Let us know. Check out Kanika Tekriwal’s inspiring journey where she started JetSetGo after being diagnosed with cancer.