Woman, you can have it all! Perhaps, one at a time, but you certainly can have it all.
Career. Husband. Children. Beauty. Wealth. A Great Marriage. Success. Significance. Humility. Character. Power. Influence. Integrity. GOD. EVERYTHING!
Mrs Ibukun Abiodun Awosika has proven the veracity of the above aphorism as she becomes the First Female Chairman of First Bank Nigeria Plc, one of the largest financial institutions in Africa. In this vein, let it never be whispered, spoken or inferred that being a woman is a weakness. That being the fairer sex, the weaker vessel somehow imbues you with a sense of incapacity or inferiority.
Let no one lie to you that you are not worthy, that you are second class, beneath a man just because you are a woman. Repudiate, yes, reject those condescending tags that seek to define you by your breasts and derriere – for a certainty, they are nothing to be ashamed of because they accentuate your womanhood – but your worth as a person must never be reduced to these!
Let no one deceive you that you should clamour for privileges, positions and opportunities you do not deserve or haven’t prepared yourself for just because you are a woman, or advice you to go after what you want by using manipulative feminine wiles! Not only is it demeaning and a dumbing down of your abilities, your grasp of such privilege will be tenuous at best, for the simple reason that you did not pass the rigour of being found worthy and deserving of such honour.
The woman who will sit at the head of board tables of corporations and political parties to make decisions for and with men must possess the 3Cs – COMPETENCE, CHARACTER and CAPACITY. It must be dinned into young women that owning your power as an individual has never had anything to do with being in competition – whether with other women, or with men. You are in competition with yourself, with the accolades of yesterday that you seek to best, as you row on oars that will lead you to the destination that you envision.
With certain conviction, we can own our own greatness by playing like a man and winning like a woman. And I hope younger women also know that it takes nothing away from you to learn from, submit to, and serve an older woman who has what you need but which you do not possess yet, just so you may attain your next level in life. And I am not thinking in solely pecuniary terms.
There can be no gainsaying that choosing a great mentor is like striking GOLD, and wouldn’t you agree that gold is invaluable, peerless, and enduring?
As denouement, I wish to congratulate the first woman of these times who carries an anointing that never leaves you the way you were just before you encountered her.
Here’s to you, Maami Ibukun Awosika
Here’s to all the Skirts (and trousers if it tickles your fancy) in the Boardrooms across Africa.
Here’s to the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pantsuit.
Here’s to YOU. WOMAN.