Wednesday 9 November 2016


Hillary Rodham Clinton

The first time I really took note of Hillary Rodham Clinton was when she was propelled to national (and international) ridicule by Bill Clinton’s affair in 1998. I was nine years old then and didn’t really understand politics. I was however very sad that Hillary Clinton had been publicly embarrassed by the scandal. I didn’t have access to the internet then but I followed every article that mentioned Hillary Clinton on the dailies. And even though I didn’t completely understand a lot of what I was reading, I grew fascinated with her.

I learned that she wasn’t the typical woman of the 90s. She had a mind of her own, a drive that could rival most men and a desire that was as infectious as it was surprising. She was a lawyer, held strong political views that she was willing to work for and was actively fighting for children’s rights in her country. What was most impressive was that she was all of these before she even met Bill Clinton.

The results of my research on Hillary and what I knew about Oprah Winfrey made me sit down – all 9 years old of me – to write out my life plans, the things I wanted to do and achieve and the person I wanted to be remembered for. I wrote these plans knowing that it wasn’t wrong for women to be intelligent, passionate or driven; things I was already displaying at that age.

As I grew older, the strides Hillary made – in her law practice, humanitarian work and on the board of many committees – cemented my views about who I was meant to be. She was shattering glass ceilings way before it was a fitting catchphrase. What was most inspiring was her drive. She couldn’t be stopped for anything! Yes, she was less prominent during the time leading to the 1996 elections, but she didn’t stop pushing for the causes she was passionate about.

From a driven lawyer, she became the first ‘First Lady’ to share her desire for elective post, campaign for that and win. But that was not the end for her. After serving for eight years in the US Senate, she announced that she was going to run for Presidency in 2008. I was so excited when I read this and even though I was a total fan of Barack Obama, I was happy that she dared to aspire for the highest post in one of the world’s greatest nations. And even though she didn’t get the Democratic Party nomination, she didn’t remain bitter. She joined forced with President Barack Obama as his Secretary of State.

When she expressed her desire again for office in 2015, I was again inspired. She couldn’t be put down! And best of all, she wouldn’t be put down. Never in my life have I prayed to be American more than at that time so I could vote for her; vote for a woman who refused to toe the line society tried to force down her throat.

Hillary was more qualified than her husband when he ran for presidency but she waited. She was probably more experienced than President Barack Obama when he ran but again, she waited. You can imagine my pain when the time finally came and she had to face a racist, sexist, homophobic, misogynist, unintelligent, vile and inexperienced man! I honestly thought she had it in the bun. But alas, racism, James Comey, sexism, homophobia, Julian Assange, WikiLeaks, white supremacy and blatant tomfoolery would have none of that.

In spite of her loss at the US Elections, I have never been more proud of a person like I am of Hillary.

Hillary Clinton is a woman who has pushed for the things she believes in, giving her all – and then some – to her dreams, even when everything seemed against her. Many people wanted her to stand behind her husband, aspire for garden parties in the white house and be a beautiful potted plant. Most people couldn't understand a woman who dared to have her own mind, her own dreams, her own vision and even her own sense of style. I mean, how dare Hillary think she can wear those pantsuits and three-inch heels and be president? Well, those people won! For now, anyway.

Why was it so important for Hillary to win? Would she have been the first female president? No! We have African female presidents. Plus, I am Nigerian. How does it affect me?

Well, it does!

Many people have accused me of supporting Hillary Clinton only because she is a woman and I laugh because the reaction is typical.  I wanted her to win because she was the most qualified person for the position as a result of her extensive work in government and because she worked hard; even harder than most men have to. Nut more than that, and she dared to. I wanted her to win because I saw her policy plans and agreed with them. I wanted her to win because she had demonstrated better character for humanity and basic human rights than Trump has or will ever. Beyond that, I wanted her to win because she had her failings too and has learned from them. But no; she is a woman, so that was my only reason for supporting her (*shaking my head). It is worrisome however that most people would rather vote a bumbling unqualified man than a woman. 

We get it; society has its tethering rope.

Hillary may have lost this election but she has inspired me, and many people globally, to fight for what we believe in, to push for what we want and to stay the course, even if it takes forever. She may not get to be the first female president of the United States of America but her drive would make some woman the first. Many of the suffragettes didn’t get to see Hillary Clinton contest but their work got her to be the first female presidential nominee of the major parties in her country. She broke that ceiling. Another woman will break the next.

To every woman who understands how disheartening it is to work harder, be better and more qualified and who is still being ignored or voted down, we have to keep fighting! We may have lost this one, but we will win eventually! It may take a long time but we aren’t going anywhere!

Thank you Hillary Rodham Clinton for being a superb inspiration to us! We love you always!

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