Meet Muniba Mazari,
the ‘Iron Lady’ of Pakistan
by Hajra Salim
Strength. What does it mean to you? Is it the virtue of courage? Is it perseverance? Well, I presented this question because I am introducing you to an exceptionally talented, unimaginably strong and unbelievably generous woman: Muniba Mazari, and strength defines her.
We all are pilgrims,embarking on our pilgrimages; to at least build a noble lifestyle for our own selves. Muniba is the name of a traveler who never chose her path, who discovered her route. After two years of a short-lived marriage and a car accident, Mazari’s life was in chaos.
Ms. Mazari, after being dragged out of the accident scene carelessly, came to know that the pain wasn’t the only thing that was devastating about the incident. Her whole rib cage was fractured, radius and ulna of her right arm was falling to pieces, the wrist as well as the shoulder and collarbone were smashed to fragments, as she said, there was one injury that completely shook her to the core: a severe spinal injury. Having to stay in the hospital for more than two and a half months, the doctors came to give her the unfortunate news that as she was being dragged out of the car, she underwent the acute spinal cord injury, and she lost any sense of movement or sensation resulting in not being able to walk ever again, at the young age of twenty one when there was so much yet to explore. Belonging to a very conservative Baloch family, Muniba felt her skills and mainly her profound passion to paint go to dust.
‘Don’t die before your death.’
Enduring pain, she spent weeks staring at the high ceiling of her ward layered in a pale paint, her life was based off on color, ecstasy, most importantly, her family, who also suffered confusion and utter despair. Everything was vague in a flash of time. She asked her brothers to bring her a canvas, despite her fractured wrist, she had a pressing urge to let her heart out through her paintbrush and into the thin patterns of the blank canvas and there she was, painting her first painting on her hospital bed.
‘It all starts from within.’
It took a long time before she got used to the space of her wheelchair, staying thirsty all night when she couldn’t get up to get herself a glass of water, considering herself lucky and blessed to have a chance to breathe. She determinedly looked at the bright side and thought of the only thing that could make her feel satisfied: painting. Smudged gracefully in acrylics, Muniba started devoting all the little power she could gather, investing into creating stunningly gorgeous masterpieces. And that is how she found happiness.
Inspiration to millions all over the globe, Muniba Mazari started to paint more and better, believing passionately in her dreams, Ms. Mazari decided that she wanted to speak. Therefore, Muniba started appearing in public more.Today, she is an anchor person of Pakistan’s National Television, speaking on the rights of children and women’s rights. Muniba has given motivational talks on various platforms like TEDx, Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), Young presidents’ Organization (YPO), Youth Entrepreneur Organization (YEO), Global Leadership Conference (GLC) 2016, VCon Malaysia 2017, Vcon Dubai 2017, Leadership Summit Pakistan, etc. She is Pakistan’s first Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women. Muniba is also one of the Forbes 30 under 30 for 2016 in Media and Marketing Category.
Breaking through barriers, she recognized her might and the power of determination. Muniba is the proof that if we just don’t give up and keep on searching, keep on nurturing our ambitions, then nothing, I repeat nothing can stop us from getting where we are destined to be.
I would like to conclude my article with a quote by Muniba Mazari, which has always guided me through thick and thin:
‘The moment you are ready to quit is usually the moment right before a miracle happens.
Don’t give up.’
Celebrating Women: Art by Alina Wilson
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