Pakistan and its people are bursting with talent. In the last few decades, we have come across many names that have made the nation proud globally. Among those stars, many were/are the youth of Pakistan who has achieved a great amount of success in their early stage of life. Names like Arifa Kareem, Haris Khan, and many others who have done this country a great service by making a name for themselves on an international level. One of these names who has pushed the limits and has said NO to give up even when circumstances were against her is Muniba Mazari, the Iron Lady of Pakistan.
The Iron Lady of Pakistan
Muniba Mazari, as her title, has proved repeatedly that she is not an ordinary human being. If words had feelings, the title itself would have felt privileged for being given to a woman like Muniba Mazari.
The Story Behind the Title
Apart from her courage and bravery, strong as iron, Muniba’s title as the Iron Lady of Pakistan has a story attached to it.
Muniba in 2007 met a terrible accident in Karachi which caused her severe injuries including the major one on her backbone. Despite those heavy injuries, Mazari didn’t lose courage and fought her way through it. Little did she know that she had to struggle a lot more just to get proper medical treatment. When the accident took place, there were no ambulances nearby and people had to carry her to the nearest hospital on regular transport. As it was not already enough to bear, the first hospital where they headed denied the treatment stating they do not have the proper medical equipment for this level of injuries. The second one had the same story and they were reluctant to lead the operation as they expected Muniba would not survive for long.
The third and final hospital took Muniba in and started with the treatment. It was a real test for Muniba Mazari as doctors have to allocate metal into her arms and backbone to fix the major damages. Doctors were able to pull off a successful operation on Muniba. However, they declared that Muniba will not be able to walk again or bear children of her own. The only possible solution for Muniba to walk again was stem cell treatment which she refused to by saying she couldn’t afford it.
A New Journey on the Wheelchair
The brave Pakistani woman was restricted to bed for quite some time before she was moved to a wheelchair. Muniba describes her first experience sitting in a wheelchair as life-changing. She stated in an interview that instead of sticking her situation to the heart and being miserable, she decided to accept herself as she is and move along with life.
The Iron Lady started her chapter of greatness from then and turned out to be the greatest of Pakistani women.
Mazari held a degree in fine arts and continued with her art starting by redecorating her room with colors and paintings. That helped her see her hidden potential. She refused to bow down to her disability and made the best out of her talent. Muniba started motivating herself to work only to find out that she will become the motivation for the whole nation later on. She then started writing and became a well-known writer and artist. Her writings touched many hearts just as her art did.
This was not enough for Muniba as she wanted to inspire others to become better versions of themselves. She analyzed that she is not influencing enough people and could do better than that.
A Polio Campaign that Changed her Life
Muniba Mazari never liked others to be sympathetic towards her. She is a strong woman and she wanted to live life with a full heart without being looked down on. Under these circumstances and what has been going on around her, a polio ad worked as fuel to her fire. The ad portrayed a child in a wheelchair as miserable to encourage others for polio. Muniba digested the picture differently and ever since worked on how people on a wheelchair or different abilities should not be portrayed as miserable or some to sympathize with.
According to her, sympathy only makes them feel lower about themselves. She encouraged and promoted normal behavior with those who are specially-abled.
A Renowned Motivational Speaker
Muniba continues to inspire others not only through her work and writing but through her speeches as well. Even if you have not had a chance to watch her full interviews or shows as a motivational speaker, many inspiring clips made rounds on social media. In those videos, she describes how a wheelchair is not a barrier in the way of success. How it should not stop anyone from achieving greatness. According to her, a wheelchair or a disability should not be the excuse to stop you from hitting your aims.
She has touched so many hearts with her words that she made an impeccable mark not just in Pakistan but beyond the boundaries as well. The Iron Lady of Pakistan is famous across the borders and millions of people around the globe appreciate her speeches.
Muniba Mazari’s Achievements
Muniba over her journey of success has achieved so much that words are not enough to describe her achievements. Through her achievements, she has demonstrated to the world that even a tragic incident cannot break you if you have the will. It is because of her that the thousands of people who have disabilities are now confident that they can do something in life.
Let us look over some of the significant achievements of the most inspirational woman of Pakistan.
In November 2014, Muniba appeared as a guest speaker in a TEDx event. Her speech reached the hearts of many and caught everyone’s attention. In her interview, Muniba shared her personal experience to give hope to those with a condition similar to her. She indulges everyone to believe in themselves more than anyone else. That speech gained millions of views on the internet and fame across borders.
When Muniba was 28, UN Women appointed her as national ambassador for Pakistan to represent the women of Pakistan and to address the then problems with discrimination in gender. Gender bias was at its peak then and Muniba did her best to bring it to a level where men and women are equals. She said and we quote:
We need to educate both men and women if we want to eliminate gender-based discrimination, and for this, we have to work together as one.
In 2015, Muniba was listed among the 100 Most Inspirational Women 2015 by BBC. Muniba was one of the two Pakistani who was declared on the list by BBC. Muniba is truly an inspiration for everyone to date and there are thousands of other lists where she is named as the most influential, motivational, and bravest woman of Pakistan.
Brand Model for Toni&Guy
Muniba was the first-ever model who did modeling while seated on a wheelchair and that too for Toni&Guy. The confidence she had in it and the way she pulled it off, set an example for everyone. Through her achievement, Muniba taught everyone that anyone can achieve their dreams, be it a person in a wheelchair.
Forbes 30 Under 30
Muniba Mazari’s achievement could not go unnoticed by Forbes. They took notice of her achievements and listed her down in their 30 Under 30 list in 2016. Muniba was already doing well on her social presence and thousands of people followed her on social media. Forbes 30 Under 30 list however gave a boost to her fan following and people started following her from around the globe. Currently, Muniba has over 2 million followers on Instagram.
Muniba Mazari is the first wheelchair anchorperson for the national television of Pakistan. She has anchored and hosted many shows on national television over the years.
Head of CSR at Chughtai Lab
Apart from her many many roles, Ms. Mazari is also affiliated with Chughtai Lab as their Head of CSR. Muniba has attended many medical camps by Chughtai Lab to support and encourage children.
Muniba Mazari talks on various social topics that can benefit minorities, children, and women. She empowers women by supporting their roles in the job world. She also encourages and supports children who are less privileged and cannot afford education.
The world has given us a gem. We Pakistani are proud to have Muniba as not only a Pakistani but as the bravest, inspiring, and courageous Pakistani. She has enlightened the world around us. Ignoring her injuries, she has made the world a better place through her optimism. She is the reason that we can say that there is always a way to smile in the face of difficulties and tell them NOT TODAY.