The Cross Every First Lady Must Carry
Ghana is currently blessed with a First Lady, Mrs. Lordina Mahama, who has a soft spot for the disadvantaged in the society. Thus, even before she became the number one lady of the land, she has spared no effort in providing succour for disadvantaged persons such as orphans, the physically challenged and those ostracized by society as a result of the suspicion that they are witches. That currently, she supports seven orphanages across the country is testimony of her care and love for children with no parents. There is no deed nobler in life than giving to those who cannot give back in return. It is for this reason that Mrs. Lordina Mahama’s tireless care for the disadvantaged is being applauded all over by many and even merited mention in the 2012 US Human Rights Report.
Ordinarily therefore, one will have thought that this First Lady will be spared the cross of vicious rumours, half-truths and outright lies that First Ladies are often made to bear by a section of the society. However, it seems Lordina’s tireless work for the poor does not make her immune to this cross.
Every First Lady, it is now obvious, has to bear the cross of vicious rumours, half-baked truths and outright lies. This often includes the claim that she takes decisions for her husband, she has stashed millions of state money away and that she is vicious.
Currently, the rumour mills in the US has it that Michelle Obama, wife of arguably the world’s most powerful man, is the one who takes decisions for her husband. Bill Clinton’s wife, Hillary, faced similar accusations. Here in Ghana, not even the quiet Naadu Mills was spared such vicious lies; the claim was that she was the one wearing the trousers in the marriage. Calm Theresa Kufuor suffered similar lies; she was portrayed as a vicious character. Konadu was labeled “she that must be obey” because her husband will not kowtow to certain demands from some people. It is not surprising therefore that same medicine is being forced down the throat of Ghanaians about Lordina Mahama.
Obviously, such allegations often emanate from friends, close associates and even relatives of the President; when they cannot have easy access to a man they used to have easy access to when he was not President or when the President will not yield to their whims and caprices, the First Lady often becomes the one accused of making the President inaccessible or the one who has influenced him not to yield to their demands.
This character assignation is even found within many ordinary families. When friends or relatives of a man cannot get him to do their bidding, the poor wife becomes their target; it is she who controls the husband. This is the cross that even the Lordina Mahamas of this world, in spite of their charitable heart and simplicity, must carry. Soon, it will not be only that she takes decisions for her husband but that she has a stake in the country’s oilfields, owns a jewelry shop in France or has billions of dollars stashed away in a Swiss bank!
Often, there is no way to fight this outright lies especially if it appears in the media. Reacting to it is to give it some form of credibility. The best thing to do is to treat it with the contempt it deserves knowing that more of such lies will be churned out. All the First Lady has to do is focus on her charity work and bear this cross of lies quietly, albeit painfully.
Those who know Mrs. Lordina Mahama will scoff at any report that she takes decisions for her husband. She is no Imelda Marcos either. She is just Lordina Mahama who cares for the poor. But of course, it is only a lazy woman who will not take interest in her husband’s job and offer advice when needed especially when her husband is the Chief Executive of the land. And the bible says it is only a foolish man who will not at least LISTEN to his wife’s advice.
If Shakespeare’s tragic hero, Julius Caesar, had listened to his wife, he will not have gone to the senate where he was eventually assassinated. If Pontus Pilate had listened to his wife’s advice, he would not have occupied such a dark spot in the history of man as the one who sentenced Jesus Christ to death!
President John Mahama will have the laugh of his life at any claim that his wife takes decision for him. Anyone who knows this Fourth John of the Fourth Republic knows he is no push over for anybody. If there is anything that may be frustrating those who will want us to believe he is being controlled, it is that he has a great listening capacity but allows will not allow them to take decisions for him!
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