There was nothing soul-soothing than seeing a leader serving people, especially the underprivileged ones – the people who are mostly forgotten. Watching Nigerian First Lady Aisha Buhari standing serving guests, which include orphans and poor, at an Eid dinner she had organised raises my enthusiasm level that change in Africa may not be, after all, far. Invitation for dinner may not be news worthy but Mrs. Buhari’s decision to stand for more than two years serving her guests cannot be ignored. Everyone left the party with one unique thought: that humility is the cream of leadership. But the greatest take home was that leadership is all about serving others and not the other way around.
Here is the same woman who refuses to be like her predecessors who lived in flamboyant lifestyle. Like her husband Aisha finds solace in simplicity. She put herself at the same level with ordinary Nigerians, which is why she refuses to surrender her matrimonial duties to State House maids. Aisha still serves Muhammad Buhari to the best of her ability. Mrs. Buhari stunned the world last year when she left a party she had thrown for kids with the following excuse: “I’m going to leave you soon. I want to go back home to cook for my husband because my children are here playing with you. Nobody is at home, only my husband. So, I want to go back home to be with him and also cook dinner for him.”
Aisha Buhari knows the country is bigger than her husband, which is why she urge all Nigerians to pray for peace in the country. She knows the peace of Nigeria does not mean that of President Buhari alone but a catalyst of development and a win-win for Nigerians.
We salute her for being a leader who makes people — ordinary ones for that matter — feel the power of comfort and ease when they are in a room with her. How would ordinary people see themselves in a president’s wife who does not connect with the local people? Aisha Buhari has shaped a learning pattern for all of us, especially our very own flying first lady. Madam Zeinab Jammeh should learn good lessons from her Nigerian counterpart. How can she when she is hardly at home, let alone mingle with ordinary Gambians?