‘’which one is that too’’ a reply Honourable Hajia Mariam Iddrisu, MCE for Sagnarigu municipality got when she told her people she was going to Sanatu Zambang Studios for an interview.Honourable Hajia Mariam Iddrisu,
The interview was booked through Facebook messenger when we contacted her and she accepted to do the interview.
And that is what makes this whole thing intriguing. Prior to this interview, we had no face to face rapport with her.
The fact that she honored our invite showed me the person she was when it comes to her relationship with young people and their creative ideas. As always, she was on time. It was not a Ghanaian time. She came exactly at the agreed time.
She demonstrated one thing again after the interview when she decided to stay back to have a conversation with us.
First, we talk about Sanatu Zambang, what we are doing and what we hope to achieve and applauded us for the good initiative.
Honorable Hajia Mariam Iddrisu approach reminds me of the Obama campaign, the youth approach and the use of social media.
She is very active on social media posting about her work and the project her party is undertaking. She also posts about her daily activities, who she meets and what she has been able to do for the day.
Honorable Hajia Mariam understood our presence on social media and she realized that she could leverage on our audience to build upon her followers.
This was beneficial for both of us since we all wanted one thing, audience. She wanted our audience and we also wanted her audience.
The interview was revealing of who she was as a politician and what she wanted to do for her people but what was more revealing was her conversation with us in the studios after the interview.
This chat opens a different perspective to me about her persona. Now she was not talking to us as the MCE for Sagnarigu or a politician to score cheap political points.
Her conversation with us after the interview was mesmerizing. It tells us much about her persona. Now, she was not Honourable Mariam Iddrisu, MCE for Sagnarigu but a woman, a sister, a mother, an aunt, a woman activist, an ally and the list continues, who is passionate about the development and empowerment of women.
She called herself a feminist, a term most women shy away from especially in the northern region.
Her kind of feminism as she explained is not the one that seeks to bring down the man and uplift the woman.
But the one that seeks to engage both in dialogue to reach consensus and end violence against women, one that seeks to empower the woman to be skilfully employed and earn a decent income.
‘’Now we are not going to go the rowdy or demeaning way to achieve our goal but we are going to ‘boss’ you to empower the woman and give women their rights.’’
We also delve into marriage. The MCE talked about her early days in marriage.
She tells us that young people these days will say they will not live in a family house or they want an already made man.
People who know her now and not then will think everything was rosy and glossy from the onset but no, that is not the case. She started her married life in a family house because her father-in-law wanted his children’s family to live together.
She accepted the challenged and that was her first-time using firewood to cook. She narrates.
According to her, she could have convinced her husband for them to live on their own but she did not want to start her married life with a broken relationship with the in-laws.
This single act helped her to raise her family and continue with her political ambition because in campaigning to be appointed as the MCE for Sagnarigu, she used her father in-law’s name.
The mother-in-law has always been the one to take care of her kids when she is busy with work. She was appointed the MCE just three months after having been delivered of twins.
All this while, it was her mother-in-law who had to put her life at a standstill to come and take care of the twins.
As she said, her driver picks her mother-in-law up in the morning while she goes to work and sends her home when she returns home from work in the evening.
Sometime deep in the night depending on her schedule for that day.
Did I mention that I met her just three weeks ago at Modern City hotel and she gave me a warm hug like how a close relation will give you a hug?
For a moment when I saw her, I thought she might not remember me because we only met just once at my office.
She did recognize me and we engage in a conversation. She told me the reason she was there and I also told her my reason. Then she asked about the progress of Sanatu Zambang.
I have only engaged with her on two occasions and it gives me a different perspective of who she is as a politician, her relationship with young and upcoming entrepreneurs and what people say about her.
Comments about her are mostly sexist because we live in a society that upholds patriarchy.
People might say she is arrogant but you get what you asked for. When you come to her office her say
‘’ I have your type in the house’’, in a way that seems to demean her as the leader of the municipality just because you think she is a woman she cannot give orders. Then do not blame her when she serves you what you ordered for.