Home People All you need to know about Pakistan’s first WheelChair-using artist, Muniba Mazari

All you need to know about Pakistan’s first WheelChair-using artist, Muniba Mazari


What generally people do if they are demotivated at the moment or things are not in your control? How will you feel if any tragedy happens in your life and people who are meant to be with will not be with you? Become helpless, hopless or try to fight if not worked give up. Only few people can take control of things and become role models for others. Sometimes, after a big tragedy in one’s life, it will make them weak, and hopeless, but some people never give up. Muniba Mazari, popularly known as the Iron Lady of Pakistan, also one among them. She is a woman who is inspiring others a lot by overcoming her biggest tragedies happened in her life. We can say she is the best example of never give up statement. She is a multitalented woman, as an anchor, model, writer, artist, and motivational speaker. I am sure that after reading this article you will surely get inspiration for life.If you listen to her story definitely you will feel you are so lucky with what you have. Let’s see her story in her words, “I was 18 years old when I got married. I belong to a very conservative family where good daughters never say no to their parents. My father wanted me to get married. And all I said was if that could make you happy, I will say yes. It was never happy marriage. Just after 2 years of marriage I met a car accident. Somehow my husband fell asleep and car fell in the ditch. He manages to jump outside, saved himself and am happy for him. But I stayed inside the car, and I sustained lot of injuries.
One day doctor came to me and said I heard you wanted to be an artist, but ended up being housewife. I have a bad news for you, you won’t be able to paint again because your wrist and arm deformed so you will not be able to hold the pen again. And I stayed quiet. Next day doctor came to me and said, your spine injury is so bad and you won’t be able to walk again. I took deep breath and said it’s alright. And the next day doctor came to me and said because of the spine injury and fixation you have in your back, you won’t be able to give birth to child. That day I was devastated. I still remember I asked my mother why me? And that is where I started questioning my existence why am I even alive? What’s the point of living?I do not walk; I can’t paint, fine.. But I can’t be a mother and we have this thing in our heads that woman we are incomplete without having children. I am going to be an incomplete woman for my rest of life. What’s the point, people are scared they think I will get divorced. What is going to happen to me, why am I alive. That where I realized the healing power of words, my mother said to me this too shall pass. God has greater plan for you, I don’t know what is it but he surely has. And in all that distress and grief some or the other those words are so magical that kept me going. I was trying to put smile on my face all the time hiding. I was so hard to hide the pain which was there. But all I knew was, if I will give up my mother and brothers will give up too. I cannot see them crying with me. So what kept me going was One day I asked my brothers I know I have deformed hand but am tired of looking at these white walls in this hospital. I want to add more color to my life and wanted to do something bring me some colors bring me some canvas. I want to paint. So the very first painting I made was on my death bed. It was not just an art piece or my passion, it was my therapy. What an amazing therapy it was, without uttering a single word I could paint my heart, I could share my story. People use to come say what a lovely panting, so much color. But nobody could see the grief in it. Only I could. So that’s how I spent two and half months in the hospital crying, never complaining but painting. And then I was discharged and I went back home and I realized I had so much pressure on my hips and on my back, I could not sit. Lot of infections in my body and lot of allergies. So doctor wanted me to lie down straight on bed for not six month or one year but for two years. I was confined in one room and looking outside the window. Listening to the birds and thinking maybe there will a time I will be going out with the family and enjoying the nature, that’s where I realized how lucky people are but they don’t realize. That is the time where I realized that the day am going to sit and share my painting with everyone and make them realize how blessed they are and they don’t even consider them lucky. There are always turning points in your life. There was a rebirth day, that I celebrate.

After two years and two and half months when I was able to sit on a wheel chair, that was the day when I was rebirth. I was completely different person, I still remember the day I sat on the wheel chair for the first time knowing that am never going to leave this knowing that I won’t be able to walk for my rest of life, I saw myself in the mirror and talk to myself. And I still remember what I said, I cannot wait for a miracle to come and make me walk, I cannot sit in the corner of the room and crying and scribing for the mercy. Nobody has time so I have to accept myself as I am, sooner the better. So I applied lip color for the first time and I erased it and I cried and I said what am I doing? A person on a wheel chair would not do this. What will people say clean it up and put it up again, this time I put it for myself because I wanted to feel perfect from within. And that day I decided, that am going to live life for myself. Am not going to be the perfect person for someone. I am just going to take this moment and make perfect for myself. And you know how it all began that day I decided, that am going to fight my fears. We all have fears, fear of unknown, and fear of known, fear of losing people, fear of losing health, money. We want to excel in carrier we want to get famous, we want to get money and we are scared all the time. I wrote down all the fears one by one all those fears. I decided to overcome all the fears one at a time. You know what was my biggest fear, DIVORCE. I could not stand this word. I was trying to cling on this person who didn’t want me anymore. I said no I have to me make work, that the day I decided this is nothing but my fear. I liberated myself by setting him free. And I made myself emotionally so strong that the day I know he is getting married, I sent him a message that am so happy for him and wish you all the best and he knows that I pray for him. My biggest fear was number 2 that I won’t be able to be a mother again and that was quiet devastating for me. But then I realized that there are so many children in the world, they just want is acceptance. So there is no point in crying, just go and adopt one and that’s what I did. I gave my name in different organizations, different orphanages and I didn’t mention that I am in wheel chair dying to have a child, I said this Muniba Mazari I want to adopt either boy or girl, I want to adopt a kid. And waited patiently, two years later I got a call from very small city in Pakistan and Are you Muniba Mazari, there is a baby boy and would you like to adopt? And I said yes, literally could feel the labor pains and said yes yes yes am going to adopt him and I am going to take him home. And when I reach there the man was sitting there and looked at me from head to toe. In back of mind I kept thinking that he is going to say that she is on wheel chair she doesn’t deserve it and how is she going to take care of him and I looked and said him do not judge me because am on the wheel chair, but you know what he said I know you will be the best mother of this child. You both are lucky to have each other. You will be surprised to know that another fear that I had, it was facing people. I use to hide myself from people and when I was on bed for two years I use to keep the door closed. I use to pretend that am not going to meet anyone and tell them am sleeping.

You know why, because I could not stand that sympathy on their eyes they had for me. They use to treat me like patient. When I use smile, they look at me and say you are smiling are you okay. I was tired of these questions being asked, are you sick. well a lady yesterday asked me are you sick, well I said besides spinal cord injury am fine I guess. Those are really cute questions and I never use to feel cute when I was o bed so I use to hide myself from the people knowing that oh my God am not going to see their sympathy in their eyes, It’s alright. And here am speaking in front of all these amazing people because I have overcome the fear. You know when you end up being on the wheel chair what’s the most painful thing. That another fear that people on the wheel chair were differently abled has in their hearts but they will never share. But I will share with you the lack of acceptance. People think that they will not be accepted by the people because we in perfect world we are imperfects. So I decided starting NGO for disability awareness, I know it will not help anyone. I started to appear more on public, I started to paint I always wanted to. I have done lot of exhibition and am the Pakistan’s first wheel chair bound artist. I have done lot of modeling campaign for different brands like Tony & Guy. I have done some really funny breaking the barrier kind of modeling. But then I also decided to if I really want to make difference am not going to let people use for their polio camping who make them victim an emblem of misery and tell give polio drops to your children or you will be like this girl. And I decide to join the National TV of Pakistan as an anchor person and I have been doing lot of shows for few years. So when you accept yourself the world accepts you the way you are. So it all starts with in. I became National Goodwill ambassador for UN Women Pakistan and speak for the women rights of children. I was featured in BBC 100 women for the year 2015. I was one of Forbes 30 under 30 for the year 2016 and all that didn’t happen alone. You all thriving in your careers you have dreams. Always do remember one thing on the road to success there will be always WE but not ME. You cannot achieve alone, There is always a person standing behind you for encouraging you and never lose that person. No matter how much I say, I could not find hero, so I became one. We have this amazing fantasy of life, this is how things should work, this is my plan, and this should go as per my plan. If that doesn’t happen we give up. I never wanted to be on wheel chair, never thought of being on wheel chair. This life is test and trial and this test are never supposed to be easy and when you are expecting ease from life and life gives you lemons then you make lemonade. Don’t blame life for that. It is ok to be scared, it is ok to cry, everything is ok but giving up should not be an option. They always say that Failure is not an option. Failure should be an option when you fail you get up then you fail you get up and that keeps you going.There are so many people in the world who are dreaming to live the life that you have living right now but you have no idea. Embrace each and every breath you take, celebrate life, and live it.Don’t die before your death, we all will die. Be great for what you have. Never giving up is the way to live. Live your life fully. Be kind to yourself then you will be kind to others. Accept the way you are. Real happiness lies in gratitude.The wheelchair cannot be an excuse for not doing anything……… be grateful for what you have, and trust me, you will end up having more……… learn the art of converting your adversities into opportunities, so be happy, be grateful, be alive and don’t let anyone ‘dis’ your abilities.”

Inspiring words from her:

I could not find a hero in my life, so I became one
I am caged by my body, but my mind is free, so is my soul, so is my spirit. I can still dream big.
The secret of happiness is being grateful for what you have, not what you don’t have or what you have lost!
People who fight their battles with the smile on their face, I call them warriors
On the road to success there will be always WE but not ME.

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