It was Sandra Sealy, the Barbadian literary artist and author of best-selling collection of poems, “Chronicles of a Seawoman”, who remarked that “women have always had to be creative about making limited resources work to sustain themselves and their families. They understand what it means to make the hard decisions and to just get on with it. That is why it is imperative for women not just to be the ones dusting off the table but, crafting its legs for our world to stand on”.
Sealy’s deep-rooted remarks are not mere literary spiel or worded choice of creative conviction. She was certainly pointing a quick cursor on the crucial space that women occupy in family and society. She is laying emphasis on the changing ideology of the current human society, and how women have been able to remodel and carve out their own independent unit, without necessarily being too outspoken about their achievements and quality, yet providing constant indispensable light and sparkles from deep deep background.
That is the operative ideology that defines the life ethics of wife of the Governor of Anambra State, Queen Frances Nonye Soludo. Not just a conscious approach to self-philosohy, but mostly an indeliberate discipline and focus on what is insubstitutable and permanent: family. Mrs Soludo has always understood her role in her husband’s governance. Coming at a time when politics in Nigeria has appeared more of a lifetime occupation and titular inheritance, Professor Chukwuma Soludo and the wife were already disturbed by that formulaic political anomaly. They were mutually in agreement, eager to deviate from that bad normal, and stick to their long-practiced principles of simplicity, modesty and discipline.
Those three key human elements are hard to come by in the Nigerian cum African political settings where most political elites see public offices as one-off avenues to make recompense for their lost riches and withering power. But, while Governor Soludo already had his role defined politically, the wife continued with her role in family and her job, providing political support only when necessary. Such mindset is rare. It is even most unusual considering the power-thirstiness of man. However, Mrs Soludo cuts a different breed. Her reserved, carefree and liberal mentality speak in each observational and conversational process.
The governor’s wife has always been honest with her ideology to politics: inasmuch as women play crucial role in entrenching good governance at every point, they must not — in their chase for political relevance — lose sight of their traditional role as the heart and conscience of the family and society at large. Though, not ideally a woman who entreats politics, Mrs Soludo bears the belief that a wife can still render every important political support off-camera. It is in her sincere understanding of the process of doing what’s right, wise, spectacular but unnoticeable, that her true strength resides. The governor’s wife, as has been pointed out by Sandra Sealy, is creative in her choices, and does not alter – for any material reason — her trademark of modesty and discipline while doing them.
It is a finely-knitted process that has largely to do with training and practical worldview. The governor’s wife does not believe in traditional improprieties. What’s wrong has no justification. Not that her humility doesn’t play an important role in the build-up, but the most visible in her collection of character is contentment. The mother of six is always at peace with life and God’s blessings. As a successful entrepreneur, Mrs Nonye Soludo understands every rule of business and life, and does not spare a second wishing for something beyond her reach. She is procedural, plain and austere. She’s absolute about her philosophies, a unique mutual trait that she shares with her husband, Governor Chukwuma Soludo.
These immense traits explain fairly her political and personal philosophies. For her — and perhaps in fair disagreement with Sealy, the Barbadian poet — these are not hard choices, but a different kind of ideology that one must possess to make a difference. To add value to one’s dream, that of the family and society, without compromising the very standards that got the person or their family to that point of success. That’s Mrs Frances Nonye Soludo’s ideology!