This is a guest blog by mothers2mothers (m2m) former Site Coordinator and current Communications Associate Nozi Samela who met U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama during her visit to South Africa last week along with m2m Co-Founder Dr. Mitchell Besser. Nozi was thrilled to be able to tell Mrs. Obama about the work m2m does to help give HIV-positive mothers a voice. See Nozi’s encounter with the first lady in this White House video.
CAPE TOWN, South Africa — I was so nervous to meet Mrs. Obama because she is such a high profile woman. But when I met her, I just felt at ease. The minute she walked into that room I suddenly felt calm. I didn’t think of the speech anymore, just what I wanted her to know about women like me, and mothers like her. I saw no first lady — only a caring, wonderful woman, with a heart good enough to want to know how other women live and survive in less fortunate circumstances.
In the end it was me talking to her; a mother to a mother. Unlike some women, she showed no pity, only empathy shone in her eyes. Even though everybody else was making a fuss over seeing her, she just behaved like a normal person. She didn’t seem like someone who has such big status. Just two mothers sharing. She was different from all other dignitaries I have met and seemed like someone who would pick up her own paper.
I couldn’t believe it when she hugged me, although I must say I could tell from the way she paid attention to all I had to say. I hope that all the first ladies reach out to the people and get to know how other mothers, less fortunate mothers, live their lives and do something to improve their well being. I hope when I’ve succeeded in life I’ll remember to think of those who are less fortunate and do something about it, no matter how small.