Posts Tagged ‘Michelle Obama’

Nomalanga: So what if First Lady, Michelle Obama, wanted to leave?

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

I recently read an article at the online version of the Daily Mail titled “New book claims Michelle Obama prepared divorce papers to separate from Barack – leaving him so depressed friends feared he’d kill himself”. My impression of the article is that, much like the book it is referring to, it was written to tarnish the names of President Obama and First lady, Michelle Obama.

My comment, on Facebook, in reaction to the article was as follows:

“So what? In the last 7 years, I have packed a suitcase a time or two-what of it? Although they wrote this article to “air the Obamas’ dirty laundry”, this actually makes me and others respect them more. They are normal people who, in spite of everything, have sustained their marriage AND won the Presidency!”

The reason why I responded this way is that I feel that anyone who has been married a significant amount of time or is close to married couples knows that all marriages go through different phases; some easy and some not, hence the common phrase “for better or worse and through thick or think”. This phrase is often included in many vows, on a couple’s wedding day, specifically to reiterate that couples should not view a “rocky” time in marriage as a time to leave.

My own experience, having been married for over seven years, has been that when things get “rocky”, the urge to leave can become overwhelmingly strong but that does not give me or any married person, not even the first lady, a reason to leave. I believe that those difficult parts of the journey are the very parts that will teach you more about yourself, your spouse and will ultimately elevate both of you to a higher level of spiritual enlightenment.

The Obamas have admitted that in the past they did go through a rough patch but that they patched things up and grew closer together. Although the details of the Obama marriage trials, assuming there was some truth in them, were revealed with what I perceive as malicious intent, I and a lot of other people are both encouraged and inspired by the Obamas. They are modeling, among others, one great lesson: Anything worth having is worth fighting for.

Many women look at Michelle Obama and wish they could have a wonderful husband and a wonderful marriage like hers. What I am drawing from the Obamas’ experience is that that level of success is not something that happens by accident. The problem with glorifying the Obamas and their relationship has always been that it made them seem “special” but now we see that they are just normal people, much like the rest of us. What sets them apart is their courage, discipline and an attitude of Never giving up on yourself, your spouse or your marriage.

Nomalanga: The Truth about Black Women

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

I was just watching Oprah, on OWN TV, talking about how her grandmother was telling her, at the tender age of four, that she needed to pay attention to how laundry was done as her grandmother was doing the laundry. Even at four years old, she knew that what her grandmother was telling her about her future was not true. Her well meaning grandmother was trying to show Oprah how to do laundry so that one day she could find “good white folk” to work for as a maid.

Looking at Oprah now, I am amazed at how the acceptance or rejection of just one simple thought can change a person’s life. Imagine what Oprah’s life would have been like if she had accepted what her grandmother told her as the truth. The lesson that I draw from that is that we must not accept other people’s opinions of us as the truth.

Any time you hear about the “successful black woman” in the media, there is usually a negative cloud hanging over that image. Black women have to constantly refute those negative characteristics that are attributed to them. We have to constantly defend ourselves and at times we even allow ourselves to be squeezed into that image, usually because we’ve been poked, prodded and disrespected so much, for so long, that we finally REACT!
So, again, here is the simple lesson that I’m reminded of today, as I watch Oprah in all her magnificence: Don’t let other people’s limited and distorted opinions of you define you. Do not accept other people’s opinions of you, no matter how well meaning, as the TRUTH of who you are.

Audre Lorde, a Caribbean-American writer, poet and activist, put it best:

“If you didn’t define yourself for yourself, you would be crunched into other people’s fantasies of you and eaten alive.”

The question that I will leave you with is: Do you want to be “Oprah” or “the laundry lady”? The choice is yours; what you accept as the truth of who you are is your choice.

Can President Barack Obama get re-elected? Maybe if Christians pray for him…

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

Lately, many have been pondering whether or not President Barack Obama stands a chance at winning the elections once again and running “the world” for another four years and I have to admit, I have been asking myself the same question. One of the readers of the Successful Black woman blog reached out to me and suggested that maybe the Black community could stand to unify in our support for the President, especially the Christians among us.

Although I do not identify myself as a “Christian” , I am a praying woman so I understand the perspective of this particular reader even though I do not necessarily agree with her entirely. Below is an open letter from the reader, Ms. Jenkins, to the African-American Christian community and its leadership. Agree or disagree, your comments are welcome.

AN OPEN LETTER:Why Are African American Church Leaders So Silent on President Obama? …Can you at least PRAY?… By F. S. “Harvey’s Daughter” Jenkins

Why is there such a deafening silence amongst the national African-American Christian community and its leadership, regarding open prayerful support of President Barack Obama? I know that the Christian community in general has pet peeve issues they boldly and loudly
protest, such as rights for gays, abortion, etc. Yet, they seem less disturbed by homelessness, sexual and spousal abuse, the huge wealth gap, and moral indiscretions amongst their own Christian brethren and leadership. Despite any political disagreements, where is the spiritual
maturity that would allow them to agree to disagree, but still display love rather than what comes off as either aloofness, mean-spiritedness, and/or childish resentment? Why are these leaders.

African American Christian leaders—not boldly, publicly unified in prayer on behalf of our beleaguered, overwhelmed President—praying that he make wise decisions so that we may all live peaceably? After all, that is a command of the Holy Bible, which they claim is their guide.
If they are opposed to President Barack Obama’s decisions and politics, where is the spiritual maturity that would allow them to get beyond that, stand on higher ground and at least PRAY?! Do they honestly believe that “prayer changes things”? They always say they do. They
preach it on Sundays. Yet, there seems to be an overt and shameless spirit of disrespect, disregard, cowardice, hatefulness, and animosity; yes, even amongst many of the Black brethren.They are shameless, too, in their public name-calling of President Obama. I’ve heard him called the Anti-Christ, weak, a pawn, a hater of his own people, and his American citizenship is openly (and baselessly) challenged. When have you heard these accusations placed upon any other U.S.President? Along with their white Christian counterparts, the Black Christian leaders were clearly in unison and prayerfully, actively in support of former President George W. Bush. Most of the Christian networks and television shows were unequivocally bold in support of their “man of God,” George W. Black church leadership followed right along. In justification of their support, I heard them say often, “The Bible tells us to pray for our leaders. I love my President.” (The previous President they so loved is the same one whose debris President Obama must now contend with and clean up.) Sadly, I’ve not heard that en-mass vigorous, loving, active support for President Barack Obama. What could be the reasons? I have my personal thoughts as to why the difference—but only the Christian leadership
individually, and God specifically, really know the reasons.

Among my personal thoughts, however, are words like these: Fear. Among those fears are prejudicial/racial fears as well as fear of policies that would affect their bottom line. So, where is the faith that is supposed to under-gird people who profess Christianity? From the looks of it all, they are all running scared. Scared of changes, scared of what they believe to be the unknown. And, on the other hand, scared to go public in support of a man they may privately support and who needs their prayerful support—yet fearful of being ostracized or fearful of being looked upon as too liberal. Others fear that by publicly supporting this President, they will be accused of supporting him simply because he is Black. (Perhaps, if they really think about it, they may come to understand that some of their White Christian brethren are not supporting him simply because he is Black.)

So when did African-American Church leaders become too afraid to act on something of importance. Something as foundational to their faith as praying—like publicly suggesting we should PRAY for our President! There was a time in our nation’s history when, no matter about the diverse, eroding, yes even hateful voices of the masses, the Black Christian Church leadership let their voices be heard. Not only were their voices lifted in support of a rightful direction, but so were their actions. If they were in disagreement with policies that affected them, their community, or their country, they prayed as an organized unit–and action and change followed. Whether they marched, sat-in, boycotted, or protested in other ways. Always they moved as a unit. Always they moved in the spirit of the truth they said they believed in—supported by their faith. And always, they began with prayer. Segregation. The War in Vietnam. The African American clergy met the major issues of our nation and world first with unashamed prayer sessions. If I weren’t such an optimist, I would think these African-American Christian leaders want to see President Barack Obama fail overall. Just like some of the willfully ignorant, hateful, racially biased, anti-Obama detractors do. How can you, African-American Christian leaders, sit by and watch what’s happening to your President, and NOT unite together to let him know you are praying for him, for his health, for God’s wisdom in making best decisions in the midst of a presidency overrun with trouble? Never in the history of this country has any President ever been bombarded nonstop with such simultaneous serious issues to handle. Yet, while in the grips of such awesome challenges, he is continually being criticized on every front. There are many people inside and outside of the government, who, sadly, want him to fail. And they are willing to see this country fail, fall, and be destroyed rather than see President Obama have even the smallest victories, let alone succeed as a President. Why? We all know why, whether we say it publicly or not. Let me be one of the first: it’s because he is African American. He’s Black, and many in this country, including so called Christians, hate to be under the leadership of this brilliant man of color. We know this is a color-crazed country, with a history of racial prejudice–and now the world knows it. So much is said regarding the President’s faith. Christians along with others denounce him—claiming he’s not a Christian; though he says he is. Suppose someone told you that you weren’t a Christian—because you did something that did not line up with what others say is Christian. Some people may say you are not a Christian if you smoke, gossip, get divorced, drink, fornicate, lie, curse, wallow in wealth and don’t help the poor, use drugs, abuse your child or spouse, and explode with temper tantrums. How many Christians even in our pulpits do these things—consistently? Unfortunately, some people pick and choose which is the worst sin—based on what THEY decide. And the Christian community has made it known that homosexuality is the greater sin—thus serving notice to the President that his decisions regarding the gay community means he is NOT a Christian—therefore an enemy of the Christian faith. But, what does the leader of the faith—Jesus Christ—say about all of that? Would He advise you to discontinue loving and praying for someone you believe is out of order, or someone YOU decide is not consistently following the tenets of the faith? If so, you probably wouldn’t love and pray for anyone, including yourself.

With all that said, AMERICA’s success and progress, and the world’s peace, is dependent upon wise decisions. What President Barack Obama decides affects the entire world. Where are the voices of hope and support, rather than criticism and malignment? Where are the
Christian voices that relay God’s love? Where are the voices that say, “In spite of everything, we love you and we will pray—because we believe prayer changes things!” I say to you, Christians and leaders of the faith, you are missing a great opportunity. You are negligent in your duties. You are defying a biblical command—IF you are not praying
privately – and publicly in prayerful support for your leader, President Barack Obama. Be as vocal in your love as you are in your criticism. Don’t be afraid—just do the right thing!

Black Woman Redefined

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

For over a year now, I have been writing and blogging about issues that affect women’s lives and more specifically Black Women’s lives. One of the reasons why I took an interest in black women’s issues was that being a black woman, I realized that the way that we were portrayed in the media and the way that we were perceived even in our own communities was not congruent with what I believed was true about who we really are.

My desire is to contribute to positively shifting the image of black women which, unfortunately, has been grossly misunderstood, misinterpreted and attacked. I am pleased to recommend a new book by Sophia Nelson titled “Black Women Redefined”, which I believe carries a powerful message for and about Black Women.

See the trailer here

Rush Limbaugh calls Michelle Obama Fat!

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

I just recently heard that the First Lady, Michelle Obama, is writing a book so I decided to go on-line and find more information. I was appalled to find so much more information about criticism of Michelle Obama’s eating habits than anything else. A couple of weeks ago Rush Limbaugh commented that Michelle Obama was not Sports Illustrated cover worthy, implying that she was too fat because she was seen eating ribs while on vacation.

Now, I completely understand that more often than not, if a liberal (like Michelle Obama) is vocal about any issue, such as her plight to end childhood obesity, it is likely that some conservative (like Rush Limbaugh or Sarah Palin) will inevitably say something to try and discredit the whole campaign. That is politics and I understand that is the nature of the beast. What I am intolerant of is the low level of conduct that results in making personal attacks at the first lady.

This applies to all of us. We need to raise our level of conduct when speaking in public (or in private) about other people. Again, it is okay to not agree with someone’s policies, philosophies or conduct and it is also okay to express that. What is not okay is bringing up what we have observed about the person we disagree with, that has nothing to do with the issue at hand, and making an issue about that observation. Picture this: You’re debating with someone about a general issue like abortion. One of you is pro-abortion and the other is pro-choice. The right course of action is to bring up points to support your stance. The wrong action would be to suddenly yell out that your debate opponent has a very big nose or lips or ears, or whatever! Making comments about the other person’s personal appearance reduces the debate to a low level that discredits whatever stance you had taken in the debate.

So, I’m challenging everyone, including Mr. Limbaugh, to express their thoughts, opinions, observations and so on, but let’s keep it respectful. As always, I commend the First Lady, Micelle Obama for maintaining her superior level of conduct and not reducing herself to the low level that Mr. Limbaugh has done.

President Barack Obama’s Biggest Error and Michelle Obama’s Greatest Victory

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Recently while giving a lecture on Leadership, I used The President as an example of one critical error that many leaders make. This error is usually made as a result of ‘chronic people pleasing’ and while it may seem noble, it is still a very critical error.

The error is quite simply leading without a clear Definite Purpose.

Some years ago, I read the book “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill and my main take away was the understanding of the importance of Definiteness of Purpose. This is what I am suggesting is lacking in the current presidency.

Since President Obama assumed office, he has tackled many, many issues including “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Race Relations (remember the Black Harvard Professor, Dr. Henry Gates and the Caucasian Boston police officer?), The War in Iraq (Or is it Afghanistan?), Unemployment and a devastating Economic crisis. The list goes on and on and on!

Before I go any further, let me be clear; I have a lot of respect, admiration and even Love for President Obama and my intention is not to start a campaign on why he should not be President or how lousy of a job he is doing as President. As a college instructor and a life strategist, I teach leadership and personal development courses and programs so I am able to recognize basic leadership errors and my intention is to point out one very common and critical error that many leaders (even President Obama) make.

Lacking Definiteness of Purpose is the reason why many leaders fail. Having a definite purpose is the anchor of every accomplishment by a person, company, institution or even an administration. Former President George W Bush was on Oprah sometime last year and while I do not agree with most of the policies that he enacted while he was in office, I can honestly say about him that he was clear about his purpose; War on Terror! He tackled many issues, as of course any President would, but he remained clear about his purpose; Get the Terrorists! His policies, agree with them or not, were aligned with the purpose that he was clear about from the beginning; Get the Terrorists!

So, what is President Obama’s purpose, as a President? No one really knows… Yes, he has made history by becoming the first Black President and even then, some argue that he is not “black enough’. That being said, I believe that President Obama does not have a definite purpose. After he leaves office, what will his legacy be, other than that he was Black? What is the one thing that we will remember him for?

Success is quite simply accomplishing what you set out to do. Former President George Bush had a definite purpose and he accomplished it. Again, agree or disagree with him, but he was successful. (Remember Saddam Hussein?)

Another great example of a success story is Michelle Obama. As First Lady, she has had one main goal and that is to start a process that will eliminate childhood obesity. This is her DEFINATE PURPOSE and we all know about it. When I watch children’s television shows with my babies, I often see her on the kids’ channels encouraging the children to be more active. Again, this is part of her “Let’s Move” campaign which she is using to start the process to eliminate childhood obesity. She encourages us to prepare and eat healthier meals and she has led the way by planting fresh vegetables in the White House garden. There are many other actions that she has taken and I won’t go on with the list but the point is that her purpose is clear and her actions are in alignment with her purpose as First Lady and this is her victory!

So, what’s the lesson? The lesson is simple, if you want to be successful, approach your goal with definiteness of purpose. Be deliberate about thinking thoughts, speaking words and taking actions that align with whatever that purpose is. If you do this, you will be successful; you will accomplish your goal! As for President Obama, let’s continue to pray for him as he leads the country and hopefully, before his term is over, he will leave a Legacy that we (and he) can be proud of.

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Thursday, January 27th, 2011


Today, Michelle Obama was on Oprah to encourage us all to support, not only the men and women in the armed forces but also their families.

One point that she made that really resonated with me was that a lot of the women (and men) who are left behind when their family members are deployed typically don’t let anyone know that they need help. She encouraged all of us to do what we can, no matter how little, to lend a helping hand to these men and women. The suggestions that she made were little things like offering to take a Mom for a manicure and pedicure or inviting her to a ladies night! To this list, I would like to add offering free baby sitting or free house cleaning. Although I do not have any experience with being left at home while my spouse is deployed, I can say that when I have had support from the phenomenal women in my life through babysitting and help with house cleaning, those were some of the best gifts that I ever received.

As of today, I encourage you to pledge to say “yes” when asked if you need help instead of saying that you can manage when the truth is that you actually need the help. I am also encouraging you to pledge to offer help when you’re in the position to give it. For so long black women have been described as “strong” and there is nothing wrong with being strong. I do, however, believe that it takes more courage to say yes, and risk being vulnerable, than to say no to the help that we need.

Michelle Obama was on Oprah to implore us to do what we can to help the men and women of the armed forces and their families and I applaud that effort. The men and women that are often left behind when their family members are deployed are often left in the role of a single parent which can be extremely challenging and at times even overwhelming.  I encourage you do what you can, not only for the families of our service men and women, but for all mothers (and fathers) who walk through the journey of parenting alone. Let’s all learn to say yes, not only when we’re being asked for help, but also when we’re offered a helping hand.

The Truth Hurts (sometimes)

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

by Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses on Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 8:15am

I am honored to carry the title of Mrs. Botswana 2010 and I am eagerly looking forward to traveling to Korea to represent the beautiful married women of Botswana. In thinking of ways in which I could best represent myself and my country, I had the thought that I should lose weight so that I would feel confident walking the stage in my bathing suit. My immediate reaction to this thought was that I shouldn’t have to lose weight to be “beautiful” and other similar thoughts. But amid those loud objections was a small voice waaay in the back of my mind telling me that I did have to lose the weight.

Just to be clear, I’m not saying being “fuller figured” means that we are not beautiful. One of the things that I find myself reminding many of the women that I teach and train is that all women are beautiful; we just have to realize that truth for ourselves. What I am saying is that we should not hide behind the “big is beautiful” statement while we carry on with our unhealthy lifestyles.

This little voice in the back of my mind was whispering to me because the honest truth is that I am not a size 12 because I am a “full figured” woman; I am a size 12 because in the last few years, I have not been making healthy choices with the foods that I eat and I have not been exercising the way that I know that I should.

Anyone who has heard me speak or teach knows that I am the “no excuses” lady and I make no exceptions, not even for myself. I could say that I have had two babies pass through this(my) body but that would only be an excuse because by the time I realized that I was expecting my first child, my daughter, I had already eaten and neglected my way from a size 6 to a size 12! I could say that I am too busy but there is no way I can talk as much as I do about priorities and try that one! I just recently read that Michelle Obama wakes up at 4:30am just to make sure that she exercises; if it’s important enough, it will get done!

The truth hurts…sometimes, but it does not mean that we should shy away from it. My passion is self development; mind, body and soul but somehow I got carried away with mind and soul and left “body” abandoned and ignored. If I was choosing delicious and nutritious food everyday and exercising for no less than an hour everyday, like I used to, and still had the full figure I have now, I would proudly strut my stuff knowing that I was healthy and beautiful. That however, is not the case but starting today, I’m doing a new thing!

I’m sharing this particular personal experience, first of all, for the same reason that I share all my personal experiences; it is my intention that my experience will both encourage and inspire you to make choices and decisions that will lead you to a better life or as Oprah puts it, your “best life”. I’m also sharing this because when we publicly declare our goals, we become accountable to the people who we made the declaration to.

So there it is, my friends, I have faced my truth and I am on my way to freedom! Freedom from what? Freedom from the nagging voice in my head that won’t go away; that keeps telling me that I know better and so I should do better. The truth does hurt, sometimes but knowing it (and facing it) does indeed set you free!