On Thursday, one of the greatest woman in the history of Architecture said goodbye to the world. World over, women; young and old, architects; upcoming and established mourned the woman who became a legend by designing structures that will span centuries.
Dame Zaha Hadid wasn’t just any woman, she was an extraordinary woman who blazed the trail of modern architecture. She created buildings that encapsulated the description ‘queen of the curve.’
Aside from being a great architect, Zaha gave a few pointers about defiling all odds to excel as an extraordinary woman.
The first thing women in Nigeria should learn from Zaha is her Confidence to excel in a man’s world. Before her, the field of Architecture was often considered a man’s domain, she felt a pressure to stick with Interior Design but she resisted this temptation.
Zaha went on to create great asymmetrical timepieces that future generations will draw inspiration from. From the moment she decided to become an architect, Zaha stood by a belief that nothing could stop her and that same belief is what kept her going.
Women should stop looking at the things and people that say no, women should look at the yes and never break eye contact. Only confidence can give you that assurance that you will succeed.
Zaha was hardworking, she once said ‘Like men, women have to be diligent and work hard.’ Success transcends the word. We have to consistently improve each and every single day in whatever we do because that is the only road to success.
My secondary school anthem read “Mura si ise Ore mi, Ojo ma nlo” (Be hardworking my friend, for the days are not waiting for any one) We sang this song with grace and decades after, the lyrics will still resonate in our heads.
Hard work is the key to true success. There is no shortcut, there is no diversion, the answer is be hardworking or don’t even bother working at all.
“I will never give myself the luxury of thinking, ‘I’ve made it.’” This is probably her most famous quote, she was the first woman and the first Muslim to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize.
She received the Stirling Prize in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, she was created a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire and in 2015 she became the first woman to be awarded the RIBA Gold Medal in her own right.
After all these honors, Zaha could still say I will never tell myself that yes, you’ve achieved the highest goal you can ever achieve, stop working.
You can never stop, you can never say I have made it, you have to keep breaking new ground and keep doing extraordinary things.
These are the lessons women in Nigeria should pay attention to. Confidence, Hard Work and Tenacity.