I met Razia Bano at WIBCON 2017, luckily we both were sitting on the same table, and the subconscious stereotypes that rule our minds, made me wonder how she would stand in front of such accomplished women in the room and speak about her experiences. Will she be able to carry out the speech without missing words, will she try to use a language she might not be comfortable with, will she be able to communicate her message the way she intend to? At one point when she excitedly got ready for her speech and picked up her boxing gloves, I got excited to see what happens next, after all I was witnessing CEO’s of multinational companies speaking poorly, forgetting mid way what they were talking about and taking multiple sips of water while speaking since morning, how would she handle herself on that stage in front of them, based on the exposure she had.
And damn me for wondering all that nonsense. I was taken aback the minute she took that mike, and moved away from the podium. She paced across the stage with grace and confidence, proudly talking about her journey, both in English and Urdu, without stopping to wonder what people are thinking, without worrying about simple language mistakes which can make any of us bite our tongue and lose our confidence.
That girl wowed me. Her confidence wowed me, her story, blew my mind away. These uncelebrated heroes are so rare to find for people like me, who are busy with our own routines, surrounded by same type of people. Everyone is better than other, everyone is busier than the rest. Hence meeting her, hearing her story was the best experience I could imagine to have at that conference.
Razia Bano is one of two female boxers at Moosa Qambrani’s all boys boxing club in Lyari’s historic Kakri Ground. This girl has only one thing on her mind – to win Olympic gold for Pakistan one day.
She has played inter club or inter district matches and won first place. She Became Pakistan’s First women National Champion in January 2018 in Lahore and won Gold Medal, She also won Gold medal in Inter provisional Games in March 2018 held in Peshawar. Razia got selected for Pakistan team in 2018 and represented Pakistan in 18th Asian games held at Jakarta Indonesia. In November 2019 she participated in National Games and won Gold medal. In December 2019 she participated in SAF games to represent Pakistan and won bronze medal for Pakistan. The list of her achievements is very long in this young age.
We met her to find more about her life her struggles and her amazing journey:
Describe yourself in three words
Razia Bano: Himmat, Bahaduri, Zimmedari (Courage, Bravery and Responsibilty)
Something you wish you knew 5 years ago
Razia Bano: Overthinking doesn’t give you anything, give rest to your mind instead so it’s ready to face real life challenges.
What’s your favorite thing about yourself
Razia Bano: Giving priority to my family even if I have to sacrifice my own needs
Biggest hurdle you had to face in your professional journey
Razia Bano: Even after achieving all this for my country, Government has not offered me any job or stipend which can let me prosper. There is no support. Even our basic needs are not being fulfilled although I have taken medals for this country. As a sportsperson I need specific diet. Which due to financial restraints I am unable to get. This is hampering my future and yet there is no one to listen to me.
Which person has influenced you most in life
Razia Bano: My Father. He came to zero point thrice yet he never lost hope and that’s the kind of believe and courage I want to continue to have in my abilities.
How do you wind down when you’re not working
Razia Bano: I like to watch movies and workout. Working out really fuels me up.
What does being a powerful woman/ boss woman mean to you
Razia Bano: Be Courageous, don’t listen to what others opinions are about you and continue to do your own thing
What do you think is one of the hardest things women face today, whether in the workplace or in their personal lives
Razia Bano: Character assassination of women is one of the worst trend in our society. Even if a woman is standing on bus stop to go to work, people talk about where is going, what she is wearing etc.
What is your message for all the potential boss women out there?
Razia Bano: Take care of your parents and be satisfied with your decisions in life.