The modern critique of the symbolism of the position of a first lady is that her role perpetuates sexist stereotypes while limiting the scope within which she could realize her potentials.
There is some validity to this assessment. Most wives of presidents are expected to “humanize” their “strong” men while fulfilling “motherly” assignments.
But there have been a handful of African first ladies who have bucked the trend in one way or two.
These women have found themselves to be the subjects of either awe or hatred because they dared to go beyond what is expected of a woman or mother.
The easiest place to make enemies, it so happens, is to be openly partisan and even run for office. Trailblazing African first ladies know this all too well.
As follows are four African first ladies, past and present, who entered into partisan politics.