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    Michelle Obama Talk at Southbank

    Michelle Obama Talk - January 2019

    Last term a group of sixth form students were invited to attend a Penguin (Random House Publishing) Live Event at the Southbank Centre featuring Michelle Obama in conversation with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.  All students were given the opportunity to express their interest in attending, and, due to the mammoth number of responses (over 150) we selected the lucky 18 out of a ‘hat’.

    It was a truly memorable and compelling talk and everybody got a free copy of her book! Below are the responses of some of the students who attended:-

    On the 3 of December, a few of us were given the most amazing opportunity to see an interview with Michelle Obama at the South Bank about her autobiography, “Becoming”. It was truly an incredibly memorable experience, as we were able to listen to Michelle talk about the struggles she had to overcome as a strong, independent woman in order to reach the influential position she holds today. I strongly felt that the scenarios and situations that Michelle has faced on her journey were very much relatable to me and now I feel confident about conquering any future problems that life will throw my way based on my gender and race. A very interesting life lesson that I had learnt from her was that the journey to success is never finite. One never just “becomes”, but is always “becoming”. Life does not end once you have reached a certain goal. In fact, once the goal is achieved you should be inspired to reach another life goal. Also, what made this event extra special was that it was held on my birthday. Honestly, this was the best birthday present I could ever ask for!


    Seeing Michelle Obama talk about her experiences as a black woman and often being filled with self-doubt wondering "Am I good enough?" deeply resonated with me as it's an experience all women deal with at some point and to a greater extent as a woman of colour.

     It was incredible to see such an inspiring woman who had overcome the same difficulties we face today. Her sentiments of embracing sisterhood, black empowerment and more importantly overcoming self-doubt were extremely powerful and I doubt they will ever leave me!


    Michelle Obama spoke about the importance of higher education, self love, loving your journey, and keeping your inner 'flame' alight, especially in girls. However the most inspirational thing about her was her ability to speak her mind with such confidence and clarity, while still radiating warmth and friendliness. Even when discussing the current president, she had a very positive perspective, saying that "progress isn't a straight line"! An incredible woman shown off by the perceptive and charismatic Adichie.


    Going to see Michelle Obama will probably go down as one of the best things our school has ever been able to give to the students, I was inspired in so many ways as I listened to her talk about not only her journey at the White House but also everything that led up to it. As a young mixed race female in today’s society having role models like Michelle Obama and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is so important, and they deliver such a strong message that should be broadcast to young girls everywhere. I’m so grateful to have been able to experience this first hand and it will surely be something I never forget.


    In her talk, the former First Lady captivated her audience through stories of her life, including both the good and the bad. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, one of my favourite authors, spoke with Michelle Obama on different aspects of her autobiographical memoir ‘Becoming’ in which Obama spoke to and resonated with her audience in a way that will definitely shape their future decisions and choices. In outlining hard life lessons she learnt in love, education, family, career and hope, she conveyed to me, and everyone else, that every dream is worth fighting for; a thought that I will carry with me from this day forward. A truly inspirational talk between two great women has inspired me to continuously strive for success, overcoming future hurdles.


    I was somehow lucky enough to have the honour of going to see Michelle Obama talk, not only about her new book, but about how to be an empowered woman, and achieve things you think and are told you can’t. She also gave relationship advice and talked about her passion for peanut butter. I was surprised at how relatable and funny she was! She was also so inspiring, and I honestly had to hold back tears, partly because I can’t believe we’ve gone from her and Barack Obama, to Donald and Melania Trump, but also because I just felt so empowered throughout, especially when she was talking about how little she had financially growing up but how hard her parents worked to bring out her fullest potential. She made her audience feel like with enough hard work and ambition, anything can happen.


    It was a phenomenal event! Both women were truly well spoken and captivated the entire audience. I am in awe and inspired by the dedication and passion presented from these two and will cherish such an opportunity for a very long time.


    Recently, I had the honour of being able to attend Michelle Obama's book tour for her new book, 'Becoming'. It was an inspiring and memorable event. Michelle herself was very laid-back, extremely at ease with good rapport with the audience. We felt very comfortable, even though we were in the presence of a previous First Lady. We covered lots of topics, mainly around her life, as the book is an autobiography. She talked of her childhood, how she met Barack, and how her life changed when she became First Lady. I also have begun to read Becoming, and it's a very easy read, in the way that it is entertaining and informative. Overall, it was a great event, and I consider myself lucky to have been able to attend.


    When I went to attend Michelle Obama’s tour for her new book “Becoming”, I found that, despite her senior position as the previous First Lady of the United States of America, she was incredibly relatable, funny and most notably, inspiring. She recounted many stories of her life, from when she was a young child living with her father, to current day. She also told us of how she and Barack Obama met and what struggles she encountered during her life. Overall, the experience was incredible and I feel very fortunate to have been able to attend.


    Being able to go see Michelle Obama was an amazing opportunity to hear the thoughts and experiences of one of the most influential woman in recent time. Personally, I was amazed by the immediate warmth and feeling of comfort she was able to convey through her presence, she didn’t hold back on any details telling the full truth about things such as her own marriage. This experience was truly moving, hearing how hard work and belief can take you anywhere, surpassing any barriers. This is extremely relevant, as a student I am in a period of time where the future is constantly changing and the end result is up to me.


    Personally I see Michelle Obama as one of the greatest inspirations of our time. For a woman who grew up with not much I appreciate her taking a positive view of her past and showing it to not be a burden on her. I find it truly compelling to see a woman of colour be educated and eloquent, it makes me believe that anything is possible despite the barriers I may face.


    This trip was a truly inspiring event. We had the privilege to hear two incredible women (Michelle and Chimamanda) discuss feminism, politics and life. I learnt so much about Michelle Obama, from her background in Chicago, to her incredible work with charity and law. This is something I will never forget.