translation by Manana Kapetivadze
It’s not very difficult to find a person with leadership qualities in Georgia, but unfortunately, because of our Georgian - Asian nature, women leaders are in the shadows. Despite the recent promotion of gender equality, we still consider women to be “housewives”.
Since ancient times, we have known a lot of women, who shaped the era and without them historical reality would have lost its charm, color and most importantly, it’s fascination. Even in Germany, women were associated with the three “Ks”- (kinder, kirche, kuche - children, church and cooking). The way to public life has always been partially closed for women, until the leader women were able to open it.
Another issue is the display of women’s leadership in the provinces. In small settlements (that can be found everywhere in Georgia), women are not allowed to be socially active by a trivial remark, “what will people say?" Women’s activities, caused the rapid break down of these stereotypes, were revealed in the last decades.
Generally, Chiatura was known for its technical intelligence. Technical intelligence is mainly formed by men. In short, this leadership of “intelligent men” was distinguished by the fact, that they didn’t let their wives work.
At the end of the XX century, when the population was moved to the ‘survival mode’, a teacher from Chiatura with a very clear purpose came forward and fought for a better future and against daily routine.
Many people know Mzia Lezhava. Her evaluation can handle any criteria. We can talk about her in many aspects. For example:
Mzia is a beautiful woman. Her natural beauty attracts you in Chiatura because she has a very pale complexion (she looks more like Baltic woman) and you never notice her make up. She never wears accessories which are against nature. When meeting Mzia, even the most critical person can admit that there is nothing fake or artificial in her external beauty.
Mzia is a sociable and warm person. Everyone addresses her “Mzia Mastsavlebelo” (teacher) - and this doesn’t apply only to the traditional sense of the profession. It's hard to put Mzia in the framework of just a teacher. What most fascinates the public about her is that she does not have a patronizing tone or manner of speaking . The most frequent word in her vocabulary is “shvilo” that means “son/daughter". Speaking to her reminds you Jacob Khutsi’s words ,”You see and treat us like own children."
Mzia is a professional. If you ask anyone in Chiatura who the best professional teacher with lots of experience is, who is punctual and manifests the best of her realization – without hesitation, the answer will be Mzia Lezhava . Back in the times when the English language was not in much demand, and Russian and German languages dominated in Georgia, Mzia Lezhava was considered one of the best English teachers. There are plenty of documents to prove that, so I think that discussing it here would be a waste of time.
Mzia is an innovator. Her name is tied to Chiatura’s “computer revolution." About fifteen years ago it wasn’t easy to purchase computer equipment of very good quality as it can be done nowadays, even if it was the first PC “Pentium 1”. And that “Pentium 1” was the most important item in Chiatura in those times, which belonged to Mzia Lezhava’s non-governmental organization.
This “intelligent machine" started setting the stage for the modern life in Chiatura. About four groups of interested people would come to the “Resource Center of Democratic Thinking” every day and they wondered with hidden amusement how this computer could type the text, make accounting spreadsheets without any mistakes, could draw, and make video and audio content presentation in a very fast way. Compared to the modern computers, that old one was considered to be the most modern display in Mzia’s class. It was not Mzia Lezhava’s only innovation. Her private school is still considered to be the most successful one in Chiatura . The ground for this success is not just functioning financially well.
The right management and well selected staff, shaped students' success. Even when the word ramp was quite new for the community, NILEMI – Mzia’s private school- had already had a fixed ramp . When the government introduced teaching with book – computers in schools, NILEMI had already counted years training students with computers. The most outstanding students are the Graduates from Mzia’s school in Chiatura. The fees are very low (if I'm not mistaken, it’s just 10 GEL per student a month).
Mzia is a successful woman. Every field she is involved in, seems to suit her capabilities. To be more precise, Mzia is a person who can very accurately determine her competency and achieve success. She has no desire to be a collector of financial resources. She has an inexhaustible supply of “spiritual” credits and this reflects on her success. In the country, where there is a shortage of bright and smiley human faces, Mzia's face is always shining with light and hope .
Successful women are always watched by others with envy. Professional success combined with marital happiness and beauty, is always the source of jealousy. Mzia Lezhava’s life wasn’t an exception. There have been many attempts to deceive her, but she knew how to step aside at the right time. She would always avoid conflict and do her job .
Mzia is a good friend. I remember, those of us that completed the computer training courses, were of several different age groups, after our certificate awarding ceremony we had a small supra (feast). At Supras people get to know each other very well. Mzia maintained her simplicity and “respect” in the same way she used to have during her lessons - no unnecessary words or actions, she was as temperate and timely as always. Of course, our friendship is not determined only by the above mentioned actions. Advice and recommendations, graciously given by Mzia Lezhava, make her reputation noble, and it is determined by her nature.
Mzia is a leader. Mzia’s leadership is easily noticeable in any society. She hasn’t learned it, and it is not her tool to manipulate. “ She is a born Lady” they say about her. The same can be said about her leadership, too.
When I thought about at the most successful Chiatura women in mind, I wished to write about Mzia at that very moment. I asked her to send me her CV. She was surprised what I needed her experience for, and then she modestly asked me to choose someone else to write about. When this request was rejected by me, she thanked me, and emailed the information.
I thought I knew Mzia Lezhava’s achievements, but I was pleasantly surprised by her work experience, typed on eight page. ”Though, it is not all,” said Mzia.
If anyone is interested, I can show endless papers, describing her experience that would be an asset for every woman, but it is not enough for Mzia. Most probably, she will soon write a novel in English, which will be published either in the United States or the United Kingdom. She has a lot of ideas that she is going to implement gradually.
In short, Mzia is a person, who has never been listed among ‘Communist era women’. She was born a leader and she continues her successful life.
Finally, I would like to emphasize one thing: Mzia Lezhava refused to accept the Order of Honor when awarding became an ordinary event. The major award is the love of her people.