Anywhere in the world, a dictator is perceived as a corrupt, tyrannical bloodhound with the heart of a beast. Simply put, they aren’t exactly posed as people who can love anything, man or otherwise.
But then, it has been proven time and time again that nobody is above the dictates of love and these dictators, tough and apolitical, are no exception.
The world as a whole has had its own share of evil rulers who thrive best at making life hellish for their citizens and surrounding countries. For many, it is unthinkable to nurse the slightest possibilities that these tyrants who once existed and who still walk the surface of earth have soft spots that can be poked by women and penetrated into.
But love is as strange as it is beautiful and in spite of the opinion the populace might have about these hard, implacable people, it should be known that their feelings have indeed been conquered by the most unsuspecting of women.
Even more, most of these women have been known to directly or indirectly influence the actions of these dictators. While the best of them have helped temper the political injustices and abuse of human rights enacted by the dictators, some of the other women have been resourceful in the leaders’ attempt to overrule their oppositions and repress freedom.
In truth, however insignificant they might have been to the jurisdictions ruled by the men that loved them, these women deserve to have their stories told and hence this list about them.
It has been strongly alleged that she was the teenage love interest of German dictator Adolf Hitler. Not much is known about this woman but she is said to be Austrian by origin. However, she was popularly known by maiden name Isak which sounded very Jewish.
According to speculations, the young Hitler had seen the damsel when she passed by and looked at him briskly during the leisurely stroll she normally had with her mother.
The love he had for her had been so intense that he wrote love poems for her and later wanted to take his life but in all the time he knew her, Hitler failed to have an eye contact with her much more confess his feelings to her. Later, Stefanie went on to marry an Austrian army officer.
Stefanie later said that she did not know the leader had any form of affection for her during his younger years. This does not erase the fact Hitler’s love was unrequited and one-sided.
Many people have discarded the feelings of the teenage Hitler as a mere display of infatuation and youthful exuberance. However, some others have attributed this event as a building block that was key to molding the dictator’s character.
It is possible that Hitler must have assumed that Stefanie was a Jew given that he never made any effort to talk to her. Then, the fact that he went on to lead a Jewish Holocaust afterwards cannot be overlooked.
One fact that has been established over time is that however gory and politically unfriendly dictators may be, they seem to have a pull on women. Adolf Hitler was no exception to this strange attraction. He had a lot of ladies flocking around him but he chose one - Eva Braun.
Apart from being the 17-year-old personal assistant of his personal photographer, nothing so much as brought them together. However, upon seeing Eva for the first time, Hitler fell head over heels in love and this became the beginning of a relationship that lasted for many years.
Given that many thought Hitler to be married to all the women in Germany (in a metaphoric sense), a lot of sand-dust would have been stirred if their relationship had been declared public. So she remained one of Hitler's many enigma for the better of his life.
Although they were together for several years, Hitler married Eva less than 40 hours in Berlin before they died together. She by biting into a capsule of cyanide, and he by a gunshot to the head.
Without doubt, Eva was the only 'light' in Hitler's life. Apart from the fact that she was the one that took most of his surviving pictures, she also was the one of the few to gain the trust of the dictator.
Here's one of the few statements Hitler made about her: "Miss Braun is, besides my dog Blondi, the only one I can absolutely count on."
Ri Sol-ju (or Lee Seol-ju as the case may be) doubles up as the current First Lady of North Korea and the wife of its Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un. Although much is not known about the background of the lady whose age is within the range of 29 - 33.
However, one thing that is known for sure is that Ri Sol-ju has a very significant place in the heart of her 'missile threatening' husband. The evidence of this lies in her recent elevation in her title. The wife of the head of North Korean leader used to be identified as 'Comrade', but now she is referred to as 'Respected First Lady.'
This is a great leap given the title First Lady is rarely used to identify the wives of North Korean leaders. In fact, the last time the title has been used is in 1974!
Ri Sol-ju who is speculated to have three children for her husband is also said to dress in contemporary ways that are controversial in light of how North Korean women are normally expected to appear. Although this has earned her husband many critics, it has not stopped him from making her feature next to him during public functions.
Besides, it has been rumoured that the Supreme Leader does not tolerate any ill comment about his beautiful wife. According to a particular source, nine musicians that spread the rumour that Ri Sol-ju was a prostitute before meeting her husband.
This did not go down well with Kim Jong-un so he ordered that the nine artists be killed! In light of this, the critics of Ri Sol-ju might as well pipe down.
The name Bashar al-Assad can be said to be a household name. After all, the alleged unrest in Syria and the collusion between the world powers and the Asian country makes it near impossible not to know about the junior Assad who succeeded his father in ruling the nation.
However, not many are familiar with the female power behind the dictator whose name is Asma al-Assad. This woman who is the wife of Bashar was parented by citizens of Syria but she was born and brought up in London. This makes her as British as she is Syrian.
After having had a wonderful education in King's College, London, and graduated with a first degree in Computer science and French literature, Asma met Bashar. By that time, she was planning to pursue an MBA at Harvard University.
But then, upon dropping her maiden name, Akhras, and marrying into the Assad family, Asma gave up this ambition and also quit her job as an investment banker.
The first lady has three children for her husband and she has been highly influential in aiding his administration. After she got married to her husband in December 2000, Asma al-Assad traveled through 100 villages in Syria in a bid to discover how she could impact the personal and communal lives of Syrians.
Although the projects she put in place following this tour was halted by the Syrian civil war, the woman is still regarded as one of the world's most influential Arabs. The first lady is, however, on a low in recent times as she is currently battling breast cancer in its early stage.
As it appears, Ibrahim Babangida, one of Nigeria's fiercest military rulers, also fell in love with and married a woman who has been tagged as one of the greatest in Africa. Her name was Maryam King.
Babangida married his wife in 1969 when she was nearly 21 and they had four children during the course of their marriage. Maryam Babangida became the ceremonial first lady of Nigeria after her husband took over power in a successful, bloodless coup d'etat in 1985.
Once this happened, the beautiful woman constituted a place for herself by first moving into the Dodan Barracks, making it more hospitable and less of a rigid fort. Then, she went on to launch stunning rural development projects for the society, especially women.
These projects which she successfully carried out made her a force to reckon with alongside her husband.In time, Maryam also became a fashion icon and celebrity owing to her active participation in politics and her great way of representing the African fashion industry. Her friendly rapport with late Princess Diana made her fame travel farther.
This powerful woman who ruled Nigeria side by side with Ibrahim Babangida between the period of 1985 to 1993 died of ovarian cancer in 2009. She was aged 61. Upon her death, it was reported that her husband who was by her side all through the illness cried like a baby upon hearing the news.
The name Grace Mugabe needs no prior introduction. This is because her identity is very synonymous to one of the most renowned dictators in Africa: Robert Mugabe. Born in 1965, Grace is the second and dearest wife of the Zimbabwean former president/
Grace's affair with Robert Mugabe started with her being his secretary. The couple started off on an extra-marital affair. Grace, at this time, was still married to his air force pilot husband Stanley Goreraza and Sally Hayfron still was the former president's wife.
Howeve, when Sally died, Robert legally married Grace in an elaborate Catholic ceremony that was themed the "Wedding of the Century". At the time, Grace Marufu (her maiden name) was 31 years old and Mugabe was 72.
The union which is still strong and abiding has produced one child. The intimacy between Robert and Grace is noteworthy. So profound was their closeness that the former president was willing to make his wife a successor after and if he stopped being president.
Of course, this did not go down well with many people and it is the consequent tussle that erupted from this that has seen to the impeachment of Mugabe as president and the appointment of Emmerson Mnangagwa as the current number one citizen in Zimbabwe.
Muammar Gaddafi, former Libyan leader, might have had an infamous reputation as a brutal dictator but in the eyes of one person, he was nearly an embodiment of perfection. This sole individual was his second wife Safia.
Safia met Gaddafi when he was admitted into a hospital and treated for appendicitis. She must have hit the soft spot in him because in the same year, the dictator married her in Tripoli.
During the course of their marriage, seven of the eight children Gaddafi had came by means of her. Safai was a shrewd businesswoman who supported her husband despite the criticisms he received from all and sundry. In her own way, she contributed to the development of women in her surrounding environments.
Even after Gaddafi was politically killed in 2011, Safia's love for him still shines bright. Only recently, she demanded that the body of her husband be rightfully buried so that he can find rest.
Although the fact that these men had soft sides which made them fall in love with these women does not exactly cover up for the wrong they have done to the world, it is a reminder that the evil in the heart of a man cannot be totally pure and undiluted. There are, indeed, taints of goodness in a person, however small it may be.
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