Jorge Rivas

Jorge Rivas writes about race, politics and culture for Fusion. He received his B.A. in Latino Studies from San Francisco State University where he studied the history of Latinos in the U.S., healthcare perspectives and the interrelationship of culture, community, and the internet.

Chantal Biya, remember that name. She’s the First Lady of Cameroon and if the World Cup was judged on presidential style she would make the World Cup runneth over.

1. Cameroon should win the game today in honor of the First Lady of Cameroon Chantal Biya.


Cameroonian President Paul Biya (L) speaks to his wife Chantal Biya in 2009.

 

2. The First Lady isn’t afraid of wearing a little color in a room full of men wearing charcoal and black.


Cameroonian president Paul Biya (C) visits with former French prime minister and current Bordeaux mayor Alain Juppe (R) and Cameroon first lady Chantal Biya (L) Bordeaux museum permanent exhibition dedicated to the "triangular trade" and slavery.

 

3. She can make lime green look like a heavenly color floating in the air.


Chantal Biya, Cameroonian President Paul Biya's wife leaves the church after the vespers service by Pope Benedict XVI (unseen)  on March 18, 2009

 

4. She rocks the shit out of a red power suit.


French First lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy (C) speaks with Cameroon's counterpart Chantal Biya (C) next to Mali's Lobbo Traore Toure while posing with 10 African countries' first ladies in front of the Elysee palace in Paris following a meeting on July 13, 2010.

 

5. She even commands attention when she’s not facing you.


France's First lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy (C) and Cameroon's counterpart Chantal Biya (R) attend the Bastille Day military parade in Paris, on July 14, 2010.

 

6. Even amongst other first ladies her red pant suit will draw your eye.


French First lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy (C) and 10 African countries first ladies pose in front of the Elysee palace in Paris following a meeting on july 13, 2010.

 

7. She’ll even draw your attention when she’s standing next to a renowned super model.


First Ladies after Campbell was appointed Global Ambassador to the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood charity during the African First Ladies Health Summit in Los Angeles on April 21, 2009.

 

8. There was that time it looked like her hair belonged to Pope Benedict while he stroked the head of a stuffed lion.


Pope Benedict XVI touches a stuffed lion during his meeting with Cameroon's President Paul Biya.

 

9. She knows how to do it up for the occasion.


Pope Benedict XVI (L) speaks to Cameroonian President Paul Biya (C) and his wife Chantal on March 17, 2009.

 

10. She appreciates geography.


he Director-General of UNESCO and Mrs Chantal Biya, First Lady of Cameroon.

 

11. Here she is giving the First Lady of China side-eye.

 

12. She’s really not afraid of giving anyone the side-eye.


Pope Francis receives sits with Chantal Biya at Vatican Apostolic Palace on October 18, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican.

 

13. She’s not afraid to party either.

 

14. She transitions from party to evening like a pro.


Cameroun President Paul Biya and First Lady Chantal Biya arrive for a dinner with the French President as part of the Summit for Peace and Security in Africa at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France on December 6, 2013.

 

15. She pays attention to details.


Cameroonian first lady Chantal Biya casts her ballot at a polling station in Yaounde on October 9, 2011.

 

16. SHE IS ALL ABOUT THE DETAILS.

 

17. ORANGE…

 

18. This look:

 

19. You try captioning this gem…


President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama pose for a photo during a reception at the Metropolitan Museum in New York with, H.E. Paul Biya President of the Republic of Cameroon  and his wife, Mrs. Chantal Biya, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009.
White House photo.

 

20. Simply the best…


Close up of Mrs. Chantal Biya as she posses with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama on Sept. 23, 2009.

 

And then reality hits.

Here are three reasons that will make you not root for Cameroon:

21. Writing stories about the First Lady could result in prison sentences.Cameroonian author Bertrand Teyou was imprisoned from November 2010 to May 2011 for ‘insulting’ the First Lady by writing his book “The belle of the banana republic: Chantal Biya, from the streets to the palace” (La belle de la république bananière: Chantal Biya, de la rue au palais.”)  He was also charged with attempting to organize a public reading from the book.

A separate investigation found multiple reports of the Cameroon government harassing and incarcerating journalists.

 

22. Obviously, for someone with such fabulous style you’d expect the First Lady to be forward thinking but no, because Cameroon.

While the First Lady has launched some HIV prevention campaigns, there has been no progress on LGBT rights. Last year Cameroon rejected the United Nations Human Rights Council’s recommendation to decriminalize homosexuality.

Cameroon chose to not take any action on the Council’s request to end all arrests for same-sex conduct, as well as proposals from Uruguay and Germany that would have taken on hate crimes based on sexual orientation.


Cameroon's First Lady Chantal Biya arrives for a meeting of African First Ladies at the parliament in Accra .

 

23. U.S. Dept. of State: “Corruption was pervasive at all levels of government.”

A report from the U.S. Department of State found corruption was pervasive at all levels of Cameroonian government. The report also noted the “most important human rights problems in the country were security force abuses, particularly of detainees and prisoners, denial of fair and speedy public trial, and restrictions on freedom of assembly.


Cameroonian President Paul Biya (L) speaks to his wife Chantal Biya (2L) as they attend Pope Benedict XVI's departure from Cameroon at Yaounde airport on March 20, 2009.

 

(All images via Getty Images, unless otherwise noted.)

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