Cynthia “Mother” Pratt speaking at her official book launch at the British Colonial Hilton. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff
CYNTHIA “Mother” Pratt’s hosted a book launch on Friday for her biography, “An Ordinary Woman from the Heart of the Inner City”, drawing family, friends and people inspired by her over the years.
Albert Cox, of Scholar Books, the book’s publisher, revealed 35,000 copies of the book have been sold so far and that Mrs Pratt will travel the world on a book tour, stopping in the US, the UK and Brazil among others.
Vernon Lynch, brother of actor Eddie Murphy and a television producer, confirmed he will make Mrs Pratt’s book into a movie.
Despite serving as deputy prime minister and acting prime minister, the highest elected offices to which a Bahamian woman has ever ascended, Mrs Pratt continues to live in the inner city, emphasising the normalcy that underpins her autobiography.
For about 40 minutes, Mrs Pratt kept the audience at the Hilton Hotel rapt as she made jokes about her family life, recalled the challenges she faced growing up and explained her daunting foray into public life.
“God is an amazing God, hey?” she began. “Whoever thought the little girl whom people laughed at, when she grew into a woman and she went into the Parliament they laughed at her there. Said she was bringing her Bible to the Parliament. She’s coming to preach now. ‘Who is this woman?’ An ordinary woman from the heart of the inner city. A woman that knew what it meant to touch lives. Why? Because she’s been broken.
“She came from a family of 16 children, 13 boys, three girls. The 13th child, one who didn’t know what it tasted like to have steak and onions, one who knew that survival of the fittest, you better fight or die, one who had to toil and make ends meet as a child because momma couldn’t read, daddy couldn’t read.”
Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip “Brave” Davis, who himself rose from rags to riches, said at the launch: “The history of The Bahamas is so intricately tied to those of us who would have come from very humble beginnings and those of us who would not allow those beginnings to circumscribe or daunt us. We never allowed our circumstances to define us. We defined our circumstances and therefore we excelled.”
Mrs Pratt was elected to office as the member of Parliament for St Cecilia for the first time in 1997.
In 2002, she became the first woman to hold the post of deputy prime minister and minister of national security.
She retired from politics in 2012.