Monday, 1 October 2012

A very special woman - MAYA ANGELOU

Maya Angelou (Born April 4th 1928) is an African American lady who wears many shoes since her fame brought her to limelight spanning over 50 years. She had been the playwright, writer and poet, movie and TV producer and director, and actress too. In her early life she was a nightclub dancer and performer in Calypso music.  At the same time she was actively involved in human rights movement along side with the late Martin Luther King (Died 1968).  Her unyielding zeal saw her appearing over 80 times a year in public functions, interviews and in lecture circuits despite her ripe age since the 90s. For her literary works she gained international recognition and acclaim in many coveted awards and titles. Till date she had been bestowed with 30 honorary degrees.
Maya Angelou became famous for her first autobiography (She wrote six of them) in “I know why the caged bird sings” which recorded her unhappy childhood till she was seventeen. It turned up to be a best seller in 1969. She was well known for being the first African American woman bold enough to discuss her personal life in public as well as in her writings. Her literary works showcased many aspects of life she faced during her initial struggling years like racism, family, identity, personal experience and travels etc. In the 60s when USA had not totally got rid of the ill-planted seeds of apartheid, her voices as an advocate for the cause of the black people and women folks, and a defender of black culture seemed so ferocious and controversial that many university libraries banned her books. Still her works were widely used by schools and universities worldwide.

Maya Angelou recited her poem during the inauguration of President Bill Clinton
In January 1993 Maya Angelou recited her poem “On the pulse of morning” during the inauguration of President Bill Clinton. The recital resulted more recognition and fame for her earlier works as the recording of which won a Grammy Award. In the 70s she met with TV anchor lady Oprah Winfrey at Baltimore, Maryland. They quickly became close friends; Oprah regards Angelou as mentor-mother-sister-friend all in one distinguished soul. The following is a short excerpt taken during her appearane at Oprah Winfrey's show in April 1998.

They are so close that Oprah considers Maya Angelou as her mentor-mother-sister-friend 

In April, Maya Angelou was interviewed by Oprah on her 70th
Birthday Oprah asked her what she thought of growing older. And, there on television, she said it was 'exciting...'

Regarding body changes, she said there were many, occurring every day her breasts.
They seem to be in a race to see which will reach her waist, first.

The audience laughed so hard they cried. She is such a simple and honest woman, with so much wisdom in her words!
Maya Angelou said this:
'I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.'

'I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.' '
I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.'

'I've learned that making a 'living' is not the same thing as 'making a life..'

'I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.'

She campaigned for Barrack Obama in 2008 after Hilary Clinton dropped out of the presidential race.

'I've learned that making a 'living' is not the same thing as 'making a life..'

'I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back...'

'I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.'

'I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.'

'I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back...'

In 2011 President Barrack Obama conferred Maya Angelou the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

'I've learned that I still have a lot to learn...'

'I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.'

Story and pictures were obtained from Wikipedia
and through e-mail received.
Alan CY Kok

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