A tribute to Dr Maya Angelou

Kilonshele my people…….

I woke up this morning, and my first thought after thanking my maker was “the world is the still f**ked”. I can’t turn on the TV or open a newspaper without seeing some depressing news was with ISIS, Boko Haram, potential terror on the streets of London, Ebola….the list goes on and on. If all that wasn’t bad enough, I don’t get paid till the end of the month and my colleague who I was working on today’s original post with informed me that he wouldn’t be able to submit his portion before the deadline.

Not one to be defeated, I have decided to dedicate this week’s post to the Great  Maya Angleou. You may be thinking this is the oddest introduction to a tribute, you would be correct. Tributes have been paid to this wonderful human being by Bill Clinton, President Obama and Oprah Winfrey. This tribute comes from a man who did not know value the influence this unique individual had on his life till he read about her passing earlier this year. My body went numb without me fully knowing why. I have read two of her books, I Know Why Cage Birds Sing and Gather Together in My Name. I have explained to many that she was one of the greatest influences when it came to writing my first book, Memoirs of a Young African. It wasn’t until her passing that I realised that she inspired me to write my own book. I believe that I have always had the writing ability in me but it was because of her that I became a writer without even realising it. I admired her writing style, prose and wit, she put words to paper like an Eagle takes to the air. I am not ashamed to say that I emulated her writing style initially until I developed my own style. People have often asked me if I took creative writing at University and they are surprised when I say no.  I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Doctor Maya Angelou. One of the greatest things I took from her as a fellow writer as courage… courage in the sense of pouring my heart out on paper. There are a few stories that would not have made it into the MOAYA if I had not reflected on the courage it took for her to  share  her trials and tribulations with the world through her writing. I value her courage even more now  because there is one story I was not courageous enough to put in the book, something I regret every time somebody complements me on the book.

Upon her passing, I realised that I loved and admired Dr Angelou and the reason her passing hit me so hard was that I had always nurtured the hope of one day meeting her even for a few seconds. Through her words, I had learnt the meaning of courage and humility. I once heard her say “courage is the most important virtue a person could have, without courage one cannot practice any other virtue consistently”. Through her I have also realised that humility is probably one of the greatest virtues one can attain, humility is a virtue one should always strive to attain throughout one’s life. In my opinion, if one believes that he or she has achieved humility, one is in danger of falling into a state of arrogance – that’s just my interpretation.  Humility supresses the ego, without the ego there will be no desire for power, there will be no appetite for war, no greed, no envy and so on and so forth.

Another reason I have dedicating the post to Dr Angelou is that she brought to my attention one of the greatest quotes I have ever heard “Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto” (I am human being, I consider nothing that is human alien to me) by Terrence. This quote has had a profound effect on my life and I implore you all to reflect on this.  I say to all who believe that their faith, status, wealth, class, race or education make them better than anybody else, please remember this quote. It will make the world a better place. I believe I have tried to apply these two virtues over the course of my day. Despite all the troubles in the world, I have the courage to hope and pray for a better tomorrow. I am humbled by the fact that there are millions out there who will not get paid at the end of the month and others won’t get paid enough to sufficiently feed their family. I am grateful.

I believe that Maya Angelou epitomised what it means to be courageous and  humble.  She  brought a smile to a million faces and inspired millions more. She may be gone, but through her words, her legacy will live on. She showed me the power of words and I aim to continue her legacy through my own writing

RIP Dr Maya Angelou.

Till next time


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