African writers bid Dr Maya Angelou farewell

Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou

Dr Maya Angelou famous for many things including her poetry, acting, activism passed away yesterday in the USA. In literature she wrote quite a bit with her biggest contribution being “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” an autobiographical story about of the life of Marguerite Ann Johnson (Angelou’s birth name) up to the age of 16. In this book she was abandoned by her parents and raped by her mother’s boyfriend and he was killed when she told on him. She was also homeless and became a teen mother.

Tributes have been coming through from all over the world for the celebrated author and Africans have not been left behind. She was involved with the continent intimately; she was in the gang of folks that took over the United Nations when Patrice Lumumba was assassinated, lived in Ghana and was even married to South African freedom fighter Vusumzi Make where they lived in Cairo, Egypt before divorcing. That’s a lot of Africa’s connection so its only right that we here what the writers of this land had to say about her. Many were personal experiences while others just gave their favourite quotes from the legend. Here are a sample;

Oh my! Maya Angelou was the first person I was ever sent to interview. I was 21. She told me that I was the future and it would one day be up to us, also that I had lipstick on my teeth.”
Animatta Forna

#MayaAngelou, Ghana, the land you loved, that loved you back, mourns your passing, but we also celebrate your transition to the ancestors.
Nii Ayikwei Parkes

After 2 days offline, working on my own contribution to literature, I resurface to find we’ve lost one of literature’s finest. Maya Angelou! – author, bar performer, abuse survivor, African & civil rights activist, “working” and goodtime girl, streetcar driver, searing intellectual. She knew the truth: let it RIP before you R.I.P. Happy Homegoing Ol’ Ma! #your prose scared the bejeezus outta me”
Hawa Golakai

Even after they were divorced with Vusi Maake Maya Angelou remained our molokazana (ngwetse/ngoetse)”
Zakes Mda

RIP Dr Maya Angelou – thank you for your courage, your transgression, your badassness, your wisdom and your genius. May the ancestors open their hearts and paths to welcome you to their realm.”
Dr Pumla Gqola

RIP Dr Maya Angelou – thank you for your courage, your transgression, your badassness, your wisdom and your genius. May the ancestors open their hearts and paths to welcome you to their realm.”
Lebo Mashile

Rest in peace @DrMayaAngelou. You taught us why the caged bird sings.”
Chibundu Onuzo

“I do not trust people who don’t love themselves and yet tell me, ‘I love you.’ There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.” Maya Angelou
Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva

“The more you know of your history, the more liberated you are. Maya Angelou.”
Oyunga Pala

REST IN ETERNAL PEACE MAYA ANGELOU. AN INSPIRATION!
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size But when I start to tell them, They think I’m telling lies. I say, It’s in the reach of my arms The span of my hips, The stride of my step, The curl of my lips. I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me. I walk into a room Just as cool as you please, And to a man, The fellows stand or Fall down on their knees. Then they swarm around me, A hive of honey bees. I say, It’s the fire in my eyes, And the flash of my teeth, The swing in my waist, And the joy in my feet. I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me. Men themselves have wondered What they see in me. They try so much But they can’t touch My inner mystery. When I try to show them They say they still can’t see. I say, It’s in the arch of my back, The sun of my smile, The ride of my breasts, The grace of my style. I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me. Now you understand Just why my head’s not bowed. I don’t shout or jump about Or have to talk real loud. When you see me passing It ought to make you proud. I say, It’s in the click of my heels, The bend of my hair, the palm of my hand, The need of my care, ‘Cause I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me. Maya Angelou. RIP.”

Moraa Gitaa

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