RIP Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou

It was with sadness that I learnt the writer and poet Maya Angelou passed away a few days ago. Born Marguerite Ann Johnson, this incredible woman had an extraordinary life. It didn’t start well though… At the age of 7, she was raped by her mother’s boyfriend. When she told her family, the man was convicted of the crime, and promptly murdered, most likely by Maya’s uncles. The trauma of this tragedy caused her to be mute for the next 5 years. As a result, she spent most of her time at the library, and discovered a love for literature. She started writing poetry when she was nine. A single mother at 17, she worked as a prostitute, a dancer, a singer and an actress. The author was also well-traveled as she lived in Egypt and Ghana for years. In fact, she spoke 6 languages. She was friends with Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, and became active in the civil rights movement. In addition, she met Oprah Winfrey early in the TV personality’s career, and became her mentor. Maya Angelou wrote more than 30 bestsellers from poetry to fiction and memoir. She also received more than 50 honorary degrees, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011. She will be sorely missed. May you rest in peace Maya Angelou…