minx sa

Inspire. Motivate. Laugh. Love….. Your Guilty Pleasure. ♥


Leave a comment

Tribute: To A Phenomenal Woman

Maya2

Maya Angelou 1928 – 2014

 

I know a lot’s been said about her in the last day or so, but it would be a huge injustice if I did not take some time to pay tribute to our dear Dr Maya Angelou.

It was with a heavy heart that I read the news of her passing, having been the one woman who made me want to write in the first place.

I have always been an avid reader, but it was not until, at 15 when I did an English class project on Maya Angelou, that I decided I wanted to try my hand at writing. I remember standing in front of the class, reciting “Still I Rise” with a certain Miss Dionne Song, and recognizing for the first time, the immense power that words have in our world…recognizing their magic working in and through me, and I have never looked back since.

Maya Angelou

Dr Maya Angelou’s last tweet

It was easy to be inspired and motivated with a mentor like Maya, a woman who lived her life to the absolute fullest. She was, after all, an extraordinary human being who managed to touch the lives of millions worldwide through her almost ethereal command of language. Works of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and plays, all textured with depth and wisdom and peppered with her youthful sense of humour. She was unconventional, confident, fearless, graceful, brilliant and a phenomenal woman.

“If you must look back, do so forgivingly. If you must look forward, do so prayerfully. However, the wisest thing you can do is be present in the present… Gratefully.”

During her exemplary life, she breezed in like a breath of fresh air, inspiring millions, teaching the multitudes, trying to help whomever she could and stealing accolade after accolade from those who, unsuspectingly, had underestimated her. Until one day she was able to look back and see titles such as Author, Poet, Singer, Dancer, Director, Playwright, three-time Grammy Award winner, Civil rights activist, Mother & Teacher.

The epitome of what is means to be a real woman, with every facet celebrated and loved, she has inspired me to bolder routes, comforted me in darker times, uplifted my spirits in sorrow, and provided words of wisdom galore.

You will be sorely missed Dr Angelou.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Be inspired to be great.

Be blessed to be a blessing.


Leave a comment

A Different Order of Reality

Chinua Achebe Post-it

Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe

The “father of modern African writing”, Chinua Achebe (born Albert Chínụálụmọ̀gụ̀ Àchèbé), best known to the world as the amazing writer of Things Fall Apart, passed away on Friday 22 March, 2013, after a brief illness, at the age of 82. He was born and raised in the Igbo town of Ogidi, Nigeria and began writing as a university student. Soon after graduation, he did a bit of teaching and then he worked for the National Broadcasting Corporation, a faction of the British Broadcasting Company and later helped create the Voice of Nigeria network.

Achebe was not just the writer of such amazing novels as No Longer at Ease (1960), Arrow of God (1964), A Man of the People (1966) and Anthills of the Savannah (1987), but also penned poetry, essays, short stories and even children’s books, all based in his native land, Nigeria. What I think most people first fell in love with in his writing was that he painted a real and beautiful picture of Nigeria and Africa, to a world that, up to that point, had been largely ignorant to the reality of what it was like to be African and in Africa.

Chinua Achebe and Nelson Mandela

Chinua Achebe and Nelson Mandela

Some of his stories were set in the Nigeria before independence from British colonial rule, and so they allowed a view into what it was like living in a time when Nigeria didn’t belong to the Nigerians. This included themes revolving around the conflict felt by Nigerians in a time of both traditional African culture and invasive Western values, the bloody civil wars that plagued Nigeria and the pain felt by the Ibo nation of South-Eastern Nigeria from the brutality of military dictators from other Nigerian ethnic groups.

Things Fall Apart was his first novel, published in 1958, and has since sold millions of copies and been translated into over 50 languages. It was the most widely read book in modern African literature, and like most of his subsequent works, this is set in the Ibo countryside and is most loved for its detailed descriptions of the Ibo life, culture and traditions. It went on to become a classic of world literature, something which was virtually unheard of in African literary circles.

Chinua Achebe 2008, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY

Chinua Achebe 2008, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY

In 1998, Nadine Gordimer hailed Achebe as “a novelist who makes you laugh and then catch your breath in horror – a writer who has no illusions but is not disillusioned. From his writing, Achebe became more than just a writer, but also a political activist. He was noted for aiming his criticisms, not only at British colonial rule, but also at African leadership and the citizens who tolerated their corruption and dictatorship.

He has spent most of his adult life living in exile in the United States of America, working as a University Professor, but came back to Nigeria briefly, to be involved in the politics of the independence and rejoining the of the region of Biafra from Nigeria. He soon became frustrated with the levels of corruption and decided to take himself out of the equation, then a car accident left him disabled, so he moved back to the US.Chinua Achebe Post-it2

His most recent work was There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra, which is a memoir of the new nation that was Biafra, told from Biafra’s cultural ambassador. It tells of the Nigerian civil war (The Biafran War) during which Achebe was a roving cultural ambassador able to observer the full horror. It was soon after this that he moved back to the US and has since maintained somewhat of a silence on the events of the war, aside from an interview with Transition magazine, only referring to it through his poetry.

He is most remembered for his unique style of writing, which showed his keen satire, his heavy reliance on the Igbo oral tradition, and combines straightforward narration with representations of folk stories, proverbs and oratory.

The literary world has lost a great mind and an even better writer.

RIP Chinua Achebe.


Leave a comment

Rock Out

My first post for the year and I want to set it off with a bang.

I want to be all inspirational and uplifting and motiovational and ish… I think for the start of the year, this works for me…

 

Rock Out                                    – Anis Mojgani

 

You’ve been given a direct order to rock the fuck out!

Rock out, like you were just given the last Rock n’ Roll record on Earth, and the minutes are counting down to flames

Rock out, like you just won both Showcase showdowns

Rock out, like the streets are empty except for you, your bicycle and your headphones

Rock out, like your lips were just placed, onto a break dancing muse, with legs that go all the way up

Rock out, like Publisher’s Clearing House is ringing your front door

Rock out, like you never have to open up a textbook again

Rock out, like you get PAID to disturb the peace!

Rock out, like music is all that you’ve got

Rock out, like you were standing on a roof top and the city’s as loud and glowing as a river flowing below you

Rock out, the plane is going down, and there are 120 people on board and 121 parachutes

Rock out, like the streets and the books are all on fire and the flames can only be extinguished by….doing the electric slide

Rock out, like it’s Saturday afternooon, and Monday was a national holiday

Rock out, like somebody’s got a barrel, pointed to your temple, saying ‘rock out like your life depended on it fool’, because it does

Rock out, like your eyes are fading, but you’ve still got your ears, but you don’t for how long… So rock out like, 5 O’clock time, meant Pop-and-Lock time

Rock out, like you’ve got pants full of tokens, and nothing to do but everything

Rock out, like you are the International ski-ball champion of the entire universe

Rock out, like you just escaped an evil orphanage to join a Russian circus

Rock out, like your hero has fallen, and you are spinning your limbs, until they burst into a flaming pyre of remembrance

Rock out, like you are enslaved in the south, and dancing is all that you have, to know who you are

Rock out, like your dead grandfather just came back, to take a drive with you in your brand new car

Rock out, like the table was full… Like the neighbours are away

Like the walls wont fall, but dammet you’re gonna die, trying to make them!

Rock out, like the stereo’s volume knob only has the figure eight of infinity on it instead of merely numbers

Rock out, like it’s raining outside and you’ve got a girl to run through it with

Rock out, like you were playing football in the mud and your washing machine aint broken

Rock out, like you threw your window open on your honeymoon coz you want the whole world to know what love is

Rock out, like you just got a book published

Rock out, like you returned to your high school reunion to find that everyone, even the women, are all ugly and balding, except for the former prom queen, who has just been divorced by her impotent husband and who only has eyes for…YOU.

Rock out, like a shadow of a man passes behind you, drops you to your knees, you’re buckling in a cold sweat, metal is pushed to your forehead, the trigger is pulled and the gun jams

Rock out, like you got a empty appointment book and a full tank of gas

Rock out, like Jimmy has returned, carrying brand new guitar strings

Rock out, like the mangoes are in season, like the record player wont skip,

Like this was the last weekend, like these were the last words

Like you don’t ever want to forget how…

 

Adventure

You can check out the video of Anis Mojgani’s live performances of this particular piece at:

 

Happy 2013 Minxes