Monday, May 08, 2006

LEAN ON NO MAN, BOW ONLY TO GOD

An Evening with Maya

I meant to write about my going to see Dr. Angelou when my coworker sent the pictures, but the sizzle would have fizzled out of me so i'll tell you about it now. I can show the picture later.

Basically it was wonderful and heavenly meeting Maya. She is one of the people I have always wanted to meet. Not just because she is a legend, but she is Oprah's mentor. When we went back stage I could feel the butterflies in my stomach. The last time I felt that way was when I met Nelson Mandela when I was 10. I had to control myself but you know your sister now. The villager in me had to come out. Not to mention the fact that I was knocking on myself for wearing jeans to see Dr. Angelou. A whole common discount paper denim jeans, not even the full priced one or a designer pair. Upon the nice cuits and cocktail dresses I had, infact I deserve a slap for that.

As I walked in to the room, I jejely put down my bag and my jacket ready to embrace the old woman. She stretched out her hand and was like 'Baby you are so adorable come and take my hand' . She shook my co worker but me and I was like 'Ma'am may I hug you?' And she was like ' Absolutely darling!' Then she started asking us what we do. We were so speechless. I jumped in and started talking. Keeping in mind that all I was saying was just beans because after this the woman would probably not remember us. Then we asked to take a picture with her. That's when she started spitting some philosophy.

She was sitting in one of those movie chairs, which was very low. I started to lean out of respect now. I pictured my grandmother in my head and to take a picture with her you have to come down from that high heel shoe. So me I started to lean in to come down to her level and she then said. 'Stand tall and proud like royalty. Lean on no man, and Bow only to God.' WHAAATTT!!! It came out so effortlessly. My own exclusive quote from a whole 'Dokto Myah Angeloo' (speaking in igbo accent) Addy na you Biko!!!! I almost started crying.

Then her performance again was just an out of this world experience. I was mesmerized from the moment I walked into her presence to the very end of the show. She read a poem about letting your light shine brightly through the dark clouds. No matter how little that light is you will never know its potential until you have used it to get out of the darkness and into the light to see the rainbow that awaits you. She said we should not just strive to light our own paths, but to be lights on to other people's paths and leave our marks on generations and generations to come.

I can't reinterprete everything that she said but she was DEEEPPPP!!! It takes seeing a performance or listening to her album to really feel what I mean. Not many people can read poetry so they can get bored easily, but I recommend everyone to see Maya in performance if you get the opportunity. As for me, I am about to tape my exclusive quote onto every thing so that I remember the moment. In fact I doubt I can forget it. Meanwhile I missed out on an opportunity to see Oprah two Saturday's ago. She was at the Border's Bookstore with Mannie Stepanik's mother. Bummer!! That would have been a maylay of 'quotationals and inspriationals'. I am sure another chance will come.

Anyways I have some gist for ya'll but I will not disrespect Dr. Angelou by mixing it up in my tribute to her. So look out for it when my ANTM wrap up returns in a few days.

Listen to Maya's poem at this link http://www.salon.com/audio/2000/10/05/angelou/index.html

Also check out this month's special edition of Nigerian Entertainment at www.nigerianentertainment.com. Just joined the team and had an interesting opportunity to write about two of my favorite writers from last summer. See the Art and Stage section for my articles on Chimamanda Adichie and Sefi Atta. While you are there check out the other articles and items. Good stuff for your entertainment purposes. If you ever have an idea or story to pitch pass the information along. It's not a story if you don't tell it and if someone can't hear it.

6 comments:

Pilgrimage to Self said...

Adaure, I cannot tell you how much I envy you. This is my number one wish as well to meet Maya. Cherish it girl, cherish it. You lucky thing you!

ToyinE said...

WOW girl - i think more stuff happens on the west coast than anywhere else o! I have quickly copied that her "stand tall" quote - I can just imagine how she said it too - Lucky girl!!!

uknaija said...

Meeting Maya my goodness...you lucky girl...At various points in my life, various Maya poems/titles would bolster me...... Her poem And Still I Rise was one, another was I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings...

And your articles with Chimamanda and Sefi are hot...well done!

Biodun said...

Wow girl, am jealous men...great entry too...I will check out the naija entertainment link...

Anonymous said...

Again, glad you ditched ANTM for Maya Angelou!! I am green with envy! May I say CONGRATULOBIA!. Didn't know you also met Nelson Mandela! I was very taken by Maya's words..very thought provoking. I am glad you shared your experience with us. Also enjoyed your work on Nigeria Entertainment.

TaureanMinx said...

Oh how I wish i were in your shoes at that time! How inspirational. Give us more!lol