I had a little back-and-forth with someone about whether or not to post about Maya Angelou on Mon pi Mon’s Facebook page. We have tried for the year that we have been here to post information that directly relates to Ugandan women. This eliminates a lot of things but this is a Ugandan women’s page and if we cannot find a link between the issue and our identity as women of Uganda, then we don’t post.
And while you, reader, might now be thinking “Hold on a minute. Ugandan women read and love Maya Angelou”, …(if you are not, you should be)… I want to assure you that I know this. But I want to recall a poetry performance that I went to at The National Theatre, where the Nabisunsa Rhymers, of Nabisunsa Girls’ School, took over the stage. I have to say I can never think of Maya Angelou or read Phenomenal Woman without going back to that moment in the theatre, watching the girls perform. I don’t remember the name of the rhymer who performed it, but I definitely hear it in her voice.
In the same year I watched the performance (2012), Uganda Women Writers’ Association (Femrite) published an anthology I Dare To Say, in collaboration with Lawrence Hill Books. You cannot miss the name “Maya Angelou” on the cover.
A testimony to the glaring atrocities that women have encountered and overcome.
And the back cover:
The collectors of these stories and the women themselves must be commended for their courage to live through horrific savagery and somehow survive. I would encourage every woman to have…this book: what they encounter, they will survive. I will not only survive. I will thrive, have compassion, humor, and some style.
Rest easy Dr. Maya Angelou