Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Woman Who Inspires Me -- Michelle Monkou

Miriam Makeba, who is as old as my mother, has earned the honor in my heart as one of my biggest inspirations. How could anyone look at this woman's life and not be inspired and humbled?
Born in 1932 she is known around the world as Mama Africa. In 1959 her passport was revoked after she went to Italy for a documentary premier she had participated in about anti-apartheid. Her journey to being a great singer connected her with Harry Belafonte and eventually to Stokley Carmichael, Black Panther Leader. Their marriage brought a halt to her career in the U.S. and she moved to Guinea.

Later in her life, her only daughter died. She then wrote her autobiography - Makeba: My Story - It's a great read and she is such a humble spirit. In 1990 Nelson Mandela invited her home. And it was a great welcome. She is still touring, paying tribute and saying goodbye in all the countries and venues that marked her ascension to being an ambassador of music and peace.
She is a symbol of what we women can do, despite incredible odds.

Michelle Monkou

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