Monday, 1 October 2012

Anne and Maya

Sometime ago, I bought two books online from the then Kasuwa.com that is now Jumia.com. It was my first time buying stuff online. At first I sought only a book I have always wanted to read, “Anne Frank: The Diary of a young girl”, and then came across Maya Angelou’s “Letter to my daughter” and so just for the sake of having a more varied collection of books, I chose the book. By then I had never read any of Maya’s work, but I had heard a lot about her.

My books were delivered to me within two weeks and I was impressed by the service rendered, by the way.


The first time I got to know about the book, Anne frank, was when I watched the movie, ‘Freedom writers’, and for some reason I was curious to know what it was all about. And then later I got to watch the movie and it was a really emotional one from me. For those who don’t know it is actually a true-life story and this young girl, Anne Frank was a Jewish girl who loved to write and wrote in her diary during the Holocaust. I haven’t got around to reading the book yet, but from the movie I know so much of the story and it reminded me of all those other similar holocaust movies I’ve watched where Jews were imprisoned and later killed (by the way I don't even really understand those Germans. How did they think they could wipe out a whole race of Jewish people..smh..). I remember especially, The Boy in Striped Pyjamas (also based on a book)...a really sad one.

The part that really got to me in the Anne Frank movie was when Anne desperately wanted to write and she tried to bribe her own mother with her only piece of bread, so she could help her find a pencil and paper to write on. Anne later died from being sick, as well as her mother and sister. Her dad was the only survivor. It was when the war ended, he laid hold of Anne's diary and encouraged by people, finally published it in 1947 as an edited version.

When I saw my package from Kasuwa, I was happy and immediately started reading, "Letter to my daughter". Needless to say I practically finished the book the night of that same day, It is a collection of articles, essays and poems written by Maya. There was so much wisdom in each sentence and I learnt a lot. I guess I’ll be purchasing more of her books in the future. The book is not just for girls/women, it’s for everyone. Since then I’ve been hooked on Maya and I’ve researched a bit on her and found some of the great quotes she has made and books she has written. Anyways, before I go let me leave you guys with one of the essays/ a speech from the book. This one in particular touched me and seemed just appropriate for the stage in my life I am in now. It is a commencement address. Here goes;


Commencement Address

And now the work begins
And now the joy begins
Now the years of preparation
Of tedious study and
Exciting learning
are explained.

The jumble of words and
Tangle of great and small ideas
Begin to take order and
This morning you can see
A small portion of the large
Plan of your futures.

Your hours of application,
The hopes of your parents,
And the labor of your instructors
Have all brought this moment
Into your hands.

Today, you are princesses and princes
Of the morning.
Ladies and Lords of the summer
You have shown the most
Remarkable of all virtues
For today as you sit
Wrapped in earned robes,
Literally or figuratively,
I see you filled with courage.
For although you might all
Be bright, intellectually astute,
You have had to use courage
To arrive at this moment.
You may be,

As you are often described,
Privileged, which of course means
Wealthy, or you have been born into an ongoing struggle with need.
In either case, you have had to develop
An outstanding courage to
Invent this moment.

Of all your attributes, youth,
Beauty, wit, kindness, mercy,
Courage is your greatest
Achievement,
For you, without it, can practice no other
Virtue with consistency.

And now that you have shown
That you are capable of manufacturing
That most wondrous virtue,

You must be asking yourselves,
What you will do with it.
Be assured that question
Is in the minds of your
Elders, your parents, and strangers
Who do not know your names.
Your fellow students who
Next year, or in the years to come
Will sit, robed, and capped
Where you sit today,
And will ask the question
What will you do?
There is an African adage

Which fits your situation.

It is, “The trouble for the
Thief is not how to steal the Chief’s
Bugle, but where to play it.”

Are you prepared to work
To make this country, our country
More than it is today?

For that is the job to be done.
That is the reason you have
Worked hard, your sacrifices
Of energy and time,
The monies of your parents
Or of government have been paid
So that you can transform your
Country and your world.

Look beyond your tasseled caps
And you will see injustice.
At the end of your fingertips
You will find cruelties,
Irrational hate, bedrock sorrow
And terrifying loneliness.
There is your work.

Make a difference
Use this degree which you
Have earned to increase
Virtue in your world.

Your people, all people,
Are hoping that you are
The ones to do so.

The order is large,
The need immense.
But you can take heart.
For you know that you
Have already shown courage.
And keep in mind
One person, with good purpose,
can, constitute the majority.
Since life is our most precious gift
And since it is given to us to live but once,
Let us so live that we will not regret
Years of uselessness and inertia

You will be surprised that in time
The days of single-minded research
And the nights of crippling, cramming
Will be forgotten.

You will be surprised that these years of
Sleepless nights and months of uneasy
Days will be rolled into
An altering event called the
“Good old days.” And you will not
Be able to visit them even with an invitation
Since that is so you must face your presence.
You are prepared
Go out and transform your world

Welcome to your graduation.

Congratulations

****
Really inspiring.... Anyways I'm glad to be back blogging, seeing as I've been AWOL for a while.
Hope everyone's doing great...:) Oh and Happy Independence Day to Nigeria..

Thanks for stopping by..

13 comments:

  1. Good morning Ay, we just came across your blog post regarding the books you received from jumia.com, then Kasuwa. We want to say a big thank you for the positive comment and we are happy you enjoyed your purchase. We are constantly improving our service and look forward to working with you again. Once again, thank you

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    1. Nice!!!...so you found me. Hmmmm, the wonders of the Internet.
      You‘re welcome. It‘s only natural that I‘d give a positive comment. The service was quite good, although the books were delivered not in five working days. That‘s something you need to improve on, anyways.. Keep up the good work. Hopefully you‘d be hearing from me soon..:)

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  2. its not the Germans that wanted to wipe out the jews.. Its HITLER.... HE IS EVIL

    Obviously, he wanted to take over the world... i can never get over the situation though, the deaths of thousands of JEWS... too painful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, ‘they‘ were the ones who carried out the killings, etc.. Really sad. Just glad it‘s all in the past. It must have been really terrifying for the affected.
      Thanks for stopping by. ‘really appreciated..:)

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  3. as in, movies about the holocaust are not even my thing @all. so i didn't bother watching 'Inglorious basterds' and 'valkyrie' even if Tom cruise and brad pitt get to show face in each one. it's a very pathetic story.
    i think of that period and my mind goes to Nazi and Hitler and i'm glad i wasn't born during that era.
    if he was shooting jews to wipe out their race, then i wonder what he must have done to the black man
    its a beautiful poem ay

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    Replies
    1. Funny, if I come across a movie depicting the holocaust, I‘m eager to watch it. More like I want to feel the pain. I get really sad and sometimes I actually cry.. just so painful.
      Thank God we were not born in that era. I can only imagine what he‘d have done to the black man.

      Yeah, the poem‘s great. Maya‘s a genius, an inspiration.

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  4. AY: I just passed on the 'Versatile Blogger Award' to you. Please visit my blog for more details.

    ReplyDelete
  5. i just passed on the same award to you babes.
    check it out on my blog..

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  6. I would really like to get this Maya's book. Maybe I'd have to order it. I will surely do that soon. I can observe it will be a great read.

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    1. Yeah, you really should. It‘s filled with so many truths about life you can‘t afford not to know.I feel Maya has a great heart, so willing to share all her wisdom of so many years with the world.
      Let me know if you get the book and what you feel about it.

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    2. I will let you know when I get it. Thanks.

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Feel free to leave a comment. You can't tell how much that encourages me :)