Every month we celebrate a successful woman, someone who has made a difference in the world. This month we have chosen the multi-talented Maya Angelou, who sadly passed away in May last year.

Born in St. Louis Missouri, she spent her childhood between there and Arkansas. At the age of eight she was sexually abused by her mother’s boyfriend and following his murder (presumably at the hand of Maya’s uncles) she refused to speak for almost five years. During this time she became interested in books and literature.

In her adult years she lived in different parts of the United States and Africa where she worked as a dancer, singer, teacher and writer. She also became an activist for black rights having crossed her path with the likes of Malcom X and Martin Luther King.


Her international fame came with her first autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which was followed by many others. She also wrote the screenplay and the soundtrack for the film Georgia Georgia and in 1996 she directed a feature film, Down in the Delta.

But one of the things we remember her for the most is her remarkable poems and we want to leave you with a video of her reciting one of our favourite ones, which is fittingly entitled “Phenomenal woman”.