President Jacob Zuma has joined the international community in paying tribute to author, cultural activist and poet Maya Angelou.
Maya Angelou, renowned author, poet and civil rights activist died in the USA earlier this week aged 86. President Jacob Zuma has added his voice to the flood of tributes that have poured in in memory of this greater writer. Image: Vol1 Brooklyn
"The world has lost an important voice of reason. On behalf of the country and the population of South Africa, we convey our deepest condolences to her family and the entire United States of America for their loss. May her soul rest in peace," said President Zuma.
Angelou died at her home in North Carolina earlier this week, aged 86. Her books project the indomitable spirit of a woman who succeeded against all odds, and her work touched the lives of many people around the globe.
Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa also paid tribute to Angelou, saying despite having a difficult early life, she rose to become a renowned civil rights activist, author and poet.
"We remember this great woman, who inspired generations with her words. Her humanism transcended boundaries. Her resilience gave all of us strength. Her voice lives on here in South Africa, in the African diaspora and the rest of the world. She will be deeply missed, but she will live on through her writings," said Mthethwa.
Angelou was one of the first international figures, who sent words of comfort to South Africans on the passing of former President Nelson Mandela by recording a moving tribute to the late international statesman.
She delivered a video message on behalf of the American people in memory of Nelson Mandela, titled 'His Day is Done', which was circulated in 15 languages.
She contributed greatly to the struggle against apartheid. She was married to a South African political activist Vusumzi Make from 1960 to 1963.
She received many awards during her lifetime. Notable among her writings is her memoir, 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings', which in 1969 made history as one of the first non-fiction bestsellers by an African-American woman. She went on to write seven autobiographical books.