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Adiela Akoo, a recipient of the prestigious Dux Award, is a South African born poet/writer with a background in banking and comprehensive healing.
She has served in various positions including as Provincial Coordinator for an International holistic healing association. But her passion has always been towards her creative side. She attributes the inculcation of her love for the written word to her mother, who encouraged her at an early age.
Her poems and essays first appeared in print in the quarterly literary journal, The Moving Finger. She has since been published in a variety of magazines, journals and anthologies across the world, including Fidelities, Different Horizons, Sincerely Yours, Emotional Journey's', Renaissance, Sufi, Nature 2018-2019, Grey Thoughts, 25 Years of Freedom, Tales for Love, Best of Africa, Universul Culturii, The Penmen Review, Songs of Peace, and others.
She won the Poetry in my Mind August 2019 Poem Contest with her poem "As You Perceive", which has also been translated by fellow poets. "Redolent" was a runner up in a contest by Rui M Publishing. "Pre Natal" was nominated Poem of the Day on the popular poetry site PoemHunter and "Whiplash" was quoted in The South African House of Parliament. She is also the recipient of The Silver Star Award from The Global Literary Society for excellent contribution to world literature.
Lost in a Quatrain is her debut collection with each poem telling a story that puts together the pieces of this crazy, not always romantic, experience we call life...
Lost in a Quatrain has been described as "Heart Touching" and "Soul Healing" by readers.
LION OF THE PEN When it rains, it pours!! These last few days epitomized this, with no less than four family members being rushed to hospital, two requiring urgent operations! The usually effervescent energy of the family chat group quickly shifted to a somberness that weighed heavily on the chest, often causing laboured breathing! The lighthearted posts were replaced with constant updates from the hospitals, messages of mutual support, and prayers ... lots of prayers... Then.. this afternoon, the dreaded news... I remembered that Saturday morning when he had called, requesting that I attend the Maritzburg unveiling of his book, "Mandela In Focus" at the Nizamia Hall. I remembered being in awe as he addressed the audience. I had attended primary school at Nizamia, as did my parents, uncles, aunts and many cousins. And so did he, as I surprisingly learnt from his speech! But never before had I encountered the history of the school as he told it! Even the school governing body later commented on the need to document it! After his speech, he made a bee line towards me, with the visible joy of one reconnecting with a long lost relative. He even stated that he now "recognized the family forehead"! He then quickly rearranged the row of chairs where we sat, into a circle and promptly summoned and introduced me to two other relatives, who had accompanied him to the unveiling. The last we had met was when I was a little girl, on holiday, at my uncle and aunt's home in Durban, where he was a frequent guest, up until my uncle's passing. Our paths never crossed again until January this year, when he had approached me with an invite, to be a guest on his talk show. It was only after providing a short bio for the show, did he make the connection and delightedly stated, "We're family!" Even after the unveiling event, the handful of us stood out on the school grounds as he continued exuberantly chatting, clearly explaining exactly how my grandfather was his uncle, and my mother his cousin. He pointed across the field to the house in which my grandfather once lived, next to the mosque. He said he had spent a lot of time there and could still clearly remember every detail of that house... every fruit tree in the garden... everyone who lived there... and everyone who visited... He spoke of how my grandfather "presided over the community" and how we needed to co-author a book about his life. His love for my late grandfather was visibly evident. By this time, Kevin Joseph, the photographer of "Mandela in Focus", and the school principal had joined in the conversation. He introduced me as his niece, to which Kevin quickly inquired: "Another one?" "No! This one REALLY IS my niece!" he emphatically proclaimed. I later discovered that he habitually adopted people as family. All the cars in the parking lot had by now long dispersed, except for ours... Over the coming months, I received regular phone calls... a caring uncle watching over me... a seasoned mentor... I thoroughly enjoyed listening to tales about his friendship with Muhammad Ali and Barbra Streisand, the lavish dinners, the times when her home was filled with people, at the height of fame... and other things... He always ended his calls with a bit of parting wisdom... He also spoke about the book he was writing, documenting his experiences as a journalist and activist. He mentioned the title he was considering ... "The Man They Couldn't Gag" ... and asked me to write a short poem for the foreward. I obliged with "Lion of the Pen" Lion of the Pen He feared not the hunter's bullets in his quest to be heard And a deafening ROAR it was From his written word AdielaAkoo At the time of writing this poem, I never once thought that barely six months later, I would be writing this piece! It's only been a few hours since that dreaded news, and it still feels so surreal. The reality of lifelessness in one normally so full of life, is quite jarring! From the influx of messages being posted on social media, the positive impact that uncle Farook had on the lives of so many people, is clearly apparent. Combined with this, was his wonderful talent of making each person feel uniquely special! He will, undoubtedly, be sorely missed... Part of my own treasure trove of memories is this autographed copy of his book, "The Goodwill Lounge", in which he wrote this message in bold letters: "TO ADIELA, WHO OWNS THE SKY" And that is exactly how he made you feel! Like nothing was impossible! You could take on the world, like he did! They say that when an elder dies, a library burns down. These words have never rang truer than in the case of my uncle, Farook Khan. May you rest in peace, Lion of the Pen! (10 September 1944 – 3 October 2019) by Adiela Akoo
"When you truly reflect on life, you come up with such creations. I like the way Adiela has weaved simple poetic stories out of the complex strings of life in which humans remain entangled. From social to soul exploration, all has been done and depicted neatly in this poetic beauty. As a poet, I especially relate to the poetry style that is made very understandable, yet churned out of an ocean's depth." - Ruchika Pahwa Available here: https://adielaakoo.wixsite.com/writer/shop
Aloof? Aloof you say? I'm so sorry if I made you feel that way. It's really not my intention, Though the reaction is of my own invention. You see, long ago I built a wall, A defence mechanism as I recall. So for me to draw close, is still very hard, After misplacing that important trust card. #AdielaAkoo Get Lost in a Quatrain here: https://adielaakoo.wixsite.com/writer/shop
Excited to announce that I have been invited to do a poetry reading at The Alan Paton Literary Festival, being hosted at Eden Lassie, in the beautiful Tala Valley 🙏🌹 Come and get Lost in a Quatrain with me on Saturday the 7th March 2020 from 15h00-15h30 I will be reading poetry from my book as well as some new, unpublished poems Love to see you there 💖 💖#AdielaAkoo