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SPOTLIGHT – On Kay Kay Anadu-Amangbo – Powerful virtue that will save you when life collapses


She’d moved to the United States from Nigeria when she was 18-years-old. She was fun, outgoing and made friends with everyone, so I tagged along with Kaykay for adventure. One day, as we were walking to class, she announced, “I’m leaving Virginia to move to LA. I want to get into acting and modeling.”

I didn’t want my friend to leave, but I loved her sense of wanderlust and was excited about visiting her in Hollywood someday. Within months, she had relocated. However, once in Hollywood, she found herself taking a detour to follow her heart, yet again. His name was Emeka. She met him at a party, fell in love, got married and they had two sons. She was living a real-life, fairytale romance.

After 10 years of marriage, a check up at the doctor’s delivered tragic news to KayKay and Emeka. He had bone marrow cancer. In shock, the couple fought to keep Emeka alive. Nine months later, they learned that the cancer was in remission. They were ecstatic to have their lives back.

I had been diagnosed with breast cancer during that time, and Emeka often called to give me inspiration. Kaykay, traveled from California to Virginia, to visit with me. In the midst of her fear, fatigue and still unsure about what her future would hold, she found the strength to come to sit by my side, to give me the hope and perseverance to go on. I was bolstered by her faith. She and Emeka were ecstatic about his remission. If they could get through this with such faith, I knew that I could do it too.

Their joy didn’t last for long. He was re-diagnosed after three months. Less than a year later, with Kaykay at his side, Emeka slipped away. Kaykay’s fairytale had fallen apart. Widowed at 33 years old, with two boys, who were 3 and 6 years old, she struggled to figure how to live, while at times, begging God to take her to be with her husband.

Mired in deep pain, her saving grace were her two sons, Chika and Lota. She got out of bed for them. She ate because she needed the sustenance to care for them. She went to work because she had to provide for them. She remembered that she had to live – as a verb, not just exist – because of them.

For years, she lived in a shocked haze, wondering how this could have happened to her. Her family grieved with her, scared that she might not recover, and wanting her to just be okay, but intuitively, Kaykay knew that the grief was a necessary part of her growth and healing. As the novelist, Marcel Proust said, “We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it to the full.” In a world where the painful truths of life are often glossed over, and where people choose to drown their sorrows in bottles, pills, food, or facade, Kaykay knew that the only way through it, was to feel through the hurt – while living in gratitude for what had been. She’d experienced the incredible magic of love, and her grief was as deep and equal to that love.

Today, her boys are grown. Newly re-married, she will never leave Emeka behind, but she takes his memory with her as she moves forward, enabling her to live and love even more deeply.

I asked her to tell me, in one word, what got her through such a painful time. Her answer was – “patience”.

The word “patience”, as defined by The Virtues Project is, “a quiet hope and trust that things will turn out right. You picture the end in the beginning and persevere to meet your goals. Patience is a commitment to the future.”

She shared with me that patience gifted her with the following:

  • Patience through adversity can herald the beginning of a reconstruction and transformation;
  • Patience fosters, sustains and strengthens one’s relationship with God;
  • Patience encourages you to slow down and to trust the process;
  • Patience re-focuses you on love for self and love for others;
  • Patience reminds you of what to be thankful for; and
  • Patience refocuses you on what brings you joy.

Like a phoenix rising, Kaykay emerged stronger than ever. She used her pain as a catalyst and channeled it into a way help others. Her autobiography, “The Reconstruction and Transformation of Queenkay” is a moving story of her love, loss, transformation; and not just surviving, but thriving through the grace of God.

There are two quotes that come to mind when I think of KayKay. The first is a testament to what a badass she is today, “Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.—Josephine Hart

The other speaks to her persevering and untamed heart, “The most beautiful people I’ve known are those who have known trials, have known struggles, have known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.” —Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Today, KayKay is an entrepreneur, writer, and optimist. She operates a specialty grocery store in Oakland, California. She is also a life coach, business strategist, and a woman constantly under construction. Find her on her website, Twitter and Facebook and be inspired.

Until next time, live bliss, pursue your passion and manifest magic! To be a guest on my Pure Bliss podcast or get coaching on how to Manifest Your Magic, contact me here!

Much love, Bliss Boss, Maimah

Maimah Karmo Publisher, Bliss Magazine; Author, Fearless & CEO, Tigerlily Foundation

Kay Kay’s amazing story was also featured on the cover of PUMP- An International fashion & style magazine

Click on the link below to order a hard copy of the magazine today to read about this truly amazing and indefatigable woman
with a heart of gold:



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