The FVSU family knows Dr. Maisha S. Akbar as an associate professor in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts and Media Studies. In that role, she leads courses on acting, theatre history, play production, public speaking, and dramatic literature, theory, and criticism. The academician/actor/dancer/author has served on numerous campus committees and won awards for outstanding contributions to the university. She has produced, directed, and served as an advisor for the Joseph Adkins Player’s productions on topics that include a tribute to the Obamas, Black History Month, social justice, slavery, and soul music in Macon, in addition to performances of Steel Magnolias, Crowns, For Colored Girls Who Have Committed Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf, The Colored Museum, and The Vagina Monologues.
Dr. Akbar has played a wide range of roles on stage and on campus, but the role she values most is her role as mother. After leaving a volatile marriage, she found herself raising two toddlers alone, with the added pressure of studying for her doctorate in communications studies. The road was tough, but she chose to approach her new life path with a sense of curiosity and adventure instead of fear—a quest instead of a burden. Now, 20 years after her fateful decision to tackle single motherhood, Dr. Akbar has published a book reflecting on her journey, Billionaires Prefer Single Moms: A Single Mom’s Guide to Purpose, Prosperity and Partnership. The book shares her inspiring story as a way to help single moms develop a sense of “wholeness, high self-worth, and abundance.”
Akbar chose the title of the book as a play on the title of the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes starring Marilyn Monroe and an article titled Billionaires Prefer Black Wives to make the point that single mothers are desirable and possess an invaluable worth. The author also notes that many single moms have used their unique life perspective and attributes to develop business relationships with billionaires like Oprah Winfrey, Kim Whitely, and Evelyn Lozada.
Money management and goal setting were early challenges for the newly divorced Akbar, along with the stigma associated with misrepresentation of single moms in society. She hopes that her story will serve to change any negative misrepresentations about the group, and instead frame single mothers as MOGULs, “(M)otherhood/Masters of challenges, (O)wners of our own destinies, (G)o getters who focus on our growth and development, (U)ncommon heroes, and (L)eaders who leave important legacies.”
Akbar also believes the book can serve as a guide for people who aren’t single mothers. “This book is for anyone who has appreciates that ‘life is a journey, not a destination,” she said. “If you are inspired by a heroine’s tale, want a workbook for success or a reference for a business platform, this is the book for you!”
In celebration of Mother’s Day 2017, Akbar will read from and sign copies of the book on May 1 from 4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. on the 3rd floor of Hunt Memorial Library.