October 7, 2002
Former entertainer Lola Falana, who left show business more than 10 years ago, is helping to raise funds for African orphans whose parents have died in the AIDS epidemic.
Falana, who is now an evangelist and humanitarian, recently discussed her commitment to help the African orphans as she turned 60 on September 11 -- the anniversary of the tragic terrorist attacks last year.
Reflecting on last year's September 11, Falana says, "There is nothing anyone can say to take the pain away , , , Pain is pain, but I feel better when I can do something for them." She has reached out to other needy people, including the 13 million African orphans who have lost their parents to the AIDS epidemic that has swept the African continent. "One of the most important things anyone can do right now to honor the memory of those who died on 9/11," she says, "is to aid those who are in danger of dying this year."
She has donated her name to help raise funds for the grass-roots Nebraska-based group, Save the Sub-Saharan Orphans, which aids African orphanages in providing shelter and medical and educational care for orphans.
Falana quit show business in 1990 after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1987. She has had no symptoms of the illness in recent years.
Once known as "the Queen of Las Vegas," she has no plans to return to show business. "I will not go back on stage unless God Himself says to me, 'I'm going to give you back your voice and you do this for my sake.' Then I will do it. I like the path I am on now. My whole world is God." She adds, "I am more than a person who was in show business. I have a life that's way beyond that. I have a destiny that's completely beyond that. It may sound too confident or something, but the Bible says we should be holy as God is holy, that means be a saint."
She continues, "That's my ambition. Before I wanted to be a headliner, but now that's just in this world, that's over, that's not good enough. I'm going to die one day and ask God 'Well, if I want to be a headliner in the world, that's the top of the marquee; what's the top of the marquee in Heaven?' The answer is a saint. And I'll say, 'Book that for me.' That's what I want beyond this world."
© Copyright 2002 Johnson Publishing Company, Inc