Who are you?
I’m a rebel in my own way, who created the life I desired, making many mistakes along the way. I left home as a young age to distance myself from a difficult childhood, and worked for minimum wage, cleaning stinky toilets at one point and sleeping in basement rooms to put myself through a bachelor’s degree. I went on to get an MBA from Europe and worked my way through the corporate world for more than a decade until I rediscovered my life’s passion for books and social change. Today, I write, speak and connect with readers with one goal in mind – to inspire and empower the lives of young women around the world, especially those who live in the darkest corners of our planet. I do what I do because I remember what it’s like to be a scared and lonely girl with few opportunities and little support.
I tell compelling stories to spur the world to change. I believe empowered and inspired girls are the solution to the world’s biggest problems, from the health of our planet to the robustness of our economies. Girls are our future. If we continue to abuse or ignore them, we do so at our own peril.
Where are you from?
I was born on a tropical island in the Indian Ocean, spent my childhood in the savannas of Southern Africa and have worked in South East Asia, North America and Europe. I’ve been an accidental traveller all my life, and have lived in fifteen cities, in seven countries, on four continents to date. I come from many places. I’m a citizen of this world.
How do you spend your time?
My favourite pastime is to cook and bake in my kitchen with a glass of red wine on the counter and some sweet jazz playing in the background. I am also an adrenaline junkie and have enjoyed rock climbing, rappelling, bungeeing and have parachuted solo. But I still don’t know how to ride a bicycle. Yet. Books are the greatest love of my life. I love to read and have pledged to read 40-50 books every year. Come join me in the challenge or follow my weekly reviews on Goodreads.
Why did you start writing?
My love for books began when I was very young. I used to read Jack and Jill stories using a torchlight under my blanket till late at night, when I was supposed to be asleep. I graduated to Enid Blyton and Nancy Drew, then onto Jules Verne, Isaac Asimov, Daniel Defoe and others. As a child who moved to a new city, a new country or a new continent every few years, I found it hard to make friends, so books became my companions, and authors, my allies. I gobbled up every book I got my hands on and savoured every word I read.
I remember one day, discovering a dusty, ripped copy of the Gulag Archipelgo, a difficult read about the Stalin era. This was not a book for a child, but there was not much else in my little school library, in that remote town where we lived at that time. That book taught me the strength of words. It taught me how storytelling can shine a powerful spotlight on injustice and how mere words can transform ideas and minds around the world.
I started to write full length novels in 2010, mostly memoirs of a lifetime of traveling. It was only recently, I decided to write a story about a young woman who goes through experiences I witnessed, experienced or learned about, having lived in many places where women’s rights are not respected. I wanted to write a story about a girl who goes through adversity and hardship, but who rises up and fights back, and comes out stronger and wiser, despite what she endures. I write these stories because I’m compelled to write them. I can do nothing less. I will do nothing less.
What’s your mission?
I envision a world where every girl in the world gets to go to school in a safe and nurturing environment. I envision a world where every young woman gets the choice to decide what she wants to do with the rest of her life.
My mission in life is to inspire these girls and young women who live in the darkest corners of our planet. These are sad places where girls don’t matter and where women have few rights, if any. They are pulled out of school to marry men four times their age, forced into bondage, trafficked across borders, and sold off for a mere few dollars. I want to inspire these girls and young women to stay strong against their adversities, to grab onto chances, and to never back down. I want them to know they matter and they are not alone.
I write to entertain, but more importantly, I write to inform the world about what happens to the most vulnerable populations in our world today. And if only one girl, just one girl, stands up for her dignity and rights after reading my work, then I will have done my job.
If you’d like to work with me, there are a few things you might want to know:
- I do not subscribe to any one religion or culture
- I am a proponent of global entrepreneurship
- I am not afraid to speak truth to power
- I will not be censored
I only work with those who align with my principles:
“I hope my achievements in life shall be these: that I will have fought for what was right and fair, that I will have risked for that which mattered, that I will have given help to those who were in need, that I will have left the earth a better place for what I’ve done and who I’ve been.”
by Carl Thomas Hoppe
Stay in touch.