Mirabelle Ogochukwu Morah is the founder of Blankpaperz, a literary platform for young African writers.
As a teenager, Mirabel had read Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Adichie and she was struck by how the writer could capture societal issues in words. So, being a writer, Mirabel decided to start her website just to put up her stories.
Soon, she got all her friends, who are writers to publish their stories on her platform and advocate for societal change through them.
Since its inception, over 100 people from over 12 countries have published on Blankpaperz, with 33, 000 online viewership.
Mirabel hosts events and programs to promote literacy, local leadership and support other social causes. In partnership with other organisations, Mirabel also gives out books to promote education.
Mirabel wouldn’t have believed that she could build a community so strong as Blankpaperz but for the books, she read growing up.
“..the books I read opened my mind up to the possibilities inside of me. they made me much more confident in myself,” she said.
However, the teenager battled with some feelings of inadequacies before doing it afraid with her platform
“There was always this fear, ‘if I try this, it might fail. What if I’m not good enough? But then, the whole thing was just try. Just be a voice for someone who is voiceless. In as much as you are afraid, you can always overcome the fear,” she said.
Watch her speak here