Meet the Homegirl: Editor-in-Chief of BlankPaperz, Global Teen Leader
Words by Malavika Kannan
In Mirabelle Morah’s home country of Nigeria, 10.5 million children don’t attend school. Growing up in the University of Calabar, Mirabelle believed passionately that nobody should ever be kept from pursuing their dreams. Because to her, education was the key to empowerment of the mind, fueling dreams and ideas, and driving youth to change the world.
That’s why Mirabelle founded BlankPaperz, an influential platform that supports and encourages young writers across Africa to use their words and stories to address social issues. She believes that every voice raised against inequality chips away at its power, and she can’t afford to stay silent.
When she first started BlankPaperz, it was just a girl with a laptop, aiming to create a space for her friends to publish their stories. But in the face of issues that felt 10.5 million times stronger than her, Mirabelle knew she couldn’t be silent. She started expanding her project--and she hasn’t stopped since.
Since its inception in 2016, BlankPaperz has provided a digital stomping ground for over 120 up-and-coming writers from all over the world, logging close to 400 online submissions. In an age where youth voices are becoming increasingly important, Mirabelle aspires to continue growing the project in order to give more and more youth a voice.
Mirabelle doesn’t care about being the most popular voice, or even the loudest voice. But she does believe that in the face of hatred, inequality, and disparity, BlankPaperz can be the voice of the voiceless, giving hope to the hopeless.
Her work has received wide recognition; Mirabelle was honored as a 2018 Global Teen Leader and an Ashoka Africa Youth Champion, among other titles. As her momentum builds, Mirabelle looks towards the future that she's always envisioned: one where women are humans, where African youth are empowered, and every child can go to school.
BlankPaperz continues to grow, and Mirabelle’s latest step has been to organize writing workshops for teens, bloggers, and writers. Mirabelle hopes that her success can show other young people that their dreams are valid, creating a powerful support system for youth with dreams.
Because Mirabelle knows that when you help one youth, you're starting a movement. And sooner or later, that movement becomes reality.