"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris ... then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast." Ernest Hemingway

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Michelle Wallace's UBUNTU bloghop. An excerpt from Malala Yousafzai's address to the UN on her 16th birthday.

Hello my friends!

Today I'm participating in The Ubuntu Bloghop.

What's that you ask?

Read the description from host, Michelle Wallace from Writer in Transit. Let's help Michelle celebrate 3 years of blogging by joining her in this fascinating bloghop. Hop around and read as many entries as you can -I'm sure you will be inspired.

What is ubuntu? "In Africa, there is a concept known as UBUNTU – the profound sense that we are human only through the humanity of others; that if we are to accomplish anything in this world, it will in equal measure be due to the work and achievement of others." – Nelson Mandela.
So in the spirit of ubuntu, I invite you to join me in celebrating my 3rd blogoversary!
Date – 18th to 21st February. I've allowed 4 days to make it easier for you guys, since some people only post once a week… save the date that coincides with your blogging schedule!
What can you contribute?
Any form of creativity that captures the spirit of ubuntu is welcome!
~ You can write a poem.
~ Or design some artwork – an illustration, drawing, a photo (or even a series of pictures that tell a story)
~ Write flash fiction.
~ Or non-fiction (a personal story or one that you've seen on TV/in a newspaper/magazine)
~ A short inspirational piece/quote (if you're pressed for time, but REALLY want to participate…)
~ Or simply your thoughts/reflections/hopes with regards to an ubuntu-filled existence…
Here is my entry...
Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban, has told the UN that books and pens scare extremists, as she urged education for all. Malala has been credited with bringing the issue of women's education to global attention. A quarter of young women around the world have not completed primary school. As a teacher, this resonates with me. Education is power.
Here is an excerpt from Malala's speech to the UN...(addressing the UN at sixteen years of age - what an achievement!)
"The terrorists thought that they would change my aims and stop my ambitions," she said, "but nothing changed in my life, except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born."
She continued: "I want education for the sons and daughters of the Taliban and all the terrorists and extremists."
"The extremists were, and they are, afraid of books and pens," added Malala, who was wearing a pink shawl that belonged to assassinated Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto. "They are afraid of women."
She called on politicians to take urgent action to ensure every child has the right to go to school.

"Let us pick up our books and pens," Malala summed up. "They are our most powerful weapons.
"One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education first."

Another point of view regarding Pakistan is found in the novel, The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Moshin Hamid. (I'm currently studying this novel with a student.) I have linked to the read free online version. Some of you may have seen the film.
Thanks for coming by today. I hope you, also, are inspired by Malala.


  1. Superb choice and excellent excerpt! The bravery of some is outstanding, especially as their bravery is thankfully infectious. X


  2. Wow. What a courageous young woman! We really have no idea what people in other areas of the world go through. We take so many things for granted.

  3. What a wonderful excerpt. After reading this post I am quite intrigued by ubuntu!!

  4. Stephanie is so right, we take so much for granted. A very brave young woman.

  5. Excellent contribution to the blogfest! One person can change the world.

  6. Wow, I have the chills from reading this. Thank you for spreading the inspiration, Denise.

    Visiting blog-hoppers, and I'm sorry I don't stop by here more often.
    Be well.

  7. It's hard to believe that at only sixteen, Malala conveys so much strength and wisdom. I've read about her courageous plight before, and she is a shining example of the message of Ubuntu.


  8. Thank you for the inspiration; for reminding me that we can make a difference, no matter who we are, how old we are and what adversity we face.

  9. I was thrilled when one of my students recently chose to do a speech for a competition on Malala's courage and hope and dreams. We'd discussed the situation in class and it had touched her deeply. Malala is a true inspiration for all. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Thank you for this inspirational post. I first heard about 'ubuntu' when we lived in Kenya and came to appreciate its importance to all of us. When the poorest of the poor understand their actions make a difference, those who have more have no excuses.

    Malala is amazing, a beacon of courage, determination, and wisdom that you so eloquently wrote about.

  11. What an amazing girl! I hadn't ever heard of her before this, so thanks for sharing.

  12. Hi Denise - having seen so much about Malala after she was brought here for her operations .. she continues to inspire: let alone challenge us to be doing more .. I'm glad I posted about her as I like to have those references to check up on ...

    This is a great post - and I missed the Reluctant Fundamentalist - so thanks for bringing the film and book to my attention .. Hilary

  13. Inspiring indeed, Denise. Here's hoping that her dreams become reality.

  14. Amazing words from a 16 year old. They didn't break her, they made her stronger.

  15. Malala is an amazing young woman. Just amazing. What an inspiration!
    (Denise, a thought just popped into my mind... I've just started the speech with my class, we're busy with the format etc.
    I'm going to share Malala's speech with them... give each learner a copy...)
    In the words of Mandela: "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."
    Thanks for the online link to The Reluctant Fundamentalist. I've been wanting to get my hands on the book.
    Denise, thank you for reaching out across cyberspace to join in the spirit of Ubuntu!

  16. What a strong entry Dennis. Thank yu for comin over to my blog...As a South Africa I truly am enjoying reading the international take on this Ubuntu Hop.....
    Oh and before i go...would you and your readers consider joining my hop here,
    No need to do anything other than a little post on the day.....I would really appreciate your participation.:
    Wendy @ Join This Hop

  17. Malala is truly a symbol for many young women in this part of the world, Denise. If we all stood up together with her and fought against the injustice and terror, what a different world this would be.
    Visiting you from the Ubuntu Blog Hop.

  18. HI, Denise,

    Fantastic. What a woman! Education is the key! Well said. Terrific entry, Denise!

  19. Wonderful addition to this hop! Thank you for sharing Malala's speech with us!

  20. This was awesome on so many levels! The courage of one person can inspire a nation to change--an amazing feat!
    Ubuntu Spirit of the Blue Swallow


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