Manal Younus has been writing for as long as she can remember. Since childhood, she’s written short stories and songs, made plans to be a rapper, and studied journalism at university.
The search for an opportunity to tell stories is a recurring theme in her life. At the age of 15, she discovered spoken word performance and was captivated by the power of that form of communication. She began competing in poetry slams, making the national finals of the Australian Poetry Slam competition in 2013.
Manal no longer competes, focussing her energy on writing, speaking and performing to empower minority groups in the community. She’s appeared as a panellist on ABC TV’s Q and A, performed at the Sydney Opera House, and been a finalist in both the Young South Australian of the Year and the Governor’s Multicutural Award.
With theatre company Act Now Theatre, Manal raises awareness about racism among high school students, something she has personal experience with as a Muslim woman who came from Eritrea to Australia at the age of three. As well as offering practical approaches for dealing with racism through drama, Manal works with culturally diverse communities to develop leadership and public speaking skills.
One of her many current projects is Soul Lounge, a monthly poetry and open mic night she founded with the support of the South Australian Writers Centre. She also volunteers for a range of organisations devoted to building resilience and education to minority groups, and writes for Salt, the African-Australian magazine. Last year she released her first book of poetry, ‘Reap’.
Manal is excited about having a platform as big as TEDx Adelaide: Metamorphosis, which allows her to be herself and speak freely. Her talk, ‘The Myth of One Nation’, refers to the concept of a uniform identity rather than the political party, and she plans to challenge the idea of an Australian way that all must conform to.
Tickets are selling fast – buy your ticket to see Manal at TEDxAdelaide before they sell out.