Johanne Rannoojee: Writer of Beautiful Stories

Date: October 9, 2019
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Johanne Rannoojee is a young woman who has dared to step out and raise her voice and her pen to bring a change in society. A political enthusiast, a creative writer, an artist, a community leader, a knowledge-seeker and an activist, this young woman cherishes many dreams and has many ambitions. She graduated from Pune University with a degree in Political Science in 2017 and has embarked on a journey to empower those who are the most vulnerable. She believes in inclusive education, gender equality and an eco-friendly lifestyle. She handles an online community, the Afrindian, where she shares her ideas and opinions on key local and global issues.

Johanne became exposed to social injustice, racism and rejection when she was very young. She used to visit her grandparents who live in Barkly, a place which the media dehumanised and rendered into a decadent space. Yet Barkly is not just a “deprived” area which is plagued by drug abuse, violence and poverty.

For Johanne, Barkly is so much more than what the media portrays. The region exudes a warmth which she could feel as she talked to the inhabitants living there. She spent much of her teenage years exploring Barkly and discovering the beauty of its streets. She has participated in many social and community activities in Barkly. Inspired by her elders, she gives a helping hand at the Centre of Learning as an English teacher for both children and adults. She also volunteers as a dance teacher and teaches ballet to children aged between four to sixteen years old.

As she dances through an unjust world, she lifts those who are the most vulnerable to join her in her dance and helps them flourish into beautiful trees. Her pen is her biggest weapon in denouncing social injustice and she lends this pen to other young children so that they can write their own stories: “My purpose is not to tell the stories of people who do not have a voice but instead to remind them that they do have one and humbly empower them so that they make their own voices heard.”

Johanne is also a member of the Kolektif Rivier Nwar and has been involved in promoting Women Entrepreneurs through the ‘Koze Fam Rivier Nwar’ Campaign (March 2018).

This ambitious woman is a member of the LEO Club member for more than 10 years now. LEO is a youth-led service programme that falls under the Lions Club International (LCI) and which seeks to build better, cleaner and safer communities. She recently participated in a Beach Clean-up at La Cambuse which was held on the occasion of International LEO Day and Earth Day 2019.

For Johanne, these small steps matter in bringing community advancement and positive change. This writer has, with her young hands, created a garden infused with warmth, love and the sound of music.

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