We had the good fortune of connecting with Gulmakai Saleh and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gulmakai, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I would always think, risk is something that is in the unknown. Whenever there is something in the unknown fear comes in. That fear comes in because one has never tried it. So, I thought why not take a small risk and see how it will go. Therefore I wrote my first book not really making a big commotion about it. Then I notice it wasn’t so bad, let me try a second time. During my second book, I made a big commotion. I continued to my third and fourth books. It is all about one’s mindset that puts us in fear of taking risks. Since I played around with a small risk I learned a lot and improved when I took I bigger risk.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My life’s journey has been a great learning experience and has inspired me to help others. As a child, I have lived through many hardships in life. As an Afghan refugee child in America, I was bullied at school because I was of a different faith. In my early years of schooling I had difficulty learning because neither my teachers nor my parents understood my learning style, nor did I, until years later. As an introvert, I found it challenging to communicate my thoughts in spoken or written words. I overcame my challenges and pain to become the voice for children who need good role models and mentors in their lives. It is through my work as a write, speaker, and illustrator I promote goodness with children because they are the future of the world.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
First, I have to see what are the interest of my friend. I can take her where I would like to go and eat but will she enjoy it? I have to follow what I preach, the Golden Rule, treat her like I want to be treated. One way I do like to be treated is for people to understand me. So, if I understand my friend then I will take her according to places that we will both enjoy. Some of the places I would enjoy are historical places, nature, and having brunch at a local cafe.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to give a shoutout to one of my previous employer, Dr. Amna. She was the school principal at the school I work at. She gave me the opportunity to embrace my creative side with the students. That gave me a better understanding of how reading books had a positive effect on the students. Dr. Amna never said no to me whenever I would come up with a creative project to do with the students. The students loved it, I loved it, and so did the parents loved it.