From Sierra Leone to the Stage: Michaela DePrince’s Cinderella Story


Our issue 36 cover star may have triumphed over adversity but her story is no fairytale.

The story of Michaela DePrince reads something like that of a 21st century Cinderella. Born into the bloodbath that was Sierra Leone, in the midst of a civil war, she would lose both parents at age three and soon after, find herself abandoned in an orphanage, clutching tightly to a tattered picture of a ballerina–and a dream that would take her from the horrors of her early childhood to centre-stage at the Dutch National Ballet. But let’s get one thing straight. This is no fairytale.

Our latest cover star is proof that a dream (and the hard work you invest in achieving it) can take you to the highest of heights, even if you’ve come from the lowest of lows. Issue 36 is overflowing with inspirational stories of achievement – from the Australian Paralympian athletes breaking barriers in all areas of sport to the British-Muslim fashion designer Hana Tajima who’s proved the power of collaboration with her explosively popular modest wear range for fashion giant Uniqlo.

Use the amazing achievements of others as inspiration and pick up our new issue, on stands today.

Read our interview with Michaela in Issue 36 and watch her inspiring TED talk below.