Thabiso Mahlape is the founder of Blackbird Books in South Africa, an independent publishing house that is dedicated to giving young black writers a platform (www.blackbirdbooks.africa). She holds a bachelor of information science degree specialising in publishing from the University of Pretoria. In between juggling submissions, proofs and sales, Mahlape is a columnist: she writes regularly for the Sowetan newspaper and has contributed to magazines such a Destiny and VISI. As a writer and a speaker, her focus is largely on self-development, body politics and what it means to be a black woman in South Africa. She is part of the Mail & Guardian Top 200 in 2017 and OkayAfrica Top 100 Women in 2020, and was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for her work by the Premier of Gauteng, David Makhura.