PlayLikeAGirl_coverI first heard of Kibera Girls Soccer Academy (KGSA) in 2010. Little did I know that I would carry the story in my head and heart for the next seven years.

KGSA is a free girls’ secondary school in the Nairobi slum of Kibera. The KGSA story interested me as a woman, writer, teacher, and coach. It was also timely. The facts tell us that educating girls is both the right thing and the smart thing to do. Children are twice as likely to survive when their mothers are literate. A country’s GDP rises as girls’ attendance in school increases. There is not one answer to how the world’s children should be educated, but I knew that the KGSA story was part of the conversation. I was hooked.

When the folks at KGSA invited me to come and help write their story, my seemingly discontinuous life suddenly made sense. Getting girls in extreme poverty more access to excellent education is worthy work. I had a skill in writing that I could offer, a love of women, sports and education that fit the bill, and the luxury of time to travel, research, and create.

I went to KGSA in 2012. I went back in 2013. I wrote and re-wrote. Pitched and pitched again. Got a great agent and a fantastic press who clearly see the truth and urgency of the KGSA story. Now, I’m thrilled to announce that Play Like a Girl is coming soon. The beautiful cover only begins to do justice to the beauty of spirit alive in the girls of KGSA who claim their own futures through the power of soccer and education. As book release details become public, I will share them here.

It has been a long and fulfilling journey as a human and a writer. Whenever I got tired or disheartened, I pulled out audio of interviews I did in Kibera. I heard the unwavering voices of these girls, filled with hope and determination. They carried me.