Interview: Samantha Babooram
We're excited to introduce our first interview guest for November.
Introducing Samantha Babooram a singer songwriter, Disney Princess and author of Born to be Awesome - the self worth, wellness and kindness revolution for the next generation. She is an overcomer and is on a mission to empower and encourage kids to conquer low self-esteem, to know that their true identity is to be awesome and do awesome things.
Tell us about yourself and your journey to being the person you are today?
I’m from a small town up north, called Darlington. I’m half Mauritian and half Scottish, or chocolate and milk as I like to call it! I had the best childhood anyone could wish for, except when it came to school. I absolutely hated it!
Being one of the only 3 non white kids in my entire school, I was very aware I was different. I was known as the fat, ugly, geek, and was painfully shy with hardly any friends. I had some extremely strict, overbearing, perfectionist type teachers too, who basically taught me it was weak, and wrong to express emotions, and that I had to be perfect all the time. I had stomach migraines at age 7, from the stress and anxiety of being in school. It really affected me in a negative way and by the time I was 13, all of these factors manifested in me developing anorexia.
My whole school and college life was awful, and I was constantly told I wasn’t good enough, strong enough, or thin/pretty enough to get the things I dreamed of. So that definitely didn’t help my self hate anorexia cloud! I struggled with it from the ages of 13-22, my entire teenage life. I did ridiculous things to my body and mistreated it so badly, I just hated myself so much. I absolutely despised everything about myself and felt so unworthy and undeserving of anything good, kind, or of love. My own reflection made me want to vomit, and my self hate totally encompassed my life.
When I was 19, one of my friends was tragically killed in a car accident, and it really made me re-evaluate my life , and how I was wasting it, living in this self hate anorexia fog. I decided to see a counsellor and that opened up my eyes as to how if I wanted to get better and live life,
"It was up to ME to see myself differently."
At 20 I moved down to London to follow my singer songwriter world changing dreams, and I remember New years eve 2006 having this epiphany, that if I actually really wanted to pursue my dreams, I had to get better. I knew my dreams were way bigger and way more important than being a size 6, and that I had to draw a line over my anorexia once and for all. I woke up January 1st 2007, ready to fight it and overcome it, so I started the slow, hard, and lonely journey to recovery!
That was the only good thing to happen that year, as in the 8 months that followed I lost 3 members of my family, including my dad who was my absolute world. I was a complete daddy’s girl and his death was totally out of the blue, and my entire world fell apart. I fell apart. I remember just being so overcome with pain, and feeling so lost, broken, numb, lonely and hopeless, and thinking to myself how I never ever wanted anyone to feel the way that I felt, and that I would dedicate my life to helping prevent anyone from feeling that way.
Over the years, this became my “Why”. It became the reason I developed a heart for the broken and vulnerable, the reason I created opportunities to speak love, life and kindness over anyone I encountered. It was why I volunteered with charities working with people recovering from eating disorders, survivors of domestic abuse, sex trafficking and war crimes-both here and overseas. It was why I wrote the songs I wrote, got up at 5am every Sunday to serve at my local kids church, why I started to work in education, everything. I never wanted anyone to feel that pain, or that self hate that I’d felt, but I wanted them to feel and experience the beautiful life changing freedom that I had found in learning to accept and love myself, and deciding what I would let define me.
I see you’ve just published your first book “Born to be Awesome” (congratulations). Tell us more… what is it about and what inspired you to write this book?
So I wrote this book whilst working in a primary school. I was surrounded by these incredible kids, but I could see they had such low self esteem, were overcome with worry and anxiety, feeling things they didn’t know how to express, and they weren’t often encouraged to see past their surroundings, they didn’t know how to dream you know.
One term my school did a topic on identity, and I told my teacher I had some ideas I could do to help. She told me to go for it, so I did, and I remember in of one of the sessions I was discussing/looking at the labels people had put on us. I asked the kids (who were 6 years old) to write down the negative things that people had said to them (so we could rip them up and throw them away later), and I saw one of the little boys. His list had the words “Ugly, Stupid, Boring, Weird, No one likes me” written on it. I asked him who had said those things to him, and he told me that that was what he said to himself. I almost cried. The rest of the class then went out to play and left their papers on the floor. I remember walking around, and was surrounded by this paper sea of self hate from 6 year olds. Everywhere I looked there were things like “Fat, Dumb, Geek, I’m not as smart, cool or pretty as my friend, I never do anything right, I’m not good enough”, and honestly my heart just wept. I could not believe that my beautiful class of 6 year olds thought these things about themselves, or had these things spoken over them, and I just got really angry and was like “No! I’m not letting this happen! There is no way I’m gonna let these kids, or any kid, grow up thinking like this, and believing these lies. Not on my watch!” and so yeah, that’s how it came about.
I wanted to create something that would help children realise their value, boost their self esteem and confidence, help them celebrate others and not compare. Something that gave them the skills to express their emotions in a healthy way, to think positively and reduce worry and stress, to persevere, live boldly, dream big, be kind and speak life over others. I wanted to teach them all the things I wish I’d learned when I was younger, all the things I know all the incredible survivors I’d worked with over the years wished they’d been taught too. I wanted to set kids up to win. For them to know that whatever people, or the world may say about them- they were born to be awesome and do awesome things.
What are you aiming to achieve through the “Born to be Awesome” revolution?
My hope is that it starts a worldwide self worth, wellness and kindness revolution. That it creates a generation that love and accept themselves and live and walk boldly in that freedom, to all that they have been called to do and dream of doing.
"To create a generation that cares for others, that believes in themselves, a generation that doesn’t give up and a generation free from worry and anxiety."
I’m also hoping that the adults get in on it too though! That’s why each chapter of my book has messages and challenges to them, it’s hard to teach self worth and self care if you don’t understand it yourself right? So my hope is that by the end of the book, not only are the children inspired, more happy and confident, but so are the adults!
What advice would you give to people that wish to follow in your footsteps whether to write a book or as a singer/songwriter?
Oh gosh I have so much advice haha! Making the most of every opportunity that comes your way (however small), being 10% braver and just going for it, never giving up, remembering your “why” or reason for doing it. And just believing in yourself, is probably the best advice that I can give. Dreams don’t just come true for the most connected and talented people, they come true for those that work hard, take risks, persevere and stick around. So yeah, never stop pursuing the thing that makes you feel most alive.
Who or what are your biggest inspirations and why?
My biggest inspirations are God and people. People are the reason I want to make the world better, and God is the one that shows me how to do it.
Finally to you - What is real? What is authentic? and What is winning?
Ooh tough question lol! Being honest and true to yourself, and being who you are, no matter the situation or surroundings is real and authentic to me. Winning-is achieving all God’s called me to do, and leaving the world better than I found it.
Continue to follow Samantha's journey by following her and Born to Awesome on
Stayed connected via her Linktree