Frederika Menezes needs no introduction.
She is a Goan author, poet and artist. She is famous in the literary circles for her book, Unforgotten (which was a love story for young adults, published in 2014). A poem of hers, The Different Normals, features in the Class X English textbook of the Goa Board of Secondary & Higher Secondary Education (GBSHSE).
Oh! A minor detail about her life also includes her diagnosis of cerebral palsy as a 1-year old…
What an absolute honor and pleasure to speak to this remarkable lady. She was kind enough to answer some of our questions.
We speak to Goans as part of our Humans of Goa series. But, today we did an exception and are speaking to Frederika as part of our Superhumans of Goa series.
Let’s get started.
Tell us about yourself…
My name is Frederika Menezes. My loved ones call me, “Frederika”, but I do have other pet names depending on the levels of affection loved ones have for me.
My Instagram handle is @fredefikamenezes
You can read my blog here. I live at Campal, Panjim.
If anyone were to ask you, “What do you do for a living, then what would you say?”
I dabble in the arts.
What was that one moment when you decided, “That’s it! I want to become an artist or an author”
It was when I did my first painting on my PC using the Paint App.
Can you write a short paragraph on the topic, “Life”!
Life is a challenge thrown our way by the roll of a dice. Some are given a silver or even a gold
Pathways so they just glide along taking all if if for granted. Life is a gift.
Life is priceless, unique and most certainly not to be taken for granted.
A bit about your role models or inspiration. People you look up to when creating content?
No one is perfect. I draw inspiration from life.
Any inspirational moment you remember in your life that changed everything…
Yes. I must’ve been eight years old when my mum said to me one day, “You’re intelligent, you’re beautiful. Forget the rest.” That was the moment that changed everything!
What was the biggest challenge when pursuing this as a fulltime career? And how did you overcome it?
I guess every career has its challenges. You just push optimistically until you reach the goal.
Any memories as a kid you’d like to share? Something that helped shape you as a person?
I had a happy childhood but sometimes I’d be by myself. During those times I’d play innovative simple games that I realize now were a reflection of the person I wanted to become
Who is the one person you’d like to meet from the past (personal or celebrity)? And what would you ask him/her?
I’d have loved to meet the wonderful writers such as the Bronte sisters, Charles Dickens, Jane Austin, JRR Tolkien…the list goes on.
I’d simply and earnestly thank them for their gift of amazing literary work. It’s so inspiring and entertaining.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?
“Frederika, smile because only when you smile, can you beat the odds.”
What role did family and friends play? Any quick incident you remember when family or friends helped you overcome a hurdle or challenge in life?
My family and friends have mostly been supportive of me in whatever I did and do, they still are.
What were people’s feedback (negative and positive), and who stood by you the most?
When people would see me, they would often go “Aww poor you!”. Some still do.
When that happened, mum would always talk to me and re-evaluate their reaction. Now, I do it myself!
What is the legacy you want to leave behind? And for whom?
The belief that everything is possible if you commit yourself positively to the challenges in life. This is my legacy to those who dare to dream big.
You can catch a snippet of this conversation on ItsGoa‘s Instagram page. Humans of Goa is our original and official series that shares stories from the lives of Goans. ‘Humans of Goa’ celebrates the spirit of every Goan.
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