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Mpowered. By women, for women: Christabelle Borg

Mpowered. By women, for women: Christabelle Borg

Meet Christabelle Borg – our second Mpowered Guest.

Christabelle Borg is a well-known public figure in Malta. Starting her life in the public eye by hosting TV shows, her popularity sky-rocketed when she won the Eurovision Song Content in 2018 with the song titled ‘Taboo’.

A mental health ambassador, a 29-year-old CEO for family-business VMC, and recently landing an interview with Forbes magazine about her entrepreneurial work, Christabelle sat down with Trudy Kerr in our recent Mpowered podcast. Scroll down to listen to the full podcast.

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 Christabelle explains that her parents have been her backbone throughout.

‘My mother always supported my dreams and what I wanted to do in life. She took me everywhere that I wanted to go, let me experience everything in life, be it travelling and studying abroad. When an opportunity came along, my parents never hesitated to bend over backwards for me. Sometimes, they made choices that I didn’t quite understand such as when they didn’t want me to stay in the States at 13 years old. Of course, now I’m older and wiser and it was the right decision for me at the time’.

 Press play to listen to the full podcast.

Seeing her parents work tirelessly, day in day out, has made Christabelle who she is today. Christabelle claims that she got her work ethic from her father. Her father worked very hard while her mother did a brilliant job raising her and her sister.

Moving on to the subject of mental health, it was with her Eurovision song ‘Taboo’ that Christabelle first opened up about her struggles with anxiety. She wanted to send out a message to everyone who was struggling to seek professional help.

‘I wrote the song together with Muxu. I remember we sat across a table and I told him that I wanted to write a song about mental health.

We both told each other stories about our struggles with mental health issues. Muxu asked me if I wanted the song to tell my story or simply to have an empowering message. I believe that by telling my story, I have empowered so many people to speak up about issues that seemed like a taboo in the past’.

After her Eurovision experience, people started reaching out to Christabelle to tell her about their own stories and struggles with mental health.

‘I didn’t think I would get the response that I got. I was answering people, day and night, because I felt that people shouldn’t feel alone. I felt responsible. I had to put a stop to it because it was taking its own toll on my mental health’.

When the President, at the time, appointed Christabelle as the official Ambassador for Mental Health, not all the responses from the public were positive. Some people expressed their feelings that Christabelle simply sung a song for the Eurovision and that she was not the right candidate for the job.

‘I had a psychotherapist who helped me through it all. I was very privileged to be offered the role because I believe that I opened up a lot of discussions when it comes to mental health. I didn’t do anything for publicity but only to help people who are struggling’.

Speaking about the time when she was experiencing a long-distance marriage with her husband, Christabelle explains that the only thing that kept her going was her work.

‘I gave all my energy and everything into my job and I managed to achieve a lot of things that were on my bucket list. I think that the love we had for each other kept us going. It wasn’t an easy thing to go through, but we succeeded. We now have a business together and married life is fantastic!’.

Christabelle is the CEO in a family-run industrial company. The industry sometimes makes her feel like she’s a woman in a man’s world, but it only drives her to work harder every day.

‘My father started the construction company two weeks before I was born. Sometimes he expressed his disappointment that he didn’t have any sons as he thought we won’t take over the business. When I told my father that I had handed in my notice and I wanted to help him diversify his company, he burst out crying. The business is, honestly, the complete opposite to what I was expecting, and construction is now my favourite area!’.

Ending the podcast on a note that emphasises mental health, Christabelle claims that she has worked so hard to be in a good place that she has no time for negativity.

‘If I don’t see that a relationship (be it friends, family, employees) is going to work out or that it is putting me in a negative headspace, I will simply not do it anymore. That’s that’.

Thank you for chatting with us, Christabelle. It was, indeed, our pleasure and honour to have you on our podcast.

 

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