Monique Strydom is known as one of the 21 hostages who was held hostage by Abu Sayyaf rebels for 127 days in the jungle on the Philippine island of Jolo in 2000. Their group was in the hands of murderous terrorists, under continuous attack by the military, had to run for their lives through unforgiving territory, had very little food and water and were subject to many other dangers. The fact that not one of the hostages was killed is seen as a miracle.
For Monique, her experience on Jolo was an extraordinary, life-changing one. Together with her husband, Callie, she made a decision to stay positive and draw lessons from her adversity. On her return Monique decided to dedicate her life to the people of South Africa, to thank South Africans for their support and love and as a way of returning this kindness. She closed down her own business and set up the Callie and Monique Charity Trust and in 2002, Matla a Bana (A voice against child abuse). During the last 10 years she has become known as a philanthropist who has helped thousands of people in need.
Monique is the recipient of the numerous awards including the prestigious Newsmaker of the Year Award and The White Ribbon Award. She recently received the Paul Harris Award for her charity work. She has been nominated as one of the Greatest Women of the Century by the American Biographical Institute.
The National Geographic Channel recently made a documentary about their ordeal and this is currently on air world wide.
Their book, “Shooting the Moon”, is a best seller. Monique Strydom has hosted various TV and is one of South Africa’s top celebrity speakers. She has shared her story with millions of people across the world during.
Afraid of travel she is not! She spent the last year as the co-host of the popular radio travel program “Tasse en Matrasse met Ingrid & Monique”