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Trang Read by Geetha Murali

Trang grew up in a remote area of Vietnam and felt very lonely, until she met Bim Bim the duck. By teaching herself to make funny videos with her favorite animal friends and sharing them with the world, Trang has become a global sensation.

This podcast is a production of Rebel Girls. It’s based on the book series Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls. This story was produced and directed by Joy Smith, with sound design and mixing by Reel audiobooks. It was written by Room to Read and edited by Abby Sher. Narration by the CEO of Room to Read, Geetha Murali. Original theme music was composed and performed by Elettra Bargiacchi. Thank you to the whole Rebel Girls team who make this podcast possible. Stay rebel!

Transcript

There once was a young girl named Trang who was having a picnic with her best friend, Bim Bim. 

Would you like to go for a swim? Trang asked.

Quack quack! Answered Bim Bim. Because he was a duck! 

As Trang and Bim Bim jumped in the water and started splashing around, it was clear to everyone that they loved each other dearly. And their friendship would soon inspire people all over the world.

I’m Geetha Murali. And this is Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls.

A fairy tale podcast about the rebel women who inspire us.

On this episode, Trang, an animal lover, young entrepreneur and media mogul.

Trang lived with her family in the countryside of Vietnam along the Mekong Delta. Their home was a small thatched hut that flooded. To get anywhere they had to travel by boat. Her parents were both farmers and the family was very poor, with barely enough to eat.Growing up, Trang didn’t have many friends, and she often felt alone. But she did have a very special bond with animals — especially with one duck named Bim Bim. He was a little white duck who paddled a lot in the water all by himself. The rest of the ducks had shiny black feathers and did not accept him into their group. Bim Bim must be lonely, thought Trang, just like me. So Trang started taking Bim Bim everywhere she went.
One day, Trang and her mother loaded up their boat with sweet cakes and set off to sell them at the market across the river. But it had rained so much before their trip that her mother slipped and all the cakes tumbled into the water. Her mother was very upset. They had nothing left to sell and wouldn’t have enough money to buy food for themselves. That night, Trang and her family had to ask the neighbors for food. 

Trang felt discouraged. How could she help her parents earn money? As she sat and thought, she made a promise to herself that she would find a way to make a better life for her family. And that family included Bim Bim.

Trang had heard about YouTube. She sometimes watched certain channels and saw people making fun videos. She dreamed of becoming an actor. What if she started her own YouTube channel and introduced the world to her town and her best friend Bim Bim? Maybe people would enjoy their unique friendship and the funny things they did together. Maybe she could even make some money with her channel to help out her family!
When she was sixteen years old, Trang launched her first channel. It was intended to make people laugh and feel happy. She called it “Bim Bim the Duck.”
Starting a YouTube channel from the middle of a very remote village on the water is not the easiest thing to do though. Trang had a lot of problems getting her technology to cooperate. First of all, the only equipment she had was an old cell phone her brother had given her when he went to work in the city. She tried taking videos of Bim Bim, but she had all sorts of issues and the phone kept breaking. 

When she did manage to get her videos completed and posted on YouTube, they sometimes didn’t get a single view! It was very frustrating, but Trang kept at it. She saved up to buy a new phone. Then she tried different filming techniques. Something had to work! She posted Bim Bim’s birthday party, Bim Bim learning to cook, even Bim Bim dancing. 

And slowly – one viewer at a time — she started getting a following.

Every time Trang got new likes and comments from her fans, she felt a shiver of excitement. People were really enjoying her videos! Soon, they were being shared and reposted. Her audience got bigger and bigger. One day, she was amazed to hear that she was getting the Silver Button Award from YouTube for having over 100,000 followers!

“I never thought I could go that far,” Trang says. “I do not have any assistant, I do not have high quality equipment and I am totally not good at solving technical problems. However, I have learnt by myself.”

Today, Trang has more than 500,000 YouTube followers and almost 2 million TikTok followers. And these numbers keep growing.

More importantly, Trang went from feeling totally alone to connecting with people all over the world. In the face of hunger and self-doubt, she found strength and creativity inside herself. She recognized the beauty in her special friendship with Bim Bim and by sharing it with everyone, she dared to dream big. 

Let her success inspire us Rebels! Think beyond what feels possible. And celebrate the friendships and connections that mean the most to you.

This podcast is a production of Rebel Girls. It’s based on the book series Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls.

This episode was narrated by ME, Dr. Geetha Murali, CEO of Room to Read, a nonprofit that helps girls like Trang learn the skills they need to stay in school and make key life decisions. Learn more about Room to Read and Trang at www.roomtoread.org!

This episode was produced and directed by Joy Smith, with sound design and mixing by Reel Audiobooks. It was written by Room to Read and edited by Abby Sher [shur]. The executive producers were Joy Smith and Jes Wolfe.

Original theme music was composed and performed by Elettra Bargiacchi.

A special thanks to the whole Rebel Girls team, who make this podcast possible!

Until next time, staaaay rebel!