Onjali was born in Newcastle and raised in London, where she continues to reside. Following studies in English Literature and Women’s Studies at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and Oxford University respectively, Onjali worked as an Assistant Editor for emel magazine; was the Campaigns Manager for Women for Women International UK, and currently works on behalf of a number of regional and international human rights charities and research bodies.
She is also Founder and CEO of Making Herstory: a self-styled human rights organisation working in partnership with other movements to end the abuse, trafficking and enslavement of women and girls worldwide. Delivered in her spare time, she provides emergency aid to women’s shelters, supports anti-trafficking campaigns and mobilises “ordinary” people to take action against misogyny and gender-related violence. Through Making Herstory’s arms of works, she is also currently producing docu-film Rising Silence: a testimonial film chartering the impact of sexual violence strategically used in the 1971 Bangladesh War for Independence, which resulted in the rapes of over 200,000 women.
She was shortlisted for the Care2Impact award in April 2014, and the Emma Humphreys Award in October 2014 for her works in the women’s rights sector.
Onjali’s first novel, The Boy at the Back of the Class, is aimed at middle-graders and it portrays the refugee crisis through the eyes of a child in a warm, funny and moving way. It will be published by Orion Children’s Books in Summer 2018.