de Villiers


Founder & CEO

If you are reading this right now, I believe our paths were destined to cross. 

If we already know each other - hello again. If not, it's a pleasure to meet you. 😃

I am the person behind ROAR!

A few years ago, I had a successful corporate career, as a female executive in a Big Four consulting firm. However, my success came at an enormous price. I was bullied by my boss and on the brink of a nervous breakdown - mentally and physically exhausted. My relationships with the people closest to me were suffering. It all came to a head one dreadful day in the boardroom when he demoted me, with no prior warning, in front of my team. That was the final straw; I quit. Somehow, I believed that I was the problem. I worked harder and harder to prove myself. In the process of being bullied, I started bullying myself.

How my past influenced my present

I didn't realise how something traumatic that happened to me when I was very young - I thought I was over it - would happen to me again as a woman in the workplace. When I was eight years old, I was sexually abused by a neighbour - he could've been my grandfather. I was twelve when I understood it for the first time. I realised it was wrong and I exposed him - my very first ROAR! However, I believed it was all my fault, and my shadow of shame and guilt - my inner bully - was firmly formed. I started exercising obsessively and restricting my food, unable to bear the weight of my shame and guilt. This spiral of self-destruction continued for 15 years. My eating disorder eventually landed me in rehab. Fast forward to today. I can now see how the workplace bully reignited my inner bully and self-destructive patterns of behaviour; how my past influenced my present.

Abuse is abuse - full stop

When I left my corporate career to start my own business, I reignited my life's purpose - to help people be successful, fulfilled and healthy - and I understood for the first time how my abuse were in fact gifts. I learned that abuse is abuse - full stop. It doesn't matter if the abuse is physical, verbal, emotional or sexual, the invisible scars cut deep. I share my full story in my book ROAR! How to Tame the Bully Inside and Out. ROAR! is how I strive to live my best life every day: with PURPOSE, COURAGE & POWER - to face difficult conversations with others and myself - head on. Here is a breakdown of the ROAR! Blueprint:

Ten fun facts about me:

  1. I am a wife and mother first and foremost 
  2. My star sign is the loveable Leo
  3. I love a glass of ice-cold Sauvignon Blanc
  4. My dream is to have my own flower farm
  5. I have South African and British passports
  6. My first language is Afrikaans
  7. I passed my Grade 8 piano exam with distinction
  8. My drug of choice is exercise 
  9. I have a strong artistic streak and used to make and sell cards 
  10. My motto: Work hard, play hard and be kind - to yourself and to others


Get absolute clarity on your purpose.
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Silence your inner bully.  Find the courage to speak your truth. Face difficult conversations head-on.




Stand in your power. Build your resilience. Positively influence yourself and others.  



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your ROAR! 

Ignite your purpose, reclaim your personal power, and turn your thoughts, feelings, words and actions into your four superpowers. Start today.

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Ali Stewart

Ali Stewart & Co Ltd
Author, leadership coach and mentor. 
Founder of the accrediting body for Liberating Leadership and Pioneering Professional

"ROAR! is inspiring, thought-provoking and tender. It will help you to win the inner game and outer game and inspire you to be your authentic self. Bringing more kindness to our world in the beautiful, central theme. Interestingly, the great Roald Dahl, when asked what the greatest human value was, said 'kindness'. Now here is Marilise, the epitome of kindness, sharing with you her experience and wisdom to help you tame the bully inside and out. Be brave, and good luck. You now have the best guide and resources." 

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