Usha Nalinie Marhé starts her career as a journalist in 1988 in Suriname, till 1975 a former Dutch colony in South America. In 1990 she migrates to The Netherlands. As a freelance-journalist Marhé continues to publish articles and columns, in well known Dutch papers and magazines as Opzij, De Groene Amsterdammer, Vrij Nederland en Onze Wereld. She interviews the Indian Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan (for the daily paper Trouw), which she considers to be a milestone in her career. In 1993 she is nominated for the ASN-Mediaprijs, later renamed into the Zilveren Zebra Mediaprijs (Silver Zebra Media prize).
In 1996 the first edition of her first book (non-fiction) Tapu Sjén/Conceal your shame – Surinamese people and incest is published by Uitgeverij Van Gennep (Amsterdam). Marhé breaks a big taboo with her book: she dares breaking and challenging the unwritten Surinamese code of silence, of tapu sjén – conceal your shame -, uncover it and go against it. The book is a mix of literature study, research and investigation, interviews and Marhés view on the problem of incest and can be read as a study for the whole Caribbean region. Soon after the publication The Royal Tropical Institute (Amsterdam) organizes a public discussion about the book and its contents. “I am very impressed”, Frank Martinus Arion says (author of the international bestseller Dubbelspel, Double Play) about Tapu Sjén. ‘A courageous book’, Chandra van Binnendijk writes in a review in Surinamese biggest daily paper De Ware Tijd. ‘A well written and easy to read book for a large audience’, writes the Monthly Journal of Mental Health in The Netherlands. The magazine Contrast (also The Netherlands) praises the book as a ‘worthy manual.’ In 2000 the second edition is published, completed with a new detailed epilogue about the experiences and wisdom Marhé gained since the first publication of Tapu Sjén. Both editions are sold out. In 2002 she is invited to give a lecture and presentation on the subject of sexual abuse during the congress ‘Development = Change’ in Suriname. The congress continues for three days and is organised by the local Foundation Stop Violence Against Women, memorizing its 10 year existence.As an editor in chief, Marhé has produced magazines and books for several companies. Living in Amsterdam, the whole year 1997 she writes columns for the daily paper De Ware Tijd in Suriname. From 1994 till now Marhé gives lectures and presentations and conducts discussions about several social subjects, in The Netherlands and in Suriname.
As a guest programme maker she organizes a public program in 2000 for the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam. The program takes five days and is titled: Baap re Baap – Hindustanis about tradition and renewal. Shabana Azmi, a famous and critical Indian moviestar, known for her remarkable roles in Indian cinema (for example in the movie FIRE), takes part in the discussion about emancipation of men and women.
In 2001 Marhé starts working as a Teacher in Journalism in the Academy of Journalism in Tilburg, where she teaches for one year. After this year she goes on teaching Dutch language in secondary schools. In 2002 Marhé is chairperson of the jury of the Kwakoe Literature prize. From 1999 till 2003 she is a member of the jury of the Zilveren Zebra Mediaprijs (Silver Zebra Media prize). During the year 2004 she is a member of the board of the social-cultural club Het Surinaams Verbond (The Surinamese Alliance).
Her first short story Dilemma’s is published in 2007 in the short stories book What we are not supposed to talk about (Waarover we niet moeten praten). In May 2007 her fiction debut is published in The Netherlands: Dulari – The story of my name (Dulari – De weg van mijn naam).
The book consists of six short stories. On July the 24th, 2007, the writer hands over her book officially to Mrs. Liesbeth Venetiaan-Vanenburg, the first lady of Suriname. Mrs. Venetiaan-Vanenburgs opinion of the book: “Every woman in Suriname should read this book.” On July the 27th, 2007, the public presentation of Dulari – The story of my name took place in Suriname. Both the book and the author have been received very well in her birth country.
Op January 19th, 2008, Marhé was one of the participating authors of the international literature festival Winternachten in Den Haag, The Netherlands.
During the Black Magic Woman Festival in Amsterdam in 2004 she is declared ‘Heroine’ by one of Hollands most popular female cabaret performers Jetty Mathurin, because of her book Tapu Sjén/Conceal your shame. ‘Heroines’ is the theme of the BMW-festival in that year. Usha Marhe is the offspring from Indian ancestors, who migrated to Suriname. From her mothers side she is the fifth generation, the first generation arrived in Suriname in 1889. From her fathers side she is the third generation, the first generation arrived in 1909. On January, 14th, 2008, Usha Marhé is elected to be Hindustani of the Year 2007, by Sanoja Entertainment Magazine (SEM) and its readers. From the press release: “With 2072 unique votes writer Usha Marhé is elected to be Hindustani of the Year 2007. In total 4298 persons voted on eight nominees, between the 1st and 10th of January 2008.” The purpose of this election is to bring forward positive role models for younger generations. By making talented Dutch citizens from Indian (Surinamese-Hindustani) descent more visible, SEM wants to honour these persons for their outstanding performance in culture, arts and sports.