My writing is inspired by my passions: my passion for justice, my passion for nature and my passion for story. I see my writing as the best, and maybe only, way for me to make a difference in the world. I usually have at least a few projects on the go, and now is no exception. At the present time, most of my energy is going into my latest project — Touching This Storied Land: Exploring the Narrative and Debate Surrounding the Oil Sands.
Through the use of story, I will tell the personal stories and explore the public debate that surrounds the development of the Alberta Oil Sands. In this way, I hope to encourage dialogue and discussion.
The project is a result of the research and writing I did for my Master’s thesis: Framing Ethical Oil: Shaping the Canadian Media’s Response to the Alberta Oil Sands. Royal Roads University wrote a piece about my work in 2013. Writing my thesis was an intense and lengthy undertaking that made me begin to question everything from our government’s integrity to the way in which power structures manipulate discourse to consolidate their power. It has shaped my ideas about environmental discourse ever since.
So that’s where my writing will take me in the future. In the past, I’ve written about a number of social issues, primarily the importance of education for girls in developing countries.
Malawi is a small country deep within Africa’s interior. Known throughout the world as the Warm Heart of Africa, Malawi is a struggling democracy and one of the poorest countries is the world. In recent years its people have suffered through famine, poverty and the AIDS epidemic. With the vast majority of the population living on less than $2 per day, it’s no wonder that many see education (especially for girls) as a luxury, even a waste of time. Memory Chazeza-Mdyetseni is working to change that.
Memory is an extraordinary woman. Orphaned at a young age, she set out to complete her education and to make a difference in her life and the lives of others. Against the most remarkable odds, she succeeded. Weaving a Malawian Sunrise tells her story. It is the story of her vision, her struggle, her perseverance. It is also the chronicle of the challenges that face many Malawian women in a time of struggle and change.
Memory’s dream is to educate girls so they can become independent, active contributors to the community. In January of 2008, Memory’s dream became a reality with the opening of Atsikana Pa Ulendo, an all-girls’ secondary school located in rural Malawi. As head-mistress of the school, Memory sets a powerful example for the girls. And her passion and determination have become an inspiration for individuals in both Africa and North America.
Weaving a Malawian Sunrise: A Woman, a School, a People was released by the University of Alberta Press in November 2015.
Weaving a Malawi Sunrise is available for purchase through the University of Alberta Press, Chapters/Indigo, and Amazon.com. If you’re in Edmonton, Alberta, Audrey’s Books has signed copies in their store.
“The world belongs to the stubborn.” – Memory Chazeza Mdyetseni