Weaving Narratives: Cathy Majtenyi shares the Human Tapestry of East Africa

Cathy Majtenyi is the author of the book African Inspirations: Turning Trial into Triumph, a collection of stories of how people have made a positive difference in their societies. Majtenyi is Research Communications specialist at Brock University in St.Catharines, Canada.


As part of her prestigious position, she coordinates the public release and propagation of the academic works that come out of Brock’s sacred halls, elevating knowledge to the level of common awareness. Majtenyi’s profession is a skillful fusion of literary grace and the development of academic fame; she is a trailblazer of thought, creating a body of knowledge that reaches well beyond the confines of academia.

Could you briefly describe the book “African Inspirations”? 

Cathy: The book is made up of numerous profiles of people, organizations, and memories I gathered throughout my 12 years of reporting in East Africa as a freelance writer for both print and radio. The stories are divided into four themes: poverty reduction, environmental stewardship, food security, and moving forward from the traumas of war.

What got you motivated to pen a book? What influence did your personal history and past interactions have on you?

Cathy: For my part, I never gave writing a book much consideration. My mother in particular, as well as friends and family, provided me with amazing support. I learned a great deal and made several discoveries while I was in Africa. I felt I needed to challenge the largely negative narrative of Africa as portrayed in popular media by sharing stories of strength and resilience as well as peoples’ imagination and creativity.

Could you provide some details about the study method, difficulties encountered, or intriguing findings?

Cathy:  When I first sat down to write, I had a lot of material to work with. Having a clear vision of the book’s purpose and making suitable connections between and among the stories were essential. I came up with the idea of organizing the stories under the four themes, which I tried to keep consistent throughout the entire book. This helped give a logical flow for the reader. While writing the book, I often smiled as the memories came back to me.

What perspectives were altered during the composition of this book?

Cathy: Writing a book has taught me to leave my comfort zone and explore new ideas, viewpoints, and experiences. I think I’ve developed a clearer and better perspective on a lot of things. My encounters with people have touched my heart and helped me grow and learn. I enjoyed reflecting on the good times in the past.

Any upcoming initiatives you would take, when it comes to the theme and genre of the book?

Cathy: My purpose in writing the book is to give a glimpse of life in Africa that’s not commonly explored. I also want to inspire people to make changes in their own lives by learning what others have done. We can all overcome obstacles to make the world a better place. My current goal is to promote the book more widely.

What piece of advice would you offer future authors, particularly those who are delving into comparable subjects and global cultures?

Cathy: I would advise writers to persevere through their obstacles and not let intimidation or discouragement derail them. In my book, I tried to be a vehicle through which people spoke. I provide a few thoughts and reflections at the beginning and end of the book, but mostly I just wanted to be the messenger. Every person we encounter has their own story to tell. We can learn so much from each other.


Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/cathy.majtenyi/

LinkedIn link : https://www.linkedin.com/in/cathy-majtenyi-b9b8317/

A Young indian girl wearing a pink t-shirt
Kwina Patel

Author: Kwina Patel is a fourth year business communication student at Brock University pursuing BA(Hons.). She is fond of travelling and learning new things, moreover, love for language and storytelling has always been her passion. If you would like to share stories please email: kp21of@brocku.ca



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