From PHD thesis to fiction
My Afrika Magazine Columnist Sympathy Sibanda met up with Dr Shamiso Madzivire who is a social scientist, educator and life coach by profession to discuss more about her recently launched book converted from her PhD thesis.
Dr Madzivire holds a PhD in Sociology from Rhodes University and seeks to harness her passion and background in the social sciences to bring about real, and innovative change to the ways in which social problems are addressed.
To add on, she has a heart for child protection and positive parenting. She is also passionate about knowledge creation and dissemination and is driven by a passion to mentor and educate young people as well as explore and tackle social issues affecting them, particularly around the issues of family life, marriage and sexual and reproductive health.
The exclusive chat of Sympathy Sibanda (SS) and Dr Madzivire (DR):
SS: Congratulations on the launch of your book. What motivated you to convert your thesis into fiction (semi fiction work)
DR: The motivation to convert my thesis into a semi-fictional work came from my desire to connect a wider audience to the findings I came across and the case studies I collected. I have always believed that research should not be carried out just for the sake of it, but should be used to bring about change in the world in one way or another.
As I read through the stories I had gathered, I believed that I had information which was valuable and worth sharing with people beyond academic circles. It just come down to the question of how to get this done and what better way to reach your ordinary person than in the form of a story. Stories paint a picture which is not soon forgotten if done well, and the writers who took part in this project rose to the challenge – to tell the stories of our daughters in a way that will make people sit up and pay attention to what is happening to young people around them.
SS: What is your dream with regards to literature
DR: My dream with regards to literature is that more and more academics are drawn to bridge the gap between their research and the world beyond academic journals and books. It is for this reason that I, along with a fellow academic, Dr Zengeni have started an institute of research and publishing, with one of our aims being to raise awareness on social issues through research and publishing. The dream is to work with other academics who are ready and willing to be actively involved in changing the world to meet this aim.
SS: You are young and already thinking child protection, adoption etc., have you faced some eye brow raised from society?
DR: Yes! People find it strange that I concern myself with these issues, especially since I am not yet a mother but I believe this is part of the work that I have been called to. My heart is burdened by stories of broken families and children who grow up in a loveless world for one reason or another. My life’s dream is to leave the world knowing that I helped to change the lives of children for the better, that my work resulted in less broken families and more children in loving homes in which they can thrive.
SS: Any other message to people who follow your journey
DR: Don’t follow from the sidelines, roll up your sleeves and get involved. Change starts with one person at a time and we all have a role to play, let’s figure yours out!