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Proudly Malawian: Life Stories from Lesbian and gender-nonconforming individuals 

Editors:  Makhosazana Xaba and Crystal Biruk 

Foreword by Sylvia Tamale

This collection - another rich offering from GALA and CEDEP - captures the often unheard voices of lesbians, bisexual and gender-nonconforming Malawians. These deeply personal tales are a reminder of the human impetus to survive in site of harsh realities. The contributors pay tribute to Steven and Tiwonge (Auntie Tiwo), whose love and commitment to each other was cut short by repressive laws. By bringing together personal reflections, letters, poems and drawing – all of which ae filled with love, intimacy and desire – the collection humanizes the very real challenges facing lesbians, bisexual and gender-nonconforming Malawians. This book is highly recommended for readers interested in what it means to be an LGBTI person in Africa.    -   Zethu Matebeni, PhD -              HUMA, University of Cape Town

This groundbreaking collection brings together the life stories of eleven lesbian, bisexual ad gender-nonconforming Malawians. Told in the contributors’ own words, these powerful narratives shed light on a daily struggle to live freely and with dignity. Each story is an intimate portrait of its author, who shares with the leader their hopes and dreams, their struggles and achievement, their loves and losses.

By focusing on lesbian, bisexual and gender-nonconforming people, the collection offers a fresh perspective on what it means to be LGBTI in Malawi. It reveals the complex realities of those marginalized not only because of their sexual orientation but also because of their gender and class.

Details

Publisher: MaThoko's Books
Publication date: 2016
ISBN: 9781928215103
Format: paperback

About the editors

Makhosazana  Xaba is the author of two poetry collections: these hands (2005) and, Tongues of their Mothers (2008). Her poetry has been anthologized extensively and translated into Italian, Mandarin and Turkish. In 2014 she was nominated for poetry category of the Mbokodo awards. Her third collection will be published shortly. She is also the author of, Running and other stories (2013), which won the SALA Nadine Gordimer Short Story Award in 2014. She is the co-editor of an anthology of short stories, Queer Africa: New and Collected Fiction (2013) which won the 26th Lambda Literary Award for the fiction anthology category in 2014. She holds an MA in Writing (with distinction) from Wits University. 

Crystal Biruk is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Oberlin College, and has been working in Malawi since 2005. In 2007-08 she conducted ethnographic fieldwork with survey projects collecting house-hold data in rural Malawi as an affiliate of the Centre for Social Research (CSR) in Zomba, Malawi; in 2011, she defended her dissertation based on this reserach. She is currently revising the dissertation into a book titled Cooking Data Culture and Politics in an African Research World. In 2008 she taught a course on the sociology of health and illness at Chancellor College of the university of Malawi as a visitng lecturer, and jhas presented findings from her research in South Africa, Malawi, the US and Europe. She has colloborated with CEDEP since 2008 on grant writing, advocacy and other endeavours, plans to write an ethnographic history of LGBTI activism in Malawi in the coming years.