name: Caroline Kautzia
home town: Malawi, Weymouth via Blantyre
In the news: Kautsire is an actress, author, teacher and mentor who recently released her second book, Some Kind of Girl. The book tells the story of her struggle to live up to the standards of both African and Western young women.
Now you know: Writing was not her first passion. she was acting. Kautsire was nominated for Best Supporting Actress by her Community Her Theater Association in Eastern Massachusetts for her performance as Trincullo in William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.”
her story: Caroline Kautsire was born in Malawi and lived in South East Africa for 17 years. After she graduated from high school, she moved to the United States. She is in her first year teaching at Braintree’s Thayer Academy. She has published two of her books about a young woman coming of age and finding her own identity.
Kautsire said literature is influential. She said writers seize the opportunity to deepen the lives of their readers through storytelling and representation.
“There is power in crafting stories that help people understand the world better. There is power in raising awareness of what is overlooked, and I think literature does that,” she said. said, “Literature brings knowledge, but it also cures ignorance.”
In “Some Kind of Girl,” Kautzia explores the clash of roles and standards for women in Africa and the West. She draws on her confusing experience of her adolescence on her own.
“I was a very curious child. It had something to do with whether or not,” Kautzia said.
Her first book, What Kind of Girl?, was released in 2020 and talks about how people didn’t support her choices. In Malawi, girls were taught to be passive and submissive, Kautzia says, and she struggled to meet cultural expectations. delves into her desire to want to escape the traditional upbringing that dictated how a girl should behave.
“I wanted to be strong like the boys. I wanted to be as smart as everyone else around the room. I was trying to assert myself,” she said.
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She said the American Dream is about the idea of giving people choice, and she feels free to be herself here.
The process to become an author was gradual. While she was in Malawi, she struggled to write in English. Grammar was difficult for her. She said reading Shakespeare was helpful.
Kautsire also helped friends write essays in the school cafeteria when she was learning how to write.
“I started doing it just for fun, just to kill time,” she said.
Soon after, her teacher noticed and asked Kautsire if she wanted to be a writing tutor. With her help, her friends were doing well in class. Kautsire wanted to share her own experiences with her world and started her blog.
Mentorship played a big role in her life. Kautsire works at her Women’s Launch Pad at her alma mater, Brown University, where her alumni are paired with her juniors and seniors. Students learn about their experience at Brown and life beyond college.
Kautsire speaks at organizations focused on diversity, equity and inclusion, most recently as an Author Lecture at Hingham Public Library.
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“I am not there to tell them which path to take, but I can guide them on that path. people helped me out.”
In “Some Kind of Girl,” Kautzia describes the events that shaped who she is. As she faced the American immigration system, maintaining her legal status as a student, and adapting to American culture were challenges that added new complexities to her identity. He also addresses race, gender, religion, language and sexuality in his work.
“All this happened in my efforts to find my true self,” she said.
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