The year 2020 saw Agricultural Economics graduate Nyembezi Soko authoring and releasing a book—Building Fences Not Walls —about five years after graduating from the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) in 2015.
The book is a 31-day journey to begin emotional healing, written to help readers explore their deep emotional wounds which many do not confront. “It is not a step-by-step guide that promises you to sort through your emotional baggage in 31 days. Instead, it helps the reader to begin a journey that is otherwise difficult to go on. Most of the examples given are things that people go through every day without realising the impact caused by such experiences,” explains the 25-year-old.
The book draws from Bible stories and sheds light on emotions that people do not usually focus on when reading the Bible.
“The idea is to normalise conversations around emotions—that being spiritual does not rid us of this aspect of life and that when we learn to manage emotions and heal from them, we position ourselves for a meaningful and satisfying life,” she says.
Building Fences not Walls was motivated by Nyembezi’s own emotional breakdown, which opened her eyes to a gap in devotional resources on the subject.
To begin with, she feels that people rarely have conversations around emotional issues—and many people hardly know what to do when someone shares their feelings, especially when those feelings are negative.