Marianne Knuth

Marianne Knuth

Marianne Knuth is a social entrepreneur, co-founder of Pioneers of Change and Kufunda Village in Zimbabwe. She is a woman with roots on two continents, Africa and Europe. She is passionate about supporting people in coming together in more authentic and life-affirming ways, as they discover their wealth and wisdom, for themselves, but also for people everywhere.
Reflections on our participation in a world gone wrong

Posted on October 18, 2012

I woke up this morning with an aching heart. The reality of our challenge piercing through the veil of our modern lives. We spent yesterday at the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town. An incredible place, where we were brought into the under water world. It was a wonderful experience. We spent all afternoon as a family moving through the Aquariaum. Marveling at the beauty of the Knysna seahorses, being transfixed by the sheer size of the giant spider crab, and falling in love with the solo green sea turtle. By the end I was inspired by my meeting with Life and distressed by my meeting with Man.

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Lights in the Darkness

Posted on August 6, 2012

Last night we closed our youth programme. After three months and two days at Kufunda their journey will be taking them back home to their communities. 21 beautiful young people from across Zimbabwe (Central, South and East). Last night I saw their tears, and felt their tremors, their sadness and their fear at returning home. Their love for each other and the time they have spent together.

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What if being fully human is enough?

Posted on April 27, 2012

I had a conversation with an old friend yesterday. We have been out of touch for a long time, and reconnecting after years was sweet and surprising. We realized that we are both – though of course the same – also very very different today. It is like something quite fundamental has shifted, and something quite elemental is going on inside us. A deepening, an awakening, a quickening. I don’t know what words to put on it. It is an experience of a fuller, a more vibrant and yet also quiet experience of life all at once. Perhaps it is simply – getting to know myself more fully – in connection with all of life.  Not in isolation.

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Tending to Myself

Posted on April 10, 2012

Or:  Putting Relationships in their Rightful Place

This piece is inspired by a reading I did in 2011 with Angela Deutschmann,

and the journey that has followed since.

I just came back from a wonderful week in Europe, attending and co-facilitating the ALIA Europe Leadership Programme. If I am to be honest, as I was leaving Zimbabwe, it felt like a bit of a distraction to leave everything that was going on here, at home in Kufunda, but it turned out to be a week of deep connections, with others and myself. It was a sort of coming home away from home. Much of what I have been working on during the last weeks and months came into clearer perspective, being in a rich community of friends and fellow travelers on the journey of becoming more fully human, more fully me.

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A Vision of Living Wholeness

Posted on November 6, 2011

When I was younger I had a strong vision of a world in which we are all different but equal. In which the vibrancy, spirit and deep wisdom of the South could live alongside, informing and grounding the intellectual and action oriented leadership from the North. I dreamed in particular of helping people re-connect with the gifts of Africa; of shifting from viewing her as our destitute mother, to a full and expansive place to which we all have a deep original connection.

Out of this was born my work with Kufunda. Read More »

The Challenge of the Change Agent

Posted on October 19, 2011

My wonderful problem solving self is one of my greatest barriers to creating change in my community. I am a social entrepreneur. If a problem or opportunity catches my heart and my mind, I set to work on addressing it, or on making it a reality. This is a wonderful capacity. It has allowed me to manifest much in the past and yet I am also increasingly seeing how it does not always serve me, or those whom I seek to serve.

Much of my work has been with rural communities, women in particular. An important part of my journey has been about reaching out to help them ignite their passion and energy for change. They are not problems to be solved (which in my experience the development sector often turns them into). They are an important key to a different future – as we learn to unlock and release the unique and beautiful possibility that resides in each one of us. Read More »

Living My Joy

Posted on October 18, 2011

I have always loved to write. Not as a wild passion, but as a quiet presence in the background. I wrote a children’s book when I was ten. It was not published, but I felt proud for trying. I journaled my way through my teens keeping sane through my passage into womanhood. My Master’s thesis, ‘Bringing the Human Spirit to Work’ helped me reframe my transition into working life as one of learning to live a life of joyful contribution. Read More »

What might be possible today in Zimbabwe?

Posted on September 1, 2011

Recently, I went to the first TEDx Harare event. I had been asked to speak and said yes. A week before the event I still had no idea what I was going to speak on. Having been out of Zim for four years, and then returning earlier this year to a busy project in Harare, I was for some reason finding it incredibly difficult to return home and be clear as to what I wished to share.

It turned out to be a difficult but also incredibly rich week of remembering my work and the songs of my heart. A week of long walks on the land. The TEDx event was an opportunity to finally land back home, and to reconnect to what is important to me, to what I believe in, and to what stirs my soul. Read More »