Munira Premji

In a 14 minute inaugural speech that John F. Kennedy gave on January 20, 1961, he told Americans to ”ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”  It was a remarkable speech that inspired the nation to see the importance of civic action and challenged every American to contribute to the public good. 

I have lived most of my life living the spirit of this speech.  In the past 18 months, as I’ve battled with cancer, I have found different inspiration along the way.  One came in the form of a professional make-up artist, Rebecca, who lives her life with the attitude, “don’t ask why, ask why not?”  I so resonate with this quote!   Given my harrowing experience with cancer, I have learnt to appreciate every moment, every nanosecond of a moment.  I see the fragility of life.  I want to squeeze every moment so as not to waste it.  And I want to live fearlessly, so there are no regrets.

What this means for me is that I am doing things I would not normally think to do.  Some are small things like putting on false eyelashes for the first time (man, did I look good!) or trying new food.  Some are bigger things like taking on assignments and projects that would have scared me in the past.  Every day my comfort zone is expanding at a dizzying pace and I am finding it scary and exhilarating.  This is living!

One of these projects was to create a film of my journey with cancer.  I must admit I was on a high dose of dexamethasone (steroids) when I did it, otherwise I would probably not have attempted something so major!

I was inspired to do this movie after channel-surfing the TV and coming across Oprah’s Master Class.  The idea behind Oprah’s Master Class is to get well known personalities to share their lives with others – their triumphs, their failures, their insights and the lessons they have learned.  The Master Class I watched had Alicia Keyes, and I was riveted as I watched her share her life story.  In that moment, I remember thinking, “I wish I could do this”, and almost simultaneously saying, “Why not?”!

I worked with a talented artist, Francis Darwin, who is related to the great Charles Darwin (yes the same Darwin who formulated the theory of evolution).  The result was a 50 minute film called “Munira’s Journey”.   We screened the film on Thanksgiving Day, October 14, 2013, at a movie theatre at Fairview Mall and invited family and friends to the event.

Please click on the video below to see highlights of the event, including chats with Dr. Rodger Tiedemann and Dr. Norman Franke, and a post-event Thanksgiving Brunch.

Click here to open the browser in You Tube: 

Every week, for the next 11 weeks, I will be posting a different segment of the film and I hope you enjoy them as they are published.

In the meantime, I hope you will share your experiences with how saying “why not” is enriching your life!


  • […] Please click here to read about the making of this film:  Munira’s Journey, A Special Premiere. […]

  • Anonymous , December 13, 2013

    This was awesome! What a fantastic experience. I’m so sorry that I was unable to attend, but delighted that you captured the moment and are sharing. I look forward to the other installments! Love, Patti Kurgan

  • Anonymous , December 12, 2013

    What a premiere . . . I’m sorry I missed the film, but can’t wait to see it soon.

  • barb rosen schreiber , December 11, 2013

    Love seeing the movie of the movie… brings back all of the incredible feelings of that Thanksgiving day.  Looking forward to seeing you and how you have decorated your home for the holidays.  I’m sure it looks magical!   XOXO Barb

  • Yasmin , December 11, 2013

    Hi Munira,
    You are such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing “your journey” with all and in turn reaching to all at large and showing them that being positive through such trying circumstances helps a lot. God bless you my dear.

  • Alnasir Rajan , December 11, 2013

    Ya Ali Madad
    I can tell you have a great positive part of your life that will inspire millions. My best wishes and prayers are always with you.
    I am sharing this website that helped us get my sister in England cured of cancer. I hope you will at least give it a look. It has helped 3 more people and I thank Moula who guided us to it.
    khushiali mubarak

  • shahnaz suteria , December 10, 2013

    zabardast Munira. You are an inspiration to all.

    Be well, blessed and less stressed Shahnaz Suteria, M.O.M.Sc., R.M.T., Dip. H.R. Osteopathic Manual Therapist 416-830-2022 “Let the beauty of what you love be what you do” � Rumi

    “When your work speaks for itself, don’t interrupt.”- Henry J. Kaiser

    Date: Tue, 10 Dec 2013 20:46:24 +0000 To:

  • Anonymous , December 10, 2013

    Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again

    another quote from Nelson Mandela


  • Julia O'Rawe , December 10, 2013

    Thanks for sharing this inspring and happy event – I feel we haven’t completely missed out! Can’t wait to see the other instalments. Wonderful to see you and your family and friends all smiling. Xx Julia

  • Anonymous , December 10, 2013

    Nelson Mandela’s quote

    :”It always seems impossible until its done”


  • Anonymous , December 10, 2013

    yu made us breathe again ,, whatg happened ? such a long break, no good mama , just like yu needed us , we need you too , we cant be apart ,you dont have to to write big or have something special and grand, it can be as simple as ” I am having a good time” or I am okay

    anyways the end result made up , its like a baby waiting for her mother to come back

  • Kermally , December 10, 2013

    Hi Munira – I’m so sad I couldn’t attend that preview. Can’t wait to see the balance of the “Journey”. I see I also missed out on a scrumptious breakfast. Khushali Mubarak to you and your beautiful family.

  • Dilshad Nathoo , December 10, 2013

    Oh my goodness. I can’t believe I had to miss it. You know it was for a very good reason! I don’t know what to say. I couldn’t stop smiling throughout the 15 min I was watching this preview. I can’t wait to see more in the next 11 weeks!!
    Is there any way to watch the actual film, “Munira’s Journey”.

    Lots of love from all of us,
    The Nathoos

  • Anonymous , December 10, 2013

    Hi Munira 🙂

    Saira Says :lol!! I have missed you dear friend, but in a way I was relieved that I don’t see you on your blog so you must be well and enjoying life ! Khushyali Mubarak dear!! . I tried to watch the preview but it wouldn’t allow me to – I am so glad that you are doing great!!1 take care. can you please share your email address with me?

    • Nagib Premji , December 13, 2013

      Hi, Saira. Khushiali Mubarak to you and your family. We have changed the settings of the YouTube video to Public, so it should work now. Muni’s email address is All the best! Nagib.

      • Anonymous , December 13, 2013

        Thank you so much Nagib:) will check it out – love and Hugs to Muni.

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