Curating your life
This newsletter was born out of a habit. I believe in being forever curious and so I spend varying amounts of time exploring the Internet, books, practices, etc. I subscribe to (and occasionally unsubscribe from) a bunch of newsletters, which is where I find the things I share.
I also, erratically, follow random rabbit holes on the Internet, ones I usually find when researching for writing assignments for clients. I also spend time going through my Twitter archive drawing inspiration for things to write about or things to learn. Sometimes I question why. Why spend a lifetime of finding things out for the sake of finding them out, especially in these times when it feels like everything should be or is monetised. A time when hobbies have fallen by the wayside and everything must be functional/productive. Perhaps, one day, I will find the answer. Until then, here are seven things I thought were worth sharing.
I watch the Tour de France every year and have since 1994. I don’t follow any other cycling, ironically. Here’s a blog post on why I watch it every year.
One of the newsletters I subscribe to is Recommendo, “a weekly newsletter that gives you 6 brief personal recommendations of cool stuff.” I don’t always connect with the recommendations but I loved this share of a post by Milan Cvitkovic titled Things you’re allowed to do. Not all are relevant within my context but there are enough to make it worth experimenting.
Bruce Lee was a hero of mine growing up, which I write about in Listen To Your Footsteps. I just started reading the book, Be Water, My Friend: The Teachings of Bruce Lee by his daughter, Shannon Lee, which shares his philosophy in a way that is accessible and applies to life overall.
It was one of the texts that one dreads receiving. The passing of the poet, author and anti-apartheid activist Don Mattera. I had the opportunity to interact with him on occasion (which I also reflect on in Listen To Your Footsteps) and this is what I wrote when I heard the news. [Photo by Boitumelo Sentso]I loved how he never minced his words but, at the same time, always had a kind, wise word for young writers, poets, people. A true literary giant. Rest In Peace Papa Don. Thoughts go out to his family. #RIPDonMattera
The Johannesburg Review of Books shared the post Don Mattera, 1935 - 2022, which includes a conversation he had with The JRB’s Photo Editor, Victor Dlamini, a friend and the person responsible for photograph on the cover of the cover of my book. We are all poorer for Don Mattera’s passing but also enriched for his time in the physical realm.
Like so many writers around the world, when Medium launched, I saw the potential for creating a space where my writing would be heard. Being based outside of the US, its vision of writers being able to generate revenue from all the stuff we put out into the world for free wasn’t relevant. But I thought it still had a space, although I wrote on there even more erratically than I do on my blog. Why Medium Failed was still disappointing to read, nonetheless and I hope it isn’t the end of the journey.
Taking a leaf out of Teju Cole’s book, so to speak, I have finally created a Playlist section on my site where I share some of the playlists I have created for myself. In time, I hope to create more, sharing the soundtrack of my life.
Over the last year, I have been writing a column on cigars and a column on motorcycles for Wanted Online. I was recently asked to write a column for the Wanted print magazine, Design as the sum of all influences.
That’s it for today. If you enjoy receiving the Zebra Culture By Kojo Baffoe newsletter but are not subscribed, please do subscribe.
I would also appreciate it if you shared with a friend who might also like it.
I also welcome comments, thoughts, etc. A big thank you to those of you who have sent me messages.
And if you would like a copy of my book Listen To Your Footsteps, it is widely available online and in bookshops (primarily in South Africa but also on Barnes & Noble and Amazon) both in digital and physical form.