The story behind the story


I have always been curious about the things behind the things, the craft, the process … I used to have a radio show called Life With Kojo Baffoe where I chatted to a cross-section of people about a cross-section of things, a bit like this newsletter but not as one-sided… one day, my producer pointed out that my most asked questions used started with “how do you…..?”. Often, I want to know the steps that are followed. First you pick up the pen, and then you open the book … so on and so on. I once intently watched a master cooper at a whisky distillery take apart and put together a barrel several times. I found it absolutely fascinating. I think there is a message in there somewhere.


The Design Indaba Festival has brought together a wide-ranging and eclectic mix of people from across the creative world, globally, for over twenty years, at least until COVID19 hit. I was fortunate enough to co-host for three years and even more fortunate to experience Robin Rhode first hand.


The African Writers Series was a mainstay on my father’s bookshelf and introduced me to various African Writer Series. I never knew Chinua Achebe served as an editor.


The world isn’t black and white. It isn’t either / or. This can make life complicated. The Extraordinary Trial of the Child Soldier Who Became a Brutal Rebel Commander - “Kidnapped at 9 by Joseph Kony’s notorious guerilla army, Dominic Ongwen was groomed to kill. Is he a lost soul deserving of mercy, or a cold-blooded war criminal who must face justice?


Nat King Cole will always remind me of my father. The 2014 documentary Afraid Of The Dark gives you great insights into this amazing musician and man. Afraid of the Dark: The Forgotten Legacy of Nat King Cole by the incomparable Mark Anthony Neal, though short, is also dope.



My wishlist of documentaries to watch is constantly increasing. This is not helped by the site Top Documentary Films which has over 3,000 documentaries from across a range of categories.


There is, finally, a new season of Tim Harford’s podcast Cautionary Tales. I am trying to savour it but will probably finish it as soon as all episodes are available. His book The Undercover Economist introduced me to his way of thinking and I love the way stories are crafted in the podcast.


I am currently reading Wole Soyinka’s memoirs, You Must Set Forth At Dawn.

It is more than memoirs but also an in-depth look into the history of Nigeria, and by extension, Africa, pre- and post-independence.

Have yourself a great week ahead. You know the deal. Please do share or subscribe and comment. Let me know what you think, what’s on your mind, etc.