The Afropolitan recently celebrated its 50th edition with a gala evening where publisher Sean Press announced philosopher, Kaya FM radio host and writer Kojo Baffoe the new editor of the magazine.
“I would like to believe that I am an Afropolitan and, therefore, the magazine speaks to me, and those like me, our lives, our lifestyle, our interests, the things that concern us and the things that bring us joy,” comments Baffoe. “I am excited to be part of the next chapter of Afropolitan magazine in ensuring that it continues to reflect the above.”
As an African first, he believes “there’s a certain responsibility attached to that regardless of industry or spaces one works in and interacts with.” Here, he shares how he plans to grow the publication and what being an Afropolitan means to him…
I truly believe that a publication like Afropolitan cannot exist in isolation of the community, the society, the country and the continent it is part of. It has been operating as such to date and I consider it my job to build on this. I have ideas around how it can do so even more, particularly from a content perspective and it is my and the team’s intention to ensure that we continue to explore the lives of Afropolitans in a manner that is engaging and relevant. It isn’t an exact science but the plan is to grow the publication by doing so.
What do you love most about your career? How would you describe the space you work in as a ‘jack of all trades’?
My career over the last twenty plus years has and continues to traverse multiple industries. I have had the opportunity to be involved in projects that are both challenging as well as mean something. It is a work-in-progress and that is probably what I enjoy about it most. I am always learning. I am always being exposed to new things. And it enables me to craft my life in a way that is filled with the usual ups and downs but is, overall, fulfilling.
What's at the top of your to-do list?
Top of my to-do list in general or in terms of the magazine? In general, my to-do list does not have a top or bottom because it is in constant flux. I always have multiple projects on the go but, perhaps, the one thing that I have been procrastinating on getting done is a book or three. I approach most things organically and believe that things will happen when they are supposed to happen. With the magazine, it is getting a clear handle on who the readers are, what moves them and starting to craft stories that fulfil their needs.
What motivates you?
My family. I work to create a life for them but also recognise that life cannot just be about work and so it is also being able to be available for them.
What are you currently reading/listening to for work?
I’m always reading, across genres. I have a policy of reading for a minimum of 15 minutes every night before I go to bed and read several books at the same time. The books I am currently reading are: Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays by Zadie Smith, Rakim Told Me: Wax Facts Straight from the Original Artists--The '80s by Brian Coleman, Prince by Matt Thorne, Future Crimes: Everything is Connected, Everyone is Vulnerable, and What We Can Do About It by Marc Goodman and The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations for Clarity, Effectiveness, and Serenity by Ryan Holiday. As a writer and someone who is curious, everything I read is for work, for enjoyment and for learning.
In terms of music, I listen to music constantly and it depends on my mood. In the last couple of days, I have played everything from Linkin Park, Gregory Porter, deadmau5, Drexciya and Carl Hancock Rux to Louis Vega, Kommanda Obbs, Spoek Mathambo, Joe Goddard, Richy Pitch, Wu-Tang Clan, David Helfgott and Brother Ali.
Tell us something about yourself not generally known.
What is not generally known about me is not known for a reason. There are parts of me that are for my friends and family and there are parts that I openly share. One thing that I have shared but is probably not really known is that I was a sprinter (100 metres primarily) and that’s what I wanted to do with my life until I was badly hurt when I was at university, with my right leg nearly being amputated beneath the knee. That, obviously, ended my dream of running in the Olympics.
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