Blogger Of The Week: Foyin Og Of Dear Solo

By: Sandy Nene

  • What inspired the name of your blog?

Before I became DearSolo, the blog names I had steered towards in the past always seemed limiting to me. I feel as though I can’t be put into the box of a fashion blogger, or a music blogger, or a photo-blog, or a written work blog, so I wanted to choose something that didn’t denote what my blog had to be about. The suffix to my name is ‘sola’, so I derived it a little to ‘solo’ because I loved the ring of it (and I’m always single – ha!) The ‘dear’ allowed me to make my blog a sort of online-visual diary, so instead of Dear Diary, it’s Dear Solo.

  • How long have you been blogging for?

Although DearSolo’s only been around since June 2012, I’ve actually been in the blogging game since 2009 (on a macro scale as well). I have had my fair share or Blogspot and Tumblr attempts since I was barely 13 years old!

  • What difficulties did you come across when you first started blogging?

The most difficult thing for me was to find my own voice; who I was and what I wanted to blog/write about despite what the well-renowned bloggers might be posting. Coming up with original content was always a bit challenging because every time I’d want to post something, I’d visit a blog I loved and boom! It was already there. I still have that trouble today.

 
  • What do you think new bloggers need to know about blogging that most people don’t?

Blogging is not easy, especially when you come from a platform like Tumblr and try to move into Blogspot or WordPress. You have to think more, plan what you want your blog to be like and constantly come up with original content/outfits, instead of merely reblogging from other sources. Blogging takes a lot of time and dedication.

  • What would you say has been a highlight of your blogging career thus far?

My blog is still in its infancy so to speak, but definitely reaching the 10 000 views mark and having Malibongwe Tyilo follow my blog honestly made almost cry with glee.

  • Who are your favourite bloggers?

There’s a long list: 

  • Which is the most read blog post on your blog and why do you think people like it?

Definitely my post on Zuhair Murad - and I think it’s pretty self explanatory. It was a post on his SS2013 range which was beyond amazing and with which I was completely besotted, so I’m not that surprised that other people loved that range too. It was elegant, opulent, and pretty much magical.

  • What else do you do besides blogging?

Well, I am currently in matric so that about sums it up, but I do enjoy listening/playing music, reading books, articles and blogs (and I dabble in writing). I do a lot of sports photography/events coverage for my school and I love keeping up with pop culture – microblogging is my favourite pastime. 

  • Where do you see your blog in the next two years?

Hopefully it’ll continue to grow and my content would be better and better. I would like to see it run more professionally so that people and other companies can take my brand more seriously. Maybe then I’ll settle on a template that I actually like, ha!

  • Do you look at your blog as a business, hobby or as a portfolio? 
At this stage in my life, it’s definitely a hobby. But within the next year or so, I intend for it to be more of a business and a brand.

Review: Journey Around The World X Mooki Noodles

By: Elihle Gwala

This past weekend I finally went to Mooki Noodles, a nice little eatery situated in Glenwood. You know how with most restaurants you get welcomed with a huge smile and at most its because its all part of the job description, at Mooki Noodles you can see the passion and love in the eyes of the staff.

Since it was my first time in a Pan-Asian restaurant I was quite excited to be trying out something new even though I was a bit sceptical at first cause I thought I’d find frog legs and ant brains and to my pleasant surprise I got the exact opposite.

With everything in their menu prepared from scratch soon as you place your order having to wait 15-20minutes isn’t bad at all. Their menu is designed in such a manner that you basically make up your own unique dish since you’re given the option of choosing your noodle, protein item and sauce. I had a Ramen Noodle, Chicken breast and Sichuan (sauce), basically this is a grand journey of Asian tastes in your mouth.

The spices paired with the somewhat sweetness of the sauce complement each other perfectly like a little Malay and Japanese wedding in your taste buds. All of the dishes are of Asian or/and Malaysian origin but have been modernised in a Western way for a South African palate. Which means you get to taste something new but prepared especially for South African people.

Their portions are quite large which ensures that you don’t regret a single cent you spend there which also isn’t that much with most meals being at R60 average.

And to all mothers you’ll be happy to hear that they also have a special menu just for the (kids) mini-chinas as they call them.

Mooki Noodles is open 6days a week from Tuesday to Saturday 11am-9pm and Sundays 11am til 4pm. They also have Dim Sum days which happens every last Saturday of the month.

So if you’re in a mood for an Asian journey in a bowl give them a visit : 190 Brand Road, Glenwood.

Twitter: @Mookinoodles | Tel: 0318119199 | Email: mooki.noodles@gmail.com | Site: mookinoodles.co.za

Read more articles by Elihle

Investing In Your Youth

By: Kgabo Chuene

In South Africa we have a lot of tangible issues, like hunger for which we solve, sometimes temporarily by giving food to the hungry. There’s HIV\Aids for which we also manage by providing ARVs. These are all important and necessary. I however think that a lasting investment is one that can be carried everywhere. The things we believe about ourselves, the things we believe about our environment and our place in it.

In a lesson the other day, my teacher was teaching us improvisation. Improvisation in music is to invent, compose, or perform with little or no preparation, to make do with whatever materials are at hand. He asked me what I do when I improvise and I shyly admitted that I have always learnt beforehand what to do in my solos. He went on to say that improvisation is like having a tool box. The way you pack your tool box up is through a lot of practise. Practising elements of music until you know it inside and out, only then can you have it in your tool box and take it out when you need it.

I think life is much the same. We go through things and take away lessons which we put into our tool boxes. The biggest investment for the youth I believe is making sure we have a youth with overflowing tool boxes. A youth that is able to express efficiently what they are thinking as well as how they want to contribute to the improvement of this world. Young people are powerful beyond measure. History tells us this. People who have brought the biggest change in humanity were young people. When the youth speaks, people listen.

An element that we can add to all our tool boxes is “the art of asking”. I listen to a lot of Ted Talks and one of my favourites is by Amanda Palmer, she is a rather alternative creative. She spoke on the art of asking. She basically makes art and makes it available for free download online and accepts any donations for her work. Think about this, instead of having a CD that costs R150 she might have a listener who is so taken by her work that they want to offer more. She’s a millionaire now.  Asking puts one at a better position regardless of what the answer is. It takes courage to be vocal about ones desires and the actual need for other people, so not only are we learning to deal with rejection, we’re also putting ourselves out there. When things come up, people remember those who’ve shown interest and did something about it.

We can teach the youth about the treasure that is being hungry for knowledge. We can do this by further cultivating a culture of reading and listening. Reading everything, from novels to newspapers and listening especially to people who have walked the path you’re trying to walk or something close if you believe you’re carving a new path. Young people can have a sense of wanting to figure things out alone, that’s not necessarily bad, but it helps to learn from the mistakes of others sometimes. As an aspiring musician it helps me to read about the life journeys of established musicians as well as their professional journeys.

Another thing we can all add to our tool boxes is that it’s okay to not fit boxes. I have a gay friend and in one conversation I had with him, we were talking about how coming out has been. He said that he had realised that in many ways it felt like he had just left one box only to fit another. He’s had to fight stereotypes like people assuming that just because he’s gay then that means that he enjoys shopping or painting nails. People process this way, people want to associate things and people with things they’re familiar with, we all do it. So we are to an extent conditioned to freak out when we discover things about ourselves that we can’t relate to something we know. It is okay to walk out new discoveries about ourselves without having it all figured out, at the end of the day, we are all winging this life thing.

There’s a lot of “practice” we can fill our tool boxes with, the point I’m making is that if we equip the youth with things no one can take from us, we can thrive in any environment and we are more able to adjust to the changes that life serves us and more able to deal with challenges.

Read more articles by Kgabo

Blogger Of The Week: Tamzin Nel Of Femmegypsy

By: Sandy Nene

  • What inspired the name of your blog?

I initially called my blog “A Contradictory Life” but that is now the tagline. The concept exactly encapsulates what I am and as a result what I blog about. Being a hippy at heart and corporate by qualification I write opinion pieces and share my thoughts on articles I read and topics which I find interesting. I also document our travels on mountain bikes across SA and hopefully beyond. Topics I write about in ‘holistic health’ cover, specifically, interesting allergy-friendly places to eat, making beauty products at home, exercise and having a healthy mind as well as body. I have recently started an online virtual book club and an educational series focusing on the relatively new field of Behavioural Finance too which I hope to specialise in one day in terms of my career. I changed the name of my blog to “femmegypsy | A Contradictory Life” when I went to set up a Twitter handle and realised I had already chosen the perfect handle (@femmegypsy) during matric a few years earlier which I had long forgotten about but what is essentially perfect. I have always been called a “gypsy” by friends and family because of my casual dress code, outlook on life, and possibly my hair which dreads naturally, as well as my tendency to travel spontaneously with anyone and everyone that invites me along for an adventure!

  • How long have you been blogging for?

My very first post was published on the 9th of January 2012 so just over two years :)

  • What difficulties did you come across when you first started blogging?

Frustration with wanting to code awesome features and design related aspects, I still definitely want to do a course on this in the future. I still struggle with getting friends who do not blog to understand what a huge positive impact a comment, share or like has ;) The other obvious difficulty is that with a full-time job and studying towards a qualification which should actually be done full-time I do struggle to make the time to sit down and write.

  • What do you think new bloggers need to know about blogging that most people don’t?

I try and convince everyone to start a blog! Just do it; write about what interests you and don’t view your social media stats as what makes you successful. If you enjoy writing and curating your blog, it is already successful. Most people don’t realise how much time it does take to create an aesthetically pleasing as well as interesting post! If you are writing about what you are passionate about though, this will come more naturally. For example, I will look pathetic trying to post hair and make-up tutorials. Unless people don’t know how to do a simple 5 minute blow dry and how to put on mascara?

  • What would you say has been a highlight of your blogging career thus far?

This is easy! Most definitely all the interesting people I have “met” and all the fascinating lives and adventures I have followed across the globe. The inspiration I receive on a daily basis from blogs of all different genres is honestly the highlight.

  • Who are your favourite bloggers?

I follow and enjoy quite a few but here are the ones that I do not miss a post and may have stalked all the way back to their very first posts:

www.heynataliejean.com by Natalie Holbrook

www.inkedincolour.com by Sash Milne

www.kristenhedges.com by Kristen Hedges

www.kellehampton.com (Enjoying the Small Things) by Kelle Hampton

www.anysroad.blogspot.com by Annika Ziehen

http://moz.com/rand/ by Rand Fishkin

www.indieberries.blogspot.com by Che Dyer

www.seamsandsilhouettes.blogspot.com by Ali Graaff

www.iamdanielleiam.wordpress.com (effigies of me) by Danielle Kylie

www.midlandsmusings.com by Keri Bainborough

www.littleandbunny.blogspot.com (Raising Men) by Natasha Clark

  • Which is the most read blog post on your blog and why do you think people like it?

The most read blog post on my blog is my “Lifelist” page. I think people are possibly inspired by it?

  • What else do you do besides blogging?

I work as a share analyst and a discretionary portfolio manager for high net worth individuals and unit trusts at an asset management firm (basically, I invest money in the stock market). I love to read, travel, mountain bike, cycle, eat out and spend time with friends and family!

  • Where do you see your blog in the next two years?

I hope my blog will contain many more posts that people may or may not find interesting or inspiring. As long as I am still enjoying the writing and researching part of it, it will be where it should be.

  • Do you look at your blog as a business, hobby or as a portfolio?

I definitely view it as a hobby.

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