By: Sandy Nene
What inspired the name of your blog? After months of attending discussions and dialogs about the need to transform and decolonise the literature industry in South Africa, I realised that minimum action and sometimes no action was taken after these discussions. It was thereafter that I decided to start a literature blog that will help initiate some action towards the achievement of decolonising literature in the country.
How long have you been blogging for? I have been blogging for almost two years now. I used to run a personal blog where I mainly did book reviews for all the books I read. Four months ago I decided to start a more diverse blog where, together with the book reviews, I also wrote about literature events and achievements by writers, wrote opinion pieces and did interviews with writers and readers.
What difficulties did you come across when you first started blogging? The biggest difficulty I faced was getting access to the internet. The other difficulties were having regular access to a computer, finding content for the blog, and finding access to the latest published books to review.
What do you think new bloggers need to know about blogging that most people don’t? It is not as easy as it looks. Blogging, like many other things in life, needs dedication and perseverance. Doors and opportunities don’t open as early as one hopes they will (it took me two years for anyone to recognise my work) but if you keep at it and you are persistent and, most importantly, consistent, the world will see it and doors will open.
What would you say has been a highlight of your blogging career thus far? There are a couple of things but the one I would say was the biggest for me, which happen quite recently actually, is when Nancy Richard, who hosts a literature show on SA fm, asked me to do a book review for her show.
Who are your favourite bloggers? The Kenyan based literature blogger James Murua.
Which is the most read blog post on your blog and why do you think people like it? Niq Mhlongo and Jumoke Verissimo talk writing and literature at Rosa Parks Library: http://www.decolonisingliterature.com/2016/05/18/niq-mhlongo-and-jumoke-verissimo-talk-writing-and-literature-at-rosa-parks-library/
I think people liked it because it was the first blog post where i wrote about an event that I had attended. Before that I had done nothing but book reviews, including the ones from my old blog, and just informed them about the literature events coming up in the month.
What else do you do besides blogging? I recently started doing some freelance writing and I also help run a couple of book clubs and youth clubs in and around Soweto.
Where do you see your blog in the next two years? In the next two years I see the blog as the number one literature blog in the SADC region. I would like for it to be a home for writers, literary activists, book reviewers and book critics who currently don’t have a space to showcase their work and voice their opinions.
Do you look at your blog as a business, hobby or as a portfolio? The blog before this one was more of a hobby but this one has taken the form of a business and portfolio. It is also a space where I get to fine tune and develop my writing skills, and a space I use to share my love for books with people and give other people a chance to do the same.