Category Archives: Newsletters

January 2018: 7 stories in 6 publications

Happy New Year!

To start 2018 on a high note, the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and Cape Town Concert Series are presenting top performers in their new seasons. And in other music news, Cape Town Opera is about to debut an adaptation of Tsotsi by Athol Fugard.

In business news, Arthur Attwell talks about how Book Dash is on mission to make sure every child in South Africa owns at least 100 books by the age of five. And in travel news, discover the country’s five best teambuilding retreats or enjoy the past, present, and future of the luxurious PortsWood Hotel.

A symphony concert at Cape Town City Hall (Copyright: Eugene Yiga)

For every single day this month, I’ve been posting short updates on my new Patreon page. Highlights include top personal development advice from Chris Guillebeau (who featured me on his Side Hustle School podcast!), Copyblogger, the Harvard Business Review, Headspace, Lifehacker, Outside Magazine, Raptitude, Seth Godin, The Guardian, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Simple Dollar, and Zen Habits.

Stay tuned for more great resources to make this your best year yet!

December 2017: 5 stories in 3 publications

Welcome to a short and sweet newsletter to wrap up 2017. Brian McKnight, celebrating this 25th anniversary as a recording artist, talks about his latest tour while Vusi Ndlovu reflects on winning the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Africa and Middle East. We’ve also got tips on how to land your first client, what to drink this summer, and why you should take fewer photos on holiday (inspired by my time in Paris earlier this year).

Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris (Copyright: Eugene Yiga)

This month, I’m thrilled and honoured to be selected as the winner of IFWTWA’s annual Excellence in Journalism Award! More exciting is the news that, starting in 2018, I’ll be posting daily updates in a private community on Patreon to keep you inspired throughout the year. Hope to see you there!

November 2017: 8 stories in 6 publications

As the holiday season approaches, you might be feeling busier than ever. Fortunately, this month’s newsletter includes advice on fighting internet and technology addiction as well as details on how Quickspaza is simplifying the process of shopping for food. Speaking of which, JarBar is delivering healthy meals around Cape Town while the annual Eat Out Awards honours South Africa’s culinary stars.

If you can’t stand the heat, sip on some of the top drinks for the season or one of the 10 best white wines for summer. And if you’d like to cool off even more, take a trip to Constance Tsarabanjina in Madagascar or One&Only Le Saint Géran in Mauritius for the perfect luxury trip.

One&Only Le Saint Géran in Mauritius (Copyright: Eugene Yiga)

If you’re still feeling stressed out, there’s no need to worry. Headspace has some tips on what to do if you’re too shy to speak up, details on the three most common anxiety mistakes, advice for riding out a panic attack, and a guide on what to expect when you’re expecting the worst.

Clearly, running from the things that make us uncomfortable only makes matters worse. Fortunately, Zen Habits has great advice on how to move away from comfort and security, an insightful guide to fear mastery, as well as a plan to develop resiliency and move towards your fears. Tim Ferris also explores why you should define your fears instead of your goals.

Ultimately, most of what we fear isn’t real. More than that, real fears can even make our lives better. As Seth Godin writes: “Fear, loneliness, anger, shame and hunger. They drive us. They divide us. They take us away from our work, our mission, our ability to make a difference. And yet, sometimes, they fuel our motion, leading to growth and connection.”

October 2017: 15 stories in 8 publications

In business news this month, non-profit organisation Book Dash is on a mission to make sure every child in South Africa owns at least a hundred books by the age of five while ethical fashion company I Scream & Red is on a mission to change the world one stitch at a time. There’s more from The Voice Clinic with tips on how to overcome the fear of public speaking while I offer ten leadership lessons from Machiavelli.

In entertainment news, Danelle Malan chats about the fifth anniversary of web comic Cottonstar while Travis Pastrana continues to perform around the world with the Nitro Circus. And in drinks news, Bottega is giving South Africans a taste for ‘la dolce vita’ thanks to its Italian prosecco while the Breedekloof Valley is producing award-winning wines and local drinks.

Sailing the islands of northern Madagascar (Copyright: Eugene Yiga)

It’s almost time for the holidays and there are a lot of ideas on what to do. If you want to travel locally (to avoid the nightmare of applying for a visa) Daniel Adidwa is promoting cultural and community tourism with Tour2.0. You can also discover luxury on your doorstep at Steenberg Farm near Cape Town, Oldenburg Homestead near Stellenbosch, or Satori Africa’s yoga and meditation retreat.

More travel news features Jochen Zeitz and his Segera Retreat in Kenya as well as going off the grid with a chartered sailing holiday in Madagascar. As captured well in Solitude by Michael Harris: “Outside the maelstrom of mainstream chatter, we at last meet not just the bigger world but also ourselves.”

September 2017: 13 stories in 9 publications

The start of a new season offers plenty of choices in the culinary world. Choose from one of the best drinks for spring or discover the dying art of creating brandy the old-fashioned way on a tour through the Klein Karoo. Celebrity chef Reuben Riffel also has a selection of the best recipes for a braai.

Speaking of celebrities, I reflect on the dangers of tabloids, while business news features Tshepo Sedumo of Grove Audio (a local company that crafts handmade boomboxes inspired by nostalgia) and entertainment news profiles Sebastian Cassie, the producer and director of Enchanted Cirque.

Slave Museum in Stone Town, Zanzibar (Copyright: Eugene Yiga)

Because the holidays are just around the corner, travel news this month takes us across the world: from the rise of millennial travel (captured well in Cape Town’s new Radisson RED) to life beyond the beaches of Zanzibar and even to the adventures of Victoria Falls.

Clearly, there’s a lot to disocver if you take your time. Tommy Collard said it well in his Namib Desert Tour: “If you drive fast, you’ll see only plants and sand. But if you slow down and look closely, you’ll see that the desert is full of life. You just have to train your eyes to see it.”

August 2017: 12 stories in 8 publications

To celebrate Women’s Month, pour yourself one of the best drinks for August or learn how to make your favourite childhood dish, as I did on a trip to Kenya last year.

Speaking of holidays, hear about how the rise of Afropolitan travel can boost the South African economy; discover how to succeed as a travel blogger (as long as you don’t fall into the trap of internet addiction); and learn about how MSC Cruises, which launched its latest ship in Le Havre, is betting big on the growth of holidays at sea.

Art installation in Le Havre, northern France (Copyright: Eugene Yiga)

In other news featuring inspiring women, Beth Diane Armstrong (a Standard Bank Young Artist) opens up about the creative journey to her exhibition in perpetuum; Heike le Cordeur finds inspiration in all things floral with her design business Fleur le Cordeur; Catherine Lückhoff is making waves in the online music world with NicheStreem; and Monique Rissen-Harrisberg (founder and CEO of The Voice Clinic) has tips on how to overcome the fear of public speaking.

There are more inspiring entrepreneurs all over the country, including Reel Gardening, Grove Audio, and Mellowcab. So if you want to be a success too, always remember that nothing insurmountable is standing in the way of you and your dreams.

July 2017: 12 stories in 7 publications

Winter is here but you can warm up with the best drinks for July, cook up a storm with Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen (the first South African chef to receive a Michelin star), or attend the monthly Whisky Wednesday dinners at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.

Speaking of Cape Town, now’s also a good time to book your tickets for the spring season with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra as well as the second half of the Cape Town Concert Series. But if this is your first time attending a live performance, it’s a good idea to learn the seven rules for theatre beginners before you go.

A black-and-white ruffed lemur in Madagascar (Copyright: Eugene Yiga)

In business news, Tshepo Sedumo is crafting handmade boomboxes inspired by nostalgia with Grove Audio, Jen Gurecki is using small loans to make a big impact on the lives of rural Kenyan women with Zawadisha, and career coach Ben Fanning has practical advice to help you love a job you hate.

Travel news this month takes us on a winter escape to the Tintswalo Atlantic boutique hotel in Hout Bay as well as on a laidback sailing trip with MadagasCaT Charters & Travel. Indeed, as I discovered on my train trip with Rovos Rail, taking time out to slow down and relax is the greatest luxury of all.

June 2017: 13 stories in 10 publications

It might be cold outside but you can warm up with the 10 best red wines for winter. And speaking of fine wines, Charles Back of Fairview Wine and Cheese talks about winning the annual 1659 Honorary Award (the most prestigious accolade in the wine industry) while Ntsiki Biyela reflects on her journey to becoming the first black female winemaker in South Africa.

Arts this news month comes from the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, which just wrapped up its winter symphony season but has more great performances coming up soon. Meanwhile, Mohau Modisakeng is hosting the critically acclaimed Lefa La Ntate exhibition at the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg.

At the Great Pyramids of Giza (Copyright: Eugene Yiga)

Travel news this month takes you on the Game of Thrones world tour through Croatia, Ireland, and Spain. You can also enjoy the culture of Cairo or hunt for the ‘little five’ on a Living Desert Tour in Swakopmund. Speaking of Africa, business news this month offers insights into marketing to the youth online while Jen Gurecki talks about how Zawadisha is providing microloans to rural Kenyan women to improve their lives.

What about you? If you’re feeling a bit worn out at this half-way point of the year, career news this month covers how to handle depression and stress at work while Tshepo Sedumo of Grove Audio has some useful job advice: “It’s good to be safe but it’s better to be happy. It might be harder to reach your goals but once it pays off everything else will follow.”

May 2017: 7 stories in 5 publications

This month’s newsletter begins with the best drinks for May and the experience of learning to make my favourite childhood dish. There’s also more food news from Siba Mtongana, who opens up about becoming an international television star.

Speaking of local heroes making it big, Chris Bertish talks about his journey across the Atlantic Ocean on a stand-up paddleboard. And in other travel news, I share a review of the Southern Sun O.R. Tambo International Airport Hotel, tips on how to fully appreciate the greatness of Victoria Falls, and a taste of an untouched Malagasy paradise at Sakatia Lodge.

Helicopter over Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe (Copyright: Eugene Yiga)

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by technology (like many people are these days) Zen Habits has tips on finding stillness and filtering out the noise. Meanwhile, the Harvard Business Review explains why you need quiet time and Raptitude makes a compelling argument for why you should stop watching the news.

The key is to be intentional about how we spend our precious attention. It’s also about understanding why each moment is precious. As Leo Babauta writes in Zen Habits: “As we give each activity our full loving attention, we start to appreciate each person, each object, everything around us as something worthy of respect, love, and gratitude.”

April 2017: 8 stories in 6 publications

In the mood for a holiday? This month’s travel news explores the busy streets of Nairobi and, further off the African coast, the vibrant cultures of Zanzibar. Staying in the region, Colin Murray talks about how One Horizon is using travel experiences to fund humanitarian programs.

Speaking of people making a difference, Zaid Philander shares his quest to change the world through ethical fashion at I Scream & Red. And in music news, Matthew Wild of Cape Town Opera talks about his love for the stage while Neyla Pekarek of The Lumineers opens up about touring the globe.

This month’s Edgars Club Magazine columns feature the best drinks for April and why the only thing worse than being uninsured is going through the pain of filing an insurance claim. And speaking of stressful events, even though we’re only a third of the way through the year, you might be feeling the effects of job burnout and in desperate need of a break.

Khoja Mosque in Nairobi (Copyright: Eugene Yiga)

What if you can’t get away? Zen Habits has five tips for when you have too much to do while Headspace has six ways to shorten your to-do list. The key is to work deliberately instead of reactively so that you only do what matters. All the rest can wait, assuming you know how to procrastinate like a pro.

So don’t be afraid to understand the psychological importance of wasting time or to discover why being lazy makes you more successful. And don’t be afraid to embrace the idea that, as much as it’s often useful to squeeze the most out of each moment, there are ways that time management might be ruining our lives.

The solution is balance. As captured well in this feature on how Darwin was a slacker and why you should be too: “Even in today’s 24/7, always-on world, we can blend work and rest together in ways that make us smarter, more creative, and happier.”

It’s all up to you.

March 2017: 10 stories in 8 publications

Summer is almost over for those of us in the southern hemisphere but there’s still time to enjoy the sunshine. So take a sip on Sxollie Cider or join Motherland Brewers at Cape Town’s brand new craft beer bar. And while we’re on the subject of good food and drinks, Andrea Mullineux talks about winning an award for winemaker of the year, Scot Kirton is serving up something special at his new Foxcroft restaurant, and my latest Edgars Club column highlights the best drinks for March.

In music news, the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra is presenting four great concerts in its autumn symphony season, while Wesley Schultz of The Lumineers opens up about his ten-year journey to overnight success. And while we’re speaking about overcoming obstacles, Grant Lottering is getting ready to ride in a cycle race that almost cost him his life, while a team of medical experts have tips on fighting the rise of workplace depression and suicide.

The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra at City Hall (Copyright: Eugene Yiga)

Yesterday was my 31st birthday, which means that it’s now been ten years since I learned some life lessons from turning 21. Indeed, I’ve been thinking a lot about time lately and have come across several great articles that take a look at our relationship with time.

If you can’t believe that we’re already three months into the year, you might be wondering why there’s never enough time. You might even be guilty of sending one of these funny responses to overdue emails. Fortunately, there’s a great TED Talk offering guidance on how to gain control of your free time and an article showing you how to get more done by tracking your time.

Whatever might be happening in your life, it’s good to remember that the busier you are, the more you need quiet time. It’s also good to remember that all of us have the same amount of time – around 100 ten-minute blocks a day – and it’s up to us to make the most of them.

As Leo Babauta writes in Zen Habits, right now could be the moment you’ve been waiting for: “What if we stopped working for something later, and instead started paying full attention to right now? What if we stopped thinking happiness is coming soon, and tried to see what was in front of us, and find happiness in that? What if this were the moment we’ve been waiting for all along?”

It’s about time.

February 2017: 20 stories in 12 publications

It’s the month of love and there’s a lot to love about this month’s newsletter!

In the world of drinks, the Cape Wine Auction is supporting education initiatives in the winelands, Andrea Mullineux wins a Winemaker of the Year award, and my first monthly column for the Edgars Club Magazine features six drinks for Valentine’s Day. In food news, former investment banker Lentswe Bhengu is happy to be following his passion for cuisine while Giles Edwards of La Tête is proud to be included in CNN’s list of best new restaurants in the world.

Speaking of the world, there’s a lot to discover with this month’s travel stories. DJ Black Coffee opens up about how spinning the globe has changed his life, VoiceMap is offering authentic self-guided tours with its innovative app, Ghana is sharing its vibrant culture, and Mamre is giving visitors to the West Coast a taste of a town untouched by time. All you need to do is follow the traveller’s guide to luggage, pack your bags, and get ready to go!

The former home of Governor Simon van der Stel in Mamre (Copyright: Eugene Yiga)

In theatre news, the three leads of West Side Story talk about their journeys to the stage while Sandra Prinsloo and John Kani  are set to appear in a local adaptation of Driving Miss Daisy. And speaking of things to get excited about, entrepreneur Zibu Masotobe is proud to be included in President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative.

Other business news covers the importance of strategic alliances when building a brand, the rise of African MBAs in business schools across the continent, the growth of fintech in the banking sector, and the risk of workplace suicide among overworked employees. Clearly, it doesn’t matter if you need expert advice for every stage of your relationship or a guide to finding your passion; remember to take care of yourself.

We all deserve a little love.