Babongile and Pumzile Zulu make up the South African Duo Literary Bloggers behind 1001 Bookish Things. Even though they both insist that their blog of four months is still too young to have any dirty secrets dished up for us, they were still able to share the most important part of themselves, their beautiful energies and inspiring passion for what they do and why they do it.
Who are your top 5 favourite bloggers of all time?
BZ: My number one favourite blogger (is actually a vlogger!) is Prince Ea. I fell in love with him about two years ago when I came across his video titled “Can We Auto-Correct Humanity.”
Number two on my list is Paige Nick J I started following her column in the Sunday Times (A Million Miles From Normal) while I was still studying and it’s been really awesome following her blog of the same name, and, of course, reading her books too!
I’m really tucking into the likes of Tope Owolabi (Ecletic Tope), Chiedozie Dike and Siyanda Mohutsiwa (Siyanda Writes).
Have you met anyone interesting/famous on your blogging journey?
BZ: We’ve met a whole bunch in the ‘interweb’ sense! Mostly South African authors such as Paige Nick, Louis Wiid, Pamela Power, Mandy Collins, Joanne Macgregor. We’ve also recently been in touch with a Ghanaian author who lives in Sweden, receiving that email from one of the far flung corners of the world was pretty awesome.
And personally I’ve met an author called Zanele Dlamini who has written a book called Plumeria, being involved in her recent Durban book launch on Heritage Day was such a special experience!
What has been the biggest difference for you since you started blogging?
PZ: I have always been a reader, so the difference for me now is sharing my reads and opinions on them (something I didn’t think was important for a long time). As a woman, it is important for me to share ideas with others, especially with those who are like-minded and this blog has enabled me to e-meet some amazing women out there, who continuously share their thoughts on our social media platforms. I have also learnt to appreciate that there is a lot of responsibility that goes into reading a book and writing a review on it.
BZ: Time! I didn’t realise this quite so deeply before jumping into blogging, but there’s obviously a certain level of proficiency that you have to maintain as a blogger because your readers will come to expect content at certain times. My responsibility as the blogger who’s built that expectation is to make sure that I get through the books and post up the reviews as often as possible to keep them interested. Our main goal of the blog is to keep the bookish conversation going so slacking is never an option.
Three things you want to say to your loyal readers?
PZ: Thank you for going on this journey with us and for not being afraid or lazy to contribute to our growth. I love that you take the time to comment, like our posts and share your thoughts on the books we write about, as well as recommending some books you’ve had the pleasure of reading.
BZ: Thank you is definitely number one. For all the retweets, the comments, the email subscriptions to the blog, the likes, the Instagram follows, the words of encouragement – ALL OF IT! We thought we’d be this little blog in the corner just trudging along doing our thing, but the response has been amazing and encouraging.
The second thing we’d like to say is actually a reminder … WE’RE ON YOUTUBE BABY! We’re still spring chickens in the YouTube game but we’re really having fun with it!
If you knew the world would come to an end in a year, what would you do with your remaining time on earth?
PZ: I’ve been blessed with a beautiful daughter, who’s as feisty as her aunts and is very outspoken. So my time would probably be spent fostering a love of books, ticking off bucket list items together, maybe start a You tube cooking show (I love cooking but may not be the best cook around) and just do crazy things with my sisters and parents, including a lot of travelling (as much as we can squeeze into a year).
BZ: You mean besides getting through my To Be Read pile of books?? I’d travel to some of my bucket list destinations, namely Guatemala, Amsterdam and Nigeria. I’d also do one new thing a day – in an effort to really challenge my preconceived notions about certain things, etc. And finally on my last day, I’d pig out on pecan nuts. I’m kinda nuts about pecan nuts.
Name a series you are addicted to right now?
PZ: My latest addiction was the Hlomu series (I hope Dudu will write a lot more). Currently, nothing, just reading standalone books.
BZ: Book series – I’m addicted to the Recoil trilogy by local author Joanne Macgregor!! I’m currently reading the nail-biting second book called Refuse. If you want to know more about Book 1, there’s a review on the blog and there’s also an email interview that we did with the author so that’s a treat!
Is there a letter you’ve ever written but you know you’ll never send?
BZ: In my final year of university, my classmates and I went off to a writer’s retreat in Bedford and on the last day we had to write a letter to someone about our experience on the retreat. I wrote a letter to my niece who’d recently passed away and it was a great way to kind of talk to her again. I knew that would be one of those letters I’d unfortunately never get to send. But I believe she’s read and re-read the contents of that letter over the years.
Feature Written By: Sinawo Bukani
She is a Digital Marketing Recruit at Umuzi Photo Club. She recently resigned from her corporate job as an Asset Management Associate to invest in her SuperPowers in Literary Journalism, Lifestyle Blogging and Content Marketing.