Baffoe grew the magazine into a leading men’s media brand during his previous four years at the helm.
Over the last four years, since having left the magazine in October 2014, Baffoe has continued to work within the media and content space, producing and presenting on radio at Kaya FM, developing podcasts and creating content strategies, including a short stint editing Afropolitan
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.
Jessica Tennant 26 Jun 2017
Baffoe comments on his return to the magazine:
It made sense when we started discussing the possibility. It is a space that I understand and would like to think I was an integral part of. I always considered myself vested because I worked on the mag in the early years.
Also, my children were very small when I was last at Destiny Man, I wanted to get more time with them. They are at an age when they are a bit more understanding.
So, taking into consideration where I am in my life and career, and the fact that this is a space that I was a part of, it made sense.
What did you take out from the time spent away from Destiny Man?
With the industry evolving so rapidly, this has enabled me to stay plugged in as well as allowed me the space to continue to develop and refine my own ideas and concepts when it comes to media, content, advertising, PR and communications.
At heart, I am a storyteller and these experiences have helped me understand how we can continue to tell stories, using all the platforms and/or channels available to us, particularly from an African perspective. There is so much happening around the world and it’s important for us, as Africans, to both contribute and refine from our context.
What excites you most about the magazine and your vision for it?
I guess what excites me most is the Destiny Man
brand overall, and the fact that it isn’t just about the magazine, but being a part of broader society and contributing to that through the magazine, the site, social media and experiences.
Is this what you love most about your career?
I would say that I am never standing still. I’m always learning, always being challenged. I am curious by nature and love knowledge, sometimes for the sake of it, and have always ended up in spaces where that has been valuable.
At the same time, I would like to think that I am contributing to my community, my society and my continent in whatever little way that I can. And, despite the ups and downs, I am able to live a life I can be proud of, honouring those who have come before me and laying a foundation for those coming after me.
I believe that we should leave our little patch of this life better for having been in it, and I hope that I am doing so. I love that I am able to strive to do so every day in my work.
I would like to think that I am contributing to my community, my society and my continent in whatever little way that I can.
Speaking of which, comment on the role you believe the publication has to play within its community.
I sincerely believe that we do ourselves a disservice when we fixate solely on print and neglect the other dimensions. When it comes to media in general, the discussions we should be having are around business models. We contribute to the development of our community through the stories we tell. How we are able to sustain ourselves enough to continue to effectively do so is the discussion we should be having, as opposed to simply the state of print.
Do you think print has an important role to play?
Absolutely. But it can’t be just about print, just like it can’t be just about digital, which for years we have been saying is the ‘future’ and that ‘print is dead’. Do a search online for ‘print is dead’ and there are countless opinions about whether it is so. Print is struggling, from a business perspective. How we reimagine it within the context of everything else will determine what it looks like in the future.
What did it take to get to where you are today?
My career is a career with hindsight. I have always tried to take the next logical step, the next opportunity available, without concerning myself too much about what industry it is in.
What are you currently reading, watching and/or listening to for work?
I consume a lot of stories whether it is reading, watching or listening. Everything I consume is for work, whether it is about gaining insights into a particular topic or working on myself. Plus, as a storyteller, it is also about working on my craft and understanding the different mechanisms and tools available to me in telling stories that are relevant and contextual.
I watch a lot of documentaries, mainly around music and history. I just watched a documentary on Quincy Jones and I am watching a documentary series on the Vietnam War.
I am listening to a podcast called The Knowledge Project
which is an extension of the site farnamstreetblog.com
, which I refer to a great deal.
I just finished reading WTF?: What’s The Future and Why It’s Up To Us
by Tim O’Reilly, and Joe Dispenza’s Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing Uncommon Things
I am currently reading Ahmir Questlove Thompson’s Creative Quest
, Ela Manga’s Breathe: Strategising Energy In The Age Of Burnout
and Eric Ries’ The Startup Way: Making Entrepreneurship A Fundamental Discipline Of Every Enterprise
That’s quite a list! Tell us something about yourself not generally known.
This is always a difficult question to answer because what is known about me is what I am generally comfortable with people knowing, beyond my family and friends.
But, in the interests of openness, my dream was to run the 100 metres in the Olympics for either Lesotho, Ghana or Germany. I like to think I had a shot until I was injured and had surgeries to save my leg from amputation and later had muscle transfers done.
It took me years before I was able to watch the 100-metre finals without getting a tad emotional, and it also taught me the lesson that you can never put all your eggs in one basket. And life comes with its own twists and turns so it isn’t about what ‘happens’ to you but rather what you do.Wise words! For more, follow KojoBaffoe.com and DestinyMan.com.Further reading:
Editor of Destiny Man, Thabiso 'TT' Tema, took up the reigns of his new position in February. With two decades in broadcast media, this is his first foray into print and digital journalism...
Louise Marsland 10 Mar 2016