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How I Became a Magazine Editor

A story by Christabel Telewa



As a little girl, I loved writing and I did well in my native language Swahili and in English, my second language. But unlike many children, I did not know what I wanted to do when I grew up. I just knew that I loved reading stories and writing. Many years later, I am the Editor of Afroelle Magazine, a digital magazine that tells stories of successful African women.

So, how did this happen?  Well, Afroelle was founded  10 years ago by my friend Patricia Miswa. Patricia was so intelligent and kind, and she had such a sweet laugh that I don't think I'll ever forget. I am using "was' when referring to her because Patricia suddenly passed on January 4, 2018, at the Minnesota State University where she was pursuing a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing. Her passing was so unexpected and sad since she was alone in a foreign country.

Her family and friends organized to bring her body home where she was buried. A few weeks later, her sister reached out to me and asked if I wanted to become the editor of Afroelle to continue Patricia's legacy. I immediately said yes, without thinking much about it. This is so odd because ordinarily, I like to think things over before making a commitment. Also, I had a lot in my hands at the time.  But I knew that I had to say yes. See, many years ago when Patricia started her magazine, we had talked about working together. But for some reason, we just never did - until that call came.

When I started editing the magazine it was so challenging because I had never done it before, but as I produced more editions I gained the confidence. And some of those stories inspire me too. So, I plan to continue with it.

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January 3, 2022


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