GOOD BYE 2012 …HELLO 2013…
2012 has been an amazing year. One that bears witness to an idea blossoming into a reality. Today a one year old magazine resembles a lot like a year old baby. Every day arrives with things that amazes, exasperates and eventually gives hours of happiness. Not just for the few of us who are involved in making, but also to our growing number of readers.
What’s special about i4a is that it has grown without having any full time parenting All of us have businesses and work to manage during these stressful times and families & friends taking over weekends and holidays. Yet somehow before the end of each month, activities begin taking place on its own and the next edition comes out almost magically. I guess that is what happens when you are involved in a labor of love !
It’s been a long journey. We began as an e-zine of written words. Articles, poems, short stories by Indians with interest in Africa. A big improvement took place a few months later when we added audio files. Now we could easily create high quality audio clips and hyper link it to our magazine. That made it easier for readers to listen from their mobile phones especially when they are on the move. A further improvement took place when we were able to record conversations over phone and net, edit them professionally and hyperlink them. Now recording interviews and conversations across countries and continents became simpler and so able to reach out better.
The e-zine format always began with a theme. The choice of theme has been varied covering wide range of topic from describing festivals to profiling African cities. In addition it had a number of sections each focusing on a different aspect of our lives. We look at the road traveled by each of them and look at the way forward
ART & LITERATURE: A venue to showcase talents in writing stories, articles, poems and paintings. It’s been hugely successful as can be seen from the large number number of contributions. It’s also a place for book reviews. The audio rendition of popular Hindi classic has brought back the joys that the classic stories brought to us years back. No wonder it has been so very well received – thanks to the hard work and lovely voice by Ms. Nidhee Datta.
Going forward, we plan to make contributions more wide spread, make audio renditions more popular and book reviews more frequent.
HOME & HEALTH: This section covers a wide range of topics relating to home and heath issues. Hence this section had articles contributed by our readers about astrology to cooking recipes.
Our co- editor Nidhee Datta, created Aunty Rao, a character resembling one of the middle aged housewives we all have in our acquaintance who we rely on medical and household tips.
In health section have appeared articles that shows how different stream of medicine tackle common ailments that effect our readers. We also featured a series of article on Mudra and how it can impact your health.
Going forward, we hope to see Aunty Rao continuing to guide us run our household better. We also hope to see housewives around the continent using this forum to share their household related tips with their sisters. Similarly we continue our focus on interesting articles that make a real difference in our health
INSPIRATION : Subtitle explaining this section , that appeared in the 1st edition states “Inspire us with what inspired you last month. You may be a making a big difference in someone’s lives without ever knowing about it.” Hence this is a section with articles meant to motivate us and explain our lives better. This year saw us put in stories of amazing Indians and inspiring talks and contributions that explain meaning of some of our rituals.
Going forward, we are excited about a project to create audio series that will explain various social issues and how to deal with them. And of course keep highlighting inspirational stories and other enlightening articles.
TRAVEL : The idea behind this section is to provide personal account of travel , especially to Africa and India.The kind of stuff that your travel agent does not tell you , but things that are uniquely Indian, the kind of stuff that you learn from friends.A noteworthy contribution in this section was made by Sivamani , director of Unilever and a travel buff . He has since moved to London. Looking ahead, our larger involvement with African countries should bring about more useful and interesting material in the days to come.
BUSINESS FILES: We all receive a number of business and management articles in our inbox. A few of them are of particular interest to Indians operating in Africa. This section provides you opportunity to do so. In addition articles written by our readers have also appeared in this section.
Going forward , we see this section becoming more widespread, more relevant and more interactive. A place to find vital information for Indian businessmen and corporates when looking to do business in African countries.
HUMOR: ” Send us whatever made you laugh the loudest last month. We Indians are known to have a great sense of humor… ..” This is how this section as introduced in the 1st edition. During the year we have seen a variety of contributions from excerpts of funny books like “racist guide to South Africa” to top cartoons of leading Indian cartoonist depicting the best of typical Indian humor.
Going forward..we leave it to the readers to guide us on what makes them laugh.
PHOTO GALLERY: Photo gallery was created to showcase photographic talents of many of our readers. We have brought together a few amazing collections from wild life to nature. Photo gallery also serves as tool to enhances coverage of month’s theme articles.
So what would 2013 behold ? Evolution of each section will continue so it serves your changing needs better. And as every component grows and evolves to match our readers spirited feedback, the synergy will help e-zine to continue to grow and expand to west, east , south, central and north Africa and truly start reflect lives of Indians in this continent of resurgence.