From Khartoum with love

go! - - Ed’s Letter - PIERRE STEYN PSteyn@Me­dia24.com

It’s not my habit to sin­gle out sto­ries in go! in the sense of one be­ing more spe­cial than an­other. You’re bak­ing when you cre­ate a mag­a­zine, not cook­ing. When you cook, you can usu­ally com­bine a bunch of good in­gre­di­ents with­out nec­es­sar­ily fol­low­ing a recipe. A bit of this, a dash of that. You taste as you go along; you don’t mea­sure quan­ti­ties and you sim­mer it a bit longer if needed. If your in­stincts are sound, what­ever you’ve cooked will be tasty by the time you dish it up. If not, you can al­ways add some salt, tomato sauce or Mrs Balls to mask your mis­takes. You don’t have those lux­u­ries when you’re bak­ing. Your recipe has to be fool­proof. Your in­gre­di­ents have to be mea­sured ac­cu­rately. The oven tem­per­a­ture must be spot on and you need to leave what­ever you’re bak­ing in there for the cor­rect time. If ev­ery­thing in this process doesn’t go ac­cord­ing to plan, you could end up with a flop. I’m not sharing a mas­sive se­cret here, but ev­ery month we fol­low a recipe when we start “bak­ing” our new mag­a­zine. Ev­ery in­gre­di­ent has a role to play. The short­est story needs to be treated with the same care as the long­est fea­ture. Ev­ery in­gre­di­ent plays its role so that the “cake” will be de­li­cious. This is why I don’t sin­gle out spe­cific sto­ries. But some­times I bend my own rules when a story rather un­ex­pect­edly makes a big im­pres­sion. I’ve never had any de­sire to visit the cap­i­tal of Su­dan, but that changed when I read “Let­ter from Khartoum” (p 144) by Corinne Leukes. Now I want to taste za­l­abiya and fool and watch egrets fly over the con­flu­ence of the White and Blue Nile. I hope that this is­sue of go! is de­li­cious, but al­low me to put my own cherry on top – all the way from Khartoum.

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