I first ‘met’ Natlie through her blog when I was looking for more kenyan blogs to follow. That was the first time I fell in love with her words. I then found a piece she wrote on medium and I was in awe of her and I just wanted to consume everything she puts out. I have been following her for a while now and I knew I wanted to have her on the blog. A reader, a writer and a podcaster, meet Natalie. I hope you enjoy our chat as much as I did. ❤

1. Tell me a little about yourself.

Hey there! My name is Natalie Sifuma but most people refer to me as Sif. I research and write stories for a living, and I am currently working on a novel which is damn near going to kill me but i’m a fighter so I know it will be awesome. I’m proudly Kenyan and believe that chapatti should be our staple food. I also hate cooking! (LOL)

2. What are you currently reading?

My current read is Ayobami Adebayo’s “Stay with Me” and I find myself empathetic with the hardships one of the protagonists is facing. (I’m a slow reader so I take, on average, three weeks to finish a book).

3. What is your favorite genre and why?

My favourite genre is literary fiction because it engrosses me into a world that’s a replica of reality and allows me to understand the character flaws and hardships as though they were my own. I have, however, also began to take an interest in Afrofuturism/Fantasy which makes me think of what the world would look like in another 50+ years.

4. What do you think about the reading culture in Kenya?

When it comes to Kenya’s reading culture, my thoughts are, as ‘readers’ we are neither here or there because at the end of the day, everyone reads on the daily (perhaps not Bible-sized novels but content is still being consumed). My only wish is that we would have more literary spaces that show the value of reading because reading gives light to knowledge that would otherwise remain unknown. Also, imagine a Kenya where we all use big big words over tea? sounds nice!

5. Name 3 reading habits that you have.

My reading habits:

1. After completing a chapter, I close the book for a brief moment to digest where the story is at. This helps me imagine what’s happening in the scene

2. I prefer to read at one particular corner in my house that faces our garden.

3. Of all the fiction books I indulge in, I read the first chapter at least three times.

6. Tea or coffee? And how do you take it?

I’m torn between Tea and Coffee but I only take home made tea because it’s made with the right amount of Luhya-joy. I love iced lattes and cappuccinos when I’m at a café.

7. What is one book you recommend to people?

I recommend ‘Dust’ as the must read book for everyone. Word has it that it is a difficult read, and I can’t argue with that because it is but why can’t people accept the challenge? ‘Dust’ is a magnificent piece of work that has taught me to be patient as well as to appreciate the fact that Kenyan writers are badass – and Yvonne Owuor (author) hasn’t gotten enough credit for this book – at least not locally.

8. Where can we find you?

Physically you can find me spending my days in a cozy modern home among the coffee plantations of Kiambu but if social media is your thing, I’m on twitter spreading vibes as sifumawrites and ever telling stories on IG as nataliesif.