Wendy Watta is the Editor and Project Manager of Yummy Magazine by EatOut Kenya. She also runs the website wattaonthego.com where she writes about food, wine, travel and everything in between. She currently writes for Business Daily, Msafiri, Nakumatt Smartlife, The Standard Newspaper, and has in the past year alone also worked with Drum, True Love, Couture Africa and Healthy Woman. Get this: she is only 23 years old.
You are a traveller, foodie, wine enthusiast, writer, food magazine editor and all around lover of life. How did you start this journey?
I always knew I was going to work in Media and Publishing in one way or another, and when I got to be editor of my high school magazine at 15, that was it. I was sold! Everything else is just interests and passions that I’ve been picking up over the years and that have now allowed me to specialize.
What’s it like being the Editor of Yummy Magazine?
There’s the fun stuff like checking out restaurants, wine and whiskey tastings, exclusive foodie events and more. On the other hand, it is a very high pressure job, especially in the last week before an issue goes to print. I am like an entirely different person in that period. But then the magazine comes out great, readers send me emails about how much they loved it and there’s a buzz on social media… and in those moments, I remember just how much I love what I do.
How has your blogging journey been like?
I had my first blog in 2009, before it was even the in-thing. It actually led to my own magazine which unfortunately folded because at 17, I didn’t understand the business side of things. I also started the fashion blog afrowatta.com later on and that actually contributed to me getting hired by Carole Mandi Media. Despite its popularity, I gave it up to focus on print media.
It took a while for me to even consider starting wattaonthego.com about four months ago, but at the end of the day, some desires will just keep clawing inside you until you give in. Mine is a lifestyle blog about travel in search of adventure, food, wine, inspiration and everything in between. Thing is, I’ve already done the blogs where I was just in it for the passion and need for self-expression. While those are things that will ultimately always drive me, I am turning wattaonthego.com into a lifestlyle brand. Being savvy in media, branding and digital marketing, I can’t wait to see the content, partnerships, sponsorships and opportunities that will have ensued by December this year.
You have travelled to so many places. What is that one place that still makes your heart skip a beat?
I enjoyed my experience in Dubai so much that I have planned a return trip around August this year.
What did you spend your first pay cheque on?
I wish I could say something fancy like ‘shoes or a trip out of town”, but that was hardly the case. I moved out of home at 19, and my first paycheque after that point went to house shopping and paying my electricity bill. I remember feeling so grown up (chuckles).
One cannot fail to notice that you have a very distinct sense of style that hardly includes trousers. Is that intentional?
Maybe I saw the book Good Girls Don’t Wear Trousers by Lara Cardella as a kid and it subliminally affected me. Oh, who am I kidding…I just have thunder thighs, that’s all. I do however wear yoga pants. Whether they’ve ever been to yoga is another matter altogether.
As a foodie you are always eating. How do you still manage to maintain that figure?
What figure? *laughs hysterically* I eat out pretty much daily, and I am nowhere near where I would like to be in terms of fitness. Lately I’ve been trying to eat as clean as I possibly can given my lifestlye, swim every other morning, walk a lot and I just started taking kick boxing classes.
Good writers are often times avid readers. What books are your favourite?
My parents started feeding me novels at 8 and I always had a personal library growing up. I thought I would be an author. There’s a time when I read so much my mum would literally call me every day and beg me to go out and socialize. Now she can barely keep up with me, but I am also increasingly reading less, unfortunately.
Song that is stuck in your head right now.
Pillow Talk- Zayn Malik. I’ve had it on replay all day.
Best advice you have ever received
I used to struggle with thinking that conditions had to be perfect before I could go after certain goals. My mom kept telling me that ‘the journey of a thousand miles begins with a simple step’, and she repeated it enough times till it sunk in.
Before we go, what do you want to have accomplished by age 30?
I will for sure have gone around Africa, Europe and Asia. I am taking on one continent each year, so there’s still a bit of time. I will also have one or two books out. As for the rest, let’s just say that I’m taking it one day at a time!