“I’m turning 37 this year, and that means I’m on the cusp of being a middle-ager! However, it also means that I’ve learnt to like who I am. I’m certainly more confident than I was at 17, and I’m definitely stronger, wiser and more comfortable in my own skin than I was at 27. I know what matters, I know who matters, and I know what I want.

The 17-year-old me was a very shy boy who was unsure of his place in the world. I actually wanted to be a product designer, with fantasies of designing cool and useful products that will “change the world” like Philippe Starck or Tom Dixon such wishful thinking. I eventually figured that writing about design was more my schtick than the actual act of designing.

I got into the writing business by accident actually. I did a bit of freelance writing on the side while working in sales at this super cool Club 21 boutique called Blackjack. A good friend was setting up an urban toy design company and wanted to publish a monthly magazine that’s all about the culture. I was keen, and here we are today, 12 years later.

Challenges? Well, I love what I do very much, so much so that the line between work and life just melds and becomes blurred sometimes. That happens when “work” is going to the movies, eating out, watching a concert, talking to interesting people and then writing about it.

It was exciting at first, but after years of doing that, it just becomes tiring. I know, First World problems. I’ve learnt that having work-life balance is key to being successful at what you do. It’s not all about chasing deadlines. That said, I’m very thankful for the many opportunities that have gone my way.” – Zaki

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