Chiru Mondo Murage Weinstein | December 11, 2023

The Monday Media Diet with Chiru Mondo Murage Weinstein

On Kenya, The Source of Self Regard, and aliens

Recommended Products

The Source of Self-Regard
The Source of Self-Regard

Currently on the author's nightstand, recommended as part of the works by Black female authors.

Notes on Grief
Notes on Grief

Mentioned by the author as a recommended read alongside The Source of Self Regard as works by Black female authors.

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha, #1)
Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha, #1)

Listed by the author as a part of her reading list for the summer, epitomizing her love for fantasy.

Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World
Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

As a kid the author was a huge fan of The Inheritance Cycle series, most known for Eragon. So when the 5th book came out a few weeks back – 10 years after the last – the author had to have it.

Chiru is a friend of WITI whom I find incredibly interesting. Happy to have her with us this week. -Colin (CJN)

Tell us about yourself.

I’m a twin and first gen American of Kenyan parentage. Currently nestled in the Upper East Side, I live with my husband and – hopefully in the coming years – a few kids and a scruffy dog too. 0-18 was spent in Pennsylvania’s suburbs (The Main Line if you know it) and Kenya for most summers. 

I grew up wanting to be a diplomat and so studied international relations, French, and Arabic in college. While I love learning languages, I am not a diplomat; my professional journey was a bit of a meandering path that ultimately (and happily) led to Instagram.   

Currently on my mind: nesting, creating more art and playing my piano. I’m a struggling artist, in that I struggle to paint and play the further I get from formal training. I’m working on it!

Describe your media diet.

IDK why I’m slightly sheepish to say I’ve sworn off live daily TV news in the last few years, but it was a necessary prune for my anxiety following the live Covid-19 ticker. Pandemic traumas aside, I prefer a smorgasbord of formats and pubs to stay up to date and inspired. 

My main course is always a podcast. I of course enjoy the classics – How I Built This, The Daily – but have a few beloved others. First up is All There Is with Anderson Cooper - my favorite ep Grateful for Grief is as devastating as it is moving. Southlake podcast is excellent journalism brought to life; it tells the story of what happens when critical race theory meets a small Texas town. 

Then, for balance I seek out the Naked Beauty podcast anytime I’m itching for new tips or product recommendations. Lastly, to feed personal aspirations of becoming a better home chef, I mosey over to IG and visit my bff Yinka Ogunbiyi’s @foodfireandsoul to see what recipe I can ruin the kitchen attempting. 

What are you reading now?

I’ve been told this is surprising but I’m a big fantasy and science fiction fan. Maybe even more surprising than being in RATM’s top 2% listeners 4 years in a row (yes, I’m writing this the week of Spotify Wrapped). But you asked about reading, so back to fantasy. 

As a kid I was a huge fan of The Inheritance Cycle series (most known for Eragon). So when the 5th book came out a few weeks back – 10 years after the last – I had to have it. My husband even helped me mark the occasion by driving me to New Jersey for the authors’ book signing. We fans were all strewn across Barnes and Noble with our new books, eagerly re-entering the world of dragons and magic. I felt like a kid again!

What’s your reading strategy when you pick up a print copy of your favorite publication? 

I rarely pick something up that I don’t devour cover to cover (to the point of tanking my sleep score). I wish I were less rigid, though, as I’ll often bookmark publications to read ‘when the time is right’ and get to them months after purchase. I keep a list of favorite articles and learnings, then bookmark stunning images for later reference.  

I enjoy a vision board collage so I do have a dedicated stack that’s chop-to-pieces friendly. The Harvard Lampoon is off limits. 

Who should everyone be reading that they’re not? 

More works by Black female authors! Currently on my nightstand is The Source of Self Regard (Toni Morrison), but I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Notes on Grief. And for my love of fantasy, on my list this summer is the next installment of Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone

What is the best non-famous app you love on your phone? 

Vivint (the home security system) is great. I use it to say hello to my mom from afar through the microphone cameras while she’s gardening. Very worth mom’s shock-realization-disbelief the first time I did this. 

Plane or train?

Plane! My travel bucket list includes Madagascar, Norway, and Nepal, all of which require one (or two or three). That being said, I’m waiting for the day a charming train ride through the Swiss countryside changes my mind. 

What is one place everyone should visit?

Kenya. Obviously biased but there is truly nowhere like it on Earth. From the Great Rift Valley to Lamu to Nairobi, Kenya’s one of the most beautiful places on earth. Essential foods to cover while there: 

  • Chapati!! Chapati paired with stew is top of the list. Everyone who gets it has a person in life who is an elite chapati maker. My chapati queen is Wairimu. 

  • Nyama choma: roasted goat. The reason I could never be vegetarian.  

  • Mango, passionfruit, pineapple in Kenya are what real fruit should taste like. It’s always a tough transition back to the NYC stuff. 

Tell us the story of a rabbit hole you fell deep into. 

Aliens: we simply aren’t talking about them enough!!! I can’t understand why knowing we aren’t alone isn’t more destabilizing. Having cohabitants in this universe surely means we’re on the precipice of something world altering, no?! And this is atop rampant war, crisis and chaos on Earth. Yet here I am eating my avocado toasts like a good millennial, living my little life with minor changes. 

I’ll admit this means my flirtation with doomsday prepping has turned to full blown affliction. Yes, I’m still allowing myself earthly pleasures like decor projects and blissful ignorance, but best believe I’m also storing go bags and trying to convince my mom and sister to get satellite radios. OK enough before I bring out the red string and tin foil hat. 

Thanks for reading,

Noah (NRB) & Colin (CJN)

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