Inspiration Literature

Teju Cole And The Art Of Writing Tweets

  • Summary / Author

From Fellini to Pieter Bruegel and Mahler, the Nigerian literary star, Teju Cole has an opinion on just about everything these days and it seems that everyone is listening, including his 100,000 Twitter followers

Nigeria / US.  The New Yorker. The Atlantic. The Financial Times. The heavy-weights are publishing him. With his ironic intelligence, his tweets have been picked up by newspapers around the globe and translated into French and German. One of his most popular?

“Every 60 seconds in Africa, a minute passes. We can put a stop to this. Please retweet.”

Teju Cole grew-up in Lagos but makes his home in Brooklyn. His debut novel, Open City has garnered international acclaim. An artist with distinct Nigerian roots, his personal identity is terribly global. As one journalist insisted, Cole is as comfortable discussing Mahler and the films of Fellini as he is discussing hip-hop.

As a writer, the novelist is known for his stream of consciousness prose and obsession with language.

“When I write a piece, I am making myself so close to the language that it is super intense and super exhausting. When I write a tweet, I take it through drafts. It’s not that I don’t believe in frivolity, but even in my frivolity I want it to be intentional. That’s how I deal with success, by being ready.”

As a writer, as a personality and as a photographer, Cole is captivating. He is also, lucky for us, more than ready. is

Connect with Teju Cole on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @tejucole. Learn more about him on his website. Please have a look at his photographs here.