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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

How this multitasking author uses tech to unleash her creativity

Hafsa Zayyan is a high-flier extraordinaire. After studying law at Cambridge and getting a master’s at Oxford, she became a lawyer in the City of London.

Then, inspired by Stormzy, she entered the rapper’s inaugural #Merky Books New Writers’ Prize in 2019 – and won.

Hafsa Zayyan, pictured with her Galaxy Tab S7 FE 5G and debut novel, was inspired by Stormzy to write up a storm

/ Barnaby Newton

This led to a full publishing contract, and her debut novel – We Are All Birds of Uganda – was published to great acclaim. Having recently become a mother, it’s fair to say she’s got her hands full.

“Writing was a side project alongside the legal career,” she explains. “But all this only came about because of Stormzy. I had to enter, because I love his music. I found myself writing in my spare time – which wasn’t much! I did a lot of early mornings and late nights, but the reaction was worth it. I was very humbled.”

Why the Galaxy Tab S7 FE 5G is ideal for writers

“It’s great that you can use the S Pen to write with,” says author Zayyan

/ Barnaby Newton

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE 5G is a perfect way for Zayyan to stay organised and creative amid everything, she says. “I use a Samsung Galaxy phone anyway, so it’s literally like my phone blown up – it integrates perfectly,” she explains.

“It’s great that you can use the S Pen to write with. It’s got some lovely apps where you can write on lined paper, but also add a photo on to the written page if you are inspired by something – whether it’s a break in the clouds, or something I find beautiful at this time of year. Then I can annotate on the page and come back to it, whether it’s later that day or a month later, and build on it.”

The Samsung tablet is her constant companion

When inspiration strikes, Zayyan’s Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE 5G is close to hand

/ Barnaby Newton

Zayyan sees ideas everywhere. Her debut novel was influenced by her husband’s family history. “The competition’s tagline was to tell stories that haven’t been told, and my husband is a Ugandan-Asian second-generation immigrant,” she explains.

“He said ‘my family’s story hasn’t been told’ – and he was right. It has so many angles and themes, and that’s very dear to me as a mixed identity second-generation immigrant myself. My parents are from West Africa and Pakistan.”

Zayyan is not sure when her next book might emerge. “I have some ideas,” she says. “Becoming a mother, that’s a new opening in your heart; juicy ground for material. But I still have a job. Maybe it will take another competition to get me writing again.”

In the meantime, the Galaxy Tab S7 FE 5G is a permanent fixture alongside her, for whenever the prose starts to flow.

Discover more about the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE 5G at Samsung.com

Zayyan was photographed on location at Arepa & Co, Bethnal Green



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