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Tobi Oredein: Women Doing Bits Series

Tobi Oredein is an award-winning women's lifestyle journalist, media entrepreneur, and international public speaker. Based in London, Tobi focuses on race, feminism, beauty politics & popular culture, and is the CEO and founder of Black Ballad, a lifestyle website for the black and mixed women.

What does Black Ballad do in a sentence?

Black Ballad is a media and data company for and by black women in Britain and beyond.

How did you come up with the idea?

While doing my dissertation at university, I studied American Studies at Kings College London. I was researching African American magazines and I was fascinated by how Ebony magazine had created a community around its publication by making black women and African American culture its sole focus. I wanted to know where the Black British version of that publication was and I thought if it doesn't exist I'll create it one day.

Why are safe spaces so important?

Because the world is built upon white supremacy and this means that black women are risk. When I mean at risk I mean speaking our minds can have consequences and sometimes for simply existing we experience microaggressions. We need spaces where we can be ourselves and speak our minds without feeling at risk or experiencing any consequences.

What does representation mean to you?

Being able to tell my stories on my own terms. Representation isn't just about being a black face in a space, but it is about having the ability to speak my truth in a way that is unfiltered.

What’s your advice for someone looking for creative freedom to do what they love?

It's a journey and never give up on it.

What’s your favourite Afrocenchix product?

Smooth! Works on mine and my daughter's hair like a dream.

How can we support your current projects?

You can support myself and Black Ballad by buying a membership. Typing in 'Tobi' gives you a 40% discount!

About The Women Doing Bits Series: This March, we’ll be talking to impressive women in our community (like Bola SolAbadesi Osunsade and Sharmadean Reid) about what they do, how they came up with their big ideas and much more. 

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