Rooted in Authenticity (with Abiola Oke) – Episode 5 of Rants and Randomness
I can’t believe I’ve already done five episodes of Rants and Randomness! There have been over 100,000 downloads of this podcast already. And the love y’all have been giving it has made my heart well!
In Episode 5, I am interviewing my boy Abiola Oke, CEO of OkayAfrica. It’s a great show, so don’t miss out!
I start off the episode talking about my feel-good moment featuring my teenage nephew. I recently discovered that my nephew found my TED Talk and was so impressed by it that he wrote about me in his school essay. Keep in mind that he’s never impressed by anything. And I didn’t even know he was paying attention to what I was doing professionally. So of course I almost cried when I found out that I inspire him so much that he wrote about me in school! You’ll have to listen to the episode to hear what he said about me but it will definitely give you the warm-and-fuzzies. Things like this keep me going because you never realize who is paying attention to you and who you are touching with your words!
My rant this week is about how I would rather ride a goat than take Spirit Airlines. I have very few enemies, but one of them is Spirit Airlines. Back when I was too broke to afford a nicer airline, I bought a ticket for Spirit Airlines for a cheap price. But once I got to the airport, they kept adding on all these extra charges! Also the seats did not recline and when I asked for something to drink they said they could only give me a cup of water before they started charging.
Obviously, flying with them was a terrible decision and my cheap $150 flight ended up costing me close to $300 with all the added fees. So I wrote a blog post about how Spirit is the worst airline, and in it I featured other people’s experiences with flying on Spirit Airlines. The comments had me hollering! Basically, I want better for you. Go ahead and pay regular price for another airline. The cheap fares on Spirit are not worth it.
My randomness for this episode is Will Smith’s Instagram account. It gives me life! One day he’s the life coach that you need, the next day he’s in peak dad-mode, and the day after that he’s the best friend you want to hang out with. Will Smith has always been somebody that people love. But he popped up on Instagram and changed everybody’s life because just living his life out loud. From complaining about wearing Christmas pajamas to taking salsa lessons from Marc Anthony, it’s so fun to watch him be the kind of the person you expected him to be. Go follow him @willsmith if you aren’t already. It’ll make your feed much happier and make you love him even more!
My guest for this episode is Abiola Oke, CEO of Okayplayer and OkayAfrica. Okayplayer is an 18-year-old media company founded by Questlove of The Roots serving rich commentary on black culture. OkayAfrica is the leading media company of its time connecting a global audience to Africa. As CEO, Abiola has shepherded the company’s rapid audience growth and business. The media brand now boasts offices in New York, Lagos, Johannesburg, and London. As a passionate activist and humanitarian, Abiola serves on the board of MoCADA (Museum of Contemporary Diaspora Arts), FACE Africa, and is an ambassador of the Monrovia Football Academy.
Besides trying to change the world, he also happens to be one of my good friends! We talk a lot about the relationship with Africans and African-Americans, trying to be better at self-care, and his secret ambitions to become the president of Nigeria! He shares about how he started with a career in finance and did something he hated for 10 years. While he was in the banking world, he made sure to sink himself into artistic expressions on the side so that he stayed motivated and kept his sanity. When he couldn’t take it anymore, he quit with no backup plan. It was then that he was able to pursue his career in media and the arts.
“I knew that I needed to put myself in an uncomfortable position to then follow my dreams.”
On his work with Okayplayer and OkayAfrica:
“It’s all about being rooted in authenticity and capturing the spirit of young Black creatives and sharing that with the world in an authentic manner.”
On one of the most important lessons he’s learning:
“You don’t have to figure everything out. You don’t have to have all the answers. People can fail and people can learn and that will allow you to have a better-balanced life. Trust the people around you to do the things that you’ve put them in place to do.”
Shout out to my homeboy Abiola Oke for joining me for Rants and Randomness! Ya’ll can follow him on social media @abiolaoke on Twitter and Instagram. And check out Okayplayer and OkayAfrica because they’re incredible platforms!
Much love to Chicago Recording Company, where I record each episode!
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