When Tobi Oredein founder and CEO of Black ballad’ responded to my email, I knew God was certainly in my favour. She responded positively with such kindness that I was taken aback. You see Tobi is the founder of what is soon becoming the UK’s leading lifestyle destination for black British women. Black Ballad aims to empower black British women through commerce, community and content. In a world where everyone is keen on destruction and tearing apart Tobi and her team are here to show that your voice matters and your world view is respected. She is committed to ensure black British women have a safe place to be who they really are, don’t you love it when women endeavour to empower other women.
But I know you do not want to read me rant on and on so why don’t you hear from Tobi about how God has a hand in her actions and why ‘Balck Ballad‘ is giving a voice to women who would have otherwise been silenced by the masses. So here is a proverbs 31 woman pursuing a Virtuous enterprise, Tobi Oredein of Black Ballad.
On what the Proverbs 31 woman represents
The proverbs 31 woman is a provider. She provides for not just herself but her family; she is the woman I want to be. She is aware of her priorities. She is a doer, she makes things happen and does not wait around for someone else to do things, I feel that is critical especially for our generation of women.
On balancing home and career successfully
I think it is possible especially if you have a partner that takes responsibility as well and encourages your various pursuits. There is this idea that the responsibility of the home lies solely on the woman. However, I believe that the success of any household is based on great partnership. I think if you have a great partner there is no reason for you not to provide, time, care, and money for your family. As someone who balances relationships, church commitment, work, and career; I am aware that not all things get 100% of my attention all the time. But we need to be conscious of our priorities at any given time and should be organised, and achieve a balance.
On the 21st century women and priorities
I feel women ought to pay attention to self-care and their mental health. I believe that we are certainly ambitious women in the 21st century with a lot of opportunities. However, we must acknowledge that we ourselves are a priority, it will be great if we took better care of ourselves.
On starting Black Ballad
For a longtime I had a conviction from God that I was going to be a journalist, but it never seemed to fit with any of the working situations that I was in. Eventually I got repeated confirmation that God wanted me to start something for black women. I realised that mainstream media was not catering to the needs of black women, our voice was not being heard and our concerns were not being addressed. Working as a freelance journalist I knew that nothing was going to change, that was when my passions and my purpose aligned to produce ‘Black Ballad’.
On the Crowdfund
After the initial successes that we had, I had to consider the long-term plans for ‘Black Ballad’ and ensure it was sustainable. We had been offering free content to our readers, however we reached a point where we had to re-assess our strategy. This was why we started the Black Ballad Crowdfund, to provide us with the capacity to provide our members with the resources they want, while being realistic. Also, advertising can be tricky especially when you want to make sure you are providing an authentic objective avenue for black British women to express themselves. By introducing the crowdfund, we decided to encourage our readers to pay for our subscription service that will provide exclusive access to our content, events and resources.
“black women are not the angry, over sexualised stereotypes they are often portrayed to be in mainstream media”
On Representation of black women in media
We need to acknowledge the fact that black women are not the angry, over sexualised stereotypes they are often portrayed to be in mainstream media, Black Ballad aims to change that narrative. In 10 years I want Black ballad to be the home of black women. I want us to tell the stories of women who have not had an opportunity to do so. I want Black Ballad to be the digital home for black women, enabling them to tell their stories on their terms.
On starting a business
I had no interest in business when I was younger; I was not interested in the responsibility that comes with being a business owner. However, God has a funny way of making you eat your words. We all have different talents and different purposes, although we may not all be entrepreneurs, we need to ensure that our gifts work for us. If you have a desire for business and are not business minded, then you’ll need to team up with someone, who has that skill. I had to team up with my business partner and gain the skills required to understand the economic aspects of running a business. Just because you do not have the natural ability, that does not mean your dream is not possible.
A word to young Christian Entrepreneurs
What scripture are you standing on? Life is not what you see on social media; it is not perfect, things can become difficult. You will be sleep deprived; finances will run low. You need to be able to go back to the word of God with faith if you don’t get the result you were expecting. Ensure you work hard and put in the time to get excellence. Ensure you have a good support system, work with your allies, you need people who will pray with you and lighten the burden of the load that you’ll carry.
“Learn to slay in your lane, and stop comparing yourself to other people”
Her interpretation of the damiloves motto ‘learn to love the life you’re living’
Stay in your lane. God has created us uniquely, remember to stay on your path regardless of how difficult it may seem. When you attempt to follow the path of others, you will not live the life you’re supposed to. Learn to slay in your lane, and stop comparing yourself to other people.
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I hope you enjoyed reading Tobi’s story! As you can see I got so many ‘tweetables from her interview! Remember, ask God for a word, stand firm on it, improve yourself, ask for help and have a desire to impact your generation positively.
Thank you to Tobi for granting us this interview and kicking of what I hope will be a series that encourages you to be the best version of yourself. remember what Tobi said “Learn to slay in your lane”
To become a member of Black Ballad click here
PS : There is a Black Ballad giveaway coming soon, so stick around I’m sure you’re gonna love it.
Until I come your way again.
Dami loves a virtuous enterprise xx