EUDON CHOI UNCOVERS / YOMI ADEGOKE
JOURNALIST & AUTHOR | @YOMI.ADEGOKE
Uncovered: Yomi Adegoke
The beaming journalist takes us through her life journey to date, from an Ally McBeal inspired legal education to expressing her fascination for the ‘Real Housewives’ franchise (for research, of course). Motivated by friends and family, Yomi prosperously delves into whatever life throws her way and we like it!
SHOP THE LOOK: EMILY KNIT
On her career highlights…
When studying law, I was encouraged by a friend to write for my university paper. One of the pieces I wrote suddenly went viral and I ended up on BBC Breakfast defending my position… My first real taste on Journalism! After writing the odd piece I took a break from my studies, and, under the advice of a friend once again, and with the help of two charities, I started my own magazine. Birthday magazine was catered for black women and was met with some moderate success.
After a year out, I went back to university, and I graduated with a 2:1 but it became clear to me that it was journalism and writing that I wanted to pursue. Interviewing Naomi Campbell last year for The Guardian’s GT magazine was definitely a career highlight. In the middle of all that I co-wrote a book with my best friend Elizabeth Uviebinené about 4 young black women navigating life.
SHOP THE LOOK: CARLA DRESS
On finding her path…
I truly thought that going into law would be like Ally McBeal. But, I got there, hated it and instead found myself in my free time. I did enjoy the research element of it and putting forward a case because I’ve always really liked debate. Any time something happened in pop culture, especially anything to do with Beyonce, I would find a way to write about it on either a blog or for my university paper – not for money but genuinely because I had a lot of opinions and I wanted people to hear them; not even necessarily so they agreed, but so we could have a conversation and debate about it. So, I started blogging.
I’d say my appreciation for writing about pop culture comes from the fact that a lot of people don’t take it seriously. When writing a column about reality tv for The Guardian, I like to write almost as a corrective and put forward what I knew to be an accurate story.
Even with intersectionality, I just wanted to write about what reality was for me and my friends as black women, because when I open the papers and magazines it was like we didn’t exist.
SHOP THE LOOK: CAMILLE DRESS
On writing books with friends…
With several books down the line now, I can say that it’s been a journey over the past few years. Although Elizabeth and I really complement each other in a working relationship, it’s been difficult because we’re more like sisters. We had our ups and downs but no matter how much we fight we will always end up back on the same page!
When writing ‘Slay In Your Lane’, the biggest challenge was the research. I knew I was a confident black woman who had defied a lot of odds - without really thinking about it - about what my life could’ve been like if I potentially had different parents, or grew up in a different area, or been less lucky, made me sad. Trudging through the research I had to remind myself not to internalise it too much.
On choosing to write to children…
‘Slay In Your Lane’ was met with such commercial success back in 2018, that we decided to write a second book. I personally think the lack of awareness around what it meant to be a black woman in this country actually allows me not to think about it so much, so I don’t really think most themes should be introduced at a too young age.
So this time we wrote a story that wouldn’t necessarily be about the difficulties of being a black woman in the country but more sort of a celebration of what it means to be a young diverse person in the UK, and that’s how the ‘Offline Diaries’ was born a couple of years ago. We also wanted to cater to younger members of our demographic.
On music taste…
A lot of J Hus and Doja Cat. Those are probably the two artists I’ve been blasting in my flat. I love Cardi B, as a musician she makes amazing music, but I feel like I love Cardi B more as a person and a fellow libra, I just love her energy. I look at her career trajectory and just want to be the Cardi B of, like, whatever I’m doing because I feel like her rise has been so unexpected, swift, and deserved.
On style evolution …
I don’t think I have a personal style; I am one of the only people I know that just dresses according to what they like – I have no common theme. Today I’m in this dress, but tomorrow I could be in a massive, oversized tracksuit with a big puffer jacket. Funnily enough because I don’t have hair anymore, I always say, it makes everything look chic-er. Like you could wear a binbag, but because you don’t have hair it looks fashionable. I have had so many different hairstyles and wigs. I used to have pink dreadlocks, baby blue braids, an afro when I had my real hair out, back length wigs. I would change them pretty much every single day which is why it’s so weird now to have no hair and just be sat there bald.
SHOP THE LOOK: CARLA DRESS
On travel and escape …
I’ve lived in Thornton Heath, Croydon for 3-4 years now, and I didn’t realise until lockdown that there is a park next to me called Winterbourne park. In the sun it’s lovely, that’s where I go for a walk, run, or I go to the outdoor gym. I love to travel, and I’d want to go back to Cuba. I went there in 2016. It was incredible and so different from how I imagined it to be. When I got there, I was so surprised by the black population. I just for some reason had a vision from tv of not as diverse as it is, and just a very difficult place to be. Of course, it has its difficulties, but it’s just such an amazing, vibrant place. The music was absolutely amazing. Every single person could properly dance, and out there I was the worst. But there was this sense of pure freedom and real community spirit. I just had such a good time and would highly recommend it.