Ada | Writer and Commentator | I love learning about people, their ways of life, their culture and language | London, United Kingdom
Instagram: @itsadaakpala and @differentvoiceinitiative
PLEASE TELL US A BIT ABOUT WHAT YOU DO/ YOUR PROJECT/ BUSINESS/ ACTIVISM OR SUBJECTS CLOSE TO YOUR HEART RELATED TO THAT.
I write and speak on identity-related subjects, particularly racial identity. I do this on social media and via my website, differentvoice.uk. I am fascinated by how and why individuals compress their existence to a single identity or a number of fairly distinct and separate identities. I'm trying to disprove the notion that the labels we use to define ourselves accurately and totally sum up who we are. These labels and identifiers, whether naturally determined or socially constructed, have only served to divide, exploit, and cause confusion. As our culture navigates these complex and delicate topics, I intend to restore the balance of thought and graceful speech.
1) THE BEST THING THAT HAPPENED TO YOU IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS?
I got married to the love of my life in August this year, it was my dream wedding and I couldn’t have asked for anything better, We had family travel from all over, from Italy, Germany, Canada, US and Nigeria…. It was overwhelming (in a good way) literally the best thing that has happened in my life (not just the past 12 months)
2) THE WORST THING THAT HAPPENED TO YOU IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS?
One of my closest friends had a miscarriage. It was a painful moment. As someone who is planning on starting a family soon, it really affected me for a while.
3) YOUR BIGGEST WISH FOR THE NEAR FUTURE?
My biggest wish for me is that my work reaches more people. I am conflicted sometimes in this because I actually don’t like the attention. I really don’t. But I do enjoy what I do. There is a lot of noise out there, the media tells us how we should think, our family and friends tell us how we should think, politicians tell us how we should think, and when we want to think just a little bit different, we are mocked, dismissed or ignored; I love that my words impact people and allows them to know that they are not alone or crazy, they are free to question the narrative and the information that bombards them on a daily basis. If more attention comes with my work, I just have to find a way to deal with it.
4) YOUR BIGGEST WORRY FOR THE NEAR FUTURE?
My biggest worry is actually war, I feel the weaponry is more sophisticated and deadly nowadays and also that people are more insane! However I actually don’t think it is so likely, perhaps it is just scare tactics by the media and national leaders to keep the population in line? I don’t know. Who knows?
I also worry about a civil war, or multiple civil wars across the globe. The media is doing a good job at polarising the masses, and people keep falling into the same traps. They see their neighbour, relative or colleague as the literal enemy just because they have differing political views or social values. That’s why I don’t pick teams or play sides, it’s a bad road we are going down.
5) A CONTEMPORARY WOMAN YOU CURRENTLY ADMIRE?
I will say two, someone I know personally, Ayishat Akanbi. I admire the ways she tackles complex social issues with grace, humanity and intellectual integrity. I also admire Kemi Badenoch for similar reasons, it is rare that I admire political figures but I love how she was courageous to tackle the false narratives pertaining to race and racism in the UK. She directly inspired me to not stop speaking out. She is a great example that being a black woman doesn’t mean that you have to conform to certain politics, attitudes and ideologies.
6) A ONE-SENTENCE MESSAGE TO OTHER WOMEN?
"You are not your past, you are not the mistakes you made. Let it go”
THE WORLD HAS BEEN CHANGING DRAMATICALLY IN RECENT MONTHS:
HOW ARE YOU COPING?
I am constantly plugged in because I need to know what’s going on so I can write and speak about it, so sometimes it gets a bit too much. That’s why I am grateful for my husband, he doesn’t care about “being in the know” so I pretty much escape to him when I need some sanity and a break. I also treat myself a lot, life is too short and the overloading of information and mass hysteria is trying to make our lives shorter! I am mindful of this and I allow myself to take a step back and focus on things that matter most. The biggest event that affected me the most was the pandemic, but in a good way, as that’s when I had the opportunity to start the work I am doing today.