Audiomack’s Olive Uche is telling authentic stories about African creativity.

Olive Uche is a Nigerian-American creative entrepreneur and cultural storyteller and one of iMullar picks for #WomeninIndustry Series.

Olive’s desire and track record for showcasing and uplifting African creativity landed her current position as Audiomack’s Manager of Content Strategy for Africa where she spearheads the curation and celebration of African stories for the platform. Having worked with several stars from the likes of NSG to Adekunle Gold, Uche is a rising tastemaker in her own right and founder of NJIKO, her own creative agency. As a first-generation Nigerian American, Olive knows all too well the urgency to reconnect and tell modern stories about Africa. With an expansive background in content curation, marketing and branding, Olive Uche is focused on shifting the needle of mainstream media by rewriting the narrative of Africa through her creative endeavors.

M-Why do you create? What inspires you to create?

Honestly, it’s the need to showcase the Africa that I know, love, hope to create and keep pushing African narratives that inspire me. There’s a general perception that people have about the continent and how we are, what we do, and what we like and with the work I do, I want to be able to serve as the trip without the travel especially, when it comes to exporting and amplifying voices of the continent.

M-What has your journey been like in the media industry?

I used to think “it’s surreal to be in this industry” but every time I think that I follow it up with it was designed for me. It’s been interesting. Sometimes you find yourself thinking “Other people don’t have to go through this” and then there are other times where I’m super hype because I’m creating a lane of my own and adding my own flare to the spaces I’m in. It’s beautiful yet unique because it’s ever-changing. Throughout my journey, I’m constantly reminding myself that I owe it to myself to step into things “no shaking”. I’m not going to be silent, I’m going to make my presence known, I have work to do, and if you feel some way about me being in certain spaces I ask that you keep your eyes and ears wide open because I’m not going anywhere and you’re going see me and hear about what I do. I’m not tone-policing myself, I’m not giving you palatable African-ness, and I’m not going to be told to keep certain things to myself. I don’t have time for that! 

M-What has been the greatest hurdle for your creativity?

One of my greatest obstacles uses to be trying to remove myself from the cultural norms of what “I should be doing” as an African child in the eyes of my parents vs going after what I want. These days it’s reducing a lot more. It takes a lot to rid yourself of the notion that all you do is or solely revolves around the acceptance of others. I don’t worry about it much now. I’m reaching a place in my life where I’m so set on what I do and go after that it doesn’t need to come with the permission of others.

M-What are the ways in which people can support more women in the industry?

Hire us! Appoint more women into high-rank positions! Co-sign us! Advocate for us! Pay us our worth! It’s pretty simple. If you want us in these spaces bring us to the table. Don’t have women out here building these brands, artists, companies, etc, and not want us to have a seat at the table. Lastly, it should come from a genuine place and interest not because you need to look diverse or inclusive. It will cost you nothing to support women but it’ll multiple everything around you when you support and amplify women tenfold!

M-Finally, how do you get over imposter syndrome?

I’ve been fortunate enough to encounter people who believed in me just because. Sometimes you don’t see the light and greatness that lies within yourself so you need others to hold that mirror to you and encourage you to apply to that job you probably don’t feel as qualified for or present that presentation at the weekly board meeting. I’ve been blessed to have that. I’m grateful to know I have those people in my circle because they keep me going and succumbing to moments of doubt or second-guessing. They serve as a constant reminder to keep going.

 From uncertain beginnings working behind the scenes on concert productions for the African community in New York City to now collaborating with some of the biggest stars in African music, Olive Uche is championing African creativity with everything she touches. Check out more of Olive Uche’s work here


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