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After our Wakeley Women portraiture shoot, captured by Laura Bailey and styled by Cathy Kasterine, Amanda was joined by Ooooota Adepo, the tech, creative and social entrepreneur of our time. Read more to discover what led Ooooota on her journey.
Ooooota is a tech, creative and social entrepreneur. She is the founder and director of The Pink Taxi, a female driven platform which prioritizes sustainability, diversity, and modern lifestyle in addressing the needs of women.
Amanda: Tell me what led you on the journey to where you are now with your TED talks - your messaging?
Ooooota: To be honest I don’t know that I can see a clear path. I just know that I have had experiences in different parts of the world that have shaped me and opened my eyes to things that maybe other people can comfortably be oblivious towards. I am passionate about people. I am passionate about the world, about cultures and histories and I feel like everyone has a right to see the world as it is, in all of its beauty. And to be able to experience it the same way. I don’t think some people should have privileged access to some parts and other people not - because of where they’re from, who they are, or what they look like. In terms of my career journey, I have worked in finance, I have worked in art, I have worked around film and fashion. I have done many things because my interests are so broad. I think fundamentally, what I have understood, is that I appreciate beauty. I like creating solutions and I also feel like everyone should have the same access to opportunities. That probably inspired my talks. As I said, travelling the world, navigating bureaucratic road blocks along the way, and still knowing that this sort of limited access is unavailable to many drove me to speak up. When I speak publically, I discuss how African countries are neither economically nor politically integrated, how this affects us negatively, and why we should be responsible for fixing our continent. I think that’s my journey.
Amanda: Do you remember a light bulb moment as a child or a teenager that you thought wow, I want to talk about this, I want to do something, I can have a voice on this, I can make a difference.
Ooooota:I have never looked at it that way. I just know I am not very good at taking things I feel I shouldn’t. I cannot sit by and see something I feel is wrong go on. I think my desire to speak up comes more from my inability to suppress a negative emotional reaction than feeling like I have a particular calling. Maybe through work and travel, and the spaces I’ve inhabited, and the nuanced understanding I have of cross cultural relationships, it’s become very easy to spot out inefficient practices. I taught myself Spanish and Italian a few years ago because I love cultures languages. I think it’s a way to intimately access many parts of the world, and in doing so connect with people in a way that might not be possible otherwise. In the process, I’ve learned to think in the specific way people from different parts of the world think, which has made me a diplomatic interpreter of a sort. So maybe that’s where I am exceptional. That’s the voice I have.
Amanda: You are an exceptional human being. You are an incredibly powerful woman in a very quiet way. Do you have a particular look or outfit that you reach for on those days that maybe you not are feeling quite as powerful to empower you?
Ooooota: To empower me…I don’t know. I love leather jackets. I like very structural silhouettes. I like menswear but I also like mixing menswear with womenswear. I like fabrics that feel fluid. I like silks and geometric shapes that are empowering. Also, being able to freely exist inside a garment is key. I think a lot of chiffons and silks allow for that, so they’re quietly empowering.
Amanda: I love quiet empowerment. I think cashmere can be incredibly empowering.
Ooooota: Oh yes especially in this weather. That’s where my power comes from but I think clothes give you that. I love being a girl because of that. I mean menswear is great too and I love menswear but I think with womenswear there is so much to play with. My look changes in response to my mood.
Amanda: We’re lucky being women aren’t we in that sense. We can be more people I think.
Ooooota: I always say it’s like I have multiple personality disorder and each day I wake up, I think “who do I want to be?” and “what side of myself do I want to show?” - my clothes let me do that.
Amanda: Do you decide in the morning or the night before?
Ooooota: Never decide the night before. My mum used to make me pick out my outfit the night before when I was in elementary school because she feels like it makes you more efficient in the morning. But I think as an adult I don’t spend a lot of time thinking of clothing. I feel it. I just know what works. I can see the outfit in my head, and on me before I try it on, which is why when I go shopping I usually don’t try on clothes. The mental image I have is very precise.