Sep 24, 20224 min
Updated: Jun 25, 2023
Our first guest needs little introduction but we’ll do one anyway.
Feminist advocate, competitive baking show enthusiast and all-round wunderkind, Titilope Adedokun is taking names and leaving no patriarchal prisoners as a soon-to-be lawyer, social-impact aficionado and the trailblazing founder of Sisterly HQ - an online publication telling the authentic stories of Nigerian women.
Titilope Adedokun is in her element. A recently named Linkedin Top Voice and Fora 2022 Global Summit Delegate, she is constantly striving to achieve great feats and impact her community while doing so.
With an interview spanning over two weeks, a blasted cold and multiple cut-offs (unstable internet be damned), we finally get to bring you this amazing, knowledge-filled conversation.
'I have always loved to read and soak up information.'
Titilope's love for reading allowed her delve into websites that shared the stories of women. But, soon she realized that the experiences of these women she read about, differed from her own. She longed to read stories about women who were like her and had been through things she had been through.
'They were telling stories that no one was necessarily talking about; money, politics and so on, from a woman’s perspective. I could relate to these things in some way but not fully. As humans we have all lived and shared experiences but the fact is our backgrounds are different.'
That was the first time she thought of a solution to this, but she didn’t realize that she would create it.
'I just didn’t know it was me; I didn’t know I was the one that would solve the problem.'
After interviewing prominent Nigerian women for a book while studying at the University of Lagos, Nigeria, and being a member of the African Women on the Board’s Editathon Team that created Wikipedia pages for Nigerian women, she realized that there was a need for the stories of Nigerian women - not just the phenomenal women she had met, but regular women like her, to be told. Soon, something she had brushed off as being someone else’s responsibility spiraled into what we now know as Sisterly HQ. She would be the one to tell their her-stories.
The road to building SHQ wasn’t easy though. Riddled with imposter syndrome, fear and just not enough time (balancing final undergraduate exams and law school applications, made it less than easy - trust me, I know!). It wasn’t until a coaching program with Aya Chebbi, former African Union Youth Envoy, that Titilope realized she had what it took to do this.
'I learnt that I have what it takes and all I need is me - of course with the support of my family and friends, my ‘village’. I learnt I could be the change I want to see. I started SHQ at the worst time and I did not feel ready but, I just decided to do it. I am constantly learning and unlearning and I am still scared but, I know I have what it takes to go through this and I have the support and resources I need to do it.'
Speed bumps and all, Titilope regrets nothing. To her, everything that SisterlyHQ has been through has brought them to this current phase. What keeps her in check are her community, which she built by being her authentic self and existing loudly, her schedule and collaborating with her team.
‘Being raised in a family where I am surrounded by women - my mum and my sisters - as well as my secondary school and university experiences, have made me who I am today and in turn led me to create Sisterly HQ.’
So what does change mean to Titilope?
'Change to me is synonymous with impact. To have impact you must make change and to make change you have to make an impact. Change is doing something bigger than yourself. Whether that means influencing one person or one million people; that is change.'
To Titilope, change is having a conversation with someone that gender equality is important to achieving the world that we want, or writing a research paper on the effects of domestic violence in your country and how to curb it. Change is the little things and big things you do to positively influence others.
In this interview, Titilope shares with us how to build a community by giving the value you receive, the necessity of existing loudly, the pressing need to support feminist organizations, and her three favourite things.
Sisterly HQ has content that can appeal to every Nigerian woman from its politics column to the money and tech columns, to the career and culture columns and of course the opportunities and resources column.
Now, with a community of over 2000 Nigerian women and over 25,000 views, Titilope has even bigger plans for the future, hoping to reach 20% of Nigerian women by 2030 through Sisterly HQ and starting her journey to help individuals and companies put social impact at the forefront of their mission.
This may be the first time you've heard of Titilope, but it definitely won't be the last.
Check out Titilope's recommendations below.
Connect with Titilope.
Learn more about Sisterly HQ.
Read more about the quest for an equitable world.