Introducing Lize of Sewafolie...
Tell us a bit about yourself and your blog.
I lived in Lagos, Nigeria until I was 17 years old when I then moved to London to join my family who had left a few years previously. The plan was that I finish my secondary school education in Lagos before moving. 9 years later, I'm now a graduate of the University of Sussex having studied BSc. Psychology and Sociology which I also studied in college.
I started blogging in 2014 while I was in my last year of university. I initially started it as a means of sharing my creative writing, but while I was curating my works before launching, I decided to also write about my travels since I had so many pictures from all the trips I had gone on. Since then, the blog has grown and evolved into what it is today.
I've always been passionate about social issues which is why I studied Sociology so I think as an extension of that curiosity to learn from others like me, I started the VSM section of my blog which stands for Voice and Soul of Millennials. In the series, I have conversations/interviews with young millennials who inspire me and that I'm also curious to hear and learn about certain societal issues from.
In a similar vein, I also do interviews with young artists and entrepreneurs who are passionate about their craft. I've always wanted to be a business owner, so as I began to research and learn about business, I saw it fitting to learn from those who had gone before me. As an extension of my love for sharing knowledge and experiences with others, I decided to share these findings with my blog readers.
Sewafolie is really an extension of my passions and loves so it all comes natural to me which makes it very original, fresh and different in its own right. And of course I've always been a lover of taking pictures and posing, so style blogging just had to be included. People are more visually led when it comes to clicking on links you know :D
When did you start blogging and what motivated you to start?
I started blogging in March of 2014 and I was inspired by my own talents and the reaction I got when people read my writing. I've always enjoyed making up stories in my head and sometimes writing them out, although I seldom shared those. However, after daring myself to apply for a writing job and then getting it, the reviews I was getting from the readers made me realise that this was a talent I had always thought I wasn't good enough at but there I was making a living off of my words.
I decided to create an online portfolio for myself and keep on writing and building my own platform and not only that of the company I was working for at the time. So yeah, getting hundred thousands of reads every month and thousands of comments on my work was the motivation I needed to finally come out of the shadows and profess boldly that indeed I wanted to be a writer. The blog was the first step in that. I'm currently working on my first novel.
What post are you most proud of and why?
There are several to be honest. There was an interview I did with an artist from which she was able to directly get a job when the employer found my post on her. That was quite a surprise and made me feel that indeed, I am doing something good.
However, there are two VSM conversations I thoroughly enjoyed and learned immensely from and I think everyone should have a read. In no particular order, the first was on religion with Teejay which is actually an audio because I really wanted his ideas conveyed in his own voice and the other on culture, religion and womanhood in Nigeria with Ireti.
Where do you see yourself and your blog in five years’ time?
In five years time, I see myself as a digital brand being commissioned for different projects by brands, collaborating with other artists, writing a 3rd book and building my online boutique business Ofio which I launched in November.
Do you have any bloggers you admire and follow yourself?
Yes! Yagazie Emezi, Asiyami Gold, Paola Mathe, Cassie Daves, Lee of Spirited Pursuit, Patricia Bright, Maya of Shameless Maya, Estare Live, Sincerely Oghosa, Shewa Jay, Dee Mako, The Slumflower and others I've probably forgotten to mention!
Do you have any advice for bloggers who want to get into style or travel blogging?
I'd say be yourself and be true to yourself. Work at being as professional as you can be/afford. Get your own domain name, host your site, have business cards for networking events, etc. Also, consistency is key. Plan posts and schedule things if you can, this is especially important if you're also studying or have a full time job alongside blogging. Passion for blogging is the first step as well, as you'll only go far if you really love what you do. Blogging isn't easy or as plain sailing as it may seem, it's a lot of hard work.
What are your hopes for the Black British Blogging community?
I hope we can be more inclusive, collaborate and share more with one another. Right now it's quite segmented. Having blogger events organised by bloggers too would be great in helping to connect, share and talk about important issues that affect us all.