When Tobi Oredein landed a job as an entertainment and features writer at TV Times magazine, she never expected to encounter the harsh reality of black women and other minority groups being underrepresented in the media. It wasn’t any different when she freelanced for media outlets such as Entertainment Wise, Look, the Daily Mail, Diet Special, Pick Me Up, Chat, and Woman.
As a visionary entrepreneur, she decided to create Black Ballad, a UK-based platform that amplifies the voices and experiences of black British women. With a passion for storytelling and a deep commitment to diversity and inclusion, Tobi has built a platform that serves as a powerful tool for empowerment and representation.
From the very beginning, she recognized the need for a space that specifically catered to the perspectives and stories of black British women. She understood that mainstream media often overlooked or misrepresented their experiences, and sought to address this gap by creating a platform that celebrated and uplifted their voices. She used Black Ballad to highlight issues concerning black women with regard to dating, beauty, mental health, careers, politics, higher education, and disability.
With sheer determination and an unwavering belief in her vision, Tobi set out to build the platform. In 2021, she raised £335,000 through crowdfunding to make it a membership platform which has since been witnessing growth month-on-month, according to the press gazette.
The platform now serves as a hub for insightful articles, thought-provoking essays, and engaging discussions – all centered around the lived experiences of black British women. By offering a platform for these voices to be heard, Tobi has provided a space that fosters dialogue, understanding, and connection.
Since the inception of Black Ballad, Tobi’s dedication to showcasing a diverse range of perspectives has led to the commissioning of several black female creatives, providing them with opportunities to share their stories and talents. The platform has become a launchpad for emerging voices, while serving as a platform for established writers and artists to reach a wider audience, according to Metro.
In addition to its impact within the community, Black Ballad has gained recognition from renowned brands and organizations. Tobi’s commitment to quality content and her ability to provide unique insights into the experiences of black British women have led to collaborations with many prestigious entities. These partnerships not only highlight the value and influence of the platform, but also create opportunities for increased representation in mainstream media.
Tobi is an alumnus of Eastern Community School, where she began her formal education, and continued to Havering Sixth Form College from 2006 to 2008. She attained her bachelor’s degree from King’s College, London. Since she created the niche lifestyle website, it has been a journey, showcasing her entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion.
Through her platform, she has created a space that challenges stereotypes, educates, and empowers black British women. Tobi’s dedication to authentic storytelling and her determination to provide opportunities for black female creatives have helped shape the media landscape in the UK.
Her work goes beyond simply creating a platform; she has sparked conversations, challenged societal norms, and paved the way for a more inclusive future. By amplifying the voices of black British women, she has shown that representation matters and that everyone deserves to have their stories heard and celebrated.
Tobi Oredein’s journey as the founder of Black Ballad serves as an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs and advocates for diversity and inclusion. Her remarkable achievements demonstrate the power of a vision and the impact that one person can have in shaping narratives and fostering positive change.
Through her platform, Tobi continues to break barriers, empower communities, and redefine the media landscape, leaving a lasting legacy for generations to come.