I always say I sort of fell into journalism. But in reality, I’ve adored writing and storytelling for as long as I can remember, and I knew I was good at it, even though I was scared to admit that it was what I wanted to do with my life.
Growing up, when I thought of journalists, the first people who came to mind were stern news anchors in suits speaking the Queen’s English, or reporters like David Frost, who I learned about in school. Even fictitious journalists, like Rita Skeeter in Harry Potter, were slimy exaggerators. They weren’t Black girls from south London growing up in council housing. For someone like me, journalism never seemed like it could be a sustainable career.
In 2015 I joined gal-dem, a magazine that centres the voices of women and non-binary people of colour. We created the magazine because our voices are so often left out of the media. At the start we were young, passionate, and basically winging it. Now, gal-dem is a fully functioning, nationally recognised business, with a membership model – and I’m the lifestyle editor. From takeovers at the V&A and Guardian Weekend to hosting our own club nights, we have always done it because we love it. I never thought this could become my job.
I don’t put myself forward as a great stylist nor perfect linguistic manipulator. But that’s shite. You’re not good at the writing and storytelling love, sorry.
The Guardian’s published you for the same reason that Mummy of the short bus kid sticks the crayon drawing on the fridge.