OLAMIDE OLATUNJI + & SHE CODES
MAY 10 2017 - Meet Olamide. A tech enthusiast, career changer and sincere advocate for diversity and inclusion in the tech industry, Olamide is making a splash in LA's tech scene. She recently joined the Snapchat team as a release engineer while running a website called & SHE CODES where she blogs about her experiences as a black woman claiming a seat at the table of tech innovation. She loves Jesus and trap music and aspires to be a mix of Oprah, Remy Ma, Kelly Rowland, and Kimberly Bryant.
HOW DO YOU UNPLUG?
When I've had an incredibly stressful week, I like to do one of two things. One, I like to be by the water super early in the morning or whenever its not too crowded. Every time I stand on the shore of the ocean I think about how someone, somewhere else in the world is standing by the same ocean, letting their troubles be washed up by the waves. Two, I like to be a top a mountain. If I can get to Baldwin Hills or Runyon Canyon and to look out to the city I just feel overwhelmed by the wonder of the earth. I feel grateful to live in such a gorgeous city and to witness the beauty in the works of God's hands.
what is the best compliment you've ever received?
Someone once told me that my empathy made them feel like I was a healer. It took me by surprise but it was the nicest thing I'd ever heard. I felt like she saw the Jesus in me. I also felt like I belonged in Avatar the Last Airbender.
where do you thrive?
I thrive in environments where I feel safe enough to be myself. Sometimes that means the people around me are relatable. Sometimes that means one person has shown that they believe in me. Sometimes that means I woke up feeling like Beyonce. In relationships, at work, in community groups or new environments, if I truly feel I can be who I am, it unlocks the best version of me.
what's one bad habit you can't seem to shake?
I like to eat flourless cake from Rustic Kitchen LA in the middle of the night. It's a horrible habit. It's also across the street from my apartment.
What's the best idea you've heard recently?
BANTU!! This is a mobile application that helps black women find hairstylists in any city. When I moved to LA I had to toil for 12 hours just to get some acceptable braids in my hair because I couldn't find a trustworthy hair stylist. I wish I knew about this then but now that I do, I couldn't be more excited to use the app and see how they expand. Every black girl needs to find a trusted stylist when she moves. This app is a game changer.
What's the biggest lesson you learned this past year?
The biggest lesson I learned this year is that discernment and empathy are not mutually exclusive ideas. I think I grew up feeling that I could either be open and empathetic or closed off and callous. I've since discovered that wisdom is where you learn to tread between the two. As I get older I'm learning to be cautious with how easily I give my heart, energy, and time away. I accepted that I can be the best version of myself with people without also being their best friend. I accepted that giving more love doesn't guarantee that person will meet you where you are. I also accepted that as I become more myself, the person I was created to be, I will lose relationships along the way. Determining when to fight and when to accept loss takes both discernment and empathy.