Olubusola M. Ajayi is a part-time faculty member at Parsons School of Design teaching Digital Photography and Video in the Pre-College Academy Summer programs. Shola studied photography at the University of Central Florida and went on to pursue a MFA in Film Production at Boston University. While working at Parsons as a Scholars Pre-College Coordinator and part-time faculty member she went on to collect a Masters in Media Studies focusing her attention on education, new media platforms, and digital exchanges. Shola's primary focus has been to create films and new media projects that explore social issues amongst people of color while also developing stories and images that present Africa and Africans, specifically Nigerians, in new and innovative ways."Hair: A Conversation, The American Dream: An African Tale, The Sankofa Project and Champion" are some projects that Shola has developed in collaboration with various individuals to present fresh narratives about African people and people from the diaspora.
Shola splits her time between New York and Lagos and continues her work as a media educator co-running a creative space she co-founded in Lagos called UR4Africa. UR4Africa (www.ur4africa.com | www.facebook.com/ur4africa) is a social enterprise that focuses on providing Nigerian and African people with hands on experience in the areas of media, design and technology so that African people are equip with the skills necessary to play an active role in solving some of the most pressing issues in their communities.
What do you do best?
I think I'm really great at building community. I love meeting a group of strangers who collectively agree to work on a project to impact others positively. You can see this in the classes or workshops I facilitate or co-facilitate, organizations I've had the pleasure of working with and the work I am doing in Nigeria presently.
What makes you the best?
My default attitude. I'm very patient and passionate - these two qualities have helped me a lot in every aspect of my life both personal and professional. My attitude pushes me to expect a lot from myself and the people around me.
What are your aspirations?
My aspirations are to influence young people positively. Impact my communities both in Nigeria and in the diaspora. Tell and document stories that will inspire people. Travel more.
I would say running this creative space in Lagos for 3 years now despite all the obstacles.
Most Challenging Moment?
I hate losing students. I've lost some due to death or students who just couldn't continue in the programs/organizations I've worked with both in the US and Africa due to personal reason or due to the programs not being a good fit for them.
Letting go when you see this amazing young person with so much talent and potential who doesn't continue or realizing you just can't do anything more for them.
There are a lot of mottos I use and love but I think my favorite one is "Anything is possible."
I have a pretty amazing family, beautiful friends, and I work with some amazing people. They are all creative in their own ways.
Ireland. Still one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. And of course Nigeria - there's no place like home.
Uniqlo. Coconut milk is a new love.
Two new projects that I'm excited about.
Building more partnerships with countries within the continent of Africa.