My name is Kofo Ajala and I am the Communication and Executive Support Lead. To put it simply, I’m here to keep you informed of all Babbasa has to offer. Whether it’s through Facebook or Instagram or through videos and blogs, my day to day life centres around bringing all that Babbasa does to you.

Some of the biggest joys in my life has been a pursuit of beauty. I love art, film and music and could spend hours on YouTube learning about some of my favourite artistic pieces. Two of my favourite pass times would definitely be going to museums and concerts. In a city like Bristol, there’s never a shortage of art to consume or music to be heard.

During my undergraduate studies at Bristol University, I found myself working for the student newspaper and writing freelance pieces for different publications. I always felt my most fulfilled in my creative ventures when they were used to showcase humanity. Whether it was our joy or grief; or frustrations and confusion, I always felt my most purposeful when the things I created helped to make others feel seen. When put together, communication and passion is a powerful thing and connecting our shared experiences across a web of platforms. That’s why I believe it is so important to treat communication and care with as much attention as the events and stories that you want to promote.

That’s why this role at Babbasa seemed like the perfect fit for me. I believe in their mission to make Bristol a more inclusive space for those from the most deprived areas. Bristolians have ambition and passion. They’re praised for their diverse culture and rich history that’s made its mark on every street. And yet, most of Bristol’s established industries don’t have a workforce that reflects this. And I believe that sharing our stories and showcasing humanity is one of the key steps Babbasa needs to improve this.

There were times throughout my editorial experience where lack of diversity became almost detrimental to the stories that were being told. During my time in student journalism, I found myself challenging the narratives that others were happy to publish online. More often than not, these stories were being published and promoted by people with no stake in what was being discussed. Being a black woman in a predominately white space often came with labour that went unaccounted for. Calling people out on the narratives they chose and making sure that the relevant people were being included in the story often left me feeling as though the only way I could be represented fairly was by putting in extra work. And though sometimes this left me feeling deflated, it made me feel even more motivated to ensure that the world of journalism becomes a more inclusive space.

Looking ahead, I hope to take Babbasa to new heights in engagement with its young people and professional partners. Our latest Bridge to Equality report found that 60% of the young people we spoke to know what career they want to pursue, with over 80% saying they’re willing to go the extra mile to achieve it. But, fewer than half of these young people felt like they had enough knowledge to chase these goals. And with Covid-19 stopping many in their tracks, it’s no surprise that more young people are lacking in confidence over their future plans.

Now, maybe more than ever, young people need to know who to turn to for the information and support they desperately need. I hope that I will be able to be that for them. I can’t wait to start this new journey with the Babbasa team. With so many inspiring projects on the horizon, the possibilities for the future feel so promising.