Hi! I'm Dami
...and I’m the founder of Talojé.
Talojé is a Yoruba (Nigerian) phrase that translates to “Who are you?”.
As a Third Culture Kid (TCK (def) an individual that has lived the majority of their life in a culture(s) other than their parent's) this is a question I’ve constantly had to grapple with. I was born in Nigeria but have also lived in 4 other countries. As a result, I’ve experienced an identity crisis while navigating the idea of home, which can feel like it’s both everywhere and nowhere. When I’m in Nigeria, I’m considered as not Nigerian enough, and when I’m in the West, I’m also not considered Western enough. As a result, it feels like I don’t truly belong anywhere. At the same time, there is an expectation and idea of how I should show up in the world and be defined, which feels like I’m constantly being placed in a box. Can you relate?
Talojé was born out of a desire to break out of expectations/boxes and provide an avenue for individuals to confidently embrace their evolution and own the authentic expression of their identity, despite outside voices. A few of my “rebellions” include: taking a career swerve (choosing Business school over Medical school) or exploring interests (e.g. fashion) that are contrary to what I’m known for. These decisions have come with external resistance. My response has been to honor my intuition and unapologetically accept myself in my becoming.
In addition to that, the vicissitudes of life have not eluded me. I’ve packed my bag multiple times, struggled to navigate life abroad and belonging, dealt with visa issues, been at risk for deportation twice – but managed to survive through it all. Despite these uncertainties, I successfully founded a public health nonprofit organization, got featured on CNN for it, moved abroad again, launched a fashion business, reinvented my career path, made friends that became family, and being intentional about living my best life. And so can you!
One thing I have learned through all this is that humans are complex, multifaceted and constantly becoming. Talojé seeks to elevate the multifaceted identities of individuals by empowering them to break out of boxes and recognize that they are more than one story. This message will be shared through a podcast, fashion & a blog.
Through podcast interviews with fellow TCKs & immigrants, my hope is to expand your worldview and engender critical thinking through the stories shared. Fashion will serve as an avenue for expression & connection with the Talojé community. And the blog will focus on travel and career lessons as a guide to help you move from surviving to thriving.
My identity crisis forced me to evaluate the boxes I was being placed in, but it also made me realize that I’m the best person to tell my story, not others. Just like me, your story is still being written, by you. You are enough in who you are becoming. Although your change/swerve may scare others, it’s not about them. It’s about your commitment to show up and allow the full expression of your authentic self, even if it brings others discomfort.