There are some people you meet in your life, that no matter how much time passes, their light, smile and work ethic will never fade. I first met Itunu Abolarinwa in 2014 at the News UK Summer School News Academy. And five years later, whether it’s an Instagram post from the beaches of California as she completes her year abroad during University, or the emotive and stimulating think-pieces she posts on twitter, there is nothing but a cheerful radiance that surrounds this girl.
The 21-year-old Political Science and International Relations student at the University of Birmingham has been reaching for success since a young age, from producing her own podcast, to writing content for MTV Founders and working on her own award-winning student radio show. “I have a passion to create things that challenge thought and initiate change and I believe that journalism gives you the opportunity to do that. Some of the things I have personally learnt the most from are blogs, articles and documentaries by journalists and writers so I believe that it is a powerful profession when it comes to educating people and also sparking and guiding conversation on important topics and I want to be a part of that.”
But as the cultural phenomenon of podcasts quickly took over the media-stratosphere, Itunu wanted to take a dip into the challenge and began Just Over Twenty.
- What gave you the idea to start your own podcast?
I wanted to learn how to edit audio, and I guess a part of me missed doing radio and wanted to produce my own content- where I could engage in different interesting conversations on the show, and with social media involvement.
- What was the process for starting your own podcast and what challenges have you faced?
I had to decide a name, so I discussed with a couple of friends, I also had to decide how specialized or not I wanted the show to be- did I want it to have specific focus or to be broad. Also, consistency is hard when juggling academics, different schedules and studio availability to do the recordings.
- How do you come up with content ideas?
I am a big conversationalist, so I like to probe people and get to know them and what they are interested in as well as discuss different issues young people face so my content ideas usually come from conversations I have with other people.
- How have your family supported your ambitions?
My family have always given me the freedom to explore my interests and talents and encouraged me to develop them, whether that is engaging in the young reporters scheme where I wrote consistently for my local newspaper or starting my own blog, radio show and now podcast they support me exploring my talents and gaining more skills.
- What are your future plans for Just Over Twenty?
I want to have more interesting conversations, interview a rapper (that has always been a dream of mine), and have more of a stake in facilitating conversation within the social media sphere.
- How important of a role does social media play?
Social media is a hit and miss. It plays a great role in inspiring topics for discussion but sometimes it creates echochambers where everyone is saying the same thing and there is no room for nuance.
- What do you enjoy most about writing and producing content?
It genuinely makes me happy and I always learn from the people I speak to, and at times more about myself and self-awareness helps me be a better interviewer, and a better person.