Bio

Lola Adesioye is a British New York-based social, political and cultural writer, thinker, broadcaster, commentator and former editor.

In 2007 when Lola arrived in New York City, she accidentally stumbled on a Barack Obama rally due to take place in Manhattan’s Washington Square Park. Getting there as it was setting up and staying until the end, Lola was fascinated by the reception given to then-Senator Obama, and by what she heard and saw.

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Lola’s photo from Barack Obama Washington Square Park rally, September 2007

Sensing that something major was underway, she began fervently blogging and writing about all she was observing and seeing in New York City and around the US with regards to the country’s politics and the dynamics – particularly the racial ones – surrounding Barack Obama’s candidacy, nomination and then presidency.

Since 2008 – when Lola became a weekly contributor to The Guardian’s widely read Comment is Free opinion section – her incisive opinion, commentary and features on UK, US and African social, political and cultural matters have been published in a number of international publications including the New Statesman, the Guardian, the Economist, The Huffington Post, The Sunday Times, Forbes Africa, AllAfrica.com, The Atlantic, The Independent, CNN.com, Time magazine, The Tablet Magazine and many more.

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She has observed, and been part of, America’s shifting social, political and cultural landscape as it has moved from pre-Obama, into Obama’s first and second terms, through the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements, and into the Trump era. 

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Lola in the White House rose garden, at a press conference between President Barack Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

As a result of her writing, Lola was then contacted by CNN and became a regular contributor to the network’s Blogger Bunch show, which would feature a rotating panel discussing the news and topics of the day.

Since then, Lola has gone on to provide regular opinion and commentary for major TV and Radio outlets such as MSNBC (in particular the highly rated AM Joy, hosted by Joy-Ann Reid, although she has also appeared on a number of other shows including Hardball with Chris Matthews), Sky News, Al Jazeera, Huffington Post Live, Reverend Al Sharpton’s radio show, the BBC, CNN, BET, Channel 4 News and New York’s WBLS 107.5’s where she makes guest appearances on the iconic weekly Open Line show on Sundays.

As a black Briton of Nigerian heritage with a love for travel and languages (as well as having fluent understanding of Yoruba, she has also studied French, German, Italian and Spanish), a life long passion for black and African history, and having lived in post-apartheid South Africa, Lola has a particular interest in the black experience from a global perspective, as well as the similarities, differences and parallels between the black experiences in the UK, Europe, US and Africa which she often talks about in her speeches at colleges and universities. Her BA and MA in Social and Political Science from Cambridge University also enable her to bring a well-informed and substance-based perspective to all that she does.

In 2019, she was profiled on TV One’s Cleo Speaks series as one of a handful of change-making, influential and enterprising black women, including activist Tamika Mallory, Black lives Matter Founder Alicia Garza, #OscarsSoWhite Founder April Reign, CEO and Founder of Curls Beauty Brand Mahisha Dellinger and others.

Her love for music and the arts – which started at a young age with Lola dancing and playing instruments and later becoming a music scholar at London’s prestigious James Allen’s Girls’ School – has also seen her interviewed for arts shows such as BBC 3’s Classic Fix, as well as interviewing artists like rapper Common and change agents for her Something to Say Series, where she looks at the intersection between art and activism. 

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Lola was formerly the Deputy Editor of NBC’s African-American news site, TheGrio.com, and a contributing editor to AOL Black Voices in New York and been described as “one of Nigeria’s top 10 wordsmiths” and “one of 11 sharp black commentators in America”.

Her interest in oratory and political consciousness has also been demonstrable for a long time: at school, she was part of the debating society, participated in the European Youth Parliament and was awarded highly commended and distinctions in Speech & Drama examinations; at Cambridge, she was twice elected Anti-Racism Officer on the Student Union and was Ethnic Minorities Officer at her college. She was also one of 8 Cambridge University students featured in the BBC documentary series “Black Ambition” which showed what it was like to be black at Cambridge, where black students made up less than 1% of the student body.   

Lola is also regularly asked to facilitate, moderate and host high level events, gatherings and conferences for institutions, organizations and companies. She is known as an engaging and entertaining (and no-nonsense!) host, moderator and facilitator. 

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After graduating from Cambridge University and prior to moving to New York, Lola worked in the music industry at Warner Music and Ministry of Sound and project managed large scale international concerts for big brands including Nokia, including the ambitious Nokia New Year’s Eve concerts – 6 simultaneous New Year’s Eve concerts around the world (Rio di Janeiro, Hong Kong, New York, Berlin, Mumbai) featuring artists including John Legend, Black Eyed Peas, Nelly Furtado and many more.

Music is Lola’s first love and she still sings, writes and plays the saxophone and piano. Lola is currently working on new music.