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Lolade Siyonbola

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Lolade Siyonbola is a Nigerian ​ first-year graduate student in the African Studies department at Yale University ​. [1] ​ For many years, Siyonbola worked in the Tech industry ​ and is the founder of a media tech company called, HYPHENATED. [2]

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Lolade Siyonbola performing spoken word at a poetry event.

With an interest in the culture exuding within the African diaspora ​, Siyonbola has also written for publications where she covered critical stories regarding the empowerment of the diaspora. She was the Editor in Chief ​ of Applause Africa, an online and print publication providing stories about the African diaspora. [3] [4]

Biography

Siyonbola was born in Nigeria ​ and moved to the United States ​ with her family as a child. She and her family also lived in the United Kingdom ​. [5] [6] ​ Before arriving in the United States, she lived in the city of London ​. [7]

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Black and white photo of Lolade Siyonbola.

Education

She holds a Bachelor of Science ​ degree  in computer science ​ with a minor in Spanish ​ from the University of Missouri-Columbia ​ where she was a George Brooks Scholar. [8]

Currently, Siyonbola is a graduate student at Yale University ​. Her research focuses on the relationship between migration and identity, particularly among millennial first-generation Americans, and the role that cultural devices like language, film and textiles play in the preservation of culture. Lolade is a Foreign language ​ and Area Studies Fellow. [9]

Career

She subsequently moved to New York, where she worked in the tech industry as a Network engineer ​ then Web developer ​ and Project manager ​. [10] ​ She worked for Indigo SINE for nearly four years. She directed design of and designed/developed print and digital communications for clients, launched print and social media campaigns and produced video collateral. [11] ​ She also worked for Verizon , FedEx ​, and Gigster ​. [12]

Lolade founded the Yoruba Cultural Institute and the Nollywood Diaspora Film Series. [13]

She served as Arts & Culture Editor, then Editor in Chief of Applause Africa magazine. [14]

Facebook live of the moments when Lolade Siyonbola filmed the police at the place of incident.

Spoken Word

A spoken word artist, Lolade has  performed internationally and published her first book, Market of Dreams in 2012. [15]

In the Media

In May of 2018, a white graduate student named Sarah Braasch ​ called the police on Siyonbala for taking a nap in the Yale Hall of Graduate Studies common room. Siyonbala streamed the entirety of the incident and interaction with the police and Braasch ​on Facebook ​ live. [16]

Siyonbala's main concern revolving the controversy was that she pays tuition like every other student and doesn't see why she has to justify her being there just because she is black. The incident brought a lot of attention to Yale's campus leaders to call for more conversations about inclusiveness. [17] [18]

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