“I DON’T THINK THERE’S A TITLE.”
Aminatou Sow is upfront about not having an actual title for her expansive and impressive career. And that’s fine. Hailing from Guinea, she literally does it all. “I don’t think there’s a title,” she once told the New York Times. As a digital strategist; podcast host of the extremely popular Call Your Girlfriend and On She Goes (a travel podcast for women of color); co-founder of Tech LadyMafia; creator of the Shine Theory (when one of us shines, we all do); influencer; a Forbes’ 30 under 30 in tech; and facilitator of all conversations, it’s hard to imagine when she has time for herself to recharge and get inspired for the next big project. And they are coming. Currently, she’s co-writing a book titled “Big Friendship” with friend and editor Ann Friedman. She’s still consulting. She’s still pushing for diversity in tech through Tech LadyMafia. But she did take a break to tell OkayAfrica about what inspires her, why she feels so lucky and her latest musical obsession. Take a look:
What brings you joy in your work?
I am very lucky that I get paid to just be myself and that I am my own boss. I wouldn't have it any other way.
What people, places or things inspire you creatively?
I am West African [Conakry, Guinea] to my bones. All of my earliest inspirations are strong women from my part of the world: Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Mariama Bâ, Marie-Angélique Savané, Katoucha Niane, Nana Yaa Asantewa, Margaret Ekpo.
If you could choose a soundtrack for your life, what would it be?
Recently I've been listening a lot to ‘Les Amazones de Guinee,’ a band that formed in the early 60s shortly after Guinea gained independence. We listened to a lot of African music in my house growing up, but I do not remember any of the women playing their own instruments. I haven't lived at home with my parents since I went away to boarding school, but listening to African music, especially artists from Guinea is one way I stay connected.
One person to interview or have dinner with, dead or alive?
Would you give your younger self any advice?
Play the long game!
*This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity