Flex Mami - Lillian Ahenkan
“YOUR FAVORITE SLASHIE”
It’s a difficult task to pin down all the things FlexMami does. That’s why this Ghanaian-Australian influencer loves to call herself “your favorite slashie”—as in she is a DJ/TV presenter/author/MC/speaker and beauty guru. As “the ultimate multidisciplinary millennial in media,” this 24-year-old has been slowly perfecting her skillset in all areas for the last half-decade in her hometown of Sydney, Australia—making her one of the most popular voices speaking for and about the country’s urban culture in a positive “real speak” kind of way.
So how did Flex Mami (real name Lillian Ahenkan) do it? “Condensing the steps literally taken to garner all those positions would not do them justice,” she tells OkayAfrica. “But if I had to try, I'd say that I did the following: Acknowledged my career wants/needs, unpacked why I wanted them, built a portfolio of work (and used my PR experience to pitch, place and market my space), identify my niche, reach out to the right people and conducted my personal brand as a business.”
But many of her Aussie and worldwide fans are especially attracted to how unapologetic she is in being her full self. It’s not easy being a Black woman in the predominately white Australian media world. “I can remember moments where I just started out in media and was constantly made to fill roles that perpetuated a one-dimensional stereotype (sassy, loud, extroverted), presuming that my audience would know that I was uncomfortable but HAD to follow through,” she explains. “It wasn't until I started speaking to more Black women in media and sharing our experiences that were showered in micro-aggressions that I realized I needed to do better and speak my truth.”
“The less I self stifle and the more I'm committed to presenting my audience my self (as best as possible), the more rewarding the experience is, “ she says. “I definitely do think there is the challenge of being forthright but also recognizing that I don't owe my audience any more than what I feel comfortable sharing. Also, it can be frustrating commodifying yourself because you run the risk of turning everything you love into an income stream and that is dangerous territory.”