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An Interview with Sophie Arinde – Founder of Kollab Network

We have had the pleasure of interviewing Sophie, a 19-year-old writer and creative based in London. She is a bubbly ambitious and welcoming Black woman. She is the founder of The Kollab Network (TKN) an online platform dedicated to empowering and documenting the stories of creatives through workshops, events and live interviews.

Our Story: The Black Excellence Network

Racial inequalities and a lack of information present a barrier to black students aiming to enter the elite UK universities, therefore at Black Excellence Network we are further empowering black students to gain entry into these spaces. This will provide them with the driving force they need for better overall prospects post-education.

Founded by Oyinda Adeniyi, George Obolo, Pobor Eruesegbefe and Amgad Salih in April 2020, we have now accumulated over 400 members within our network. COVID-19, coupled with the ongoing battle for racial equality, which was highlighted by the events of 2020, ignited the ethos behind Black Excellence Network.

Understanding Black Excellence

Society tends to pick and choose when to use the term Black Excellence, if the career revolves around achievement in academia specifically STEM subjects, prestigious institutions, conventional careers and many more professions like these this term is likely to be used. In our own small environments, we may not see or feel like this is true. I myself am surrounded by creatives and I do see the term Black Excellence used for people in such professions. However, this term only reaches a larger audience or receives larger praise when the achievement correlates with what is widely acknowledged in the mainstream. So we can understand why some may not like this term as sometimes it can feel like Black Excellence is only for specific people in the community.

Warwick: Law

Chigozie – I enjoy many things about the University of Warwick but I mostly enjoy how diverse the university campus is. Since arriving at the University of Warwick, I have been able to interact with different people from different cultures.

Plymouth University: Medicine

Stephanie Ayalogu – I am an individual who loves learning so any opportunity that provides this opportunity to learn is exciting to me. This is why I love the medicine course, you never stop learning!