“Success, in my mind, is cyclical and relative to what you want. If you want to be rich and you become rich, you are successful. If you want to be a clown and you become a clown, you are successful. Where most people struggle is figuring out what they want.” – Amandla Baraka
Amandla attempted to begin a career in filmmaking and unsystematically ended up in photography. She had that post-graduate glow, the bright-eyed look and eagerness to start a career when she bought her first camera, and though her prized possession left her in debt, it’s been part of her ever since.
Amandla got familiar with her camera and started working as a freelancer, on top of her part-time at CB2, until she found a game-changing position as a front desk attendant at a co-working space. Here she would have ample time and inspiration to manifest her projects and work on her craft, meet new faces and land her current position as a content manager at OXOSI, a retail outlet for the fashion, design, and art of Afromodernism.
As a child, she had no idea what she wanted to be when she reached adulthood. Her options were limitless; she went from wanting to be a lawyer to a model to an actress to a back-up dancer. She was sometimes called a weird kid as she went through an X-Men phase, played in the dirt like a tomboy, and got stuck on video games, but she was always surrounded by poetry and art. The only thing she could keep consistent was writing.
Amandla currently keeps herself busy with photography, writing and her work at OXOSI. Although she still wants to be in the film industry, making movies and writing scripts, she’s taking it day by day and building her brand. She’s particularly proud of the opportunity she created for herself, shooting behind the scenes at Lagos Fashion Week, an annual event in Lagos, Nigeria. “I’m always looking for an emotion,” she says, “That is where my eye leads me when shooting and editing. That emotion might be in the subjects face / body language, or in the color of their hat. I think that emotion is unique to me and it always feels the same. Its powerful and quiet. I think a lot of photographers have their own emotion. It’s what makes each of us special”.
When it’s all said and done, Amandla wants people to feel her. “I want humans to feel as beautiful as I know we are,” she says. In coming years, expect to find her living in a scenic apartment in Fort Green (Brooklyn) that doubles as a photo studio, doing all the things she loves the most.
We #COSIGN Amandla because she’s doesn’t quit and has found success in every venture, while still keeping an eye on her biggest goals.
Who does Amandla #COSIGN?
Daniel Obasi @iamdasidy
Anthony Blue @antbluejr
Madeleine Castillo @madeleine.dc
Quan Brinson @qnbrnsn
Hanif Castle @neefcastle
Jasmine Larmond @artistfrombearth
Tyra Mitchell @tyrathezombie
Jasmin Mans @poetjasminemans
Christian Jones @yngyhwh