Ep 49. Adwoa speaks to acclaimed author and activist Bernardine Evaristo, about her approach to writing, activism and moving through the world as a biracial woman.
They say don’t meet your idols. But for this week’s episode I was lucky enough to do just that, and it was completely exhilarating. Bernardine Evaristo, the acclaimed author of one of my all-time favourite books, Girl, Woman, Other, joined me to chat about everything from her win of the 2019 Booker prize, to understanding her proximity to whiteness, to her work in theatre in the eighties. Bernardine is a force of nature, and I spent most of this episode enthralled by her passion and vivacity. Her life, as an award-winning author of eight books, as a professor of creative writing at Brunel University London, as a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, is just as rich and captivating as her storytelling prowess. You can follow @bernardineevaristowriter and you can follow us @gurlstalk. Please send any messages to www.gurlstalk.com and don’t forget to subscribe, so you never miss an episode of the Gurls Talk podcast.
1 Oct 2020
Ep 13. Adwoa talks to Aimee Lou Wood and Emma Mackey of Sex Education about how love and sex can teach you so much.
It’s a new month, and a new theme, and this month we’ll be talking all about Love and Sex. On this week’s episode I am joined by the awesome Aimee Lou Wood and Emma Mackey from Netflix’s breakout show, Sex Education. We chat about, sex, boys, falling in love, and us girls learning what we like… If you’ve seen the show you’ll know exactly what i’m talking about! When it comes to talking about the trials and tribulations of love, sex and sexual discovery, the world we live in has a tendency to stay silent. Sex Education is an honest voice with a refreshing perspective on the way we talk and think about sex. As you’ll hear, I’m a huge fan of the show and @emmatmackey and @aimeelouwood - I didn’t want this conversation to end! We speak candidly about growing up and learning (or not learning) about sex, love and everything in between. The impact Sex Education has had, and why we should all speak about sex without shame. And don’t forget, face your fronts! To find out more about Gurls Talk or to send us your artwork, poetry or anything you want to share, visit www.gurlstalks.com or find us on Instagram @GurlsTalk. Don’t forget to subscribe to never miss an episode of the Gurls Talk podcast.
4 Mar 2019
Ep 6. Adwoa and model and poet Sonny Hall, talk addiction, adoption and the beautiful things you can find in recovery.
Happy New Year to all my gurls! For the month of January 2019, Gurls Talk Addiction, so I’ve invited a man I adore and admire onto the podcast to share his story. His name is @sonny_hall and his life after being adopted at the age of 4 seemed to be a constant voyage of escape, leading him into the arms of alcohol and drugs. He tells me with captivating honesty about what led to his addiction and what brought him out the other side. Ever since I first met Sonny, he’s had a place in my heart, and I know that by listening to his story, he’ll earn a place in yours too. To find out more about The Cabin, follow this link: https://www.thecabinchiangmai.com/ To find out more about Gurls Talk or to send us your artwork, poetry or anything you want to share, visit www.gurlstalk.com or find us on Instagram @GurlsTalk.
4 Jan 2019
Ep 15. Adwoa talks to Dolly Alderton about losing yourself in relationships, loving yourself & how love is all around you.
I’m obsessed with love, absolutely obsessed! And to close this month’s theme of love and sex, there is no one more apt that the incredible Dolly Alderton. Full disclosure, Dolly is someone I have a huge girl crush on. As you’ll hear in the episode, Dolly’s book captured everything I’ve been feeling, and I’m delighted to be able to sit down with @dollyalderton and share this conversation with my listeners. We spend time speaking about growing up and feeling like unlovable weirdos. Our friends falling in love, heartache, breakups and realising that love isn’t the rom-com fairy-tale you believed it to be, and reminds us that life changing love is already there. Until next time! To find out more about Gurls Talk or to send us your artwork, poetry or anything you want to share, visit www.gurlstalks.com or find us on Instagram @GurlsTalk Don’t forget to subscribe to never miss an episode of the Gurls Talk podcast.
2 Apr 2019
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Ep 22. Adwoa talks to Serena Williams to find out how to win at life.
Being one of the greatest athletes of all time is obviously a monumental accolade. But when Serena and I sat down, we didn’t just talk about kick-ass serves and Grand Slam wins. Like you, I wanted to know how she wins at life, not just on the court. When it comes to learning life skills – our theme for June – Serena is the perfect powerhouse woman to turn to. I loved hearing about Serena’s relationship with her sister, Venus, and how her family’s support has played such a huge part of who she is. From her own experience, she recognises the power of supporting dreams, and now, as a mother, she’s committed to standing behind what her daughter wants to do. (Even if these days it’s just eating an apple REALLY loudly.) Serena opened up about her determination to win, the importance of having plans and goals, and standing up for yourself. She spoke about how she’s (in her own words) “freakishly good” at maths, how she always speaks the truth, questions why people never ask a man “how do you manage family life and having a career?” And when she’s not playing tennis, she’s passionate about using her business, Serena Ventures, to help start-ups founded by women and minorities. It really is such an exciting episode, it was a great experience talking to a warm, resilient and empowering woman. I’m now all revved up to watch Serena at Wimbledon! So, enjoy listening, and as always, mad, mad love. You can follow Serena on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/serenawilliams/?hl=en Read about Serena and business https://www.forbes.com/sites/kurtbadenhausen/2019/06/03/inside-serena-williams-plan-to-ace-venture-investing/#551a979e7787 And find out the latest on all things Wimbledon https://www.wimbledon.com/index.html We love receiving your artwork, poetry and messages, so please send any submissions to www.gurlstalk.com and you can follow us on Instagram @GurlsTalk. Don’t forget to subscribe to never miss an episode of the Gurls Talk podcast.
28 Jun 2019
Ep 30. Adwoa and Ashley Walters on speaking up about suffering with mental health issues.
Let’s get one thing clear – it’s absolutely OK to admit that things aren’t OK. But so often, our fears around mental health can be what holds us back from getting the support we need. I really wanted to get a male perspective on mental health and loved talking to Ashley as he opened up about his own experiences of suffering with depression and overcoming the macho, suck-it-up, don’t-share-your-feelings front that’s imposed on boys from a young age. Ashley and I talked about the negative impact of suffering in silence, and how it can often lead to alcohol and drug abuse which always perpetuates the problem. We talked about the fear of leaving your house and facing people, recognising the signs that we, or someone we know, might need help, and how society can work together to break the stigma of mental health struggles. Enjoy listening. And mad, mad love to you all. Never be afraid to seek help. Here are some numbers of great support options to talk openly and in confidence with someone. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mental-health-helplines/ If you haven’t yet watched Ashley in the brilliant Top Boy, I fully recommend you do. https://www.netflix.com/gb/title/70236561 You can follow Ashley on Instagram @ashleywalters and you can follow us @gurlstalk Please send any messages to www.gurlstalk.com and don’t forget to subscribe to never miss an episode of the Gurls Talk podcast.
31 Oct 2019
Ep 26. Adwoa talks to Ovie Soko about toxic masculinity.
Like many of you, I was glued to Love Island over the summer. And when Ovie Soko, came on to our screens, I think we all fell slightly in love with him, as he showed us a refreshing version of masculinity. Ovie’s been a bit of a Love Island and general reality TV anomaly. But he shouldn’t be. It opens up the conversation about the toxicity that pervades masculinity, which has fuelled a one-dimensional view of what’s defined manhood for decades. Obviously, a hugely outdated mould, and one that thankfully we are challenging today. In this episode, Ovie and I talk about representations of masculinity and the importance of staying authentic, not fitting into a box or following the crowd. We discuss the dynamics in the villa, the power and beauty of platonic relationships, and much more. (And yes, in case you were wondering, things with India are still going very well thank you.) Enjoy listening. And mad love to you all. You can follow Ovie on Instagram @oviesoko and you can follow us @gurlstalk Please send any messages to www.gurlstalk.com And don’t forget to subscribe to never miss an episode of the Gurls Talk podcast.
5 Sep 2019
Ep 3. Adwoa, Professor Green, Julia Samuel MBE and Amy Green talk through the grieving process and how to live with loss.
Throughout December, Gurls Talk Grief, and I have one of the most accomplished panels of experts to help us unpack this devastating and taboo subject. @ProfessorGreen uses his experience with his father’s suicide to show us how we should be celebrating the lives of those lost. Julia Samuel MBE tells me about her pillars of strength and how kickboxing is her secret weapon for coping with grief. And Amy Green explains why the bereavement charity, Cruse, is so valuable for those dealing with the loss of a loved one, however long ago it was. If you’re dealing with grief then there are many charities and organisations that can offer crucial support. Visit www.cruse.org.uk for one-on-one help and advice. For support around the death of a child, visit www.childbereavement.org.uk. To explore Julia Samuel’s 8 Pillars of Strength, visit www.griefworks.co.uk. To sign the petition for Stephen and Cruse’s campaign for A National Grief Awareness Day, visit https://www.change.org/p/matthew-hancock-mp-a-national-grief-day-to-remember-those-we-ve-lost. To find out more about Gurls Talk or to send us your artwork, poetry or anything you want to share, visit www.gurlstalk.com or find us on Instagram @GurlsTalk.
10 Dec 2018
Ep 33. Adwoa talks to Ibtihaj Muhammad about using her platform to ignite change.
It’s not every day that I get to sit down and talk to an Olympic fencer. And Ibtihaj Muhammad is so much more than her sporting accolades that catapulted her into the spotlight. Being the first American athlete to compete in the Olympics wearing a hijab was simply the springboard to everything that she’s done since – from writing books, to launching a clothing company and being an all-round superhero to a generation of girls. After speaking about the importance of role models on a panel talk at the Nike Legacy Summit LA, we continued our conversation with this podcast episode. Full of honesty, eloquence, and sage advice, Ibtihaj talks about sport’s power to unify – it’s not about where you’re from, how much money you have, your gender, your sexual orientation or your faith. It’s about getting out there, having fun and trying to win. Ibtihaj shares her own experiences of being made to feel like a square shape in a round space. She talks about how she abandoned the idea of acceptance and people-pleasing long ago, and instead learned to love herself and be her own biggest cheerleader to get to where she is today. There are so many reasons why I love this conversation – enjoy listening. We’re now off for our festive break, so mad amounts of love to you all. We’ll be back in January 2020. You can learn more about Ibtihaj, her projects and order her books here www.ibtihajmuhammad.com And you can follow Ibtihaj and her clothing company on Instagram @ibtihajmuhammad @louellashop As always, you can follow us @gurlstalk and send any messages to www.gurlstalk.com Don’t forget to subscribe to never miss an episode of the Gurls Talk podcast.
20 Dec 2019
Ep 21. Adwoa talks to Ore Ogunbiyi about being the only black girl in the room at Cambridge.
Reading Ore Ogunbiyi’s ‘A letter to my fresher self: Surviving Cambridge as a black girl’ hits such an emotional chord with me. Being a minority in a predominantly white institution creates some serious life skills. Which is why I invited Ore on to the podcast this week. We chat about discrimination in the classroom, overcoming imposter syndrome, and when you arrive back at uni with braids – no, your hair isn’t something people can freely smell and touch! Really guys, WTF?! We also talk about the new book Ore’s co-written with her right hand/wife/best friend, and fellow Cambridge graduate, Chelsea Kwakye (who couldn’t join us because she’s taking her law exams). Taking Up Space, published under Stormzy’s #Merky Books imprint, is the black girl’s manifesto for change, and explores the issues surrounding diversity and inclusion within higher education. The book offers a sisterhood for black girls going to university. Brutally honest, while reassuring, almost like an older sister telling you what fashion trends to avoid. But this isn’t just a black girl’s issue, it’s a conversation we should all be aware of. A collective effort in which everyone has a role to play, because without awareness, nothing changes. Ore shares some life skills that students from all backgrounds can benefit from. So, listen, enjoy, and as always, mad, mad love. To find out more about Gurls Talk or to send us your artwork, poetry or anything you want to share, visit www.gurlstalk.com or find us on Instagram @GurlsTalk. Don’t forget to subscribe to never miss an episode of the Gurls Talk podcast. You can read ‘A letter to my fresher self: Surviving Cambridge as a black girl’ here: https://www.varsity.co.uk/features/14214 And buy a copy of Taking Up Space here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Taking-Up-Space-Chelsea-Kwakye/dp/1529118530
21 Jun 2019
Ep 28. Adwoa talks to Louisa Northcote about acne and its ability to take over our minds.
Spots, cysts, acne, bright-red-tomato-face with skin flaking off. Whatever your breakout, we know how much of a confidence-kill troubled skin can be. I have battles with my own skin, but I hide it quite well – I say no to jobs, I don’t go to events, I wear a hoodie. We’re so used to retreating to the shadows when our skin flares up. We apologise for it, feel judged because of it. But Louisa is making big steps in acne positivity with her amazing Instagram movement #freethepimple. She’s created an online community for people who get what it’s like to have acne and feel like everyone’s staring at your skin (which they really aren’t). Louisa gives us a great pep talk about loving the skin we’re in. We talk about how acne affects our mental health and our dating life, how it’s a never-ending quest to find skincare products that work, and how we become masters of using makeup to cover our blemished skin. We spend so much time obsessing over spots and feeling ugly because of them, but it’s time to change that. FREE THE PIMPLE! Enjoy listening, and mad, mad love as always. You can join the #freethepimple community on Instagram, follow Louisa @lounorthcote and follow us @gurlstalk Please send any messages to www.gurlstalk.com And don’t forget to subscribe to never miss an episode of the Gurls Talk podcast.
25 Sep 2019
Ep 4. Adwoa talks to close friend, Victoria, about the trauma of losing her mother, just before becoming a mother herself
As we continue our December theme of grief, I invite a woman who I absolutely adore onto The Gurls Talk podcast; my dear friend, @victoria_lampley. Victoria kindly opens up about the devastating impact of her mother’s cancer diagnosis, and how becoming a mother herself shortly after she died was such an impossible transition. We also discuss the importance of talking about grief and how to be a good friend to those who are suffering from bereavement. To read more from Victoria’s quote on strength, read ‘On Grief & Grieving’ by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler. To read the beautiful piece by Nick Cave on grief, visit: https://www.theredhandfiles.com/communication-dream-feeling/ If you’re dealing with grief then there are many charities and organisations that can offer crucial support. Visit www.cruse.org.uk for one-on-one help and advice. For support around the death of a child, visit www.childbereavement.org.uk. To explore Julia Samuel’s 8 Pillars of Strength, visit www.griefworks.co.uk. The Grief Support Center in LA that Victoria mentioned in our chat is: https://www.ourhouse-grief.org/ To find out more about Gurls Talk or to send us your artwork, poetry or anything you want to share, visit www.gurlstalk.com or find us on Instagram @GurlsTalk.
14 Dec 2018
Ep 27. Adwoa talks to Sinéad Burke about the need to make design more inclusive.
There are a lot of things we don’t have to think about on a daily basis. Such as, if you’re a 3ft 5” adult, how do you reach the locks on public toilet doors, or sinks, or soap dispensers? Or where can you get this season’s shoes? No, not the light up ones for kids, but well designed, flats and heels. When you start seeing the world through the lens of a little person like Sinéad, you realise how the world is not designed for her. It’s designed for the people who design it. Our theme for the month of September is body and skin, and I absolutely loved talking to Sinéad about how she not only embraces her height difference but actively campaigns to highlight the importance of creating fashion and design for people with disabilities. We spoke about how she’s forged a relationship with the fashion industry from being excluded from it. We discussed how her disability has shaped every ambition and opportunity she’s had, and Sinéad shared some brilliant mum advice that’s relevant to us all. Enjoy listening, it’s a beautiful episode. And mad, mad love as always. Sinéad’s TED Talk – the impetus to all the work she’s doing: https://www.ted.com/talks/sinead_burke_why_design_should_include_everyone?language=en You can check out Sinéad’s new podcast here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/as-me-with-sin%C3%A9ad/id1468608471 You can follow Sinéad on Instagram @thesineadburke and you can follow us @gurlstalk Please send any messages to www.gurlstalk.com And don’t forget to subscribe to never miss an episode of the Gurls Talk podcast.
20 Sep 2019
Ep 25. Adwoa talks to Princess K about dancing and dreaming big.
I remember being ten. It was fun. That sense of freedom, when your summer holiday feels never-ending and it’s all sleep-overs and how much flavoured sugar you can convince your parents to let you have. I definitely did not get asked to perform on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury like our youngest ever Gurls Talk guest, Princess K, did. This year alone, she has managed to tick that off her list, as well as dance with the icon that is Lauryn Hill – all before her 11th birthday. This was a truly wonderful chat which touched on so many things. We spoke about her hopes of opening a dance studio and starting a charity, what it feels like to dance in front of 150,000 people and how dancing is a wonderful way of letting go and being yourself. But beyond dance, we talked about how to battle body shaming, confidence, embracing yourself, dealing with rejection, the stresses of social media and chasing your dreams. With so much talent, and such a wise head on her shoulders, there is no doubt in my mind that this 10-year-old has got one hell of a future in front of her. Enjoy listening. And just so you know, we’re taking a break for August. So, have a mad, beautiful, brilliant month. We’ll be back in September, batteries recharged, ready to talk about body and skin. You can follow Princess K on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/princesskofficial/?hl=en To find out more about Gurls Talk or to send us your artwork, poetry or anything you want to share, visit www.gurlstalk.com or find us on Instagram @GurlsTalk. Don’t forget to subscribe to never miss an episode of the Gurls Talk podcast.
5 Aug 2019
Ep 16. Adwoa talks to Munroe Bergdorf about transgender activism and how we can all join her movement towards embracing the trans community.
We couldn’t talk about 'Gender’ without getting this trailblazing voice of the trans community on the podcast. Her eloquence is only outshone by her passion for society’s acceptance of all genders, and I learnt so much from our conversation. I’ve walked away from the episode knowing how we can all open our world to things we don’t understand. We might be scared of saying the wrong thing, but Munroe tells us to embrace the discomfort, because “being uncomfortable spurs growth”. So, block out the outside world and listen to this voice of inspiration and exceptional wisdom. To find out more about Gurls Talk or to send us your artwork, poetry or anything you want to share, visit www.gurlstalks.com or find us on Instagram @GurlsTalk Don’t forget to subscribe to never miss an episode of the Gurls Talk podcast.
12 Apr 2019
Ep 11. Adwoa talks to the real life superhero, Bebe Vio, about turning your disability into the superpower you’re proudest of.
It’s not every day that you’re in the company of someone who’s a national treasure, truly one of the most inspirational people you’ve ever met and a blinding ray of light. Bebe Vio is that person. She’s my new idol. For those who haven’t heard of her, Bebe is the European Fencing Champion, the World Fencing Champion and the Paralympic Fencing Champion. She’s also the only fencer in the world to fight without any arms or legs. The way she talks about her quadruple amputation and her disability is not just empowering, but it’s also full of happiness and will make you howl with laughter. She really is an actual superhero and her outlook on life is something I think all my gurls will benefit from. To quote Bebe, “To make us happy, we just have to make everyone happy”. Read more about the incredible charity Bebe and her family have set up for children with amputations: http://www.art4sport.org/ To find out more about Gurls Talk or to send us your artwork, poetry or anything you want to share, visit www.gurlstalk.com or find us on Instagram @GurlsTalk.
12 Feb 2019
Ep 10. Adwoa talks to two fabulous drag artists about discovering and loving their identity as trans and non-binary members of the LGBTQ+ community
What an episode this is! For our theme of representation, I invite Tom Rasmusen (@TomGlitter) and Chiyo Gomes (@ChiyoGomes) onto the podcast so we can talk about all things gender, identity and Drag Race! We truly put the world to rights in this episode and we get real deep, real quick. Buckle yourselves in for an educational, inspirational and seriously empowering discussion about how our beautiful drag artists got to where they are today. The wonderful Chiyo is currently raising funds for top surgery, and I know just how much a donation would mean to them. Click here to donate: https://www.gofundme.com/chiyostopsurgery Click here to buy Tom AKA Crystal’s new book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Diary-Drag-Queen-Crystal-Rasmussen/dp/1785039490 To learn more about the LGBTQ+ community and how you can become an ally, visit Stonewall’s website: https://www.stonewall.org.uk/ If you’re a young person or a relative of a young person who’s struggling with their gender, then Mermaids can help: https://www.mermaidsuk.org.uk/ To find out more about Gurls Talk or to send us your artwork, poetry or anything you want to share, visit www.gurlstalk.com or find us on Instagram @GurlsTalk.
4 Feb 2019
Ep 35. Adwoa talks to the TARA Sisters and Zeina Nassar about the positive impact of exercise
Starting a conversation with some spiritual handholding is always a good sign. And that’s the vibe Bea and Tina from the TARA Sisters, and Nike athlete Zeina Nassar brought to this episode from the Gurls Talk Berlin live event. Both the TARA Sisters and Zeina are playing their part in changing the world. For Bea and Tina, it’s about recognising how our youth are key to building a peaceful and compassionate future. They talk about how they create a space for teenage girls to navigate self-love and a positive mindset through movement. They’re like the big sisters we wish we had when we were growing up. Then Zeina, who’s a force of nature fighting the girls’ corner, tells us how she’s helped changed the rules in boxing so every woman who wears a hijab can box anywhere in the world. We talk about trusting in yourself to follow your dream, and if you could be your own big sister, what would you say to yourself? (Life’s all about a good prep talk!) Enjoy a big dose of positivity, and as always mad amounts of love. You can follow @bea.bewegt @tina__kaa @zeina.boxer and you can follow us @gurlstalk Please send any messages to www.gurlstalk.com And don’t forget to subscribe to never miss an episode of the Gurls Talk podcast.
16 Apr 2020
Ep. 34. Adwoa talks to Clara Amfo about Ghana, social media and setting boundaries.
I really hope that you and your loved ones are all well and staying safe and healthy. I’m extremely happy to be back with you all for our new season. Given the global crisis caused by Covid-19, we are releasing this in an increasingly uncertain and scary time. Now, more than ever, it is important to create safe spaces that encourage open and honest conversations and help us stay connected. While we did debate as to whether or not to release one of the many podcasts we’ve already recorded pre-Covid-19, we felt it important to share with you what we had already started earlier in the year and revisit some of these conversations. Listening to these initial podcasts, it is so jarring to hear how different our lives and circumstances were. Our first episode is with the brilliant Clara Amfo that we recorded back in January. Clara and I talk about our time at the Year of Return in Ghana. How we’re honoured to have Ghanaian heritage, and the importance of people in the diaspora to fly the flag. We talk about Clara’s new podcast – This City with Clara Amfo – which is all about what London means to her guests. We share our views on social media and how highly confusing navigating the unwritten rules can be. How on one hand we loathe the negativity that comes with Instagram, but on the other, love the sense of community you can find from like-minded women. Being single, actively choosing to be single, and celebrating our independence definitely gets some deserved airtime. And we talk about not wasting time on the wrong people, understanding your values, being kind to yourself, and filling up your own cup rather than expecting others to fill it up for you. It really is so good to be back. Enjoy listening and mad, mad, mad amounts of love. Clara’s amazing new podcast is here: podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/this-city/id1492707322 You can follow Clara on Instagram @claraamfoand you can follow us @gurlstalk Please send any messages to www.gurlstalk.com And don’t forget to subscribe to never miss an episode of the Gurls Talk podcast.
9 Apr 2020
Ep 12. Adwoa, Dina Asher-Smith and Tiffany Calver talk competitive streaks and how it made them the first and the fastest in their fields
For this episode I am surrounded by females of absolute Gurl Boss status. Firstly, I got to be in the presence of the fastest woman in the whole world, @DinaAsherSmith. And if that wasn’t enough, we were joined by the new host of the Rap Show on Radio 1 and 1Xtra, @TiffanyCalver, who is the first woman and the first black person to be given the role. We talk about how amazing it is to be black, female and British as we celebrate our achievements as firsts in our fields. We also talk about how our femininity can lead to critics finding a way to beat us down, but as I’m sure you’ll tell from listening, the three of us will never stop representing our true and authentic selves. To find out more about Gurls Talk or to send us your artwork, poetry or anything you want to share, visit www.gurlstalk.com or find us on Instagram @GurlsTalk.
20 Feb 2019