My Story

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Hello!

My name is Ashan-wa Aliogo and I’m a Trinity senior studying International Comparative Studies (ICS), French & Francophone Studies and of course, pursuing the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate.  I am a creative and an analytical. I believe in creating a beautiful product or service but also approving or disapproving it with data. I am a self-starter, I believe in not just seeking opportunity but creating it with the resources at my disposal. I am a team builder/player; I love working with a team of people towards a common vision to overcome challenges, celebrate wins and learn from losses. Finally, I am a story teller, I love connecting and engaging with people on shared experiences, passions and visions.

 

I was born in Dallas, TX but grew up in Nigeria with my parents, 2 brothers and 2 sisters. I always knew I wanted to study in the States and upon graduating high school in Nigeria at the age of 15, I attended high school in Jacksonville, FL for 2 year. It was a fab experience and allowed my acclimatize to the changes.  I visited colleges, fell so in love with Duke, applied and here we are today 🙂

 

I’ve loved culture and believed in the importance of a multi-faceted perspective on topics The world is so diverse and I love seeing/ experiencing how different cultures vary or contrast mine. This served as the basis for my major in ICS. I have a long history with French. Although it’s not spoken in Nigeria, I picked it up in school at the very young age. I made the conscious decision to continue learning it and eventually came to love the language and culture (read LAJA’s French Diaries) I also believe speaking another languages allows you to better connect with people of different backgrounds- especially in today’s world.

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I am passionate about African prints, fashion and wellness. My venture is LAJA (www.lajacollection.com/) which I started in 2013 as a space to promote the positive aspects of African culture starting with my home country, Nigeria. I was disappointed by the negative one sided narrative of the African diaspora in American media.  While portraying the aspects the media didn’t address, I added fashion to the mix. People would always ask where I get my colourful prints (a fabric called ankara) so I decided to start selling my designs. Fast forward, we’re 3 years strong and LAJA is continuously evolving to enlighten people on the diverse types of African prints while empowering people through beauty, culture and thought provoking conversations.

 

I’ve been able to have many amazing opportunities because of my venture. I’d love to pursue it full time and grow it to a powerhouse where people can be enlightened and go away feeling empowered either through my designs or through the thought stimulating content. My dream job is to be an innovative space where I can create stories, build beautiful products that solves problems and foster a community in the process or be a Creative Director 🙂

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