The First Lady Meets…Sinem Bilen-Onabanjo of FAB magazine
Sinem Bilen-Onabanjo – Editor in chief – Fab Magazine
What is your name and business?
FAB Magazine Editor-in-chief.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into journalism?
Born and raised in Turkey, I attended the prestigious Robert College where I had the chance to hone my writing skills contributing to every creative writing club and school magazine going and remember vividly how excited I would get when my news stories made it to the front page of the school newspaper The Bosphurus Chronicle. I went on to study English Language and Literature at Bosphorus University during which time I continued nurturing my interest in writing with summer internships at the Turkish Cosmopolitan. At 21, I left Turkey for the UK to pursue an MA degree in Shakespeare at Royal Holloway College, University of London followed by a PhD in English at King’s College, University of London. In 2003, while still working towards my degree, I took up teaching English Language and Literature at Key Stages 4 and 5 level and trained as a teacher before I went back to writing in 2006 first on a freelance, then on a full-time basis. Since then I have contributed and still contribute to a range of UK and international publications.
Why did you start FAB Magazine and how long have you been running?
FAB Magazine was born out of the vision that a fashion and lifestyle magazine in the truest sense of the word could come out of Africa, made by Africans for Africans. Looking at the face of publishing in Nigeria where we launched in march 2010, there were no magazines, prior to FAB, which appealed to the new generation of 20-45 year old Nigerians who wanted to see more fashion, style and shopping in their glossies alongside more serious reads, interviews and lifestyle pieces.
Who inspires you?
Women who lead; women who have the courage, the drive, the faith to see through the dreams they have created; and people who give back to the world in their own way.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Seeing our distribution reach eight countries in under two years and having had the opportunity to interview inspirational figures like Congolese model and humanitarian Noella Coursaris, Liberian Kimmie Weeks who campaigns to help former child soldiers, Ethiopian former model and humanitarian Anna Getaneh.
What tips do you have for those wanting to run a magazine?
Do your research, plan your budget, invest in reliable, dedicated and talented employees and do not aim beyond your means – always start small and build up from there.
What are your plans for 2012?
We are in the process to expanding our distribution further in 2012. And the plans include another four FABtastic editions with numerous surprises and treats for our readers as well as a range of FAB events to come.
Where can we find you?
Twitter: sonabanjo / fabafricanblack
Facebook: Sinem Bilen-Onabanjo / FAB
We love FAB magazine it is a wonderful look at African culture expressed creatively, rebranding Africa as a creative forward thinking melting pot. We also acknowledge the fact that FAB magazine shines positive light on a large number of independent brands, giving brands exposure and consumers choice. If you like you like fashion, art, basically anything creative you must check out this FAB magazine regardless of your background.
Sinem will be facilitating a workshop at our event on 18th December so if you are interested in working in publishing or attracting press you must attend!
Tickets £5.00: http://thefirstladychristmasfayre.eventbrite.com/
Under 16′s free