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Who is Vanessa Kingori? #SharethemicUK founder's Instagram takeover

Darcey Sergison October 1, 2020
who is vanessa kingori

Who is Vanessa Kingori? The #ShareTheMicUK founder launches an Instagram takeover campaign, in an effort to amplify black women’s voices online.

As today marks the beginning of Black History Month around the world, Share the Mic, founded by Vanessa Kingori and Stephanie Phair, is sweeping Instagram, which will allow black women to take over the platform and share their story.

Who is Vanessa Kingori?

Vanessa Kingori MBE is the first female publishing director of British Vogue, having joined the magazine after editor in chief of 25 years, Alexandra Shulman, stepped down. Shulman was replaced by Vogue’s first ever male black editor in chief, Edward Enniful.

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Enniful’s role and Kingori’s joining the magazine marked a pivotal moment for Vogue and the UK fashion industry.

Before that, the Kenyan-born Share the Mic founder worked for GQ magazine and a number of other big publishing names, including the Evening Standard and Esquire.

Kingori grew up on the Caribbean island of Saint Kitts, and later moved to London with family when she was seven.

In 2016, Vanessa Kingori received an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for her services in the UK media industry.

Instagram: What does #ShareTheMic mean?

This campaign shares the mic by allowing black female creatives to take over celebrity platforms on Instagram today, making more room for black narratives within society. Using celebrities’ accounts this will allow unheard voices to be noticed by larger audiences. 

Taking advantage of the combined Instagram following of these celebrity accounts – which amounts to more than 175 million – these unheard stories will be catapulted to the forefront of Instagram and become impossible to ignore. 

According to Kingori: “Within the important narratives of racial inequality are Black people with key contributions to society. Their human stories often involve overcoming, triumph, success, incredible leadership, entrepreneurialism, joy and LOVE despite the challenges. Many of us in the Black community know some of these women, and their stories, it’s time the world does too.”

Some of the celebrities giving up their platform to uplift the stories of others include Kourtney Kardashian, Victoria Beckham, Gwyneth Paltrow, Charlotte Tilbury.

With more than 70 accomplished women joining forces, this will supply Instagram with a new and exciting opportunity to hear inspiring stories from women who are not as well-known but by no means any less incredible. 

#ShareTheMicUK Guest hosts

I am very excited to see Funmi Fetto, taking over Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s account for #ShareTheMicUK.

Fetto is a multifaceted talent who has done incredible work in her field. She is a journalist primarily, working as a contributing editor at British Vogue, a beauty director for the Observer magazine, a brand consultant and an author.

Writing on skin whitening in the beauty industry and the colourism fuelling this trend, Fetto is a talented young writer who you should definitely follow on IG if you don’t already.

Another #ShareTheMicUK Instagram takeover to look out for is Nicole Crentsil, taking over Fearne Cotton’s account.

Crentsil is a cultural curator, creative consultant and entrepreneur based in London. She is the CEO of @blackgirlfest which offers a platform and safe space to Black women, girls and non-binary people. The aim of this platform is to inspire and empower this community to achieve their best by supplying them with learning and development tools through festivals and academic programmes.

Lastly, Chloe Filani will be taking over Bella Mackie’s account. Filani is a feminist, poet, performance artist, public speaker and workshop facilitator.

Having performed at Tate Britian events and spoken at UAL Feminist Society, Filani will be giving fans a particularly fascinating insight into her daily life.

Filani has also performed and curated at Swaying Feels with Blk Sirens, which is an art and music event for black women (cis, trans and queer). Be on the lookout for more upcoming projects from Filani today. 

Speaking out with #ShareTheMicUK

Share the Mic, founded by Vanessa Kingori and Stephanie Phair, makes it loud and clear it is time to amplify black and marginalised voices. Today’s Instagram takeover campaign is a significant step in that direction. Be sure to follow @sharethemicuk to get involved today and discover new creative inspiration.

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