BACKGROUND: Academic & Careers
Yemi's academic pursuits, spans various sectors:
Graduate studies in Psychotherapy (focused on the importance of self-awareness);
Graduate studies in Museum Studies (focused on conserving [in]tangible cultural heritage resources—traditions, practices and creative self-expressions);
Undergraduate studies in Economics (Banking, Finance & Management), a foundation for self authentication).
Pursuing a Certificate in Product Development & Manufacturing @ RISD
Merchandise Development & Promotion for MatriArts-African Women's Museum);
An Accidental Artist. In 2016, due to constraints and limited access to African artists & resources while in the U.S., Yemi attempted to articulate invisible concepts by sketching for the very first time, hoping to find an artist to fine-tune the sketches; to date, she has created ALL the artwork for Anike.
Yemi "Àníké-Àgbo" Alalade is the founder of Àníké.
Yemi describes herself as an "Artistic Therapist" and uses knowledge of artistic practices peculiar to a specific culture & related technology as mediums for nurturing creativity.
For Yemi, after decades of going with the flow, her process of self-awareness began when she unintentionally discovered a blueprint that embodied everything she knew her Self to be: her ancestral attributive name (Oríkì) and the accompanying praise poetry— Àníké-Àgbò —which narrates unique personality traits and was bestowed unto her 7-days after her birth by elders within her family. Naturally, acknowledging and embracing this blueprint renewed her interest in articulating similar cultural concepts peculiar to her Yòrùbá heritage.
Yemi launched Àníké as a platform and her experiential and evolving "Self" as a three-dimensional model/archetype for communicating cultural concepts. The three-dimensions focus predominantly on the Yòrùbá's concept of the Orí (Inner head & Self-awareness), Oríkì (Affirmative/Artistic practices & Self-expression) and Orí-Ire (Abundance & Self-Authentication) and provide a guideline that inspires future and featured themes.
Intrigued by the process of human development, and a penchant for analyzing and simplifying complex concepts into rudimentary reflections, she enrolled in graduate studies that focused on the human thought process, cultural identity formation, cultural preservation and meaning-making through art forms.
She worked as a Child Therapist—predominantly with young girls coping with the effects of physical and sexual abuse—incorporating culturally-sensitive approaches into both play and art therapy sessions, drawing from holistic practices peculiar to her Yoruba culture such as Oríkì, a self-affirmative practice. These interactions highlighted the importance of Cultural Identity, further encouraging her quest to incorporate such practices, and subsequently leading to her lifelong interest in the Conservation of such Cultural practices.
Yemi continues to utilize her artistic, therapeutic, leadership and managerial skills to ensure that Àníké’s vision becomes a reality. She is actively involved in Arts and Education programs both in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Nigeria.