Decolonial Thoughts part 1

Decolonial Thoughts part 1

Welcome to part one of our Decolonial Thoughts deep dive! Meet the founders of the online learning platform, Toluse Delano and Theo Wellington, who talk us through their individual experiences that led them to social activism.

Decolonial Thoughts is an online learning platform that aims to challenge colonial traditions and educate people on the way it has entwined itself into society and its institutions. Be sure to check back in for part two to find out more!



What is your field of interest and how did you get into it?

My interests are all intertwined. I care about people and the world and challenging systems that were created to oppress rather than uplift.  I think I started to realise that my interests lay in radicalism and activism when I first read the autobiography of Malcolm X. It was the first time I really felt like I cared about anything. After that, I took a course at University called Law and Race and that really cemented things for me. It was mind-blowing that we had never looked at law through a racial lens until my final year. My interest in sustainability happened a bit later but it fits perfectly with everything I believe in – putting people and the planet first. I interned at a Sustainability consulting firm for 6 months in 2020, and the work I did there really exposed me to the role corporations play in issues like forced labour, child labour and climate change, and once again how the Global South were the biggest victims.


What drives you?

I am here, so I might as well try. To be quite frank, I hate how the world works, but I am here. I could either sit back and complain or I can try to do something about it, and that’s what motivates me. I am no longer driven by the desire to see myself succeed in the usual terms of monetary success and a corporate career. Instead, I am driven by the desire to succeed in continuously learning, educating people, and building a community where people feel seen and safe, and are inspired to think outside the box.


Does your work in sustainable development and Decolonial Thoughts intersect? If so, in what ways?

Yes, they definitely do. Both sides are people-driven and challenge the current status quo of how things operate. It’s difficult to talk about one without talking about the other, and the biggest victims of climate change and irresponsible corporate conduct are people in the Global South. Shedding light on how colonial structures and globalisation as it functions now have all contributed to climate change is what Decolonial Thoughts is about.


Your line of work is for the betterment of your community. What draws you to this kind of work?

Honestly? I want to change the world. I think that life is a lot harder than it should be for the average person. People lack access to healthcare, housing, food and water, which are basic things everyone globally should have access to. The current systems we have in place right now do not work. They need to change, and I want people to realise that they deserve more and can demand more. We are taught to see the world as static, we are expected to accept certain things because ‘that’s just how things work’, but that really doesn’t work for me. What draws me to this kind of work is the fact that everything becomes transformable, everything becomes a possibility.  The world can be so much better and I am invested in doing work that embodies that concept.


What are your future aspirations?

I like to take things one day at a time. However, I would like to build Decolonial Thoughts into a full-functioning media house. I also see myself doing more policy-related work, and leading impactful community projects.  I want to build a world where people are put first, where money and capitalist greed are not the driving factors of the world.





What is your field of interest and how did you get into it?

I am quite passionate about gender, race and other diversities (class, sexual orientation etc.) in the development field. Looking back, I think I have always been gripped by the inequalities that shape our world, however, it did become more concrete during the BLM and END SARS protests in 2020. Two things happened there for me. Firstly, I realised people wanted change for a better world, and this dream was not completely utopian but could become a reality. Secondly, well-meaning people sometimes did not realise how damaging or limiting their ideas of change could be. From the urging of my good friends, and also my co-partner, Toluse, I decided to lend my voice, and offer a different radical approach to change.


You’ve done a lot of work, specifically with the University of Bristol, educating younger generations on topics such as human rights. What does your role as a teacher mean to you?

It means a lot that you consider me a teacher because I do not, and I do not think I ever will. I believe that the field I have chosen, which is one of creating social impact, requires that I forever be a student. Doing the job well entails relating with people, listening and truly paying attention to their stories.

A person's story can inspire, teach, and more often than not, radicalise. I don’t ever want to get to a position where I feel I have become a master, and have no more to learn. We live in very dynamic times, and this often means a lot of newfound challenges to institutional systems that affect people. To adequately respond to that, I must always see myself as a student.


In such a demanding field, what motivates you to keep going?

As I have alluded to earlier, it is people and their stories. I believe we have much to learn from each other. If we invest and pay attention to people as much as we do on things like the military and space/Mars exploration, our world would look completely different.

I think people and the structures that shape our day to day lives are so fascinating. Truly engaging with that, and listening to people talk about their experiences and how they keep on pushing, inspires me daily. It does not always have to be a one-on-one conversation, but a good Twitter thread, an interview, or a radio talk is enough to help me think about an issue differently. I try to use everything I come across to ensure unheard or actively silenced truths are being told.


What are your future aspirations?

Thankfully, over the last couple of months, I achieved most of the things I dreamt of two or three years ago. Whilst I am grateful, it has thrown me a little off-balance, as I have now come face to face with the realisation that I did not plan for life after these goals.

I can say, however, for the first time, my joy, peace, and happiness are top priorities in my future aspirations. I am now letting life do its things and guide me to where I need to be. I believe everything has its perfect timing, and I will figure out what’s next in store for me in due time. Nevertheless, I can fully state that my ultimate dream is to see Decolonial Thoughts stand on its own two feet as a major powerhouse, challenging the status quo and our current colonial realities. We are at crossroads on so many issues at the moment, and many battle cries are being heard. I hope we can answer them.


Who would you share your Teff Cookie with and why?

Honestly, Beyonce. I think the effect she has on the music industry and how brave and daring she is isn’t talked about enough. I take inspiration from her bravery and her ability to challenge the status quo and what is expected from her. I have always seen myself as a rebel and a radical and I think she embodies that so well. She is completely badass. Whilst I do not see eye to eye on every single one of her political stances, it would be lovely to discuss how she manages to effect change, what inspires her, and how she deals with the naysayers and disbelievers etc. I think what she does within the music industry, I would love to do with the social impact industry; it needs a radical change and I believe we are running out of time to implement this.


You can find out more at:

Instagram: @decolonialthoughts




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