Founder of ‘Afridiziak Theatre News’ Sophia A Jackson and Founder of ‘Dope Black Mums’ Nina Malone talk about their newly established ‘Afridiziak Theatre News x Dope Black Mums Meet-Up’

An idea born out of the need to reconnect during the lockdowns of the pandemic, powerhouses Sophia A Jackson – founder of Afridiziak Theatre News renowned for her championing of Black Theatre within the UK, and Nina Malone, founder of influential digital platform Dope Black Mums, set up to bring a community of women together to share their experiences of motherhood have joined forces to introduce the Afridiziak Theatre News x Dope Black Mums Meet-Up, an opportunity for mums to meet and watch a show in collaboration with Soho Theatre. Having hosted their first ever event on Tuesday 15th February, where the collective met up to watch award winning production Queens of Sheba by Nouveau Riche, the next meet up will have the collective introduced to award winning production Shedding a Skin by Amanda Wilkin on Saturday 19th March 2022. Ahead of the meet up, Sophia and Nina reflect on the first event and tell us what their hopes are for the event moving forward!

Hi Sophia and Nina, you both in collaboration with Soho Theatre hosted your 1st Theatre Meet Up event. How are you feeling after the event?

Sophia A Jackson (Afridiziak Theatre News): I’m feeling positive as it was a really fun experience and encouraged that we should be doing more theatre meet-ups and that it’s something that the community wants to be part of. I’m also really pleased that we sold out of our allocation a few days before the occasion as I wasn’t sure what the response would be.

Nina Malone (Dope Black Mums): I felt truly uplifted after event, good soul food, like a soul feast to watch and experience such a phenomenal show about Black women with Black women.

The Theatre Meet Up event involves a night out at the theatre and the chance to meet up with the fellow collective. How did the concept come about?

Sophia A Jackson (Afridiziak Theatre News): I’ve been wanting to do this for a while but kept putting it off and then the pandemic happened. Now that we are easing ourselves into socialising again this felt like the perfect time to launch the initiative. I’m in one of Nina’s Dope Black Mums WhatsApp groups which I joined during lockdown-it was a lifeline for so many of us –  and overtime, it became apparent that we both share a love of theatre so this seemed like a natural collaboration. I was already working with Soho Theatre and when I approached them, they were brilliant in facilitating our first meet-up and Queens of Sheba seemed like the perfect production to start out with.

Nina Malone (Dope Black Mums): I personally wanted to try and get out more, so hard to carve out some time just for yourself and then actually do something. Have always respected and admired what Sophia has done with Afridiziak Theatre News and this felt like the perfect opportunity and also holds me accountable!!!!!

What does it mean to you both to be able to offer this important platform, especially post pandemic?

Sophia A Jackson (Afridiziak Theatre News): After being in a pandemic for two years, I’m looking forward to spending more time with people and enjoy cultural experiences again. This is one way to do that and connect with people who have a shared love of theatre.

Nina Malone (Dope Black Mums): I know I need and value it, can imagine others might be feeling the same way definitely post pandemic.

What have you learned/taken away from hosting the first event?

Sophia A Jackson (Afridiziak Theatre News): I want to try to make the occasion as sociable as possible so that we can catch up with attendees either before or after and have a chat about the play we’ve seen.

Nina Malone (Dope Black Mums): Always want to try and give as much notice as possible so anyone interested can find childcare if needed!!!

What are your hopes for the meet ups?

Sophia A Jackson (Afridiziak Theatre News): It’s quite a big commitment but I hope we can keep up the momentum and maybe add different elements such as a meet and greet with the cast etc; work with lots of different theatres and also venture outside London, too.

Nina Malone (Dope Black Mums): Would love to keep going with the meet ups, feels good to support Black creatives and productions and always good to get out and again holds me accountable to actually priortise some me time!

Questions by Lucy Basaba.

The first Afridiziak Theatre News x Dope Black Mums event took place on Tuesday 15th February at Soho Theatre where everyone watched ‘Queens of Sheba’. The next Afridiziak Theatre News x Dope Black Mums Meet-Up takes place on Saturday 19 March at Soho Theatre where you’ll be watching SHEDDING A SKIN BY AMANDA WILKIN, 7.30pm. To join and take advantage of the £12.50 offer code, enter DBMATN at the checkout…

To find out more about Afridiziak News, visit here…

To find out more about dope Black Mums, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop