By Rosa Del Carmen Gomez– 1851 Staff
Dubem Okafor was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts yet he finds himself moving around in the Boston area. As an undergraduate, Okafor is majoring in Communication with a concentration in Creative Advertisement with dreams of using it to create graphics work or run social media. Not only is he enthusiastic about graphic design, but he also expresses himself in his origins and fashion.
Q: Are you involved on campus?
A: I’m the Secretary of the Naturals Club and a member of the Dungeons and Dragons Club.
Q: What inspires your style in your everyday outfits?
A: I have two modes: one where I’m just in sweatpants or I’m in a hoodie. I get to my second mode where I really like looking cool. I don’t really get to do that at home. I lost my father sophomore year so since then, I’ve been doing this thing where I like wearing his clothes… his jacket…his necklace. I want to take my dad everywhere.
Q: How would you describe your personality?
A: People have told me it’s very energetic and really welcoming. I don’t want people to feel uncomfortable but sometimes that’s not my job to make you feel comfortable.
Q: You’ve always liked to make sure to say hi to people whenever you feel so why do you think something like that is important even though it’s a minor thing?
A: I think it’s important to say hi to people when you see them. I just feel like I know you; I should say hi to you. I think it’s really important to feel seen in spaces all the time because not feeling seen is not cool.
Q: What are some hobbies that you have?
A: I collect notebooks. I like them and I have a lot of notebooks. I’ve gone through eight notebooks, so far, from start to finish. I had one last year but I lost it and I was very sad. I just put a bunch of things in them like drawings and writing.
Q: What is your background?
A: Being Nigerian for me, it’s hard. I don’t feel like I’m really African sometimes. I like being a part of the Nigerian community but the older you get, the more responsibility and respect that your mother gives you.
Q: What role does it play in your life?
A: I noticed everyone is very insecure about how people feel about them or who they are as a person. There’s a lot of trying to set up a person that is easily digestible for everyone that they encounter as well as there’s a lot of holding back of self. It’s really hard because in this place that we are at right now, a suitable adult world, there’s a lot of having to restructure who you are from high school and not knowing what that looks like. For me, at home, I don’t really get to explore what that is. I have set perimeter of what that is at home and so, when I get to leave that space and I get to enter school, it’s really up to me. I grow my hair as long as I can before I need to see my parents or just general family members again. Maybe one day I won’t have to anymore. I just really want to grow it.
Being raised in a Nigerian household, I have to look like Michael B. Jordan and I need to be a Nigerian man or Michael B. Jordan. He’s very well- built. He’s a very clean looking man. You have to be a lawyer or a pharmacist, or engineer and you got to get married at twenty-five. I constantly combat and feel uncomfortable because I don’t really feel like I fit into that mold all the time when I’m at home. When I’m at school, I don’t have to pretend and I don’t need to be like that anymore. I get to really find who I am and who I want to be. I feel like that happens with a lot of people, at least like Africans.
Q: What would make me what has made you stay at Lasell?
A: It’s literally only the people that I’ve met. My parents like the campus. It looks nice and especially now that we’re a University, sounds nice.
Q: Do you want to inspire others?
A: I want to inspire people to want to see something and create something with themselves and the way they would want to feel seen. I also think it’s really important for people to be able to enter or create spaces where they can be comfortable because I feel like everyone’s very guarded and isn’t comfortable with themselves, especially when they’re in a group setting and even more when they’re alone.