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This Woman's Work: Kelechi Okafor, Founder of Kelechnekoff

The phrase Jack of all trades, Master of none is not one to apply to Kelechi Okafor. She is a Jack of many trades and a Master of all of them. So we sat down to find out more about her work as the founder of Kelechnekoff Fitness Studio and actress.

BB: In your own words Kelechi, what do you do?

KO: I am an actor and director with a dancing studio, where I teach pole dance and twerk classes.

BB: How did you get into that?

KO: With acting, I’ve always performed and done acting. From when I was in primary school, all the way through, went to university to do theatre studies combined with law. After finishing university, I decided to try and get an agent, that’s kind of been the road for the past few years now. With pole dance, I just fell into it because I’d been a Personal Trainer for a while and I’d started noticing that there were not that many roles/opportunities for black actresses in the UK. So, I thought what else do I love as much as acting? Fitness. I did athletics when I was younger, I was part of the air cadets, so I started being a Personal Trainer. It went well but I wanted something to challenge myself personally. So, I went to a pole dance class to see how I would like it and I really took to it and within a few months they asked me if I wanted to teach a beginners class. I noticed through teaching that there were some gaps in the teaching method and in the representation of black women who were coming to the classes. That is how I ended up starting to teach my own pole dance classes. [Where I was teaching pole dance] they asked “by the way, do you twerk?” I don’t know why they assumed that I would twerk. So I started doing that for them too, I restructured the way the twerk classes were taught because they were definitely doing the more white-washed version.