GUAP Presents Wunmi Bello for #GUAP27

Wunmi Bello’s first magazine cover for GUAP’s April 2022 Issue. The cover star discusses the importance of loving yourself and others, finding your truth and protecting your light in your darkest moments.
by CHELSEA MTADA May 2, 2022

Wunmi Bello is one of London’s most exciting talents on the rise. The fashion & beauty influencer, presenter and creator of ‘The Wunmi Bello Show’ talks to Chelsea Mtada about the beauty of change and staying true to yourself.

Wunmi Bello
Photography Cameron Ugbodu

Wunmi Bello is a Nigerian born and now London-based fashion influencer and presenter known for her deeply moving interviews that centre around the stories of people who make up young British culture. Bello is the creator and founder of ‘The Wunmi Bello Show’, a youtube interview series initially created as a creative and emotionally catharsis for her.

Wunmi Bello has created a space for the industry to lay its head and finally let go. Her doors are open to those she simply wants to get to know. Under the beautiful lavender light of her living room, she opens up her guests to a room of 33,500+ subscribers who sit and listen without judgement or fear. The platform she has created for herself and others has built her a platform unlike any other in the British creative scene.

Today, we honour Wunmi Bello with her very first cover. ‘The Metamorphosis Edition,’ aims to celebrate Bello’s incredible journey that has made her the woman she is today.

Wunmi Bello
Photography by Cameron Ugbodu

What was Wunmi Bello like as a child? 

As a child, a lot of my confidence really stemmed from God. From a very young age, I would journal a lot. I’d even go as far as staring at my reflection in the mirror and repeating positive affirmations until I felt okay.  I grew up without my biological parents and I often found myself feeling alone and abandoned a lot of the time. I think it’s why I’ve always been very passionate about people, especially young people.

I grew up in an environment where I had to grow up really fast.”

School was my escape when I was a child, it was my favourite place and where I could go to engage with people that were willing to connect with me. It’s definitely where my love for connecting with people began. No one at school really knew about my circumstances at home and how I truly felt about what was going on. I think a part of myself never wanted anyone to feel like that, so I’d always ask people a lot of questions about their lives, and what they were up to and what was home like for them and if they were happy.

“I never wanted anyone to feel the kind of loneliness and unhappiness that I did when I was at home.” 

Wunmi Bello
Photography by Cameron Ugbodu

Over the years, we have come to know Wunmi Bello for many things; host, content creator, presenter, model and beauty influencer. What are your thoughts on the influencing world and how you are perceived? 

I am an influencer. I don’t mind calling myself that because it’s a big part of what I do. However, I don’t blame people for having specific opinions about influencing. Which means that when I decided to do this, I needed to make sure that there was something a little bit more substance behind it. It needed to be much more than just being glamorous, sharing curated photos that you only see on your screen.

I had to take some time to really ask myself if you’re an influencer, what exactly are you actually influencing?” 

I remember a couple of years ago, I was scrolling through my Instagram and literally felt so disgusted because I honestly felt like there was nothing meaningful there. There was nothing purpose-led in those pictures and as someone who has so much to offer and so much, I want to do for the world. I remember realising that there was so much more I needed to do. It’s why the ‘Wunmi Bello Show’ is so important to me, it gives people a chance to see more than just fashion and glamour.

Wunmi Bello
Photography by Cameron Ugbodu

What inspired the Wunmi Bello Show? 

It’s always been my lifelong passion to create spaces to have honest and open conversations with others. My approach to my interviews is based on creating a safe space for everyone who comes on the show.

Conversations are one of my lifelong passions, I care about good conversations more about going viral.”

So the people who I invite on the Wunmi Bello Show, I care about who they are, their story and the fact that they need to be heard. I don’t care if other people don’t like you or whatever circumstances you’ve come from. In that room, it’s about us connecting one to one and hopefully for a moment, feeling seen.

Wunmi Bello
Photography by Cameron Ugbodu

Where does this need for connecting with others come from? 

I just think that our sole purpose on this earth is to connect, I don’t know anything bigger or more important than that. I think my connections with people have literally been what’s seen me through the worst of times. I don’t think people are able to recognise that certain conversations and the way that people express themselves can be the escape that they desperately needed at that time. When you are able to truly connect with people through love, joy and happiness it not only makes us feel good about life but it helps us grow as people. 

Wunmi Bello
Photography by Cameron Ugbodu

How do you stay true to yourself in a creative industry that is constantly changing?

I feel like when you’re a creator, it’s easy for you to fall into a trap of just being something that is working for you or only pursuing the thing that you’re recognised for. As opposed to just pursuing whatever it is you want when you want and just being you. You almost end up curating yourself and creating a version of yourself that is based on numbers and popularity. That’s when you need to take a moment for yourself and make sure that when a disconnect happens, you can still find yourself.

In this industry, you will find yourself dimming your light, dimming who you are, even when you know who you are supposed to be”.

I’m at a time in my life where all of that shit is dying. I no longer have time to pretend to be someone I’m not. I want to be the most magical, spiritual and honest part of myself and share it with the world. It’s why this year, I’ve decided to slow down and become very intentional with everything that I do. 

What would be your advice to young creatives inspired by your journey and wish to follow in your footsteps? 

My advice to all the young girls wanting to get into the industry is to be authentic to themselves. Being authentic can be very painful, being yourself is one of the hardest things to do in life, but it’s also the most rewarding, especially in the creative space. 

Wunmi Bello
Photography Cameron Ugbodu

CREDITS:

Creative Director: Gloria Iyare @g__l__o__

Photographer: Cameron Ugbodu @cameron_ugbodu

Videographer: Sam Adjaye @swrv.studios

Hair Stylist: Blessing Kambanga @blessingk.mua

Lead Make-Up  Artist: Alice Dodds @alicedoddsmakeup

Nail Artist: Adena Gordon @adenaxstudio

Social Media & BTS: Krystal D’Anjou @_krystaxl_

Production Assistant: JK Abuah @jkabuah

Assistant: Elsie Cullen @ayosartofgiving

Writer & Producer: Chelsea Mtada @chelseamtada  

WUNMI WEARS:  

Crystal Mesh Suit: Mia Coco @miacocochambers

Crystal Mesh Gloves: Mia Coco @miacocochambers

Earrings: MI MANERA at Limitee PR @mimanera_jewelry @limitee_pr