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Fearless Fridays x Proud to be: Meet Tobi Sanbe, UK Precision Manager

Fearless Fridays spotlights the incredible talent we have here at Wavemaker. Our attitude is Positive Provocation. It empowers our people as much it does our clients – it inspires us to be well-informed, careful listeners with the confidence and knowledge to ask tough questions.

This week’s edition is brought to you by Wavemaker Roots as part of their #ProudToBe series in celebration of Black History Month. Wavemaker Roots was created in 2018 to champion ethnic diversity, with the aim to increase representation both within the agency and in the work we do for our clients and become an industry thought leader on ethnic and cultural diversity.

We caught up with Tobi Sanbe, Precision Manager, Wavemaker UK to hear more about his role within Wavemaker Roots and his thoughts on diversity in our industry.

What is your view of being Black in advertising?

It’s obviously been a difficult couple of years with the Black Lives Matter movement and Euro 2020, but I feel like we are in a place now where open conversations about race in the UK are a lot more common than they were 3 or 4 years ago. I also think that visibility of the Black British experience is starting to gain more exposure in global pop culture via stars like Daniel Kaluuya, Stormzy and Raheem Sterling, who are openly proud of their Black British roots which is a positive. I love being Black and British, and I love the Black British culture. I think it is such a unique blend of African and Caribbean cultures, and it is great to see it becoming widely represented.

Why did you join Wavemaker Roots, and what value does it bring to you?

It’s important to have groups like Roots which are a safe space to interact and engage with other employees from ‘minority’ backgrounds. Being a part of Wavemaker Roots has allowed me to speak openly and honestly about my views on race to others that look like me and understand me, which I think is incredibly important and valuable.

What is one change that you would like to see in our industry?

There has been a lot of talk around diversity and inclusion in the last year and personally, I think it’s time now for more action. Initiatives like Channel 4’s Black to Front are great because they show a change can be made to improve black representation on and off-screen. However, we need much more initiatives like this, if we actually want to create a truly inclusive industry.

What would you like people to think about or act on for BHM this year?

I think it’s time for people to start taking action to create a more equal society rather than just talking about the issues. So things I’d like to see are people actively donating to black charities and supporting black-owned businesses.

Talk is cheap. Raising awareness is only useful when it leads to actual changes in behaviour.”

What qualities or achievements are you most proud of?

Outside of media, I started my own clothing/merchandise business, Elite Clothing, a couple of years ago. I’ve donated over £500 to black charities within the last year based on the sales from my business. It’s something I really enjoyed doing and I’m happy that I have the opportunity to give back to the community.

Elite clothing - Tobi's business

Tobi’s Top 3 Black businesses 

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