P h e n o m e n a l  W o m e n 
Interview Series

B A S M A  K H A L I F A 

Basma Khalifa is a Sudanese, Irish Afro-Arab woman living in London. Basma is well known as a fashion Stylist, Journalist and Film Maker. Basma currently lives in London where has worked for various magazines ranging from Vogue, Net-A-Porter, Harper’s Bazaar, ES Magazine and InStyle Magazine. She has styled for brands such as Samsung, Nike, Sony and Kinder. Basma also regularly writes for The Telegraph and Stylist Magazine online surrounding social and current Affairs issues. As a filmmaker Basma has featured on BBC News, BBC Three, Radio 4 Women’s Hour and Radio 1xtra, ITV News, Channel 5live and more. Basma has also presented a full featured documentary on BBC3 named “Inside The Real Saudi Arabia” which has had very successful viewing figures of over 1.7million. Basma is also the new face for documentaries for BBC The One Show and has shot a 3 part series for Vice. Basma is currently working closely with various production companies to produce and present series ideas. 

 You are a fashion stylist, writer, art director & film maker, please tell us how you got started in each role?
Interning. Its as simple as that. A lot of what I did was trial and error. I started in PR and realised it wasn’t for me, then went into people PR and realised I still didn’t want to do that. When I went into editorial I felt the most myself so continued to do it. I love being hands on and creating beautiful images. With film it always felt like a natural next stage, I have always wanted to be on TV but I went through the stage of vlogging and learning how to edit and developing my technique. 

 You provide cultural commentary for platforms like BBC News and ITV News, and write thought-provoking articles that cover important issues like race, identity, faith and gender - tell us why you think it is essential we openly discuss issues centred around identity and diversity?
I think it's because everyone, no matter who you are, at some point everyone struggles with their identity. It's a passage into adulthood to naturally question who you are as a person and where you fit into the world. I have always felt that growing up in an environment where I was always the only one. I have always been the only one. So talking about it is important and more than anything relatable to all those other people who have always felt that they were the only one. 

Your Documentaries are in-depth and informative, offering the perfect platform to start dialogues around important issues, how do you select the issues/topics you want to explore?
I just pick what makes sense. What I have experienced and what I can speak too. I am lucky to come from a rich culture and background. I've lived in so many places around the world. So I am able to see and attach myself to so many different stories. It’s also important that you care about people and their stories. 

 How are you able to keep a consistent thread, letting your audience be a part of your communities online and off-line? 
I just try to remain honest. Actually a lot of my content is based around my feelings and thoughts towards something. I naturally have a lot of empathy and have found sharing my feelings a healthy way to lead a conversation. 

What advice would you give a young person, who would like to follow in your footsteps? 
Find a story unique to you, that you can say yep this is all me and trust your gut. I am a strong believer in the power of timing to dont beat yourself up if things don't happen instantly. and the same saying, never give up! 

 How can women empower each other?
By listening. Talk less and listen more. I learn SO much from the women around me and i surround myself by real pioneers that I am constantly in awe of. 

F I R E  Q U E S T I O N S 
 First thing you do when you wake up in the morning
Stretch, regrettable check my phone for the time. But I have my phone on black and white mode when I sleep so it doesn’t wake me up fully. 
What is the one thing you can’t live the house without
Lip balm. those lips can never be chapped. 
Something people don’t know about you?
I do a lot of weight lifting. I love lifting in the gym. 
Describe your personal style in one word
Aside from personal style, what other forms of self expression do you indulge in?
words, I write a lot, dancing (badly) singing (badly) 
Whats is your favourite thing about what you do?
That I truly wake up everyday and love what i do. I get to be creative and talk for a living. Whats not to love. 

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