also known as Gypsy Oríșà/ Dr Witch/Moon Goddess in praxis, academic and healing spaces respectively— is a Restorative Healing Researcher and Practitioner with the soul-vision of transforming transgenerational traumas and intra/interpersonal relationships among Africans. She founded Ìmọ́lẹ̀ of Afrika Centre (iAfrika), a restorative research and praxis institute, to advance restorative healing and Ubuntu culture across Africa. She tapped into her many years of esoteric healing journeys across the world, peace and security scholarship and Afro-feminist activism to effect the desired changes that she knows are viscerally possible for humans and our ecosystem. Her main foci include restorative healing research and praxis, trauma healing, posthuman security, healing justice, organisational development, systems change leadership and conflict transformation. Her empirical research, praxis, and activism spanned two decades across academia, civil and political societies, LGBTQIA+ and feminist organisations and have culminated in incorporating ancestral tools such as storytelling, creative writing, music, and dance therapy as a constructive change nexus to address complex, collective and intergenerational traumas and transform intra and interpersonal relationships on the continent of Africa.
Ajao is a Research Fellow and an alumnus of the African Leadership Centre, King’s College London, where she completed a prestigious Women Peace and Security Fellowship. She holds a PhD in Political Science (majoring in conflict transformation and new media technology) from the University of Pretoria where she previously worked as an Assistant International Relations Lecturer, and an MA in Conflict Security and Development from King’s College London and a BSc in Accounting from Obafemi Awolowo, Ile-Ife.
Ajao is a Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa alumnus and a former doctoral grantee of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), Andrew Melon Foundation and the African Leadership Centre. She is also a former co-editor of KIND’s Free2run (women in politics) blog, and a panellist at the 55th UN Commission on the Women’s Status, New York. She has worked with and consulted for several groundbreaking and change-making organisations across the world before founding iAfrika to continue advancing cultures of peace amongst humanity.
Ajao is a proud globetrotter and an award-winning international blogger who boasts of several scholarly and creative publications to her credit. Her innovative work has been published by Routledge, Palgrave Macmillan, Matatu Journal, Kujenga Amani, African Studies Association and Pambazuka. Her work can also be found on Academic Edu, ResearchGate and on Medium. She has served and continued to function as a peer-reviewer to various academic journals including the Journal of African Media Studies, SSRC and IPSS. She is a board member of progressive organisations such as Vision Spring Initiatives, Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre, and Bridging Gaps South Africa.