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Hello, ladies and gentlemen. I have two podcasts. And this applies to both. How to survive on tiny rolls in New York City while sleeping on couches. Bozoma Saint John, she is the chief brand officer at Uber. And until Juneshe was a marketing executive at Apple Music after joining the company through its acquisition of Beats Music where she was the head of global marketing.
There is so much to this story. I took so many notes in this conversation. And I hope the same for you. So, without further ado, please enjoy my wide ranging conversation with Bozoma Saint John.
You are perhaps, in the last six months, the Bozoma saint john dating jimmy iovine cancer american requested podcast guest by all of my friends on the internet.
So, thank you for making the time. Well, thank you for having me. I think flattered is fine. So, this is your pinned tweet.
And I wanted to hear the background on this. How could you rise Bozoma saint john dating jimmy iovine cancer american if you have not first become ashes. I have always felt very much aligned to the phoenix, the thought of rising from ash that things seem to always burn, burn really, really bright like in some sort of destructive, fatalistic, extreme fashion for me. It has always been that way. When I was 5, my dad was in politics in Ghana, which is where my family lived.
And my dad, along with all of his colleagues, were thrown into political detention. My mom had to escape with me, my two younger sisters, and she was pregnant with my youngest sister. And we had to escape to Washington, DC under political asylum. Even starting from there, it has always felt like crazy, dramatic things happen, and then, I have to start over. But the starting over is always better than whatever I came from. And so, when I read that, and, by the way, I only read that recently.
I think it was like two years ago or something, it just so struck a cord with me. I just always wanted to see it, to remember it because, even though life has sort of patterned its way with me, I just wanted to be able to always remember. But, in some ways, you had these life experiences, which "Bozoma saint john dating jimmy iovine cancer american" the phoenix rising from the ashes. But I want to rewind the clock and go back to, I suppose, and maybe there were a few locations in between, but you can tell me, from Ghana, you end up in DC.
And then, from that point, at least around age 12, you moved to Colorado. Well, so, I was born in Connecticut. He had come from Ghana as a Fulbright scholar. And I was born six months before he received his degrees. So, right after he received them, we went back to Ghana, which then, he got into politics, and we had to leave when I was 5. So, we moved to Nairobi, Kenya. And we were in Nairobi, Kenya for about two years. And then, of course, because Ghana was calling him Bozoma saint john dating jimmy iovine cancer american much, my dad decided that we should move back to Ghana.
We were there for another 2. And then, he made the brilliant decision that we should move to Colorado Springs, Colorado because what more diverse place to move your four African daughters and your wife than there. How did — why Colorado? Why was Colorado the decision?
I mean, I love Colorado. First, he really did like Colorado. He really loved the open spaces and the mountains.
And neither of my parents are afraid of cold, which I think is a stereotype about Africans that you must not go someplace cold or something. But neither of them were afraid of it. But my dad also wanted to help out international students who were studying in the US because he had been Bozoma saint john dating jimmy iovine cancer american. And there was a company, or an organization, out there called International Students Association.
And they were charged with, basically, helping to support international students in the US who were studying to get their graduate degrees. And they were based in Colorado. And so, he was like oh, yeah, that sounds like a good idea. These girls will grow up in this beautiful location. So, what were some of the main not takeaways, that sounds like taking a freshman seminar or something.
But what did you gain from that experience of being in Colorado? Or what did you learn about yourself or others? I have read accounts, for instance, of I guess it was your mother, refusing is too strong a word, but choosing not to make pizzas for Friday nights, I suppose it was, when people would come over, and instead would make traditional dishes.
So, you were set in such a different environment, right, compared to what you had experience. What were some of the takeaways and learnings from then? I think that you would think about it, and people sort of clutch their pearls and are like oh, my God.
You are this dark skinned, African girl who moved to very white Colorado. That must have been awful. And the truth about it is I had moved around a lot. I was a new kid all of the time. And so, the feeling was always very cosmopolitan that people moved around. They had at least some idea of where you came from. And there was some appreciation for difference. There was not an appreciation of anything that was different from people who grew up in Colorado. And that was difficult because I wanted to fit in, obviously.
I wanted to make friends. So, she refused to buy pizza. They feed you their food. They come to our house, we feed them our food. But, also, it was like things like speaking our native tongue in the house.
It was like she had no problem, again, having my little teenage friends over, speaking to me in our native tongue, often times addressing them in our native tongue, even though she speaks three languages, including English very well.
So, anyway, she has been instrumental in my sort of acceptance of even myself that there was the things that I learned from that moment were that it really is okay to be different and be Bozoma saint john dating jimmy iovine cancer american different and to celebrate those things.
Even just even what seems like a simple thing has been so instrumental in my life. And even as I sit here today that I am never afraid of being the odd man out because I feel very comfortable in that space. Well, when I think of you, one of the adjectives that jumps to mind is bold.
Maybe it comes really from your mom. But, for instance, you seem to really aggressively, and I mean that in a good way, pursue certain leadership positions. And that started pretty early, as I understand it. So, captain of the cheerleading squad and the track team, is that right?
And on and on and on and on. So, how did you develop that? And are your sisters all that way as well? Both of my parents are very bold people. Like I told you, my dad ran for political office.