Are Young Black Professionals Open To Speed Dating?

When 21-year-old Kemi Oloyede began planning a ad hoc speed dating event for young professionals, little did she know that she was on to something.

The Trainee teacher put an advert up on her twitter and Instagram page inviting young professionals to come out for a night of networking and fun and within weeks, she had over 30 very eager young black men and women sign up, which led to the first ever KR Speed dating event on Saturday at Southwark rooms in London Bridge.

Ask any young black person if they would attend a speed dating event and you’re more likely to get a ‘No’, but Kemi Oloyede thinks differently and from what we’ve seen, she’s not the only one.

“I don’t really like clubbing,” she says. “I just felt this would be a very nice way to meet people without actually being in a club.”

Thinking fresh- Kemi Oloyede

Thinking fresh- Kemi Oloyede

With young people living ever busier lifestyles than before, there’s little wonder why there’s little room for socialising, let alone finding love.

Most young black people often face the dilemma of finding events and avenues outside of the Church or other religious affiliations, which provide the opportunity to mingle with like-minded people of the opposite sex in the hope that well, sparks might fly.

With young people living ever busier lifestyles than before, there’s little wonder why there’s little room for socialising, let alone finding love.

For those who sneer at the mention of speed dating, Kemi says the idea took root because she’s open ‘to trying new things’.

Asked if she didn’t encounter any nay sayers while planning the event, she says she’s well aware of the usual orientation around speed dating in the black community but didn’t let this deter her.

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According to the trainee teacher, the main hurdle she encountered was convincing her group of prospective male participants that the crop of women they were likely to encounter at the event would be of ‘good calibre’.

“They were worried that the girls who would be at the event would be really desperate women or that they would not be good-looking, but they were all very happy with the women that turned up at the event”.

So what do you do at a speed dating event?

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“We played all kinds of games and there were lot’s of prizes for the couples who won the challenges”, some of which included a dinner for two at the venue and a pampering session for the winners.

There was poetry on the night to get the ball rolling after which each participant had to find their match for the night; by finding the right celebrity spouse to their own celebrity alias…..cheesy, but it worked to loosen up the atmosphere.

Have any romances risen from the embers of the speed dating flame? “There are definitely some matches being pursued at the moment”, she says. We’ll just have to wait and see.

After a successful event, the young cupid sees a gap in the market for her ingenuous idea and is already planning another KR Speed dating event for September.

“It was just great to see black people doing something positive and that felt really good”

You might want to book a ticket, you never know, if all else fails, at least you can still network.

Follow Kemi on Twitter @KayRiley92_ for updates.


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