As per my recent blog posts some of you may know by now that I am single and have been pretty active on the dating scene. I have tried most of the popular sites and still have yet to find a person I want to date. I was on my daily Instagram troll when I can across and account called Moorloveco, which is a dating website for people of the African diaspora. Now I have been waiting to meet my African prince so I was very much intrigued. I wanted to know more about the company and its creator Toyin. Below is an interview I conducted to learn more about her and the company.
Introduce yourself. Tell me a little about your upbringing, career and any personal details you would like to share.
My name is Oluwatoyin Omisore, but everyone calls me Toyin. I am 30 years young, born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island. I was raised in a two parent household and the beauty of my upbringing is I am the first generation to be born in the United States. My mother was born in Monrovia, Liberia and my father was born Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Being the first born girl, my upbringing was strict. In regards to dating and relationships none of that ever discussed. There were no high school sweethearts staying for dinner at my house lol.
As far as my career, I graduated with a Masters in Social Work from Boston College but I knew pretty early on in my professional career that I should have gone to school for a Masters in Business Administration. I graduated during the recession and unemployment was real for me in 2010. I decided against going back to school and racking up unnecessary student loans. I knew I wanted to eventually have my own business and knew it was obtainable without a degree.
My parents came to this country, and even with the discrimination and hardship they faced, the elevated our lives to a middle class lifestyle. I always knew I wanted to surpass the path they laid but it wasn't going to happen with a normal 9 to 5 in the human service field. So the next few years I held a full time job in various social work positions, a part time position in the event and fashion world, and launched different business ideas. Through this time I learned from my mistakes, weakness, and strengths. I believe this path provided me first hand experience that I would have never received in business school.
Walk me through the journey that led you to create this site?
The idea of MoorLove walked into my life as I walked away from a relationship that I believed was an integral part of my future. I am currently single, and I have single friends also looking to meet their life partner. Not being in a relationship has allowed me to experience dating in 2016 and have conversations with other single people about what they are looking for in a partner, and their opinions on the dating pool.
The actual idea for a social/dating community with a focus on culture was birthed in early 2016. My friend and I were driving home from an event and we were discussing dating amongst other first generation cultures. The conversation had me thinking about my own friends, many whom are first generation Africans, and their own interests with wanting to date and hopefully marry a partner of a similar cultural background. Speaking from a Nigerian and Liberian perspective, I can say our culture is so rich. Family dynamics and traditions can be hard sometimes for someone unfamiliar with the culture to understand. A simple example is Nigerian weddings which are pretty large. The last wedding I attended had a 400 person guest list, which is not unheard of. I have had conversations with African American men and women who can’t wrap their head around it lol.
MoorLove was created for the brown skin community but specifically those looking to meet someone culturally compatible and for those open to meeting someone of a cultural background.
What is your goal/vision for Moor Love? Image that we are conducting this interview a year from now, what are some of the accomplishments you would be celebrating?
MoorLove will be the social/dating community for people of African diaspora. That is my vision for the site.
A year from now, we will be celebrating our first birthday celebration and the growth of our users base.I also have a few other goals in mind but I need to keep those under wraps until they are rolled out in the year 2017.
Why should people join the site? What can your site offer that other dating sites are missing?
We are in a great time of technology where we are able to create spaces for different people and their needs. MoorLove is one of those spaces. We are a space for amazing beautiful Brown people to connect, create relationships, and find love. We differ because we are bit more specific. Our space is for the man or woman like me who plan on getting married and fusing traditional native roots with that of the Western way of life.
MoorLove is for the average person open to finding love or creating relationships with a first generation of the African diaspora. My culture is heavily rooted in who I am, the music I listen to, the food I eat and how I plan on raising my children. If culture is important to you, your identity, and even what you look for in a partner, this is the space for you.
What are some common issues you see people with African roots have with dating? What are your personal opinions on the dating scene of today?
I think dating as a first generation African is pretty similar to everyone else. As most people, we too are looking for someone we are compatible with. The continent is large and filled with different customs, traditions,values and cultures. We are all African but different in so many ways. A first generation Ghanaian and Eritrean have similarities, but many more differences as well, from food, language, faith, and more. I couldn't say there is a common issue amongst us all. I would assume one would be looking for a partner who is culturally compatible and accepting.
My opinion on the dating is I find it an annoyance lol. I enjoy meeting new people, and great conversation but we are in an era where everyone has their guard up. Large amounts of conversation happen through text which leaves room for misunderstanding. I believe we need to find a balance in technology and dating. Expanding your options online is great, but once their is a safe relationship being created, pick up the phone and have a conversation. Dates don't have to be expensive dinners. Grab some tea, and spend time at a cafe. Go for a bike ride. Taking the genuine time to learn about the person you are interested versus netflix and chill. But if the latter is what you are looking for there isn't anything wrong with that either. Just give the other person a heads up so they can make the decision whether they stay or go.
After the interview I created a profile on Moorlove and will be back to give you all my personal feedback and hopefully share potential love interests! Until then be sure to check out and create a profile on Moorlove.co