10 Questions with David Ola-keji


Written by Hoang-My Le

David Ola-keji is a junior.

Question: Do you think you can live without your phone for a week?

Answer: Yes, I can live without my phone for a week. I remember a time when I was younger when I locked my phone in my parent’s room because I was taking exams and didn’t want to be distracted. It lasted for 2 weeks until my parents came to me and handed me my phone saying that I looked like I forgot it existed. I did forget it existed. It put into perspective that I didn’t really need it to feel content. I treasure that experience.

Q: If you could change anything in the world, whether it be big or small, what would it be?

A: I would change the ways in which we talk about childhood trauma and really what parental neglect does to children and the negative impacts of poor parenting resources and skills developed from the past generations. Being honest and vulnerable is not a safe place for me at home, but the more I start to reflect on my own feelings, the more I see that my parents were under the same or even worse childhood neglect that has been unresolved. This is what I want to pursue being a therapist in the future so that the pain of the past for many survivors of child neglect has a chance to become whole again.

Q: What’s your favorite movie genre?

A: My favorite movie genre is fantasy. I enjoy the mystical realms as I believe anything with magic or the supernatural has the potential to offer extraordinary lessons about our human nature and a beautiful gateway to imagination and enveloping curiosity. But most of all, it is entertaining.

Q: What’s your favorite hobby?

A: My favorite hobby at the moment is composing music. It is a space where I get to breathe from all the noise of my life. Music is so special to me and is a place where I feel at home and supported. Composing has given me the strength to express myself and my inner world, which is filled with symbolism and metaphors. It’s a state of communication that embodies my spirit, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

Q: What is one song you could listen to over and over again?

A: One song I treasure in my heart that will not ever get boring for me is a rendition of the song “Home” from the musical Beauty and the Beast sung by two beautiful women, Julia Lester and Olivia Rose Keegan. When I listen to them sing this song, I feel understood and completely full and whole. It is a song that makes me feel empowered, safe, vulnerable, and loved. No other song speaks to me the way this one does, and I am so thankful to Disney for this rendition.

Q: What’s your favorite candy?

A: I don’t have a favorite candy. I have designated my life to the rejection of sweets. Unfortunately, I have developed a low sugar tolerance, however, I do indulge in sweets from time to time, but for the most part, I rarely eat candy.

Q: Weirdest food combination you’ve tried?

A: The weirdest food combination I have tried is Sprite inside the soup. My brother decided to pour his Sprite secretly into my soup one day as a “prank” because he found it funny. Let me tell you, that too lent sent for my name and I was ever the same. Let’s just say Sprite and soup do not mix together.

Q: Dogs or cats?

A: Dogs or cats… Unfortunately, I dislike both for personal reasons.

Q: If you could be anyone you wanted to be, who would it be?

A: If I could be anyone I wanted to be, I would choose me because, frankly, I don’t want to live anyone else’s life. People do such a good job with their lives that I would rather them own their stories because they are original. I choose my story and my life as my own, so I would choose me if I could be anyone because there’s only one me on this planet.

Q: Are you happy with where you are right now?

A: At the moment, life is full of stress, conflict, and tension. With many stressors going on, I would say I am unhappy with where I am at. I want to heal from the pain over the past few years and start a new path and put an end to the cycle of suffering and surviving. I want to live. I want to embark on a discovery of my fullness and reach the pinnacle of my joy. It’s hard to find joy currently in life, but I am thankful for all I have experienced for bringing me to where I am. My past is filled with regrets, but it’s also filled with memories of closeness, love, wonder, peace, and tranquility. I want to lead with an abundance of presence. I’m on a journey of healing from the damage of my childhood, and it’s a lifelong commitment I am willing to make because I want to be my number one supporter and companion. I want to live and not survive.