Meet the Framed Ambition – Julie Olum


Meet the smart and beautiful Black Girl Magic, Julie Olum; blogger, YouTuber and model.

The Kenyan beauty is a 24 year-old blogger, YouTuber and model. However, she’s not all beauty and social media popularity, she is also brains. Julie is an architecture graduate from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, she says her choice to study at NMMU was a relatively casual and spontaneous decision but mainly because universities are (relatively) affordable and of a pretty good quality. “It seemed like a simpler adjustment than running off to Europe/the US/Australia/wherever on my own at 18,” said Julie.

Julie says although she’s not a practicing architect, she keeps an eye out for design competitions from time to time.

“Modelling came first – right after my last highschool exams I had more time to attend castings. I also wanted to document the funny stories and interesting characters I was meeting along the way, so my blog started. YouTube came much later with some travel videos here and there, and my channel and blog combine my love for travel and modelling.

Julie’s blog mainly focuses on solo travel for women, traveling on a budget, etc. Her YouTube channel takes you behind the-the-scenes of her modeling gigs and collaborations with different creatives on personal editorial projects.

Julie says she prefers YouTube because she can combine her love of traveling and modelling. Although she is still learning, every video is a new experience in coming up with ideas, editing, etc.

“I don’t feel like I’m seeing enough variety, there are so many bloggers who seem like they’re doing what they think a blog should be and not exploring and finding their own style.”

The upcoming blogger commented on the African blogosphere, saying “I don’t feel like I’m seeing enough variety, there are so many bloggers who seem like they’re doing what they think a blog should be and not exploring and finding their own style. Also, not enough collaboration (that’s me mostly calling myself out). But there are also a whole bunch of amazing blogs in the stratosphere that inspire and teach me as well, in so many fields/genres.”

Besides her love for modelling and traveling our rich beautiful continent, Julie says, “I’m passionate about young people today making our own rules and designing the lives and paths we want, especially in Africa. For me that means I try and use my platform to represent myself as a unique and inspiring but pretty ordinary young girl who demolishes what people feel are ‘obstacles’ to doing what they want, whether that be travelling alone or modelling for international brands with no help from an agency (or height!)”


“I shot photo #1 on my own while waiting to shoot a creative collaboration with a photographer and make-up artist I connected with on Facebook. I loved the light at the huge windows and like to play with mirrors and reflections, so I shot about 6 of these alternative selfies with my camera to see how it would come out in the mirror.”  Photo: Julie Olum



” This is from my time in Barcelona is one of my all-time favorite accidents!”  Photo: Provided


“I often put my camera down on a ledge or seat, if not my mini tripod and set it to shoot 5-6 photos on self-timer, especially my travel shots when I’m often alone. Probably half the time I catch shots of myself running into the frame and many of those end up better than the ones where I’m ‘in position’ like I planned.”  Photo: Julie Olum

Julie has recently returned to Kenya after being in South Africa for six years. “Right now I’m still sort of in holiday mode because it’s only been a few weeks, but it’ll definitely be interesting house-hunting, working with brands and companies on my blog and meeting new people as an adult – I left really soon after high school. I could never have predicted my life now a year or two ago, all my plans got totally turned upside down (often for the better). So I’ll just say hopefully still living adventure every day, happy, healthy and quietly super-rich.”

Asking Julie what she misses the most about living in South Africa, she says, ” I miss a couple of people from SA, yeah. And cheap good wine!! I definitely just missed Kenyan people in general and speaking Swahili. Also fast, cheap internet and phone companies, y’all are being ripped off in SA”.

So how does this busy body stay intune with herself and continue to make self love a priority, she says, “I take time for myself – I’m really someone who needs to be alone at least a few hours a day when I can be. I’ll go out for a run, do some yoga, watch movies, take a bath, take myself on a coffee or spa date, that sort of thing”

Julie said she is most proud of herself being able to travel and move to different cities mostly on her own. Also the friends she has made and maintained in her (short) adult life. Professionally: everything she’s doing now with her blog, YouTube channel and modelling. Although she says she is nowhere near where she’d like to be but she she is well on her way and doing the things she wants to do.
Julie Olum | | instagram | YouTube | Facebook