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School of Law

Alumni profile - Vidette Adjorlolo

(Law and European Law LLB, 2017)

As an entrepreneur starting my business, this is probably the brokest I've ever been, but it feels like I've exchanged the money I was earning for a very different quality of life where I have more freedom of my time and I have ownership of what I'm building. I create things that I enjoy creating and I get to work with people I really like. 



Could you tell me a bit about your business, Sorted Chale?

I run a curated experiences company based in Ghana – although we’re actually registered in the UK. Chale is a Ghanaian word, which means ‘friend’, and our focus is really on making sure that people fall in love with Africa the same way we are in love with Africa. We've been running for a year, and right now we’re purely running curated experiences in Ghana and Abidjan, but hopefully looking to expand to other African countries as well and become a household name for African travel within this region. We also have aspirations of running other types of trip in the future. We’re still growing, and constantly looking for investors, and for people to support us in all lots of different ways. It has been a lot of fun so far and I am excited to expand in the future.

What inspired you to make the leap to that from your job in in banking?
I loved my job, I thought I had the best colleagues in the world, great income etc. I was living in Hong Kong at the time and I had a great life. But I'd also done a lot of traveling - I'd promoted Asia, I’d promoted Europe, but I wasn't doing enough promotion of Africa, which is my home. I’d been employed for four years and I slowly reached a place where I just felt like I wasn't being challenged. I'm someone who likes to take ownership and do things by myself, for myself and I just reached a place in my career in banking where I felt like my next challenge wasn’t in that space. The next step was to try and build something on my own and naturally I gravitated towards the things I'm very passionate about, which is travel and meeting new people. So travel became the way for me to fulfil that desire to challenge myself and that desire to move away from the corporate world.

Don't live for your CV. Live for your happiness. Live for the things that bring you joy. The more we live for ourselves and the things that bring us joy, the more we can start to identify our place in the world.

What’s been the best thing about it so far?

It has completely changed my quality of life. As an entrepreneur starting my business, this is probably the brokest I've ever been, but it feels like I've exchanged the money I was earning for a very different quality of life where I have more freedom of my time and I have ownership of what I'm building. I create things that I enjoy creating and I get to work with people I really like. As someone building a business, it’s great that you get to choose who you want to spend your 9:00 to 5:00 with – or my 9:00 to 10:00 at the moment! Also just realizing that what we put in the air, it's actually growing. It's been a year, and I think what we've achieved is unbelievable.

What has been the biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge is every day; every single day is a challenge. When you are building something you don't have a blueprint. No one tells you how to build. So the challenges are threefold. The fact that you don't have a blueprint for how to build anything, you basically have to create your own.

Secondly is the people management. One of the things that you don't realize is you're constantly thinking about people and people are constantly in your daily affairs. You need to think about how to manage your emotions and the emotions of the people you have around you, and constantly be at equilibrium. Even though you might be someone who fluctuates emotionally - because of your team, you have to find that consistent equilibrium.  

I think the other challenge is working within Africa, this particular region presents very nuanced, unique challenges. We are working in the tourism industry where the customer demand is very high. The desire for quality of service is very high, but sometimes it's difficult to meet that because of infrastructural challenges that exist here. Then how you manage the expectations of the people that you wish to give a great time on the continent.

Why did you choose to study Law and European Law and why at Queen Mary?
My sister actually studied at Queen Mary before I did. My younger brother needs to go to Queen Mary now! My sister is a huge source of inspiration for me, so naturally I wanted to go to the university that she went to. More importantly, Queen Mary was the top in terms of Law in the UK and London at the time. I always aspire to be in spaces where I'm challenged by meeting new people, super smart people and Queen Mary then became the option. But I think that being at Queen Mary made me start to identify certain things that I really enjoyed.

Firstly was the opportunity to do a year studying abroad which for me really started my journey in the travel space and highlighted how passionate I am about travel and wanting to bring people together. I went to the Netherlands, and it was the best year of my life, I had the most incredible time, made the best friends, and started my backpacking journeys. A lot of universities I was looking into didn't actually have that opportunity for a study year abroad. So Queen Mary was presenting me with a unique opportunity that has now become my life and my career.

How did you find moving to Ghana for work? Was there anything that surprised you about it?

I feel like I'm constantly moving - I moved to the Netherlands, then Hong Kong and then to Ghana. Whenever I move I never have time at first to fully realize that I'm in a new country - that normally comes about a year later and then I realize I spent a whole year not really thinking about the newness of the country and the culture shock.

My initial experience of moving to Ghana was that it was my first time living in a country where everyone is Black, where everyone looks like me. From an identity perspective there was a lot to gain. To feel that I'm not alone in any space I'm in, the homogeneity meant that I could explore parts of my identity that I’ve never had the opportunity to explore as an adult. But there were also some challenges that came with living in Ghana. You are constantly navigating the system of uncertainty here. Because sometimes there are no clear systems, you almost create the systems. You have the founder effect, and you can go into rooms and really command authority if you can back yourself up. On the other hand, if the system goes against you, you can be in a really tough situation. Then there’s the cultural difference in simply navigating business as a woman, which is completely different in Ghana than it is anywhere else in the world. You really need to think about how you carry yourself, how you want to put yourself out there. That's something I had to slowly understand, grasp and build on.

So where next?

I'm very aware that my signature personality is nomadic and I will constantly be moving. I have no aspirations of being grounded in one place, but when I think about where to go next, nothing comes to mind. I'm doing the Schwartzman Scholars program alongside my work and so I'm supposed to be in China right now. But there's been some significant challenges around getting flights to China, and that's why I'm still in Ghana, so who knows! When I think about where next in the foreseeable future, I'm definitely thinking around Africa. I want to become an Africa travel expert, and be a voice in this space. So perhaps East Africa, maybe Cape Town.

What motivates you in life?

I'm motivated by disruption and change. I am a thrill seeker, constantly seeking to defy the status quo. I wake up every morning knowing that my business can disrupt and defy the status quo. But there's also a desire to change the life of my family, the people I love. My socioeconomic background is working class through and through, and there's this desire for freedom – both financially and with time - and being able to give that to the people around me is super important. When I think about my mother who's a single mother, it's important for me that I can create wealth and change in her life. And finally just being able to be part of that conversation around how Africa gets on the map. I think we are in a space where we can really define what Africa looks like in the media using social media and I think that my company and myself can be really powerful in that conversation, and be part of that narrative around how Africa’s image is constantly being elevated.

Do you have any particularly fond memories of your time at Queen Mary that you'd like to share?
I remember sitting in Professor Wayne’s office - I think he taught the class on the Holocaust – it was towards the final review and he asked me what I was going to do after university. At the time I didn't have a job and I said “I think I'm just going to be unemployed, just going to figure life out”. Immediately after saying that I got a call from my bank offering me a graduate job. Having that moment in my professor’s office is one of my fondest memories.

The other one is the opportunity I got as part of one of Queen Mary’s Legal Advice Centre projects which was to travel to Ghana to lead a Legal Advice Centre in Agbogbloshie which was at the time one of the biggest slums in Ghana. That was really fulfilling and I was very glad to be given that opportunity because as a student you don't have money for these sorts of things so to have the chance to have this experience fully funded by the university, and to be able to give back to your community – and specifically my community because I’m Ghanaian – that is an amazing memory.

What advice would you give to a current student or recent graduate and kind of thinking about what they want to do?

I would say go with the flow, and do things that you enjoy. Don't live for your CV. Live for your happiness. Live for the things that bring you joy. The more we live for ourselves and the things that bring us joy, the more we can start to identify our place in the world. When you're living for your CV you’re essentially living someone else's life. For a very long time, I really wanted to be a lawyer, not because I actually wanted to be a lawyer, but because that's what everyone said was prestigious. Everyone was graduating from law school and becoming a lawyer, but I became a banker in the retail space because I really enjoy interacting with customers and providing consumer goods. I had to psyche myself up to do the things that I enjoyed as opposed to living for my CV.

If you would like to get in touch with Vidette or engage them in your work, please contact the Alumni Engagement team at



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