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Bringing millennials to Christ

FAITH, FEMINISM AND FASHION: Magnify founder Ruth Yimika Awogbade; below left, issue four

RUTH YIMIKA AWOGBADE could be viewed as a poster girl for Christian millennials.

She co-writes a blog and runs a YouTube channel with her husband-to-be Ayo Afolabi, is the youngest ever board member of the Evangelical Alliance, and is most well known as founder and editor of Magnify – a magazine she started almost 10 years ago focused on faith, feminism and fashion.

The aims of magazine are simple, Ruth says, and they are “to give women the opportunity to explore Christianity and see how it can be relevant in their day-to-day life”.

AMAZING
The current edition of Magnify is a groundbreaking moment in its development as it’s the first to feature a well-known black celebrity on the cover: Letitia Wright, the breakout British star of superhero blockbuster Black Panther.

Ruth said: “It was a great opportunity to have someone like Letitia as our first cover star, particularly at this time in her career.”

Ruth also recognised God’s hand in securing Letitia. She explained: “I had watched Black Panther and thought that she was amazing.

“A week later I found out she was a Christian and I remember saying to my fiancé it would be a dream to interview her, but I don’t have any clue how we would get her.

“That week I checked the Magnify email account, and a woman who knew her [Letitia] had emailed me, and said she meant to email me in 2017.

“She wrote, ‘I’ve got a friend who’s an actress, who’s a big fan of the magazine and she’s always said if there’s any way she could be involved in the magazine she’d be honoured to. I don’t know if you’ve heard of her, but her name is Letitia Wright.’ The lady said she was not in a position to put in touch so half of me felt it was amazing and other half felt how am I going to get her?”

A week later, Ruth’s fiancé Ayo bumped into someone who knew Letitia, and told them Magnify was interested in featuring her. The friend passed the info to Letitia and the rest is history.

There’s no doubt Letitia is a fan of Magnify. She attended the magazine launch and shared the cover with her 1.4 million Instagram followers with the caption: “Last year I prayed about being in #MagnifyMagazine, now I’m blessed to be on the cover of its fourth issue. God is good.”

Ruth greatly enjoyed meeting the Hollywood star. She said: “Seeing her humility is unbelievable. Letitia really has been as nice as you’d think she’d be.” Just as the actress gains popularity, Magnify itself is set for growth. It now has four people on staff, has increased the print run to 15,000 and is selling in 70 stores across the UK.

Ruth is rightly pleased with this development. “The vision is to take the church and the message of Christ to people who would not go into a church. This is very, very exciting.” Ruth, born to Nigerian parents, grew up in a Christian home but lost her faith following the death of close family members.

GRATEFUL
She threw herself into the social life of Durham University, where she studied politics, to ease the pain and forget about God.

However, when she returned home following her first university term she got an opportunity to self-reflect and gradually reconnected with God. She’s been serving Him ever since.

Ruth has spoken about her faith and work in various media, including BBC One’s Songs of Praise and The Huffington Post – and she’s grateful for such opportunities.

“I just have the privilege to speak about my passion and for people to want to hear my perspective,” she said.

The next few months are set to be life-changing for Ruth. Not only is Magnify broadening its audience, Ruth has a book out later this month called More Direction, which she co-wrote with her fiancé – whom she will marry in September.

It seems that life is continuing in an upward trajectory for both Ruth and Magnify, and it’ll be inspiring to watch their continual rise. Visit magnifycollective.com for more about the magazine.

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