AiW Note: We are happy to be able to share here a Q&A with the founder of online writing and creative arts community TVOTRIBE, Victoria Olajide.
In 2021, TVOTRIBE celebrated their second anniversary with activities positioned around the theme “The African Creative; Carving Your Identity”. The events focused on education and mentoring; featured activities included: “The Identity Series – A DOCUMENTARY”; a fascinating opening summit; and up close and personal breakout sessions. The entire programme can be watched on TVOTRIBE’s YouTube (see below the Q&A for further and for our highlights).
TVOTRIBE currently have an open call-out for submissions of creative work on their community theme for September, “Mental Health in Storytelling” – the deadline is the end of the month and there are further submission details (from the Twitter shout out) below Victoria’s Words on the Times Q&A here.
Words on the Times is an AiW Q&A series inspired by the spirit of community and resilience, which we initiated last year to connect the blog’s communities through their experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic – in work and life. In her Words for us, Victoria discusses the importance of community, collaboration and collectivity to the TVOTRIBE’s adventures, and the value of nurturing cultural literacy, expanding engagements and sharing stories…
Victoria Olajide is a Nigerian creative writer whose works are reckoned with nationally and internationally, devoted to promoting African Creative and the African Narratives. A visual storyteller and poet her works can be described as an evolving icon in the African creative space. At 21, she is a professional creative writer and director, author and social entrepreneur. Victoria Olajide founded TVOTRIBE, a platform where writers and artists commune to debate, critique and progress their crafts and to promote the advancement of literature within African Communities.
AiW: Could you tell us a bit about your work?
Victoria Olajide: I am a creative writer and social entrepreneur. I founded TVOTRIBE. TVOTRIBE is a Pan-African community, building culturally aware creatives in Africa and in the diaspora. It is a space for artists and writers to commune, debate and progress their art respectively. On TVOTRIBE we promote and sustain African voices and African narratives, and encourage creatives to read and enjoy African literature because we believe that to sustain a cultural atmosphere of infinite essence in the literary space and in the world at large we have to read about individuals who exist in these communities and spaces. We bring stories close to home.
In this way we continue to move society on a path that accepts diverse cultures, belief-systems and stories. We hope to reduce cultural myopia and nurture cultural literacy within our communities.
TVOTRIBE continues to do this by collecting and promoting literary works by African writers, educating and sharing stories and literature to emerging creatives in evolving communities. We have small communities on social platforms that exist to encourage and engage African literary enthusiasts. And we support African authors by promoting their work and creating opportunities for them to expand engagements within small communities.
In what ways are you working now that you weren’t before?
We started in July 2019 as a literary depository for African Literature and would encourage young readers and literary enthusiasts to engage African literary works with seasoned engagements and interaction. In 2019, we also held our second edition of TVOTRIBE’s Poet Laureate (a themed literary competition for African storytellers). In April 2020, we had a seasoned content development masterclass held to engage young literary entrepreneurs and since then we have had multiple engagements ranging from editorial listings to community engagements and organizing literary events. We collect stories, interviews, publications, submissions and publish them for a vast readership (via journals and anthologies). With our e-Library, we collect and purchase African literary works and make them more accessible for interested readers.
Beyond the scope of the community, we are engaging storytellers now more than ever, sustaining original narratives and creating cultural consciousness within our communities.
What have you found most supportive and/or heart lifting in this time?
Unified voices leading and making it possible to create and sustain African stories, African narratives and also encourage cultural programs and establishments. I am indeed strengthened by the collective engagement and awareness within our literary spaces to promote true African narratives that correct ill stereotypes and inform a wider audience.
Community support is the heart of our organization, because we believe that we can do so much together, very little by individual strength. This is why we continually inform ourselves and strengthen our correct narrative.
We have had literary houses, blogs, journals and creatives in the African literary space share media, financial and collective support within and that is the true essence of being African. Serving as a source of encouragement and service to each other.
How can our blog communities best support you?
TVOTRIBE exists because we believe that the core of our existence is sharing stories, and by doing this we can reunite our communities.
We can enjoy support from blog communities through promotion of our works, contribution and collaboration in the creative scene. This sets us up for better opportunities, promotes our works and contributors. We collect works of fiction, creative nonfiction, interviews, poetry, etc., and as we feature these conversations, we hope that these writers can reach a wider audience and we can continue to sustain our contribution to African literature. Getting news features, blog features on our engagements, festivals, events and competitions would improve participation from vast creative spaces across Africa.
You can visit Victoria’s website: www.thevictoriao.com
Catch up with the TRIBEVERSARY2021 LIVE Series on YouTube:
With a couple of our highlights below – Diversity and Inclusion in Storytelling for Children, and The Dynamics of Self, Soul and Art in Poetry…
Categories: Words on the Times