Hi. My name is Damilola Jonathan Oladeji, and I think it’s appropriate to let you know who’s speaking as you read this release about Itanile. A few years ago, I had a vision that African literature and writing should be promoted using all the tools that the internet gives. So, I started a community and created spaces for young writers like me to find home and expression. After many years of stumbling here and there—published magazines, hosted workshops, published ebooks, paid prizes, gave annual awards, promoted authors globally—I got tired, distracted, and sometimes frustrated. There’s little to no reward for this venture of creating literary platforms or solutions. I did a lot of things out of pocket including designing the website several times, paying for hosting services, fighting hackers sometimes, paying stipends to the team, paying judges for our awards, and many other costs that come with that.
During that time, my life has also been and continues to be beautiful. I have travelled and left home to live in another country. I have met and married my wife. I have also completed a Masters and Doctoral journey far away from home. These have led me on paths where priorities shift. You start to wonder if this dream you began some years back is worth anything. Some days, I see new entries on the website and I wonder what it would take to continue to build what we’ve created here. We’ve also had some generous partners in the past who have funded the annual Itanile Prize and others in the past. We continue receiving donations and are open to such support for the editorial. However, this support we receive isn’t at the scale we would need to keep running all the programs and events we do. Please visit our donations page to support and keep the platform running.
This has led me to decide to keep this platform alive for as long as possible and be the torchbearer for other people’s dreams. Itanile is going to continue to publish stories that we receive. However, we won’t be able to commit to any prizes or awards. If there’s a change in future that makes it possible for us to go back to what it used to be, I will be the first to let you know.
On behalf of the team and myself, I say thank you.