By Oluwanisola Eludoyin “People Contact Me For Help With Their Writing”- Emmanuel Ojelade. Emmanuel Ojelade is today’s spotlight on TIME OUT with TLM. He is the founder of one of the fastest growing writing communities, Arthut. In this interview, he shares with us the goals of Arthut and the impact he’s set out to make.
YOU HAVE THIRTY ONE THOUSAND MEMBERS IN ARTHUT, HOW DOES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL?
Although that is not anywhere near the goal, I feel good about it; it is the same feeling that comes with growth; growing something you work at.
I think that’s superb. WHAT’S THE GOAL?
The goal of the facebook community is to build a hut for over 200,000 creatives where they can share their works, learn and grow themselves both as a creative individual & as human beings.
Oh, that’s a great goal if you ask me. WHEN DID YOU START ARTHUT? IS IT A SOLO PROJECT OR YOU HAVE PARTNERS?
It is a solo project, we are getting prospective partners but are not yet committed to any. This is because most of their motive do not tally with ours. The vision started December 2018 but the actualization began on 1st, January 2019.
Interesting! WHAT ARE THESE MOTIVES YOU TALK ABOUT? THE MOTIVES OF THE PROPECTIVE PARTNERS
It’s better I do not share their motives, they just didn’t tally with ours.
Okay, I understand. I JOINED THE ASSEMBLAGE HALL QUITE LATE. WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
TAA2020 was our first virtual convergence.
We aimed it at developing creatives with the relevant information they need to better their arts, themselves, and the society they belong to.
Most of the discussions where around literature, creativity, Africanism.
This is amazing! EMMANUEL, YOU MENTIONED CREATIVES. WHO ARE YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE?
The vision started with just poets but as we grew; we re-strategized, and it now includes writers, visual artists and even craft makers.
Oh, that’s superb. WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO WHEN YOU’RE NOT STRATEGIZING ON ARTHUT?
I’m a having fun with Kendra or Lidwanag.
Asides from that, I am watching Naruto or some new Korean drama. I work as a content writer for brands or solo-entrepreneurs and also graphics design is something I do well, so yeah, I get jobs as a graphic designer too.
Okay! IS ARTHUT ONLY ON FACEBOOK?
No, we also have a growing community on LinkedIn. But much focus is on the Facebook hutters.
On twitter as well, we have a great following. We also have a website where we educate young writers as well.
EMMANUEL, DO WRITERS COME TO YOU WITH PROBLEMS THEY’D LIKE YOU TO SOLVE? HOW DOES IT MAKE YOU FEEL?
Hmm, interesting question. This has been a major part of my social media activity in recent times.
A lot of members and even non-members contact me for help with their writings.
It makes me realize that I am actually in a position where young people look up to for solutions regarding their problems.
It is good, but sometimes can be a challenge because we all have different journeys.
Yeah, I know, right? ISN’T IT PART OF THE REASON YOU STARTED ARTHUT?
Well, in a certain way, yes
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST RISK YOU’VE TAKEN ON ARTHUT?
Risks. Now that’s an enormous question. Honestly, I don’t calculate the greatness or littleness of risks. I honestly don’t know. However, I am about to take one huge one (laughs).
Haha, WHISPER IT TO ME
Nah, let it be with the winds for now.
Okay, Fantastic. Wow us, we’re your siren. ANY MAJOR LESSONS LEARNT IN THIS JOURNEY?
Yes, if one, it is that you can actually start something and you can actually scale it. Another one is that you can actually build something new, with a new idea.
Although it’s yet to be fully achieved, it is what we are working towards.
IN THREE WORDS DESCRIBE EMMANUEL OJELADE
Gay, rebellious, wild
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO UP-AND-COMING CREATIVES?
If you have something on your mind that you think will be of value to the world.
Do it, let your voice be heard. Do not conform.
IF ARTHUT WERE A HASHTAG, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Same one it is, # ArtHut
“If you have something on your mind that you think will be of value to the world.
Do it, let your voice be heard. Do not conform.”— EMMANUEL OJELADE