African creatives have long complained about being unable to monetize their creations/content. This is a struggle that artists generally have but because Africa is mostly made up of developing economies that struggle is amplified.
This is where Iluna Afriq comes into the equation. Iluna Afriq is a storytelling platform where storytellers publish tales from their culture in any language and format (video, audio, text, pictures).
Best of all, content creators can monetize their creative work on Iluna Afriq. The platform has a subscription fee where readers can subscribe to their favourite content creators for a monthly fee of US$5. Content creators can share content for free and some exclusively for their subscribers.
Whilst I’m yet to subscribe to Iluna Afriq there are some things I did enjoy. There’s a diverse selection of writers from the African continent. This means there’s a number of pieces in native languages and even the ones in English are still fascinating because of the immersion in different cultures.
Beyond the cultural diversity – another thing I’ve noticed is that at the moment content is being updated pretty frequently which is what readers will expect from the website.
In terms of cons or things I would like to see if Iluna Afriq is going to become a big thing is the content itself. My biggest gripe with it at the moment is that most stories seem to be folktales – which isn’t a problem in and of itself. It only becomes a problem when a writer is locking a folktale that isn’t original to them behind a paywall.
Also because there are so many folktales at the moment, if that isn’t your favourite type of content the novelty will wear off quicker than people who are fans of folktales.
Overall, the website is an interesting one and whilst it’s farely new (with the first stories published in August) I do hope it will become a hub for African writers. Heck maybe even other content creators can join the platform at some point.