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$1,360 pledged of $7,000 goal
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By Aminata Diop
$1,360 pledged of $7,000 goal
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About this project

What is Tamaji?

Tamaji Magazine is a collaborative, bilingual webzine that strives to facilitate communication between black cultures throughout the globe and to enlighten the rest about the African diaspora’s heritage by means of literary works, articles, videos, art, photography and discussions.

Tamaji means “that drum” in Wolof, my native tongue. It can be divided as “Tama” (drum) and “jii” (that). Many societies in ancient Africa used talking drums as a primary tool of communication from village to village. Talking drums had the effect of an echo and its function was to transmit some kind of information from door to door, which aptly joins Tamaji’s mission that is: “relaying the new voices of knowledge.”

Why Tamaji?

At the dawn of an era where the new wave of artists will distinguish itself from the past generations in its accessibility, language cannot be a barrier between those who want to share their talents with the entire world and those who want to explore and benefit from it. Because of the language barrier dilemma and lack of opportunity, black artists struggle to find a platform where they can showcase and feel appreciated for their work. 

However, in the 21st century, there is no reason why the creative work of a Black minority cannot be available and accessible to all the communities it addresses and to the audience s/he wishes to attract.Though there are over 2100 languages spoken in Africa alone, Africans and members of the African Diaspora share the six following languages on top of their local ones: French, English, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, and Swahili. These languages are not only spoken by the Afro-Caribbean and African-American communities, but also by at least two thirds of the world. 

At what stage is Tamaji?

Tamaji is growing in its audience and supporters. In less than a year, with only a website and a set of ideas, we:

  • Gained +3200 fans on Facebook;
  • Were featured on an international French channel’s show broadcast in more than 30 countries
  • Were invited at a panel at Columbia University entitled “African Filmmaking in the Digital Age” to discuss the distribution and sharing of African cinema to the public in and beyond Africa.

How we envision Tamaji to look like in the near future:

Tamaji will be a monthly, digital magazine; a reference for all things related to the arts and literature from the African Diaspora. The perks of turning Tamaji into a digital “flipbook-style” magazine are numerous. 

Creating it means:

  • That the magazine will be responsive to tablets, e-readers, so you’ll be able to read it wherever;
  • That the magazine will be printable;
  • That the magazine will be downloadable (thus accessible to student organizations, schools, individuals anywhere around the world);
  • That it will embed videos using its own system for exclusive interviews, music videos, commercials, and announcements that will be of interest to our audience;
  • That it will have fashion/art/photography articles with galleries
  • That the magazine will be subscription-based (by email registration) but completely free.
  • That the reader will have access to a table of contents that will allow you to go to any page you’d like with just a click;
  • That the reader will use an integrated navigation menu with options to scroll, aggrandize the page or text you’re reading;
  • Please take a look at these features in the following screenshots:

An article featuring the works of Kehinde Wiley, the artist:

As you can see, you can click on the video button...(take a look at the next picture).
As you can see, you can click on the video button...(take a look at the next picture).
And a video will come up!
And a video will come up!
One of our most popular fiction stories, "Always Black", about perceptions of 'blackness' in East African communities.
One of our most popular fiction stories, "Always Black", about perceptions of 'blackness' in East African communities.
The portal allows you to choose in which language you'd like to read Tamaji in.
The portal allows you to choose in which language you'd like to read Tamaji in.

But there is more to Tamaji:

On top of having Tamaji as a bilingual outlet, accessible to both French and English-speaking people, we will incorporate a virtual library featuring our best fiction and non-fiction writers who will have the option to either make their work available for free as e-books or by selling them. The virtual library, that we’ll name the Kemet Library, will be accessible to all by registering for a yearly fee of $10. This latter project will take a little longer to launch (approximately six months after the launch of Tamaji as a digital magazine). Creating a library like Kemet is a project that will mostly impact public schools in Africa or schools with underprivileged youth in helping them resolve the issue of costly and/or outdated books about the history and current realizations of the continent.

This portal will allow you to choose whether you'd like to read the magazine or log-in to the Kemet library.
This portal will allow you to choose whether you'd like to read the magazine or log-in to the Kemet library.

Features of the Kemet Library:

  • Authors have the option to sell their books or to make them available at no cost 
  • Books are organized in categories then alphabetically and there will be a search box to look for any book you’d like 
  • Secure payment options 
  • Instant delivery to e-mail box 
  • Same navigation tools and menu features as magazine 
  • Yearly subscription of $10 (however, if the first book you submit is free, then your first-year subscription will be) 
  • Subscribers/readers of Kemet have the option to also submit their books for consideration.

Here is an example of a potentially successful author on Kemet: 

Just so you know:

This is currently what Tamaji looks like when you visit its webpage:

You can visit it directly by clicking on this link.
You can visit it directly by clicking on this link.

What will the $7000 cover?

If we are able to reach $7000, we’ll be able to cover the basic costs of making Tamaji operational: 

  • Hiring a graphic designer; 
  • Administrative/operational equipment; 
  • Legal fees; 
  • Advertising fees (reaching out to the artists and writers in and out of the continent); 
  • E-file delivering fee; 
  • Online hosting fees.

We are hoping to raise over $7000 in order to make it reach its full potential. Every penny will be spent towards making Tamaji a one-of-kind magazine that will exist for the sole purpose of reviving the artistic and literary genius from the motherland.

When will the first issue be available? 

If our Kickstarter project is successful, our first digital issue will be available on November 2nd, 2013.

Do you have questions/ suggestions/ concerns? 

You can directly contact me by clicking on the contact link provided by Kickstarter.

I am eternally thankful for the time you took to watch the video and read this lengthy explanation. You can support Tamaji in any way you can! All that matters is to believe in its potential and help me realize this project by sharing it with your network of friends and/or by contributing. 

Thank you so very much!

Aminata Diop


Risks and challenges

The biggest challenge about this initiative will be to turn the Kemet Library into a portal that will be inclusive of the people who need it the most in places where the Black youth doesn't have access to many books. However, it's a goal that I plan to achieve by all means, which is why it will take a little longer to realize than Tamaji Magazine. The main challenge will then be "timing", with regards to the full operation of the Kemet Library.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Thank you! We'll acknowledge you on our first issue, on our beloved list of "dream drummers", with your picture and a short blurb of why you believe in Tamaji!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    We'll put you on our beloved list of "knowledge griots", featuring a picture of you, a short blurb about what you do and/or what you support (whether it's a business or a foundation) with links to visit them.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Have a business or book you'd like us to feature? We'll link your business on a 140x240 advert space. We'll also feature you on our list of "knowledge griots", with your picture, a short blurb about what you do and/or what you support, and a free one-year subscription to the Kemet Library.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    A full page advertising space on Tamaji for its first issue about a business/foundation/charity of your choice, plus all the perks of being on our griot list, and a free one-year subscription to the Kemet Library.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    You are on our list of "dream builders". You will have one-page advertising space for the first five issues of Tamaji Magazine about a business/foundation/charity of your choice, a free subscription to the Kemet Library for you and a friend, one article about a topic of your choice (provided it is not offensive and of interest to the Tamaji mission), and a personalized Tamaji "I'm a drummer" t-shirt or bag to thank you!

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    You are on our list of "angel pharaohs". You will have one-page advertising space for the first ten issues of Tamaji Magazine on a business/charity/foundation of your choice, free subscription to the Kemet Library for you and three people or organizations of your choice, three articles about a topic of your choice (provided it is not offensive and of interest to the Tamaji mission), and a personalized Tamaji "I'm a drummer" t-shirt and/or bag to thank you! Also, please let me invite you to lunch if you're in New York!

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Funding period

- (30 days)