the Story of Tell!

new tell logo

Albert Einstein once said that:

If you can’t explain it simply, then you don’t understand it well enough”

This quote has inspired me to write a story about Tell!, trying to explain in a simple way what I and my team hope to achieve with the platform.

Ibrahim Oredola, a friend and mentor once told me to draft a document 500words long which completely explains what Tell! is about. I didn’t see it as a difficult task at the time of the request, but when I decided to start writing, I came out blank. It is one thing to have the ideas and it is another thing to be able to get that idea across to other people in such a way that they get to visualize the idea the way you do.

I eventually drafted the document after 3 hard trials and it read thus:

“Tell! is an online publishing, community, blogging and multicolumn web application developed in October 2017 by…..”.

Defining Tell! like this felt engineered, but not apt as i felt that there were no words to completely & properly describe the idea of what Tell! is/wishes to be. So how do I pitch an idea without words?

I could start by writing how excited I felt when I had the initial idea for the platform and my brother had criticised the idea as I pitched it to him in my normal inarticulate, stammering manner. In the course of his critique, he had subconsciously suggested one of the core features of the platform {the anonymous storytelling feature}. Then again, I fear that continuing to tell the story of  Tell! in this manner seems inappropriate as no sensible investor/audience would love to hear the tale of two brothers.

Perhaps I should start the story from the beginning, from the idea that birthed the platform. As a young boy {I’m still young thoughūüėČ}, I had always been fascinated by Nigerian storybooks. While my siblings read big romantic novels (like Harlequin), I preferred to read books written by Nigerians about Nigeria. In the course of reading these stories, I got inspired to start writing. I wrote poems, short stories, drama dialogues e.t.c I had 3 poem chapbooks by the time I got to SS2 in my secondary school. Writing was my form of escape through which I got to create universes and run with my imagination.

Getting into the university to study Engineering led to a bit of schism between me & my story reading/writing but it never deemed my interest in them. With the hope of developing the platform, I learnt all the necessary skills and spent sleepless nights working on it….

Tell! was developed to be a platform for all Nigerian and African writers and authors where the stories, books and ideas capable of changing the African narrative are written and published, where stories that inspire, enlighten, excite and stimulate are shared, where writers from all over Nigeria & Africa get to connect & share opinions that help them grow mutually, a platform that ushers in the next generation of content writers, content curators & authors.

Considering the fact that the current generation of millennial have very short attention span and prefer memes and funny videos to actually reading stories and articles, we pivoted by making our platform robust enough for registered users to upload videos and images through their account.

The platform also let’s you upload,sell and purchase books, write anonymously or as a registered user and Start a Column.

One of the issues I had with designing the web application was getting to decide on a final outlook/appearance which would be interactive and attractive but still informative enough to send our message across. This took alot of frequent reviews and upgrades. It took a while, but i think we have finally found the right outlook for the platform. We are also currently working on our mobile app to increase accessibility, boost User experience and make writing on the platform seamless.


We are also trying to explore ways in which we could get the platform to be more integrated with the social networks of the world(although we already have features such as social media log in but we intend to take it up a notch!)

In the course of getting Tell! off-the-ground, I have met a lot of interesting individuals, some of whom inspired me and gave invaluable counsel. Some of these individuals include Dolapo Amusat and Habeeb Kolade(Co-founders of Uiteswrite, Agbowo, Wetalk), Ibrahim Oredola( Co-founder of SkillNG), Razaq Abdulmalik, Haleem Olatunji, Adekunle Adebajo. These people make me believe that anything is achievable as long as I put my mind to it.

There are a couple of products and projects which Tell! would be undergoing this year which I’m not at privy to disclose yet as they are still in the development phase. But I’m confident in my team and what we are capable of doing and I hope we get to pull them off.

It still remains a fact that 80% of startups fail after their first 2years of launch. Statistics like this scare me, considering the fact that Tell! is not only a startup, but a Nigerian startup where people don’t really care who you are or what you do or share your vision until you are able to truly prove your significance and become relevant. Nigerians are very tough crowd, but they are my people nonetheless and the Tell! platform was created for them. I just hope that Tell! gets to prove its relevance to them soon…..

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What do you think?

  1. Your dream is subconsciously coming through, don’t neglect nor be discouraged by whatever might come to prove you wrong for creating this. You are powerful and worth being.

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