Tamkara Adun and her community are reshaping the way African history and languages are taught
Learn how Podia creator Tamkara Adun built an engaged learning community and educational product line to teach decolonized African history and languages.
When Tamkara, her husband, and her two young children moved from Nigeria to the Netherlands, everything changed. The family was immersed in a foreign culture, Tamkara left her career in HR, and her children started attending a new school.
Tamkara noticed that in their new curriculum, her children were learning history from a European perspective that didn’t cover many of Africa’s stories, civilizations, and accomplishments.
She recalls, “They learned a little about African history, but it was history told in a colonized narrative that did not discuss the greatness of their ancestors. I didn’t want them to become so swallowed up in other people’s histories that they forgot their own. I wanted them to be well-rounded but also understand their African history in a way that was true and affirming to them.”
Eager to fill this gap, Tamkara decided she would teach them herself. She began reading influential African authors, conversing with relatives, and digging into internet archives. “As I started teaching them, I realized there was so much I hadn’t been taught,” she remembers. “In the process of educating them, I was also educating myself.”
Tamkara knew that if she and her family needed this information, others might too.
“It was a journey for me, and once I started, I knew there was no turning back. The more you know, the more you realize you don’t know. I wanted to keep learning and taking in this new information, but I also wanted to share. Knowledge is a gift. You shouldn’t keep it for yourself.”
This belief inspired Tamkara to build an online business called Odunife , which means “Year of Love” in Yoruba, and cultivate a community centered on reciprocity. Others were eager to rediscover history through an African lens, and the more she taught, the more her audience taught her in return.
Their questions and contributions, combined with her research, culminated in educational courses and ebooks, a children’s book , a language school , and 1:1 coaching programs that expand the world’s understanding of African history.
Tamkara was also the winner of our second Podia Creator Fellowship . As one nominator says, “She has created an oasis where people of African descent can rest, heal, and find inspiration and enlightenment through positive and informative posts.” Here’s how she did it.
Building a collaborative community of learning
Community is the heart and soul of Tamkara’s business, and it all started with a simple Instagram account . She wanted space to document what she was learning, even if it was only seen by a handful of followers. “It was like an echo,” she remembers. “I was putting content out there, and nobody was listening.”
But gradually, Tamkara connected with others interested in African history from a decolonized, African-centered perspective. The more information Tamkara posted, the more people engaged, reposted, and tagged their friends. Followers also started volunteering their own knowledge and experiences, creating a reciprocal learning environment.
“It’s a two-way street where I’m sharing, and I’m also learning.”
“I post something , and people in the comments will expand on the idea,” she explains. “It’s a community of learning where we’re building our understanding of history and things that happened in the past.”
Tamkara gained momentum by connecting with creators in her niche, guest posting, and leading with passion.
First, Tamkara contacted thought leaders she admired through comments or direct messages. She told them their posts resonated with her and reshared their content to amplify their voices. They would often visit her page and follow her in a spirit of reciprocity.
Then, Tamkara did collaborations with bigger accounts in her space. “When I did guest posts for them, they exposed me to their audience, and some of their followers came to my page and followed me.”
Finally, audience members could tell she was passionate about her work. “People can sense when you love what you’re doing. It builds trust and loyalty. I focused on posting good content that people naturally wanted to share, putting me in front of more people,” she explains.
In two years, her account grew from 50 followers to over 24,000.
Tamkara’s community has been the backbone of her work every step of the way. Together, she and her followers have created a positive feedback loop where all members teach and learn from each other. With so much knowledge circulating, Tamkara knew it was time to go bigger and create her first product.
Fill the gap with community-led products
Tamkara’s first digital products were African history programs based on what she was teaching her children. When she saw her audience’s appetite for learning on Instagram, she turned the home lessons she was using with her kids into a series of online courses.
“I always listen to people. A lot of times, especially on Instagram, people tell you what they’re looking for. When something you and I are both looking for isn’t readily available, I feel compelled to try to create that offer.”
She also wrote a children’s book called Osasu and the Great Wall of the Benin Empire . It was a story of African ingenuity she wanted her children to remember, and she knew other families in her community would love a book celebrating African culture.
“It’s great to appreciate other histories that belong to other parts of the world, but African children must know their history too. It builds self-pride and creates self-confidence,” she elaborates. “I think every story, every history, deserves its space in the spotlight.”
The language school came next.
“Many people said they wanted to learn African languages, especially our brothers and sisters in the diaspora whose ancestors were taken away during the African Maafa and had their language stripped away.”
She started leading free group language sessions to share her native language in a casual learning environment. “Anyone could join on Zoom and attend. It was fun. There was laughter. I saw that there was a gap and an interest.”
So Tamkara connected with language instructors from around Africa to build an online language school .
Then, when audience members approached her asking questions with complex answers, Tamkara created a 1:1 coaching offer.
“A lot of people message me questions. I would love to make time to respond to all of them, but some require more time, thought, emotional energy, and research. Coaching packages allow us to have a full conversation.”
By working with her community, Tamkara continually identifies needs and fills them with products that spread information, truth, and joy.
Podia: A versatile platform for multi-passionate entrepreneurs
With multiple passions and a never-ending stream of ideas, Tamkara needed a place to house her work. That led her to Podia.
“I was looking for a platform that would offer me versatility,” Tamkara reflects. “I wake up in the morning and have so many ideas in my head. I wanted a platform where I could have everything in one spot.”
Podia makes it easy for Tamkara to create as many courses , ebooks , and coaching products as she can dream up. As a self-identified non-technical person, Tamkara also leans on Podia’s support team to free up her mind for creative pursuits.
“Having the Podia team whenever I have technical problems takes away the stress and burden of trying to figure everything out myself. I feel like Podia has not only just supported me but partnered with me to build my business,” she shares.
“I’m big on communicating and love having different touchpoints to talk to my people. If I’m online, they can chat with me immediately. If I’m not there, I’ll get an email notification so I can reach out. I can also send broadcast emails to my full audience or a segmented group interested in one of my offerings. It’s been a game changer.”
Simply put, creators need tools that free them up to do the best work. As Tamkara puts it, “Podia eliminates the technical stress and gives me space to focus on my creative endeavors, which is what I do best. There’s someone there to help and support me, which is priceless.”
Tamkara’s advice: Get support and chase your dreams
As she built Odunife, Tamkara learned how important it is to have a support system and take bold leaps. She advises other creators to do the same.
Focus on your strengths and don’t go it alone
It’s common for entrepreneurs to wear ten hats, but Tamkara reminds creators that no one can do it alone. “You can’t do everything,” Tamkara emphasizes. “Figure out what you do best and put your energy there. In the areas where you are not as proficient, get people to help you.”
“It could be an online learning platform like Podia to help you with the backend technology. It could be a virtual assistant to help you with admin work. Get help and delegate so that you can focus on what you do best.”
Since winning the Podia Creator Fellowship, Tamkara has hired a virtual assistant to help with behind-the-scenes tasks. Delegating has freed up Tamkara’s time and creativity. “I can focus on the things that I love to do most: imagining, creating, idealizing, and coming up with new ideas for teaching African history and language,” she notes.
Bottom line: Outsource , delegate, and get help to remove friction when growing a business.
Don’t wait for things to be perfect
Have something you want to share with the world? Tamkara recommends taking the leap and learning on the way.
“Don’t wait for things to be perfect because they’ll never be perfect,” Tamkara says.
“The journey of learning is in the doing. If you have an idea, go for it. You never know what will come out of it. Your original idea will change, and you’ll have iterations along the way. But if you wait to be perfect, you’ll probably never start.”
You’ll discover what you want to do and learn strategies to make it happen by getting started.
“We learn to cut trees by cutting them.” — African Proverb
Everything Tamkara knows about being a creator, she learned on the job. It can be intimidating to start at square one, but nothing will happen until you take the first step .
“A lot of people didn’t see my vision, but I went on that inner conviction that this is something I have to do. More often than not, our intuition knows things we may not know physically. If your mind is telling you to do something, your spirit is nudging you towards something, explore that idea and go on that journey.”
Ready to go on your own journey? We’d love to come along with you. Grab your free Podia account today.