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#47: Deux Ans

It’s been two years since I started wuruwuru. Reflecting on my first post, here’s what has changed since.

Day 1 of Wuruwuru and I spent all day writing and setting up tools.

First, the name is now lowercase “wuruwuru” 💅🏽. Counter-cultural movements like the bauhaus chose to use lowercase letters because it was easier to write, but mine is an aesthetic decision. It looks better lowercase.

Emails are now set up for Eseosa and Tomiwa…

Today, six people work at the studio. There’s me (director), Williams (manager), Eris and Tomiwa (production), Tosin (editorial) and Temi (we’ll figure it out). We work with about forty artists and friends.

I’ve also set up Notion for documentation, Basecamp for tasks, Airtable for research and Twitter for marketing.

I’m really proud that we’ve managed to get wuruwuru working remotely, especially because it started out really tough. Working with artists over the internet was a new challenge. It’s different from working with software designers / developers because they typically have some experience with distributed work. Artists, not so much.

Trust is really important in remote work, and it can only be built over time. In the beginning, I tried to get people to share on Basecamp but it didn’t work. It was either too confusing or too public. Things changed when I started using WhatsApp. I learnt when to DM first (to align), when to text in a small group (for consensus), when to text in the big group (to broadcast agreement) and when to post on Basecamp (to recap).

Newer projects like E Dey Happen and LUDO have run much more smoothly and are making faster progress because our communication structures have matured.

Wuruwuru is a playground for interesting ideas.


We’re making multimedia stories about design and popular culture in Nigeria with the goal to eventually publish and sell a magazine.

We make passion projects.

The idea is to take an interesting question or topic and explore it with a visual essay, game, music album, animation, documentary, dataset or whatever best tells the story. The stories will be made with other independent makers and enthusiastic friends. We’ll also work on mini projects to learn how to create and sell high quality digital/printed goods.

This is more of an approach than the idea. The idea is now to create a community-run, community-funded support system for independent creators (including studio members) to make passion projects.

The experiment is to publish these stories online for free and later compile them into a magazine for sale. The magazine will also include internet education, how-we-made-it essays, interviews with collaborators and fun graphic design.

The new manifesto articulates the larger experiment.

We’re taking it one story/project at a time, starting with Bros J’s Guide. It’s an Instagram comic about learning to roll up, marketed with a trifold brochure (tract). The booklet will be made of cardboard…

We ended up not making the brochure, but we:

  • published J Guide, an Instagram comic about weed
  • published a database of album cover art — now we’re making a website + three retrospective stories
  • set up a research team and published four more databases
  • made a new studio website and CMS
  • made a website for The Writer’s Room, a community of writers
  • are wrapping up Hanky Panky, an animated short film
  • are editing Feel Good, a book about queer joy
  • finished the pilot for E Dey Happen, a web series
  • produced two samples for LUDO, a board game

From my experience with Instagram landing pages (paystackgift, ori.igo), I expect this to be fun.

Yeah, this has been fun. 🙂

And also expensive. We’re up to $60k in costs so far and expecting to get to at least $65k by February.

Up next, some of the things we need to figure out include:

  1. Go to Market: how do we launch ongoing projects?
  2. Brand: who are we? where are we going?
  3. Direction: how do we decide what to work on?
  4. Editorial: how do we build an audience?
  5. Operations: can we run the studio through volunteering?
  6. Finance: how do we manage money?
  7. Funding: how do we get money to fund future projects?
  8. Legal: how do we automate government operations?

I suspect the way forward is to define all the functions we need, find volunteer directors for each one and share ownership of the company within a defined structure (like Pentagram).

We’ll see. On y va!



wuruwuru is a nonprofit publishing studio from Lagos. We make passion projects and consult for independent creators.

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