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Entrepreneur and mother of two Oriana Gowie talks about her venture Tuntimo

Tuntimo, the new online interactive educational platform focusing on Black history learning content for young children aged 5-11, officially launched this year in January. The platform, was created by mother-of-two, Oriana Gowie, and aims to be the go-to source for information on black history for families of all races, as well as a learning tool for schools and other educational facilities.

The name - a play on words, was put together to mean " the Home of Children’s Black History" . Tuntum – means Black in Twi (Ghanaian) + Imo – means knowledge in Yoruba (Nigerian) = Tuntimo. The website has over 200 profiles, over 200 quizzes, puzzles, games and word searches and 2,000 questions to help learning.

There's a range of topics around Black British and African history, including famous celebrities, sports stars and athletes, acclaimed authors, poets, inventors, scientists, astronauts, former kings and queens of tribes and countries and many more, such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, Muhammad Ali, Fredrick Douglas, and many ‘firsts’, such as Barack Obama, Mae Jemison and many more.

Oriana Gowie, a Talent and Recruitment Manager and Cultural Expert (and named one of Harpers Bazaar's Five Black Women Shaping the Future in 2020) is a working mother of two young Black boys. With the recent "social unrest", there has been an increased focus on the issues of injustice and inequality faced by the Black community, which has prompted a renewed interest in diversity and inclusion in what is included in the UK curriculum and education, which has impacted how she wants her children to see the world, and how the world sees her children.

Oriana Gowie, creator of Tuntimo, said: “I realised that there weren’t any platforms that were made for children to learn about Black history. There were a few educational sites to teach young children about history, but none that reflected Black achievements and histories in a positive light.

I wanted to create something for my children and the children across the country, and across the world, to use and learn about themselves and their friends. With the increase of racial tensions and global pandemic meaning that parents will be homeschooling, I knew this would be the best time for parents to help educate their children on the importance of Black history, that often isn’t included in the UK curriculum. It’s important of Black children to understand the riches and heritage of their culture and that their history goes beyond what is taught at schools.”

She also highlighted moment of inception and the struggles of creating the site: “I came up with the idea of creating a platform for children to learn about Black history and create something that would build confidence in young children about their identity. My aim was to design something that I would have loved to have had access to growing up."

Getting the site up and running has been a huge challenge due to limited resources but I have had the support of great volunteers and people that have offered their services at a discount. I have had some disappointments too which comes with any project, needless to say, I was determined to create something so you could see what is possible. We have raised over £5,000 but the costs add up as we needed coders, illustrations and admin support, etc. I even learned how to design the website and other new skills (not coding yet) to save money and to bring the vision to life."

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