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Our Origin Story

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The name

Otola (pronounced oh-toe-lah) was born out of homage to Chioma K Iheanacho’s Nigerian paternal grandmother, Otolahu Sophie. The name Otolahu from the Igbo tribe means “growth”.

Chioma fondly recounts that her childhood's very best time was visiting her grandmother in her lush and tranquil village, along with the deep and vibrant sense of community and connectedness she experienced while living in Nigeria. 

Before the Internet Age and with Chioma’s father being a University librarian, she and her sisters spent hours and hours immersed in books as children. At a very young age, Chioma understood and embraced the power of the written word to take you on a journey.  Otola - come and grow as you journey through our stories.

Who we are

Otola is an international collective of emerging and established thought leaders, authors, visionaries, thinkers, dreamers, storytellers, and writers. This ever-evolving, open, digital platform is being created to amplify the letters, stories, thoughts, trials, triumphs, everyday experiences, and voices from the Pan-African Diaspora and Indigenous People of Color wherever we exist in the world.


One of the greatest gifts we have is the power to create. Otola provides a platform for visionaries, novice and expert writers alike, authors, journalists, storytellers, poets, thinkers, bloggers, and dreamers are all welcome. Even with a monolith experience, we are still multidimensional beings. These are our stories, thoughts, knowledge, insights, and ideas - and only we can tell them. 

Our logo

Our logo colors are carefully selected, with deep brown symbolizing the earth, our strength, resilience, and safety.

Green carries the vibration of growth, renewal, health, hope, new beginnings, harmony, and peace which is symbolized by the sprouting leaves of knowledge, awareness, and understanding, that flourishes throughout our abundant and thriving community - Otola.

Chioma's Grandmother, Otolahu Sophie

A gorgeous picture of Otolahu Sophie, Chioma's grandmother.
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Hi, I'm Chioma

Welcome to Otola

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