MuCash co-founder Ben Oaks interviewed Ebele Chizea, the owner of Drum Tide Magazine, one of our partner sites to learn more about their site and mission.
Ben: To get started, tell me a little bit about your website drumtidemag.com.
Ebele: Drum Tide is an online magazine that caters to the afro-cultural community, but it is really for everybody. We provide information and artwork that is connected to the afro-cultural community, afro-cultural meaning African-Americans, African people, and the African diaspora in particular. We like to call ourselves a socio-political, art and cultural magazine.
Ben: What are the most common topics I would find discussed in your magazine?
“…people are bombarded with advertising that is forced and in your face. But when you choose to support a publication in some way, it is empowering…”
Ebele: We discuss socio-political issues. We look at it from the the perspective of the individual. We are not so much about news. We are more about the philosophy behind what’s happening in our society and our culture. We like to get individual points of view like writers who are thinkers and in a way philosophers. We talk about cultural issues, artistic trends, books, and, in particular, literature. We try to inform the public and get the public into discourse, and provide something that is intellectually stimulating and promote communication and dialogue.
Ben: Do you have a favorite piece on the website right now?
Ebele: I love to do interviews. My favorite is my interview with Hakeem Kae-Kazim. You know he was in Pirates of the Caribbean. He has done a lot of good work. He is a Nigerian and British actor, who is based in Hollywood. Very talented, very nice guy, very charming… it was a fun experience interviewing him. Also, many of our readers refer to that interview a lot. They like that piece.
Ben: What were your motivations for starting Drum Tide Magazine?
Ebele: I used to write for a lifestyle magazine. The problem I had was it was difficult for me because it wasn’t challenging intellectually. There is so much talk about fashion and lifestyle, and pop culture which is wonderful and great, but it wasn’t enough intellectually for me. There wasn’t enough philosophical material and discourse on themes that were interesting, at least for me. I wanted to deliver art in its highest expression. It is something that society has neglected to do. I was looking for a magazine that could capture this space, that could captivate me artistically, intellectually, culturally, and stimulate me all around, and I couldn’t really find one…especially one that caters to the afro-cultural community. So since I couldn’t find it, I decided to make it happen.
Ben: Why do you use micropayments on your site verses some of the other ways you could make money, like subscriptions or advertising?
Ebele: I like the idea of people choosing to support the writer or the publication by choosing to buy an article if you like the article. I like the idea of people choosing what they want. I think sometimes people are bombarded with advertising that is forced and in your face. But when you choose to support a publication in some way, it is empowering, both to the person who is providing the publication as well as the individual who is purchasing the article or essay.
“When I found MuCash… I decided to try it and I noticed that it was very easy to sign up, very easy to implement. I liked how it worked and how it functioned.”
Ben: You started using MuCash to accept micropayments a couple months ago. What drew you to MuCash?
Ebele: I was looking to find ways, of course, to make some money from the articles. I did some research and found a couple of micropayment providers, but they were just so complicated. The functionality wasn’t really right… it was very frustrating. I wanted something that I could learn to use ASAP, something that my readers could use without stress, without struggle. When I found MuCash, on the WordPress plugin directory, I decided to try it and I noticed that it was very easy to sign up, very easy to implement. I liked how it worked and how it functioned.
Ben: What are you thoughts for the future for Drum Tide Magazine?
Ebele: We plan to keep growing and expanding. We are planning more interviews. We are hoping to include the African-American audience a bit more, which is challenging because people say there is not much in common between African-American and African (culture), but actually that is not true. Artistically and intellectually there has been a strong history of African-Americans and Africans collaborating on material and sharing commonalities. When it comes to art and discourse, while our experiences are different we also have things that connect us, an undeniable thread that connects us.
About Ebele Chizea
Ebele Chizea graduated from Thiel College, a liberal arts college in Greenville, Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Philosophy. She was inducted into the English Honors Society while in college and has since functioned as a writer and editor for various publications. Her poetry and essays have been published at The African Magazine, The Sentinel, The Muse, The Nigerian Punch as well as Drumtide Magazine, where she serves as the Founder/Managing Editor. She also manages two blogs, a personal blog, ebycreations.blogspot.com, and a conscious blog, sunbeampress.blogspot.com. She currently resides in New York City and has just completed her first novel, the second in progress.