How Jason Njoku Beat The Odds To Create iROKOtv, ‘Africa’s Own Netflix’
By Parker Diakite
Jason Njoku failed 10 times in other businesses before realizing the lane in which he would be most successful: Nigerian Cinema.
Before investing in Nollywood, some of Njoku’s earliest enterprises were a party promotion venture in nightclubs and a magazine called Brash, which claimed itself to be “Manchester’s quintessential guide to frolicking and fashion.”
“It was largely acknowledged that I was an absolute, complete failure,” Njoku stated to Fast Company.
After being forced to move back into his mother’s apartment following the collapse of Lehman Brothers, he noticed a change in how his mother consumed television that would change the course of his life forever.
According to Njoku, when he was growing up, his mother mainly watched British soaps. Once moving back home, she was consuming more entertainment from her own country – Nollywood movies.
That revelation in his mother’s home is what inspired iROKOTV, a mobile entertainment and internet TV platform that’s widely known for its catalog of African ‘Nollywood’ movies.
Today, Njoku is a millionaire and the founder and CEO of iROKOTV.
“I built the business from scratch – just me, a computer and three screens in a small room in east London,” he stated.
Since its launch in 2010, the business has grown and attracted up to $40 million in investment funding from foreign investors and venture capital investors.
The company serves as one of Africa’s largest internet TV providers, with a dedicated mobile app and iROKOtv channels on Sky in the UK and across Africa.
iROKOtv also produces its own original TV series and movies, as reported in Face 2 Face Africa.
“Starting a business, and getting some traction, is tough. Brutal. No doubt about that. But scaling and building, and seeing off incumbents, while juggling a team, investors, all the while trying to grow, it’s tougher still,” he told Africa Business Insight.