Iroko TV Boss’ Dad Shows Up 33 Yrs After

By IAfrica
In Nigeria News Feed
Feb 26th, 2014

Jason Njoku

Funsho Arogundade

For 33 years and two months, Jason Chukwuma Njoku, Nigerian internet tycoon and founder of highly successful online television platform, IROKO TV, has lived without knowing his biological father. But last week, the young tech entrepreneur went on the Twitter to announce an attempt by his absentee dad to reunite with him after more than three decades of abandonment.

Jason Njoku

Jason Njoku

“After 33-years. Having never met the man. My dad is now calling trying to have a conversation. #nothavingit,” Njoku tweeted via his Twitterhandle @JasonNjoku.

Although Njoku has kept the name of his estranged dad to himself, he is not too keen to accept the man.

P.M.NEWS learnt that Njoku, excited by the growth of his seven-month old son, Jason Jnr., from his Nollywood actress wife, Mary Remmy, and pained by the void of not having such father figure, has shifted to his blog to pour out his emotions as well as post his views on “Fatherhood and Success”.

“So my son is now 6.5 months old. He is easily my greatest work. My family beyond ALL the success in business remains the most important thing I have achieved. Only those from a ‘broken’ home can truly understand that. A happy family is the ultimate sign of success,” Njoku stated.

He added: “To be honest I haven’t really started truly understanding what it is to be a father. Currently I am just muddling through. I haven’t met my father before. Ever. So it’s all on the job training. So as you can imagine, I was surprised that after 33.2 years my own father decided it was time to reach out. Time to have a chat. Time to connect. Success has many fathers. Failure has none. #nothavingit.”

Njoku was born in Britain and raised by his single mother in a council flat in southeast London. He left London to study Chemistry at the University of Manchester, where he met and shared a flat with Bastian Gotter, a classmate from Germany who later partnered him to set up IROKO TV.

After graduating in 2005 and several failed business attempts in the world of online media, he moved back home (Nigeria) with his mother in 2010 at the age of 29.

While at home, he observed his mopther’s love of watching Nollywood films. A search for a reliable source of films online yielded nothing, and so the idea to stream Nollywood films online was born.

He launched a website called “Nollywood Love” and struck a content partnership with YouTube, which hosted his streams and inserted commercials into them, giving Njoku a murkily defined cut of the ad revenue.

But Njoku, who was recently named one of the Most Creative People In Business 1000: #MCP1000 by Fast Company, is poised to turn his Lagos-based startup into the Netflix for Nollywood, Nigeria’s movie industry, which is the largest in the world measured by number of releases.

In 2012, the company launched IROKO TV, a platform to stream Nollywood movies. The site has recorded over 800,000 registered users and today, 14 million hours of movies have been watched in 178 countries around the world. It has over 110 employees in offices in Lagos, London and New York.

In the same year, Forbes Africa named Njoku as one of Africa’s Top Young Millionaires to watch. He has also been named as one of London’s Top Black Men of Power in Black Enterprise magazine.

This awesome success, P.M.NEWS learnt, got to his absentee father, who has been making overtures to his abandoned son and pleading for reconciliation.

“In so many ways, I relate with Jason Njoku’s background including the absence of a father in the home and its impact, psychologically, on children…For thirty-three years, this man was no where to be found. Now, after the world begins talking about his son, he shows up. If you are in Jason’s shoes, would you let your father back into your life?” asked Uduak Oduok, an Attorney and Partner at the US Law firm of Ebitu Law Group.

“This is a young man who through dint of hardwork has transformed himself from a nobody to media mogul and suddenly the father surfaces and wants to share in his success without contributing to his moral and academic upbringing. That man deserves no attention. Jason should be careful,” a man called Olakunle Makinde warned.

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