When 36-year-old Nigerian entrepreneur Jason Njoku talks about embracing failure, he is speaking from experience. He had 10 start-up dead ends before co-founding iROKOtv in 2010 in an apartment in Lagos. He looks back at them as blessings in disguise.
“I have the inner confidence to walk away from the crowd and chart my own course because whatever I go through is nothing compared to what I went through then, in what I call my ‘dark days’,” he smiles. Those ill-fated ventures — a T-shirt company, a student magazine, another title aimed at twentysomethings — meant he spent more time than he would have liked living in his mum’s basement in London.
“I didn’t have a girlfriend for eight years,” he says, explaining that although he was living in the UK, he knew he wanted a Nigerian partner, and that prospects for marriage were slim while he was poor.