User Review( votes)
Mary Njoku; the most important person in Nollywood
Mary Njoku (also known as Mary Remmy or Mary Remmy Njoku, born March 20, 1985) is a Nigerian actress and film producer. She is also the CEO of Rok Studios, a film production studio in Nigeria. She produced and starred in ‘Thy Will be Done’, ‘Husbands of Lagos’; starred and directed ‘Single Ladies’ and ‘Festac Town’.
An old aphorism has it that; “behind a successful man, there’s a woman”
The above-mentioned adage cannot be established with certainty to be true these days in the lives of ‘Android generation girls’ and women who only want to slay. Most women these days are preoccupied moving from one make-up parlor to another, giving all their attention to the length of their eyelashes and wigs. Using filters on their phones for pictures on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat.
Mary Njoku is the exact opposite of these gossip mongers who pose as slay queens! Mary is always brainstorming, digging deep into her creative imagination to produce either a movie that will be aired on Irokotv or coming up with a project that will impact the lives of Africans. She’s the founder of ROK studios—a movie production house that takes credit for the production of movies like: ‘Hazeezat’, ‘Thy Will Be Done’, ‘A Northern Affair’ and many other movies. Rok Studios has also produced over 15 TV series, most of which are the brainchildren of Mary Njoku.
As opposed to slay queens who could be likened to parasites, Mary Njokwu is an epitome of a strong and supportive woman—the very pillar on which her husband–Jason Njoku leans on!
Jason Njoku is a British born Nigerian technopreneur, the founder of the most established African movie streaming platform ‘Iroko TV’.
Iroko TV was launched on the 1st of December 2011. We cannot tell the success story of this great platform without mentioning the name ‘Mary Njoku’. A platform like Iroko TV is nothing without content, and content in this context is the movies, and TV series that are aired on Iroko TV. As the chief content officer of Iroko partners, Mary has created TV series like: ‘Single Ladies’, ‘Husband of Lagos’, ‘Onjokwu’ among others.
To fully understand the role she played and contributed in the success story of Jason Njokwu, it’s imperative for us to take a peep into Jason’s life before their marriage on the 18th of August 2012.
As typical with every successful man, Jason never gave up despite his numerous failed attempts on several other business ventures! Between 2005 and 2010, Njokwu invested his time, money and human resources in a blogging network, a web design company, and a T-shirt business. After experiencing great failures in the above-mentioned ventures, he decided to move into his mother’s house in Deptford, South-East London. There at his mother’s house, he conceived the idea to start-up a Nollywood online movie distribution platform. He succeeded in procuring financial assistance from his best friend ‘Bastian Gotter’ and flew to Festac, Lagos, Nigeria where he rented a two-bedroom apartment.
In his two-bedroom apartment, the mighty Iroko TV platforms were created! A question worth is: What is Iroko TV without content?
When Jason Njokwu met Mary in February 2011, he boasted to her that he was going to be the most important person in Nollywood. He was so positive about the growth of his new baby ‘Iroko TV’, but how sustainable would the growth of the platform be without the contents created by Mary Njokwu? If Iroko TV was dependent solely on content from other sources, giving the ever-increasing cost of licenses, the platform wouldn’t have emerged to become the ‘netflix’ of Africa.
As we emerged from the content wars of 2013, one thing became obvious. License costs going from $2.5–5k to $20-25k per movie in 6 months, for the same content rights, was unsustainable at best. Lethal to our long term ambitions at worst. See the thing with content is that over the last 100 years, the price has only ever gone in one direction. Up, up and up! Example; in 2008 Netflix paid Starz $30m/year for 1,000 movies. A decade later they will spend $5B/year content for a similar amount of content. Jason Njokwu
Jason Njokwu wanted to be the most important person in Nollywood, but Mary helped him attained a greater status:
In July 2012, he was cited by Forbes Africa as one of the ‘Ten Young African Millionaires to Watch’.
On 29 August 2013, Njoku was named as the CNBC All Africa Business Awards Young Leader of the Year for West Africa. He has also been named as one of Fast Company’s Top 1000 Most Creative People in Business. And he is also estimated to have a net worth of $40M.
Despite all his achievements, he’s strongly convicted that, the most important person in Nollywood today is his wife Mary Njokwu.
In the sequel of this post, we shall bring to light reasons why Mary Njoku is the most important person in Nollywood at the moment.
Davis E Tabot for Iyunade Blog