Thursday, 21 February 2013

Jason Njoku at TEDxEuston 2012 - Failing all the way to success!

A Chemistry graduate, he rose from treading the streets of south London for Nollywood movies for relatives to  leading  a company that is now the largest distributor of Nollywood movies online. Last year, IROKO TV secured $8 million dollars in funding from US based Hedge Fund Tiger Global. His  TEDxEuston 2012 talk challenges the conventional wisdom of eschewing failure. Coming from a highly successful man, this sounds rather paradoxical but his invitation to embrace failure is compelling and powerful.

Listen to his amazing, powerful talk here

Jason Njoku , is a Nigerian internet entrepreneur, and is CEO and founder of Iroko partners, the largest distributor of Nigerian music and movies online. Jason studied at the University of Manchester and grew up in the UK. Most Nigerians enjoy watching Nollywood movies; however accessing these movies is not easy. Recognising the increased demand and the limited access to quality, legal movies online, Jason moved to Lagos to start Iroko Partners with the aim of bringing Nigerian entertainment online. The website was launched in December 2011, and by the end of the year had received 152 million views with 90% of them outside Africa. Within 18 months the company has grown with offices in Lagos, London and recently New York. While Jason plans for iROKOtv to be the Netflix of Africa, the new service, Iroking launched earlier this year, and aims to be the African “Spotify”. Jason’s vision was shared by US Based Hedge Fund Tiger Global as he has recently secured $ 8 million in funding from the firm. It is exciting times for Nollywood and Afrobeat music, with the Nollywood veteran Genevieve Nnaji cast in the film adaptation of the acclaimed novel Half of a Yellow Sun, and Dbanj joining Kanye West’s label GOOD Music. Jason’s product has arrived at the right time, and will unite African’s worldwide to enjoy African entertainment.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Albie Sachs at TEDxEuston 2012 - The soft vengeance of a freedom fighter

“There is only one vengeance that can assuage the loss of my arm, and it is a historical one: victory of our ideals.” 
Those are the words of Albie Sachs who lost an arm and an eye to a bomb planted by security forces frustrated by his fight for his ideals: a world where all men are equal. His TEDxEuston 2012 talk challenges the conventional wisdom of how we look at vengeance.  It is not hard, like rock. Vengeance, in his words, is 'soft.'   It is something we seek not to satisfy our personal quest for revenge, but it is rather a quest for change.

He moved 600 people to tears with his incredible personal story. 

Find out his talk HERE

On turning six, during World War II, Albie Sachs received a card from his father expressing the wish that he would grow up to be a soldier in the fight for liberation. His career in human rights activism started at the age of seventeen, when as a second year law student at the University of Cape Town, he took part in the Defiance of Unjust Laws Campaign. Three years later he attended the Congress of the People at Kliptown where the Freedom Charter was adopted. He started practice as an advocate at the Cape Bar aged 21. The bulk of his work involved defending people charged under racist statutes and repressive security laws. Many faced the death sentence. He himself was raided by the security police, subjected to banning orders restricting his movement and eventually placed in solitary confinement without trial for two prolonged spells of detention. In 1966 he went into exile. After spending eleven years studying and teaching law in England he worked for a further eleven years in Mozambique as law professor and legal researcher. In 1988 he was blown up by a bomb placed in his car in Maputo by South African security agents, losing an arm and the sight of an eye. During the 1980s working closely with Oliver Tambo, leader of the ANC in exile, he helped draft the organisation's Code of Conduct, as well as its statutes. After recovering from the bomb he devoted himself full-time to preparations for a new democratic Constitution for South Africa. In 1990 he returned home and as a member of the Constitutional Committee and the National Executive of the ANC took an active part in the negotiations which led to South Africa becoming a constitutional democracy. After the first democratic election in 1994 he was appointed by President Nelson Mandela to serve on the newly established Constitutional Court. During his fifteen years on the Court he and his colleagues produced a number of pioneering decisions on advancing human rights in contemporary Africa. He has since travelled to many countries sharing South African experience in healing divided societies. Right now he is serving for a year in Kenya as one of three foreign judges on a Vetting Board that is interviewing all the country’s judges and magistrates to decide if they are suitable to remain on the Bench.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Cobhams Asuquo at TEDxEuston 2012 - "The Gift of Blindness"

He reads Braille, is a musician, producer, and songwriter par excellence. Yet Cobhams Asuquo never trained as a musician. He has allegedly said that his music career began when as a child he used to puff his cheeks to play the 12-bar blues.  Today, he is known for producing some of the finest artistes in Nigeria, including the sensation, Asa, whose 2007 debut album was an international hit, and Bez, an emerging star in the Nigerian music scene. Born in 1981, he has not let his age or his disability get in the way of every dream he has ever had. His middle name ought to be INSPIRATIONAL.In his compelling talk – he says;”One of the things that has fueled my ability to dream has been the gift of blindness”. The “gift of blindness”?. How can that be? This might sound paradoxical…but that is what the event was all about – challenging conventional wisdom. Listen to Cobhams’ talk and be inspired.

 Watch his amazing talk at TEDxEuston 2012 HERE

Cobhams Asuquo is a singer/songwriter/music producer and music entrepreneur. After graduating from the Pacelli School for the Blind and King’s College Lagos, he started his professional training as a lawyer, but later branched out into music full-time to fulfill a lifelong desire. While working with a Nigerian music label as an in-house producer, he gained a unique insight into the local music scene. He saw the opportunities and challenges within the industry with a vision to develop an entrepreneurial platform from which to drive the industry forward. Today he is the founder and chief executive officer of Cobhams Asuquo Music Productions (CAMP). He gained international attention for producing and co-writing ‘Asa’, the debut self-titled album for the acclaimed soul singer. He was recently featured on CNN’s African Voicesfor his contribution and impact on the African music industry. Rising alternative soul artiste, Bez is the first of three artistes signed by Cobhams to the C.A.M.P record label, and Bez’s debut album ‘Super Sun’ was highlighted on The Boston Globe’s top ten list of best ‘world music’ albums of 2011. He has won several awards in the music and film scene in Africa and beyond.