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IROKO AND CHILL

A YOUTUBE CHANNEL BROADCASTING LOW-BUDGET NIGERIAN FILMS HAS EVOLVED INTO A MEDIA EMPIRE

SEVEN YEARS ago, when Jason Njoku moved back in with his mother into their public housing apartment in Deptford, southeast London, he felt like a failure. He was 28 years old and broke after failing to launch several businesses in Britain. Then, one day, Njoku’s mother asked him to find her DVDs of some of her favorite Nigerian movies.

The first place he looked was the internet. Surprised to find no online catalog of movies from Nollywood, Nigeria’s hugely popular film industry, Njoku resorted to buying the few DVDs available from local businesses and asking Nigerian friends in the U.K. to fly caseloads of films back to London after visiting. But that experience sparked an idea— taking Nollywood movies from markets in Lagos and putting them on the web. “It didn’t make sense that something so popular seemed to have no online presence,” he says.

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About Newsweek International

THE ROBOT ECONOMY Next time you stop for gas at a self-serve pump, say hello to the robot in front of you. Its life story can tell you a lot about the robot economy roaring toward us like an EF5 tornado on the prairie. Yeah, your automated gas pump killed a lot of jobs over the years, but its biography might give you hope that the coming wave of automation driven by artificial intelligence (AI) will turn out better for almost all of us than a lot of people seem to think.
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