My first experience in TV was an internship where I made tea and researched on a @BBC show called "Watchdog" hosted by Anne Robinson who is also known as the presenter for "The Weakest Link". Everyone liked my passion and zeal so after my internship I asked the directors if it was alright to watch them edit in the evenings as they put the stories together, that way I can learn and get mentored in the process. Fast forward, I'm the guy who made tea at BBC, worked at a clothes store re: saved enough money to buy my first camera and adobe premiere software to train myself how to edit by working or collaborating for free on any production who was willingly to give me the opportunity. My goal was to develop my craft and create a reel. I got a couple of paid jobs which then led me re: securing a job producing and directing full time at ITV based off the Showreel. That was self funded! My time at one of the UK's largest networks ITV taught me a whole lot about making commercial TV shows and working with on-screen talent. It inspired me to branch out and spearhead my own shows. I went on from there to executive produce and raised capital for a TV series (World B Boy Championship) with a budget of 1.2 million pounds filmed in over 13 countries with a grand finale at Wembley Stadium hosted by LL Cool J. All these amazing experiences led me to self distribute my work at the Cannes and sold to different TV networks covering New Zealand landscape. I was honoured to direct music videos with Grammy nominated artists Estelle Darlings, Mobb Deep and The Clipse. Later, I co-founded and ran a urban youth lifestyle TV channel that employed over 90 people whilst liaising with film companies like Sony Pictures and Paramount Studios. Being a young entrepreneur with various projected visions I have always had the desire to see my work positively influencing different continent! Therefore, Africa became my next hotspot; so ifactorylive was founded as a full service production, distribution and management firm working with the continent’s biggest media platforms like Multichoice Group, Showmax, Startimes Nigeria, CANAL+, Fox Life Africa, DSTV Ghana and award winning talents like Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Joselyn Dumas, Anita M. V. Erskine, Anita Ifeoma Hughes, Dentaa Amoateng MBE. With global ambitions for my African business, I believed in investing in myself and wellness. Therefore, I applied and got accepted into the Harvard Business School Executive Education program: focus in Business of Sports and Entertainment taught by Professor Anita Elberse that had notable celebrities like Ciara, Katie Holmes attending!!
How did the idea for your business come about?
While travelling across the African continent sourcing TV programming re: to sell to networks in the UK. I noticed that the quality of some of the shows and films being made in the continent at that time was restricting these stories from travelling outside of their respective countries yet alone the continent. I saw an opportunity to create TV shows of a higher standard hosted by African women or women of African descent as a core focus of the production.
Per my earlier introduction, that is why I ended setting up a company in Africa which managed talents. Through persistent and consistent work, Nollywood icon Omotola Ekiende became Time 100 most influential in the world. Furthermore, I created African’s biggest TV shows hosted by African women re: a huge personal passion of mine. Making Of A Mogul with Anita Erskine, @ Home with Joselyn Dumas, Omotola The
Real Me, Jim Iyke Unscripted, Cooking with Omaliicha. I am grateful to have also produced a music documentary called Africa Rising featuring Tiwa
Savage, Davido, Sarkodie, Diamond. With that being said, my way if giving back was to assist producers distributing programs and films on their behalf while assisting them much needed financing for their projects!
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
Setting up a Pan African business in an emerging market has alot of nuances as many systems are. However being strategic and learning to be prudent along with perseverance enabled me to survive
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
I'm currently reading "Produced by faith" by Devon Franklin. I think and believe is a real good book to read. It’s about staying persistently focused while incorporating your faith into your business. This isn’t a book but its a movie I strongly recommend every entrepreneur to
watch "In The Pursuit Of Happyness" starring Will Smith
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
I've been blessed to have a supportive family and friends who created a conducive environment for my talent to shine and entrepreneurial
pursuits to develop. These words of encouragement are so important when you are running a business - "Keep going" and "We believe in you" . When you have people like this around you giving you a reality check, that makes a huge difference.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
I believed 100% in the gift God Almighty entrusted to me, while putting 200% effort and consistency in my work regardless of the circumstances or obstacles. That in fact motivates my team to do the same.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
I believed working 24/7 was the only way forward. I take time out now every Sunday to fast and pray. This might not work for everyone but I
will advise that – please, its ok to take time out to assess re evaluate, re charge.
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
-You can dwell on all the reasons you shouldn't do something or why it's harder for you. Or you can just go out and do it.
-Key points one should take away from this part of my journey is - don’t despise humble beginnings.
-Invest in yourself - buying my own camera, working for free to create a Showreel and most importantly divine intervention got me the job at ITV.
-Put the work in and don’t give up - trails and tribulations will come but stay grounded!