Red Media Africa/The Future Project
Media: A tool for National Development
Founders: Chude Jideonwo and Adebola Williams
Age of founder at start: 20 and 19
Background: Barrister/Medical practitioner
Year of foundation: 2005
Business Type: Online Media
Start-up Capital: Zero
Present staff strength: Over 70
Country present: Nigeria.
Listed amongst Forbes under 30 best entrepreneurs, Chude Jideonwo is one of Africa’s brightest minds from this generation.
Chude was admitted to study Law at the University of Lagos, emerging as the best student n land law and was subsequently called to bar in 2007. He later completed a Master’s degree programme in Media and Communications at the prestigious Lagos Business School.
Quiet paradoxical, Chude never wanted to be a journalist; his childhood plan was to be an accountant, yet he found himself working at different media houses from the age of 15. As a boy he knew a lot of TV and radio presenters and had the weird habit of reading newspapers.
“I should have known, I was a media person, but when you’re young you think everyone is like that.”
It all started on his first Tv job, which was live on Levi Ajuonuma’s show. He was been interviewed and Levi asked the viewers, “I think he’s a very smart, young man, should he have a segment?” and the crowd resounded an echoing Yes!!.
If he did not know how well he performed on that show, then the audience just confirmed it.
Luckily for Chude, his story was just evolving as the industry began to expand and he began to see more possibilities. Ever since then Chude has gone ahead to work in all forms of media platforms; print, online, TV, PR, Big Brother Nigeria, Mnet, Channels, New dawn, …..
On the Future Project Chude says
“I remember sitting down with a friend of mine Peju Adeniran at LUTH and we were talking about our visions and I told her I am passionate about young people
And when we were to do the Future Awards we postponed it like three times, we were just so afraid that we couldn’t pull it off without sponsorship, so it’s amazing that the first edition didn’t have any sponsor.
“Remember also that many of the major awards started that year, SMVA…, AMAA… and I think MAMA.. as well. That was the first time we heard that SoundCity did a red carpet at the Headies Awards.
So until then, the only way people were engaging with the youths was with boring conferences and seminars and we thought “What is the best way to inspire them?
Celebrity, glitz, drama would be better than a magazine or Tv show. An event would incorporate all of these elements.”
When Chude and Adebola began their journey, they started with zero capital, no computers or office space, the company wasn’t even registered. They only decided to grow organically (meet people, explain the service they can render, when they were hired they quickly re-invested back into their business. Today Red Media isn’t about Chude and Adebola; its now a group with three well established subsidiaries worth millions of dollars.
As our interview drew to a close, we asked if he has any advice for young Nigerians
“Firstly Nigerian youths must know that entrepreneurship isn’t for everybody. Running a business can be very tasking and demanding. It’s not just something one would rush into without thinking through to determine if you can withstand the challenges.
Entrepreneurship is about innovating and sometimes bringing into existence something that was not there before.
Let me at this point disagree with the notion that ‘Ideas rule the world’, for me it is only ‘well executed ideas that rule the world.’
Those willing to go into entrepreneurship should do so for the right reasons. Go into business because you’ve identified a problem you want to solve or because you want to add value, or you’re passionate about it.
‘Not because I don’t want to work for anyone’, for me that is not good enough reason and isn’t sustainable.
Lastly, it is not all businesses that need capital to start. If you don’t have the capital to start, you can re-access your chosen sector. Somehow there could be a way to start with what you have.” – Chude Jideonwo.
“How They Started – Innovative Nigerian Brands”
Written by Kachi Ogbonna
Reviewed by JOHN O.E For Hexavia.
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