Over time, I have wondered why IROKO Partners has been absent at certain events that seemed like it would be a good brand fit for their target demographic. This recent post by Jason Njoku (Co-founder and Executive) where he reveals the disappearance of $90,000 he contributed to Efe Omoregbe’s United Sounds of Africa might explain it all.
If you missed my views on the United Sounds of Africa Show, read all about it below:
EMBRACING FAILURE by Jason Njoku
“A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.” – John Burroughs
Nigerians are terrible at embracing failure. There is always an existential explanation. There are always mitigating circumstances. Being the spiritual society we are, the excuses are usually grounded in some religious context. God’s will. The devil’s work. The Government. But failure is actually a super healthy part of the startup ecosystem. The more attempts and failures teams take the more battle-hardened they will be for the eventual climb to success. I have the utmost respect for frustration, failure and the unyielding will to succeed. I believe entrepreneurs are forged in fire. Its one of the most redeeming features I look for in founders. I failed 10 times over 5 years before discovering something which worked.
Allocating blame is easy. Accepting failure is something completely different. The more highly educated or successful your supposed peers are, the more exponentially difficult this act becomes. Nigerians can pretend there are ways out of anything. The smarter ones even better. As difficult as an act may be, honesty in our failures are good things. The wider discussion around this is important because everyone fails. iROKO has been a tale of a thousand failures. A thousand mistakes. But we have had a thousand and one small success’. And fortunate enough to have patient investors who are willing to be super-doopa supportive. Even after $13M raised and pre our last $8M round, we still made relatively costly mistakes. All of which are ultimately my fault, my responsibility. Examples
* Lost ~$90,000 on sponsoring the cancelled Tuface USA tour. Literally $90,000 disappeared. Poof. It was like magic. . .”
Jason.com.ng has the full story.
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