Jason Njoku Versus Lordbanks, Uncensored [Audio]

While he’s no Dave McClure, Jason Njoku is quite prolific with the F and S words. Five minutes into our tete a tete at the Brazzerie during MWWA, I could swear the air around the lunch table where I was seated across him had turned blue.

Spend thirty minutes in Jason’s company, and you’ll likely become a veritable sailor. The people huddled around us, listening in on our interview didn’t see to mind though. All part of the fun for them, it was.

I wasn’t here for fun however. I was trying to get into the mind of by far the most controversial internetpreneur in the country. In Africa for good measure. A newly minted media mogul who is as annoying as he is rich.

So I asked him a number of questions. Like how is it that he can reconcile his stated desire to inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs with his notorious penchant for bashing them at the same time? And while he might have earned the right to gloat, are there any accepted boundaries of civility, after which it just becomes hubris? How can he revel in awe and resentment at the same time? And lastly, in case I missed it, why does he insist on being an infuriating douchebag?

20 minutes later, which is the length of our recorded conversation (lots more was said off the record), I still have no idea. Listen and see if you do. Jason owns up to everything, apologises for nothing, and if you don’t like him, well, *insert invective*. That’s just the way he is — the player that everyone hates, but whom they still got to admit knows how to play the game pretty damn well.

This interview is uncensored. The language ranges from PG to NSFW, depending on your level of sensibility to these things. Fortunately…or unfortunately…some of the crasser aspects of the conversation didn’t make it onto the tape. Like at the beginning where I asked if he was okay with people thinking him an asshole, to which he replied, deadpan – “I AM an asshole”.

I agree.

3 Comments

  • Great interview! I think you really drew out why Jason acts the way he does. I think Jason was spot on when he said:

    “Their is something worse than the whole world hating you… the whole world ignoring you.” ~Jason

    Which reminded me of something:

    “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” ~Gandhi

    Bet you never thought about Jason in the context of Gandhi 🙂

    Jason, though brash, seems to have his heart in making Nigeria’s tech scene mean something (even if he has to headbutt everyone to do it). I get the feeling he feels like he is dragging around a man that can walk, but chooses not to.

    Business is war. Diplomacy is just war without weapons. It sounds like Nigeria is still in the hand-to-hand combat phase like the Silicon Valley of 30 years ago. All that means is that every “unstructured” man (to quote Jason) in Lagos has a once in a lifetime opportunity to create something wonderful, while having 30 years of examples of what not to do available.

    The sad truth is that successful tech founders are often assholes. The good news is that they don’t have to be. There was a great post at the WSJ about this titled “Successful CEOs Don’t Have to Be Jerks”.

    Keep up the good work! And if you think Jason is wrong, get out there and prove it!

  • fingersfingers says:

    Well said @twitter-45940076:disqus. Most tech founders tend to be jerks but they really don’t need to. Eg. Evan Spiegel. (Snapchat)

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