ROK studios is iROKOtv’s movie production division that launched last year. With a fair number of titles under its belt, the studio appears to have begun work on animated series for children.
Jason Njoku, iROKOtv CEO first hinted at this on Twitter a few days ago.
— JasonNjoku (@JasonNjoku) December 5, 2015
He confirmed it when we reached out to him, though he seems to be playing more of an observer role in the project.
“Its my wife’s efforts from ROK studios. So I am just a supporting observer,” Jason told TechCabal.
ROK Studios, headed by Mary Njoku, a former actress and Jason’s wife is working on an animated series; Lola and Friends. This is will probably be the the first in a line of series that will form ROK’s children focused content division.
His tweet was in response to an earlier observation made by Victor Asemota on the dearth of locally developed TV apps and content in Africa; with focus on entertainment content for children.
Africa is really lagging when it comes to TV apps and content. My son loves Indian YouTube Channel "ChuChuTV" now they have an app on Amazon
— Victor Asemota (@asemota) December 5, 2015
Children in Africa (who are lucky to have access to TV) generally grow up on content developed outside of the continent. To speak to a familiar turf; growing up in 90s Nigeria, was to binge on VeggieTales, Tom and Jerry, Sesame Street, and other animated series developed mostly in the US.
Very little has been added over time to balance out content from outside of the continent. Though a couple outfits pitched in at the turn of the millennium, most efforts have been plagued by sub-par production and inconsistency. Although, a few stand out. The KKB Show (though not animated) was fun to watch for the 12 year old me.
This bit from ROK studios looks like it will make a sizeable tilt on that scale.
“My market data are my two young children. They are 3 months and 2.5 years. They are obsessed with kids tv shows. Specifically Disney Junior. So they got me interested in the mechanics and market for this,” Jason says about the start of the idea.
We don’t know what the series will to look like when it debuts – perhaps it’ll be an educational series, entertainment series or a combination of both. But if the promo poster is anything to go by, this should compete favourably with children-focused content from the US, India and the UK. With iROKOtv’s deep distribution links, I don’t imagine Lola and Friends will be short of eyeballs. The challenge would be keeping those eyeballs.
The team behind the series is “building the characters and storylines,” Jason tells us. A probable launch date for the series is early 2016.