Following the release of the teaser for the docu-drama ‘Is It Your Money?’, telling the story of Nigeria’s first female oil minister who is on the run from her country and on trial in the United Kingdom, Chude Jideonwo – director of the film and host of the viral talk show #WithChude – has announced the launch of, a niche streaming platform focused on mental, emotional and spiritual health.
“This is what we have spent the past three years working on,” Jideonwo, who was announced in June as the first Creative in Residence at the London School of Economics, said. “This is where the vision has been leading. It has been inspired over the past decade by my ‘mama’ with the Oprah Winfrey Network, but more practically it has been informed by the success that platforms like TheDailyWire+, and have had finding a niche that changes lives or transforms the culture and building a subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) platform around that, primarily driven by paid subscribers.” will house prestige content including the hit shows #withchude and #chudexplains, new shows like Japa!, and a pool of popular and critically acclaimed films and specials.
“Sponsors were always telling us they are afraid that we are too deep, and too risky to advertise,” he added. “Some platforms tell us they worry about ‘political risk’ for some of the stories we tell, and we should choose ‘softer’ themes. We don’t get any government patronage. Instead, I have put my faith completely in YOU, the viewer. You have become our lifeline. My lifeline.
“It really is time for truly independent, public interest media from Africa – that’s free from the influence of government, major streamers, advertisers, sponsors and even social media platforms who censor sensitive subjects depending on their biases. It is time to rely primarily on the audience; so that we can tell the stories others can’t tell because of all these gatekeepers.” will be driven by factual podcasts, documentaries, series and films from across Francophone and Anglophone Africa.
“To build a streaming business is not for the faint-hearted, and in this market streamers struggle,” Jideonwo said. “But we already disproved that Nigerians don’t pay for content, because they pay in the thousands for – they pay if they trust in and believe in a person or an idea. They trust us. They trust the Chude storytelling brand, and they connect with meaningful content. That’s the entry point – one piece of high-quality content at a time.
“We are the only independent video-first platform powered by paid subscriptions and memberships in the region for a reason. We have already built a powerful connection with audiences in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa, and Africans in Germany, the UK, Canada, and the US.
The streamer is in beta testing for selected viewers worldwide but will launch fully to the public on 1 August 2024.