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weike and pc 320x320Weike started his business just over a year ago after spotting a gap in the market. Africa X5 is an online TV channel that showcases the very best talent and upcoming trends in Africa.
How did you hear about the London Youth Support Trust?
A friend recommended me, and then I met Cliff who set me up.
Why did you start your business?  
“I wanted to become financially independent, to create opportunities, advertise and showcase Africa”.

Our main aim is the rebranding of Africa through Entertainment. The media has always portrayed a negative image of Africa, so I decided to make a change as well as finding and sharing good entertainment content. But then we ran out of content to share as there were so few, so we are now working on creating our own content. So far the platform has gone from 15k monthly hits to 3.5m a week in a short space of time with an audience from 21 – 35yr old.

Weike and he’s team are online constantly, surfing every minute of the day for new videos and trends. He realised there was a gap in the market, “All day I’d look for music videos and trend-setting talent of Africa, but I couldn’t find enough. That’s when I realised I could create a platform so people can discover new talent.”

Before Weike started his business, he was a media and sports mentor at St Thomas Moore, a school in Haringey. He has since been able to offer many pupils work experience in his business and now works with colleges and schools in North London.

“My students will come in and I’ll train them to be able to write a script and produce it. They’re currently out there right now in Tottenham, making a film with my equipment!” As well as learning transferable and creative skills, Weike takes his training team to film professional, most recently, at the Oscars, where he took his students and interviewed 12 Years a Slave actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, and James Bonds Action Girl Naomie Harris.

“I’ve recently taken on a great student who has helped boost our website views. I gave him filming and editing training and now he creates content for the platform and is ready to teach other students and has moved on to controlling larger content on the website.”

Weike’s top tip as an entrepreneur: Be creative. “If you don’t have the capital to achieve your goals, you have to be innovative.” Africa X5 TV was recently a media sponsor of Screen Nation Film and TV Awards a few weeks ago. He contacted them, offering them a free film crew if they were labelled a sponsor. Screen Nation agreed, and Weike’s business jumped forward into the spotlight.

 

What is it like to work in the 639 centre?
“Working in the 639 Enterprise Centre is great. It’s a creative hub, there are individuals from all different industries working together. You get tips and advice from your neighbours, and have access to all their services. If I need printed T-Shirts, I knock on the door next to me. If I need original African music, I go upstairs. Downstairs a fashion designer needs a promotional film shoot, and we’re doing it for her. The creative environment really is beneficial to everyone.”
“The great thing about renting a studio in 639 is having my own space. If I worked from home I wouldn’t be putting in nearly as much into my business. I come to work and I can separate the personal and professional.
Since being here, I’ve developed as an entrepreneur, learning how to speak about my business and present it. Before I was just a start up and didn’t really have a definition.”
What difference has LYST made to your business?

“LYST has placed a structure into my business. Before, for the first few months, I would work without an action plan or specific targets. Now I work to daily targets, and set them for my work experience students as well.

Also, the networking events are really useful. At the last event, I met Nigel Wells from RWD magazine, an ex-LYST business. He introduced me to Hootsuite, a great tool that allows you to use Social Media effectively, this helped us with time management as now we schedule all our weekly social platforms, and concentrate more on content producing .”

What are the plans for your business?
I would like to expand team and bring people in with different expertise. I’d also like to expand into another studio space in Lagos, Nigeria, which is the trend-setting capital of entertainment, lifestyle and fashion in Africa.

Follow their Journey at www.africax5.tv  | Instagram @africax5 | Twitter @africax5