Mary Remmy Njoku

Rising Through The Screen: Columning Mary Remmy Njoku

ROK, the award-winning Nigerian film studio, and entertainment viewed in Africa on DSTV’s Channel 168 and in the United Kingdom on Sky Channel 344 showcases original Nollywood content for the world to enjoy. Founded by actress and producer, Mary Remmy Njoku, the studio has produced 150 films and 13 original TV series. Mary Remmy Njoku has been acting since she was 17 years old and is now married to Jason Njoku, owner of IROKOtv, and they have 3 children together. Her acting career began with stage productions in her school days and due to encouragement from her mother she went on to acting on TV series.

Her role in BlackBerry Babes, she called “pivotal” to her career in an interview with PUNCH, but said her most difficult role would be her character in Festac Town because of how personal it was and her obsession with getting the character right. Some other iconic roles she has played are Hazeezat in the movie Hazeezat, Annie in Husbands of Lagos, Faith in Stranger in my Bed and Tochi in Single Ladies.

Mary Remmy Njoku revealed to The Cable Lifestyle that it was her long-time dream of being a storyteller that led to her transition from being solely an actress to adding production to her credentials. And she trod into the production world with the TV series Festac Town. This was after she overcame an unsupportive comment from a fellow actor who didn’t think she would make the transition from acting to producing and advised her to stick to acting. She proved him wrong as her studio has become extremely successful not just in Africa, but in Europe too.

This story, Festac Town, which was epic in terms of size and duration of production was a personal project that she had been working on for a long time, which she was determined to finish even though she was pregnant with her first child at the time. From there ROK has produced 12 other TV series which the station is majorly known for. Although, it’s movies are also acclaimed.

Her husband, Jason Njoku, is very proud of his wife’s success and did not mince his words in expressing so on through his Medium page. He described ROK as “the sanctuary to talent whom many others wouldn’t give a chance” when he praised his wife for her decision to focus on talent before anything. Even though his wife’s ROK is now ranking higher than IROKOtv, the CEO doesn’t mind and ends the article by saying “I will just have to play my position as Mrs. Njoku’s husband”.

Although, her channel is making waves Mary Remmy Njoku isn’t done yet. In an interview with The Cable Lifestyle, she states her plans to curate more content portraying the diverse Nigerian cultures and languages and introduce period dramas dating back to the 18th century. Though they will continue to make more original series as they are what the fans are dedicated to and she wouldn’t want to disappoint them.

The ultimate goal is to take ROK and Nollywood around the world – online, on TV and on airlines”, were her words and her husband, Jason Njoku, affirmed the reality of this in his article on the Medium, Content is King, where he said that ROK would be launching channels on DSTV and expanding to GOtv on the 5th of April. He also predicted that this expansion would increase ROK’s audience x10. The channels would be ROK — Contemporary New Nollywood DStv 168, ROK2 — Epic Movies and Series — DStv 169 / GOtv 17 and ROK3 — Ghanaian Movies and Series — DStv 164 / GOtv 18.

Mary Remmy Njoku tells stories that are relatable to compelling characters with the Africanness that Nollywood fans can relate to. She finds the process addictive and enjoys bringing to life characters that aid the escapism process that she believes is why people watch movies in the first place.

Her story of transitioning from being an actress to being a producer can be a source of inspiration. Her desire to tell beautiful stories was her drive and she didn’t let anyone, especially the critics, influence her thought to. Today she is CEO to ROK which is distributing Nollywood content worldwide and her productions are introducing new talents, be it actors, producers or directors. She is changing the Nollywood production scene and she is a true icon.

Written by Onyemaruchechi Kalu.

Adedayo Laketu

Adedayo Laketu is a creative inventor who's interested in curating a New Age for Africa across all mediums.

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