When it comes to entrepreneurship, there is much to learn from successful entrepreneurs who have paved the way before us. One such entrepreneur is Charles Okpaleke, the founder of Play Network Africa whose approach to reviving classic Nollywood movies is a prime example of how entrepreneurs can tap into nostalgia, adapt to changing trends, and maintain quality and consistency in their products and services.
Nollywood has always been a cultural phenomenon in Nigeria, and Charles Okpaleke’s Play Network Africa is at the forefront of the industry’s recent resurgence. The producer has acquired the intellectual property rights to numerous classic Nollywood movies, including “Rattle Snake,” “Nneka the Pretty Serpent,” “Diamond Ring”, “Glamour Girls,”, and “Living in Bondage”, “Karishika” and has since been creating remakes and sequels that appeal to both old and new audiences.
In an interview with BBC Igbo, Charles Okpaleke highlighted his concern about how many historical events as represented in Nollywood classics are being forgotten by successive generations of Nigerians. He also mentioned how he saw himself in the position to recreate them and maintain these titles because of the gap in history. He said, “If we don’t tell our stories, a generation will pass, and people won’t know that things like these happened.”
Entrepreneurs can learn seven(7) salient lessons from Charles Okpaleke’s strategy involving the acquisition of the intellectual property rights of old classic Nollywood movies.
1. Never underestimate the power of nostalgia
Nostalgia is a powerful tool that entrepreneurs can tap into when developing new products or services. Charles Okpaleke recognized this and leveraged the nostalgia of Nigerians who grew up watching classic Nollywood movies to create remakes and sequels that appeal to both old and new audiences. This approach has been successful in reviving interest in these classic movies and introducing them to a new generation of Nigerians.
2. Acquiring intellectual property rights is a valuable investment
Acquiring the rights to intellectual property can be a valuable investment for entrepreneurs. The filmmaker’s acquisition of the intellectual property rights to old Nollywood movies has enabled him to create new and exciting content while maintaining the essence of the classics. This strategy of investing in intellectual property rights can be applied to other industries, such as music, books, and software.
3. Trust your instincts
Okpaleke’s process of selecting which movies to remake is more instinctual than anything else. Entrepreneurs can learn from this approach of trusting their instincts and intuition when making business decisions. While data and analysis are important, sometimes a gut feeling can lead to a successful venture.
4. Be versatile and adapt to changing trends
The ability to adapt to changing trends and switch industries when necessary is a valuable lesson for entrepreneurs. Before venturing into Nollywood, the PlayNetwork Africa CEOO was involved in nightclubs, restaurants, hotels, and other smaller businesses within the entertainment industry. His ability to adapt to changing trends has enabled him to stay relevant and successful in the highly competitive entertainment industry.
5. Integrate your brand essence into your products
Charles Okpaleke has successfully integrated the essence of Play Network, which is lifestyle networking, into his remakes and sequels. Entrepreneurs can learn from this strategy of integrating their brand essence into their products and services. This can help create a cohesive and recognizable brand that resonates with customers.
6. Collaborate and partner with other brands
Collaborating with other brands can lead to innovative products and services that can benefit both parties. Okpaleke collaborated with Blueportal Software to develop the ‘Epic Run’ game, featuring Aki and Pawpaw. This game is a great example of how entrepreneurs can partner with other brands to create new and exciting products that appeal to a wider audience.
Say hello to the first Nollywood game app!!! Aki and Pawpaw Epic Run
A Play Network Studios initiative pic.twitter.com/qMOvMdeW7Y
— Charles Okpaleke (@charlesofplay) April 27, 2023
7. Maintain quality and consistency
Maintaining quality and consistency in your products and services is crucial for building a successful brand. Okpaleke’s remakes and sequels have been successful due in part to their quality and consistency. Entrepreneurs can learn from this strategy and apply it to their own businesses to keep customers coming back.
To wrap up, Charles Okpaleke’s strategy of acquiring the intellectual property rights of classic Nollywood movies and remaking them has been a successful venture. His concern for the preservation of historical events in Nigeria and his instinctive selection of stories that align with his brand’s essence has resulted in numerous blockbuster hits. His ability to diversify into gaming and the acquisition of the Aki and Pawpaw brands further demonstrates his entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to take risks.