American Afro-Filipino Youtuber, Jon “AJ” Akoko is a prime example of someone who lost everything and had to build themself back from the ground up. Having grown up without a father after he left to marry someone else, he was raised by a single mother who worked day and night to make ends meet. There was a point in his life where he thought he would never amount to anything in life. He didn’t have a role model to look up to and in a situation like that, he lost hope easily.
As it happened, he realized quickly that he had no one to have his back but himself, and that he would have to stand up on his own two feet not only for himself but also for his mother and younger brothers. He dabbled in multiple things and ultimately threw himself into something that he realized he had a passion for, the entertainment industry. He started going by his name “AJ” and the “Black-a-Pino”, a portmanteau for ‘black’ and ‘Filipino’ as he is biracial.
If we talk about his path to the small screen, it was not one without trials and tribulations. Having no proper connections, he made it all on his owns by getting through auditions purely based on his talent. AJ worked day and night on becoming the best actor that he could be, but that’s not all that he did. While he was working on making his mark, he was also a student in college.
Once he started getting roles for films, series, and commercials, it started to be evident to him that college was only dragging him down. He came to terms with the fact that he was much better off learning things on his own. In today’s world where degrees mean everything and the college you went to serves as a status symbol, this step was nothing short of courageous. It took some hesitation, but AJ eventually took the leap of faith and left college to fully dedicate himself to his passion and talent. His film and series credits are impressive and include Richie RIch (2015), Confessions of a Teenage Satanist (2019) and the very latest is a short film called “Broken Boy” (2020), and many more. All his credits are IMDb verified.
From here on, he not only worked in front of the cameras acting and modeling but also worked behind the scenes. The more exposure he got, the more people noticed how polished and immaculate his self taught skills were. AJ landed a job at Apple Inc. as a stay-at-home Tech Advisor. This served as a large boost to his career because after his time spent at Apple Inc., he immediately got a job offer from Google. Where he worked on the Google Street View and Arts and Culture Team. That gave him the chance to travel to various cities nationwide to capture 3D imagery for Google Maps.
AJ grew up as a happy-go-lucky, energetic kid that everyone adored, but he had his fair share of tribulations. When asked about the times that he thought were the hardest on him, he mentions in one of his very first YouTube videos that he suffered a bad break up after which he hit rock-bottom and ended up having to live out of his mini Cooper for a few months. He says that he learned patience and hard work during that time of his life, but he knew that he would never want to go back to that. With a newfound passion for hard work and to make his mark in life, he started working harder than he ever had.
Now, AJ runs his own YouTube channel “AJAkoko” that he started after a lot of consideration and an in-depth study of how to put out quality content that expressed who he is. In just a month, he has gathered a whopping 5000 subscribers and around 200,000 views on less than ten videos. This clearly shows his potential to be one of the best content creators of his time.
Aj is constantly raising the bar for content creation and high-quality content. He is definitely one to look out for.