It's a game based on stacked wooden blocks that come tumbling down, if you're not careful.Î¾ In her book, About Jenga, Leslie Scott writes of her efforts to market this simple game.Î¾ She chronicles her adventures from the game's origin in Africa through its commercial success today.
"I'm third-generation East African.Î¾ I was born in Tanzania and grew up in Kenya.Î¾ We moved from East Africa to West Africa to Ghana, specifically, when I was just turning 18.Î¾ And I have a much younger brother, and in Ghana he was given a set of building blocks that were handmade.Î¾ I sort of played around with them and developed a game, which we just played within the family.Î¾ That game is what evolved into Jenga."Î¾
Bringing Jenga to market is a story of invention, branding and marketing.
"Gradually, over those years, having shown this game, there was a sort of accumulation of it wasn't a game that existed, it was a novel idea.Î¾ So I thought, 'right, well, I mean I started the business to put this game on the market.Î¾ I think you, I mean I kept it going, I think, because I believed in the game.Î¾ I mean, there was no doubt in my mind that everytime anybody played this game, they loved it.Î¾ It was very simple, they just had to see it.Î¾ I think that's what defines an entrepreneur is that you actually, you remain convinced that your product will make it, eventually."
Scott says it was hard-going in the beginning, owing banks and family members lots of money.Î¾ But she kept at it.Î¾ The game entered the market in 1983.Î¾ Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.