Kennedy Okonkwo’s father, a former soldier who had fallen into poverty after his military service, died when he was 16 years old. His father’s death caused him immense suffering because he was his lone provider and supporter of his studies.
The fact that his family was evicted from their house in Nigeria’s Lagos state was even more sad. According to Business Elites Africa, Okonkwo resorted to sleeping under Lagos’ iconic Ikeja Bridge because he had nowhere else to call home.
However, Okonkwo’s chain of misfortunes did not lead to his death.
To him, aiming for success was a challenge. According to him, the difficulties he faced motivated him to pursue gold.
“I thought I was going to be a wonderful man since the challenges I endured helped me grow.” He told Business Elites Africa, “The heaviest of the fire formed the best of steel.”
Okonkwo was still able to fund his university study, and he graduated from the University of Ibadan. He began his career as a marketing for a telecommunications company while also working as a real estate consultant on the side.
He discovered real estate to be lucrative after breaking many transactions in the sector, which happened to coincide with the major property boom in Oniru, Lagos. As a first step into the real estate sector, he developed four self-contained room and parlor apartments.
His confidence in venturing into future real estate businesses was strengthened by the success of his first real estate project. He went on to start Nedcomoaks Property and buy other property chains around Lagos.
The firm now focuses on providing luxury housing schemes for Lagos’ working middle class. Okonkwo is responsible for the completion of Victoria Bay 3, a housing development with 587 units.
As of 2018, his company had a revenue of more than $35 million. It now has over a thousand people working for it. In addition to Nedcomoaks Property, the real estate entrepreneur built Victoria Crest Homes, which he passed over to his wife after standing down as CEO.
Many honors have been bestowed upon him as a result of his real estate accomplishment. In 2017, he was selected African Business Personality of the Year, and Forbes Africa profiled him. According to him, public-private partnerships can help Nigeria’s housing crisis.
“Financing Africa’s infrastructure deficit would require collective innovation from both the public and private sectors,” stated the forward-thinking real estate mogul.