For remaining resilient in spite of life early bashings; for resolutely overcoming tough challenges which faced him from infancy; for building global brands from almost nothing, GEORGE OBINWANNE OKEKE is The AUTHORITY ICON
Born on 9th November, 1987, at Ukpor in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State, Obinwanne George Okeke, is one of the youngest Nigerian entrepreneurs classified as an optimist self-made millionaire from the ghetto.
He is the founder of Invictus Group, named after one of the late Dr. Nelson Mandela’s poems. At age 18, he had already run and closed many businesses, but he didn’t give up because he had over time harnessed the drive to succeed, which enabled him to persevere amidst the odds.
Just like several Nigerian youths, he did not have the privilege of enjoying life’s luxuries like those ‘golden spoon’ children whose father had been this or that, and so, would idle away while fortune smiles at them or they were pushed around by their parents or benefactors of their parents.
Being the 17th child of a polygamous family, his mother having worked as a village school teacher, he enrolled to a boarding school at the age of 10, but before the age of 16, his father had passed on. And so, this propelled him to take his destiny in his own hands and so, moved in with one of his relatives, to be able to survive.
At age 13, Obinwanne came across a book by Brian Tracy titled “The 21 Success Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires”, and the inspiration he gathered from this book spurred him to stardom, having chosen to become an entrepreneur.
Inspire of his humble beginging, he holds a Bachelor Degreee in “Forensic Criminology and International Relations and a Masters Degree in International Relations and Counter Terrorism (Cum Laude) from Monash University, South Africa Campus and Austria, respectively. It was at this university that he entrenched discipline which he learnt from his mother, which enabled him to be disciplined, and organized, pushing forward in his life’s journey.
Through inspiration, he took the bold step to work hard and accomplish his set goals. When he returned to Abuja from Australia in 2012 on completion of his M.Sc, he took all his savings, got a little loan from friends and embarked on his first commercial real estate business, which became instant success.
At 25, he was already the founder of Invictus Group of Companies Ltd, with subsidiaries in Real Estate, Construction, Investments, Energy, Agriculture, Oil & Gas and Telecommunications. Like the man in the Invictus poem, he became the master of his fate and captain of his own soul. He has been involved in the sourcing, structuring, implementing and monitoring of various private equity investments in Africa and Australian markets.
And so, he had become one of the youngest Africa’s public speakers and entrepreneurs, attracting so much national and international attention.
He had taken up motivational speeches at the 4th Edition of the African Diaspora Youth Forum which took place at the UN headquarters in Vienna, Austria between 1st and 4th June, 2016; also at Business Solution Forum for Youth: Entrepreneurial Leadership for Decent Job Creation, where he told African leaders that there are opportunities to create Silicon Valleys which could export to the world. He also spoke at the 6th Young CEOs Business Summit 2016 at Dusseldorf, Germany; also at the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Isreal at Tel-Aviv in April, 2017. He was also on a panel with former CBN Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo at the Law and Economics Summit organized by the Law Students of the University of Nigeria (UNN).
Among the international and local recognitions he had garnered included those from Forbes Magazine (2016), and Africa Brand Leadership Award as the Most Innovative Company CEO (2017).