The scintillating and inspiring grass to grace narrative, of Chief Dr. Emeka Okonkwo, fondly called E-money, is an axiomatic attestation of how hard work, determination, divine favor and grace can propel a person to reach an anticipated level in life irrespective of the circumstances surrounding the person’s earthly manifestation.
The financial disadvantages associated with his early childhood, is such that can cause a feeble minded person to be discouraged and accept the status quo, but he never allowed his family financial background to determine his destiny. He courageously confronted poverty head-on and fought it to a standstill. He had a vision and worked indefatigably to achieve his set goals.
Today, Chief Dr. Emeka Okonkwo, also referred to as Nwata Anayo Eze, is occupying an exhilarating height of excellence in our society as the Chairman of Five Star Group of Companies; a rapidly growing conglomerate in Sub-Sahara Africa. His life is a metaphoric fulfillment of the Holy Scriptures in the book of 1 Samuel 2:8 (NIV) “He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor…”
Chief Dr. Emeka Okonkwo
Born in Ajegunle, Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government Area of Lagos State, Nigeria, on the 18th of February, 1981, Emeka Okonkwo had a rough and difficult start to life. Ajegunle in the Yoruba dialect means a place where riches dwell, but in contrasts, harbors greater percentage of people that are still struggling. He is a native of Uli in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State.
His family is musically inclined, his father worked as a Disc Jockey (DJ), but the family gift was eternalized by his elder brother Kingsley Okonkwo, the ‘Limpopo’ hit maker popularly called Kcee. Today, Kcee is a hugely respected figure in the music industry. The young Emeka Okonkwo had both his primary and secondary education in Ajegunle, Lagos State, before venturing into business.
In 1997, at the age of 16, he set up a company called Borisa Nig. Ltd that focuses majorly on Shipping. As a young man at that age, his mind was undividedly focused on success as a means of exonerating his family from their financial struggles. He personifies the Igbo Spirit of resilience, hard work, dedication, discipline, focus and absolute trust in God.
Though venturing in a business environment that already had established big time players, he was able to carve a niche for himself through his uprightness and divine grace of God. Some years after establishing his business, the business did not reach his anticipated level, but he never relented. Luckily for the Okonkwo family, their son Kcee was beginning to bring in money to the family through his musical endeavor which brought about some level of financial relieve to the family.
As a man given extra-terrestrial waiver; it seems that the scriptures always trials Emeka Okonkwo like a shadow to fulfill in his life. He was still struggling financially until he met His wife Juliet, in 2003. Juliet is a God fearing, non-materialistic, future-minded woman, from a relatively privileged background, who loved Emeka Okonkwo unconditionally.
Irrespective of pressure from her friends to ditch the idea of having anything to do with Emeka Okonkwo, because of his financial status at the time, she refused. But as a woman with a ‘third eye’, she prayerfully encouraged the hard working Emeka Okonkwo. She would take the risk to come all the way from Lekki to Ajegunle to visit him. In one occasion, she fell into a gutter on her visit to Emeka but she never let the gap in their respective social classes, deter her.
In Proverbs 18:22, the Scriptures said. “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord”. The above Scripture is in complete tandem with the popular saying which goes thus “Behind every successful man there is a woman”. The above quotes don’t mean that the moment you find a wife; you will have a good thing. It means that firstly, you must be lucky to find a good wife in order to find a good thing and obtain favor from God. A good wife is a wife that carries favor and blessings, not the one that will come and block your way to success.
Juliet Okonkwo is an axiomatic ‘examplfication’ of a good wife that carries favor and blessings for upliftment. The testimony of E-money confirms this; he was undoubtedly a hardworking man but has nothing much to show for all his hard work. Nonetheless, he decided to marry the love of his life even though he doesn’t have much money. A decision that eventually became a turning point in his life.
After their traditional wedding, he had to borrow the sum of Twenty Thousand Naira (N20, 000) from his elder brother Kcee to enable him take his wife back to Lagos. On his way to Lagos, he got a call that his firm has been awarded a contract of Two Million Dollars; a call that automatically changed the narrative of Emeka Okonkwo.
With his new found financial status, he expanded Borisa Nig. Ltd. to Emmy-Cargo and Shipping Services Nigeria Ltd, in 2007. In running his Companies, E-money bought all his competences and wisdom to bear. He was very prudent and result oriented. Today, the Company is one of the best Freight Forwarding and Shipping Services Company in African. The company also sells both brand new and used American Cars at competitive prices.
In 2010, E-money established the Five Star (5 Star) Music Group; a music label that housed great acts like, his elder brother Kcee, Harryson, Skiibi and others. 5 Star Music is responsible for the release of monster hit sons in Africa like Limpopo by Kcee, Raggae Blues by Harrysongz amongst others.
The Five Star brand has continued to grow in leaps and bounds and in geometric progression. Today they have diversified into diverse areas of the economy. In 2017, the manufacturing arm of the Company, introduced to the Nigeria market, Five Star Tomatoes Paste, Sweet Corn, Coconut Milk and Mackerel, amongst other products. The Company has employed hundreds of Nigerians working in their factory, thereby lifting the unemployment burden off the shoulders of the Nigeria Government.
As a brand that never compromises on quality and standard, their products has gained wide acceptance among Nigeria consumers and beyond, little wonder it won the Leadership Newspaper Product of the Year, 2018. According to the Leadership Newspaper, Five Star Tomatoes Paste and its sub products, won the Newspapers Product of the Year Award, for setting a standard in quality and gaining acceptance within Nigeria and beyond. Their products are of international standard and duly registered with the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC). Five Star Group also has an arm called, Five Star Oil and Gas that specializes in Oil and Gas businesses.
Having been abundantly blessed by God, E-money also known as Arab-money, established the Five Star Foundation, as a means of given back to the society. The Foundation from time to time, organizes free Skill Acquisition Programs for Widows and other under privileged people in the society, so as to enable them grasp the requisite skill that can make them self-sufficient in the society. They also give Scholarships and provide funds for business startups. As a man very passionate about the Entertainment Industry, through the 5 Star Music, he organizes free yearly concert in his native Uli Community, for lovers of music anywhere to come and have swell time.
He also renders assistance to a lot of people in the entertainment Industries to ease their difficulties. He has bought cars for so many of them and provided financial support to countless number of them.
Dr. Emeka Okonkwo has immense love and kindness in his reservoir of virtue, which makes him relate to all and sundry not minding class difference. His immediate employees are also direct beneficiaries of his largeness.
Prior to one of his birthday celebrations, he wrote on his Instagram Page @ iam_money1, thus: “It’s my birthday, what a better way to celebrate than to bless some of the people who have been keeping my business going. Thanks to the amazing Staff of Five Star Group for all that they do. My Chef was not left out also. Remember to be diligent in all that you do because your hard work will surely pay off one day”
“We will also be recruiting a lot of people this year into the Five Star Group.
The Company is expanding and we need more hands on deck. We all have a collective responsibility of growing the Nigeria Economy and we will continue to do what we can do in our own little way …” He said this while presenting brand new car keys to his members of Staff.
His philanthropy is borderless and boundless to the point of superfluity and satiety. Through his Five Star Foundation, he offered Scholarship worth (N2.5M) to ten Indigent women to train them in the art of Baking under the Tutelage of @ DXPLORECAKES, offering each beneficiary Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N250,000.00) each.
The best graduating student from the program won a mini set up for a home baking business equipment. The Five Star Foundation has also supported people in setting up businesses, paying school fees and rents and helping in no small measure in putting smile on people’s faces. It is also on record that in collaboration with his legendary elder brother Kcee and Chupez, High Chief (Dr.) Emeka Okonkwo empowered a lot of youths in Computer Village, Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria.
Below are some of the expressions of High Chief (Dr.) Emeka Okonkwo, E-money that defines his life philosophy
“I found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver”.
“Man becomes great exactly in the degree in which he works for the welfare of his fellow man”.
“Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others”.
“No one has ever become poor by giving. Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more but those giving more”.
“A wise man does not lay up his own treasures, the more he gives to others, the more he has for his own. We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give”.
“Giving is the master key to success in all applications of human life … for it is in giving that we receive … To get the full value of Joy, you must have someone to divide it with”.
No wonder he keeps giving without seeking reciprocation, and God has in turn keep blessing him without reservation.
Recently he constructed a 2.5 kilometer road in his Community to ease their transportation burden, he is also very passionate in issues relating to the development, peace and progress of his country Nigeria.
In recognition of his numerous efforts towards national building, E-money has received numerous awards and recognition which includes but not limited to City People Movie Special Recognition Award, Entertainment Executive of the year, Young Business Guru of 2019 by Tentacle Magazine, Honorary Doctorate Degree in Business Management and Cooperate Governance by the European American University, amongst others too numerous to mention.
His life sure provides evidence of a framework for others to emulate and better their lives. He is also celebrated in the book entitled, Living Legends of Africa from the Igbo Race, by the International League of Legend Researchers. Culled from the book, Living Legends of Africa from the Igbo Race, by International League of Legend Researchers
HAPPY BIRTHDAY E-MONEY
Dr. Amos Livingstone is the Convener
of International League of Legend Researchers