Obiwanne Okeke holds a master’s degree in International Relations and counter-terrorism from Monash University Australia. He is the founder of Invictus Group of Companies, an investment conglomerate that’s involved in construction, agriculture, oil and gas, renewable energy, telecoms, and real estate.
Obinwanne named his company after William Ernest Henley’s popular poem about an undefeated and unconquerable hard worker from an impoverished background who refused to give up as that was quite similar to his story.
He was born to a polygamous father as the 17th child. At age 10, he left for boarding school and when he was 16, he lost his father. He kept moving from one relative to another. Things became difficult but he wanted a better life for himself and his mother.
Despite the challenges, he remained steadfast to his dreams and aspirations and later moved to Australia to study, where he said he “did all kinds of jobs just to survive.” He started an events/entertainment company for students called Invictus media and also interned at poverty alleviation NGO in the country.
While in Australia, he founded Literacy Africa International to raise “awareness about literacy problem among children in Africa.” He also sourced for donors of used children books across Australia and shipped them to disadvantaged kids across Africa. He saved some money, came back to Nigeria, and invested it in his business.
Okeke’s hard work paid off as he not only runs a successful company he built from a little but employs hundreds of people.
“I am actively giving back both in South Africa and Nigeria through my foundation; Invictus Foundation which initially started off as a personal charity project. I do work with the Zandspruit informal settlement in Honeydew and make sure that they receive some aid,” says Okeke.
In 2016, Obinwanne was named in Forbes Africa’s 30 Under 30 list and was featured in the magazine’s June cover. In 2017, Invictus Group was named as Africa’s Most Innovative Investment Company of the Year by African Brand Congress.
The same year, Obinwanne was nominated in the Young African Business Leader (West Africa) category for the All Africa Business Leaders Awards ( AABLA). In 2018, he was nominated amongst 100 Most Influential Young Nigerians by Avance Media.
We celebrate Obinwanne for pursuing his dreams and emulating the man in the Invictus poem by being the master of his fate and captain of his soul whatever the weather.