Lekki real estate King, Dr Kennedy Okonkwo is always full of activities. The ruggedly handsome guy loves to be on the move, all the time. If someone had told him last January that he would soon be forced to go on a 2 months lockdown, making him go off his construction sites, he wouldn’t have believed it. But it happened in March and April. Just like many Nigerians, he was at home with his family all through, with his various project sites looking desolate. As he sat at home helpless, keeping faith with the lockdown, he kept thinking of his business and how he has been unable to meet up with his set targets.
He had to abandon work on his impressive Victoria Bay 3 housing project, along Nike Art Gallary Way, in Lekki Phase 1, Lagos. But like most businessmen, he still worked from home.
Kennedy Okonkwo is a young and vibrant property developer who plays big in the Lekki area of Lagos. He develops and sells properties. On a good day, he goes to work in Tee Shirts, Jeans and Snickers because he usually spends more time on site.
He is a hands-on CEO. He is usually with his helmet. He usually drives a black G Guard Mercedes Benz Jeep himself to his sites. He seldom uses a driver because he likes to drive himself.
All these enable him move around his projects scattered around the Lekki/Ajah axis. He is the Group CEO of Nedcomoaks, one of the leading real estate companies in Lagos, located in Lekki. He is also the Chairman of Victoria Crest Homes. He is often called the Real Estate King or Real Estate Mogul by many because he has built and sold thousands of units of the house along that corridor over the last 10 years.
His beautiful wife, Ichechi works with him. She is the CEO of Victoria Crest Homes. She is also into Laundrying & runs Sweet Dreams Essentials. She is also hands-on just like her husband. Both are involved in the realisation of the mission of their real estate company which is to make aspirational living affordable.
He recently revealed how Covid-19 lockdown slowed down the pace of some of his projects.
How did he take the 2 months lockdown? “It was a good thing that the Government had to lockdown to save lives. It was the right thing to do. But it crippled a lot of businesses, including Real Estate. But we are hanging in there. It was tough but we have to survive”. What is his advice to all entrepreneurs and business owners? “We must do everything to survive… Survive is the word…reduce overheads, cut salaries, cut daily expense and survive. This is not the time to experiment with uncertain ideas. We are not doing new projects for now. Our focus is on delivering the ones we started. Businesses may drown but you just have to keep the brand visible…keep the business in the minds of clients. That is exactly what we are doing”.
Right now, he is concentrating on his Victoria Bay 3 project in Lekki. “This is the story of a deserted site waiting for the good news of the lifting of the lockdown he says. Today, the story is different, with many artisans earning wages working at those sites and having the means to fend for their family. Nothing gladdens my heart than knowing that today a workman shall earn his wage and be guaranteed of a better tomorrow for his family because of his good works today”.
“If you want a Home and not a House stop by at Victoria Bay 3 at the Nike Art Gallery Way, in Lekki and see for yourself how much mileage we have covered after this lockdown was partially lifted”.
He says business people should have a positive mindset to the 2 months lockdown. “Don’t see it as a setback. Opportunities abound everywhere. It’s not a dead-end… Step out and Step up. We are on the road to recovery. Shutting down our sites on the 24th of March was tough but it was an inevitable decision. As scared as I may have been, the reality of resumption has dawned on us all. The road ahead may seem tough but we have no doubt that if we shall overcome and pull through together if we diligently play our parts, we will get our system and country working again”.
Why is he passionate about Real Estate? “I love Real Estate because it has afforded me the opportunity to contribute my quota in the development of the Housing sector and affording that young man who never had a roof over his head the opportunity to employ countless of young people on a journey of providing homes for many others. This is the story of Victoria Nest, from December 2018 to this moment. I remain and Entrepreneur passionate about making Aspirational Living Affordable”.
What was his experience like with the lockdown and the pandemic? “No one knew or planned for the pandemic that hit our world, crashing economies and exposing the healthcare systems, separating people from their families and friends, disrupting our everyday work-life, halting our sites projects, means of livelihood and survival”.
“Our sites were deserted for weeks. We had gone far with our Victoria Bay III Estate before the outbreak and consequent lockdown. But this journey has begun again. We are revving all cylinders and as an organisation, we have begun to do our part in getting our system and country working again. We would deliver on this exquisite Estate in good time with the assurance of excellent facilities with great ambience, 24/7 round the clock power, pure drinking water, security and patrol teams, great infrastructure”.
How does he see the excitement of going back to work? “Being back to the office excites me a whole lot”.
Kennedy has tried. He has developed so many estates, like Victoria Bay 1, by Victoria Crest Homes, Victoria Bay Estate and Victoria Bay 2, among others like Victoria Nest. Victoria Crest 3 is one of his favourites it is on Orchid Road in Lekki. In 18 months, he transformed his Victoria Bay 1 Site on Orchid Road. The construction started in June 2018. This project has been completed and handed over and is today home to many individuals keeping them safe against the Coronavirus. Over 300 families invested in the project”.
“With this done, I look forward to making more landlords post Covid-19. We are passionate about making aspirational living affordable”.
During the lockdown, Kennedy who is also called Ned Okonkwo was busy at home with his wife. He had a late night online business strategy review sessions with her. She is the CEO of Victoria Crest Homes. It was held in the same house but different sections. She is on the 1st floor, while he is on the 2nd floor. We had a highly productive session highly recommended for couples who work together,” he said.
“We had to reinvest what part of our home can guarantee the most productivity. We had virtual sessions during the lockdown mode inside the same house to get the seriousness of work that these times require and the result was hours well spent”.
During the lockdown, the couple appeared on Talks With Ubi Franklin On Instagram Live Chat to share their story. The videos are still on his IG Live @ubifranklintriplemg. “I just want to have my world back. We will surely defeat the virus”. He also appeared on other live chats on Instagram.
“My message to many is that despite this invisible war on Covid-19 virus against humanity and the world’s economy at large, Real Estate still remains the safest investment on Earth protected amidst all the troubles the world is going through. My love for real estate is incomparable. It has given me the opportunity to help many young families actualise their dreams of living the life they have always aspired”.
“We have a track record of consistent performance spanning over 11 years. And we have shown that we have mastered the art of not just providing you with affordable luxury homes but with flexible payment plans”.
“We have also perfected the art of guaranteeing exceptional serenity, ambience and tranquillity based on excellent quality facility management”.