April 5, 2021

HARVEY IGBOANUGO: No regrets at 40

HARVEY IGBOANUGO: No regrets at 40

Founder and CEO of Zelo Homes, a major real estate player, Mr. Harvey Igboanugo, who clocks 40 tomorrow, relishes his journey so far, saying he is fulfilled at 40.

By Kennedy Mbele

You will be 40 tomorrow, how do you feel?

I feel fulfilled coming this far. I thank God for bringing me this far in good health. Many people wish to celebrate this day and I thank God I am among the people God has chosen to be celebrated. It is all fun for me and I must be grateful to almighty God who has given me sound health to witness this great day. Looking back in the last 40 years it hasn’t been an easy journey.

Can you share your growing up story and some of the things you have been able to achieve that make you feel fulfilled?

My life has been a testimony. As a kid, I had this big dream that I would be somebody great. Today, as I said earlier, I feel fulfilled because most things I desired in life have been accomplished beyond expectations. It is a very big testimony for me. And my accomplishments are not things I can start naming one by one. I wouldn’t start telling you how I have been progressing in my business. I am still in business despite the tragedy that has befallen the world, including Covid-19.

You have successfully done some empowerment programmes in your community. What inspired you?

I am not a politician and I don’t intend to be one someday. Whatever I do for my community is out of love. I love my town a lot. Since I was born I have never spent Christmas holiday anywhere in the world apart from my community.

This is how much I cherish my town. And I have so many friends who visit me. Some of them come in exotic cars and complain that we don’t have good roads. I considered it as a priority to fix the roads leading to some of the villages in my town and thank God we have been able to do a lot to make sure we develop our town. We can’t just be developing cities whereas our town is in ruin.

You have been able to register your name in the heart of the people no doubt. Can you say at 40 you’re proud of yourself?

I have been able to manage my relationship with people. If you have been able to create  good relationships with so many people in the last 40 years, it means the next 40 years would be better. I am not content with what I have done in the last 40 years, but I am happy with what I have achieved in the last 40 years and I pray that the next 40 will be better than the previous 40.

You’re one person that is loved by virtually all your friends. What is the secret?

I believe there is great value in friendship.

I have been to so many places where people I don’t even know helped me. We started being friends and those relationships yielded great fruits in my life and created a great impact on me

I value friendship a lot. I am the kind of person who gives friendship 99 percent. It has always favoured me most times. Everything must not always go the way you want it, but I can tell it pays to invest in relationships.

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I have so many friends who have stood by me in times of difficulties.

I value friendship. I have friends spread all over the world.

Do you have regrets at 40?

At 40, as I said earlier, it is all about testimony. I don’t have any regrets. Everything about me has been the way I wanted it. God has been so kind to me. I have three beautiful kids. I have a boy and two girls including my wife.

Can you share your happiest moment in life?

One of the happiest moments was the day I had my son. I felt like I had got the whole world because that was the only thing left for me at that moment.

The moment my child arrived, I felt fulfilled.

It was a day of joy. I can’t just erase and he has been making me proud to date.

What are your hobbies?

I know how to do a lot of things.

I remember back in secondary school, I used to be the best prefect. I could run, play tennis, football, badminton and javelin. Today, one of my favourite games is car racing (Formula1)

I love cars and I love F1.

I know all the rules. I followed them a lot as a kid.

Formula1 is a game I cherish a lot maybe because when Hamilton came on board, he was the first black man in the race. And he started making us proud

I have been following him and other good drivers like Lighting.

Can you share your happiest moment with your wife?

My wife is a unique person and meeting her was unique.

I have been in a wonderful marriage.

She makes me happy. She gave me a boy and two girls. Of course, I have to adore her.

I make sure she is happy too. I celebrate her always. I know it might sound surprising when I say things about my son. As a younger person, I had girlfriends. When I got married, it was different from having a girlfriend. There is a bond.

How has your wife inspired you?

She is my number one leader. She puts me on “gear 5.” She always ensures I get things done

She looks out for me whenever I’m depressed about business. She calls everybody in the office to know what is happening. She is considerate and not materialistic

I can tell how many things she has asked me to buy for her. I fight to buy things for her

What is your advice to young people?

This life is all about focus.

My advice to young people is for them to keep their heads up. If you are a mechanic, know that you have to be strong and determined to do the work well.

You can be a car manufacturer tomorrow if you understand the mechanism of how the car is produced.

But today everybody wants to be in the fast lane.

When I started real estate, I started with just one plot of land. Every morning I visited the site to count my materials to be sure the supplier supplied the right quantity. I was just steadfast in what I was doing.

I resumed very early to ensure everything was in place, but I can tell you today that I don’t go to most of my sites

Whatever you’re doing, give it attention. Nobody can add value to your own business except you.