In this interview, real estate developer, Nwaezeigwe chekwube Jeffery takes us through an inspiring journey of his life, career paths, as well as balancing work and his efforts to make a difference.
Who is Nwaezeigwe chekwube Jeffery and what childhood experiences shaped you into becoming the man you are today?
Nwaezeigwe chekwube Jeffery is a 30-year-old real estate developer and business man from Ibusa, Delta State. I attended Mayflower secondary school Ikenne Remo and I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Lagos and a National diploma degree in Business Administration at Yabatech.
I ventured into real estate over two years ago to redefine the narrative in the real estate sector but I have been doing business since I was 18 years old and this shaped my thinking and business practices. It prepared me for the entrepreneur life and I am grateful for the journey. I have never really worked for anyone; I gathered my experience in my daily activities while I was running a cybercafé at Yabatech. My family also played a great role in helping me become who I am today.
Which member of your family has been the biggest influence in your choice of career?
I would say both of my parents because they made me understand that nothing good comes easy, so I had to work to get what I wanted, and my uncle Mr. Nwaezeigwe Onyeisi Kingsley as well. He supported me in every aspect of my life and he would forever be a part of my story.
Why real estate?
I would say the industry chose me because I have always believed in the saying, ‘solve problems and earn money’. I had a café in Yabatech which I have been running for six years now to solve academic problems. I also noticed that one of the major problems that most students in the Nigerian universities face is inadequate accommodation. I knew I had to do something in my capacity to help out. So, I rented an office space and converted it to a hostel. At the time, I started with two female occupants and within two years, the number grew to 80 occupants and now we also have short let apartments. My guiding principle is if I can help as many people get what they want, I’ll easily get what I want.
Tell us about BLUE INK, how long has it been running? Is it registered?
Blue ink Hostel and Apartment has been running for about a year and 9 months old now. It was registered in August 2019. It’s still at the ‘SME’ level, even though we’ve made considerable progress in terms of revenue growth, social Impact, customer satisfaction, and project development.
We have 6 different hostels and 3 different short let apartments. I believe that we are very much on track of our vision to build eco-friendly communities.
Where do you envision blue ink Apartment and Properties in 5 years?
In 5 years, we would have built homes for more than 1,000 families. We should be over 5,000 customers strong in housing and land properties, and very much on track to help more Nigerians generate wealth through real estate. In 5 years, we would already have a bold footprint in Nigeria and be actively working on expanding into other African countries like Kenya and Ghana.
What has been your biggest challenge so far in running BLUE INK and how did you manage it?
The biggest challenge I faced was investing people’s money in a project that I was doing and then I got stucked along the line and people started calling me names and all but I knew my aim and I was very focused. Thank God I scaled through and this challenge really shaped me.
How have you been able to sustain your business in terms of financing?
It’s has not been easy when it comes to financing because you need to build trust before people can invest in you. So, what I have been doing is to work with collaborators and investors but with well calculated risks.
How do you plan to give back to the society? Any CSR projects?
We’re big on giving back at Blue ink. In fact, we are currently working on Blue Ink foundation to educate the Girl Child and advocate for gender equality.
What is your greatest achievement so far? Any awards?
My biggest achievement is building the Blue Ink into a strong brand in the space of four years.
What do you want to be remembered for?
I would be a fulfilled man when I have added value to as many lives as possible, giving back, and helping people generate wealth. I believe that’s what I’m here for.
Tell us what your typical day looks like and how do you unwind?
I wake up by 6am and say my morning prayers. I resume work by 8am and close by 8pm and I usually do a routine check on my apartments and hostels before I go home. The best way for me to unwind is watching my team (Liverpool) play and winning.
Are you in a relationship?
I would like to keep that private
Do you have any mentors?
I don’t have any mentors but I have couples of role models, like Elon Musk, Femi Otedola, Obi Cubana, Christiano Ronaldo and they are all billionaires.
Quotes from Nwaezeigwe chekwube Jeffery
My two powerful quotes are, ‘Cry now so you can smile later’ and ‘Start small, Think Big and Grow Fast.’
Any advice for upcoming real estate developers?
My advice would be start small, think big and grow fast and never be scared to take risk because it’s when you start learning you start earning.