By: Ifeanyi Okonkwo
Ndi Igbo all over the world is known for their hustling spirit and their entrepreneurship drive running in their veins. Hard work and consistency has been the secrets of the success of the often called ‘Jews of Africa’ which is one reason they never depend on government for survival or development.
Nnewi, a town in Anambra, Southeast Nigeria is famous for its hub for automobile spare parts dealers, and most recently, Jensen, Nigeria’s first indigenous car assembly plant with one of the biggest outdoor market in West Africa
A town which is Nicknamed the Japan of Africa, is also known for its of the plethora of factories that manufacture household products and home to the biggest road transport companies in the country, with a population of over 500,000.
Nnewi is blessed with great successful men like Cletus Ibeto, Cosmas Maduka, Innocent Chukwuma, Gabriel Chukwuma, Alexender, Chika Okafor, Augustine Ilodibe, Ifeanyi Ubah, Louis Onwugbenu, Obiajulu Uzodike and not forgetting the great Ikemba Nnewi, Chukwuemeka Odumeagwu Ojukwu can boast to have breed more billionaires than any other community in Nigeria or Africa as a whole.
From Edo Ezemewi Road, to Hundred- Foot Road, down to Umudim Nnewi, where Innoson Group of Companies has its motorcycle building, it would appear as if the town has transformed into a huge ‘motorcycle’ enclave.
The ease of dealing on motorcycles did not just catch up with the traders, but the entire Nnewi population.
Hardly can you get a family without, at least one motorcycle to their credit, even when they also own fleet of cars. This makes it easy for movement in the streets of Nnewi, with its increasing population.
Again, an average Nnewi woman clutches on to her motorcycle as a sense of belonging and also a veritable companion in her daily business. They are industrious and ambitious
Unfortunately, Ndi Nnewi has been misjudged by many as ritualists because this part of Anambra state has produced and is still producing great minds with little or no help.
Mischief makers who would have emulated their strength and resilience, channel their energy negatively through spreading rumors that these men did not become successful by dint of hard work but by belonging to a powerful secret society.
These negative thinkers created a perception that to make it and achieve greatness that you must belong. They misled some people with the perception that the young and hardworking young Igbos must belong to a secret cult before he can climb to the top of his profession; the perception that the successful men in the society has one secret cult or the other they belonged to.
These negative stories about Ndi Nnewi, has created a negative stereotype which has been with many people for long, making people judge them negatively.
The poor and the lazy are always quick to blackmail and spread bad rumors about successful people just to create unnecessary stigma and propaganda. I strongly believe that one can rise to the top of your career by dint of hard work and consistency without belonging to any secret cult or society or indulging in Ogwu ego (People who got wealth through evil means)
It is bad how people are quick to tag wealthy people as ritualist, fraud stars or make money through illegal means. Because there are people in indulge into various vices to make wealth through illegal means, am among the people who believe that every hustler has a pay day, God promised that he will bless the works of our hands. Hard work still pays and the average Nnewi person is hardworking.
With the official restriction of use of motorcycles for both private and commercial uses, in the environs of Awka and Onitsha, one would think the fortunes of motorcycle business, especially in Nnewi area of Anambra state, will dwindle. However, the reverse appears the case as the sale of wholly assembled motor cycles and its spare parts is witnessing a boom in the area.
One of the popular markets at the industrial city of Nnewi, at the heart of the city known as Nkwo Triangle, the New Motorcycle Spare parts, and the adjourning streets and suburbs, are virtually littered with hundreds of thousands of such motorcycles, on display and attract customers from the concentration of motorcycle or Okada business in the town, has a huge positive impact on the volumes of trade and investment potentials of Anambra as a whole, as customers turn in from across the country, especially, Kano, Kaduna, Lagos and Cross River State.
As a born entrepreneur, even the children of rich men including the educated once are hoping to take over the business of their father after graduation. Just a few of them have the ambition of searching for white-collar jobs. Majority of them prefer to go into business.
The resilient, doggedness and the spirit of never give up of Di Nnewi have put the community in the map as a business hub not just in Nigeria but Africa.