The remains of iconic philanthropist, socialite and serial entrepreneur, Dr. Iyke Kanu will be intered today 17th August, 2023 in his family compound, Nde Ezeazaali, Ujari in Arochukwu, Abia State.
Until his passing, Dr. Iyke Kanu held the position of Chairman at Etoks Communications and Classic Magazine. Late Deacon Iyke Lawson Kanu (Etokebe) had a modest start, being born on December 23, 1973, into the caring family of Late Chief Frank Nanna Kanu Arizolemgbe and Madam Grace Ejighiato Kanu Arizolemgbe of Eziuko Nnam Ezeali Oji, Ujari Village, Arochukwu, Abia State.
Deacon Iyke Lawson Kanu’s academic journey was marked by intelligence, determination, and a love for sports. He began his primary education at St. John’s Primary School, Umuimo Agbaja, where his intellectual prowess became evident. After primary school, Iyke continued his education at Agbaja Technical College.
During his time at Technical College, Iyke not only excelled academically but also discovered a passion and aptitude for sports, particularly football. His skill on the field earned him the renowned nickname ‘Etokebe,’ which became synonymous with his dedication to the game.
Following his secondary education, Iyke’s outstanding performance in the General Certificate of Education (GCE) exams opened doors for him. He gained admission to Alvan Ikokwu College of Education in Owerri, where he pursued a National Certificate in Education (NCE) with a focus on Biochemistry. Throughout his time at Alvan, he continued to excel academically while actively engaging in sports, showcasing his diverse talents.
With a determination to advance his education, Iyke’s academic path led him to Abia State University Uturu, where he pursued a degree in Industrial Chemistry. His hard work and dedication paid off as he graduated with a second-class upper degree, a testament to his commitment to excellence in both academics and sports.
Upon attaining his degree, Iyke encountered obstacles in securing a conventional office job. Nevertheless, setbacks never swayed him from his aspirations. Fuelled by an unwavering determination and a hunger for knowledge, he opted to extend his education, enrolling in a post-graduate program at the renowned University of Ibadan.
During his tenure at the University of Ibadan, Iyke’s trajectory took an unforeseen twist. Fully immersed in the academic atmosphere and exposed to various entrepreneurial possibilities, he unearthed his true passion. He cultivated a strong desire to become an entrepreneur and discerned the potential to establish a thriving business endeavor.
Guided by his fervent passion and unwavering determination, Iyke harnessed the wealth of his academic and life experiences to construct his very own enterprise. Through tireless effort, innovation, and a robust entrepreneurial drive, he paved a road to prosperity within the business realm.
Etokebe, known as Deacon Iyke Lawson Kanu, embodied not only a triumphant entrepreneur but also a compassionate soul deeply connected with the masses. He wielded his affluence and assets to elevate the lives of the downtrodden, particularly the underprivileged and destitute. Driven by profound empathy and a mission for positive change, he delved into creating diverse financial ventures and enterprises aimed at generating employment for the youth.
Prominent among his accomplishments is the esteemed Grand Palazzo Hotels & Suites in Owerri, an opulent sanctuary that extended beyond hospitality to bolster the local economy. Additionally, he established Marve and Prince Nig Limited, a firm specializing in currency exchange and real estate management. These endeavors not only brought prosperity to his businesses but also enriched the communities they served.
Recognizing the transformative potential of education, Etokebe took it upon himself to erect multiple community centers, roads, schools, churches, and healthcare facilities. His alma mater, St. John’s Primary School Umuimo Agbaja, held a special place in his heart, motivating him to personally construct a modern school building as a tribute to his late grandmother, Rossanna Ekpule.
This act stood as a testament to his unwavering dedication to education and his unshakable belief in the promise of young minds.
The Deacon Iyke Kanu Foundation (DIKA), also known as the Etokebe Foundation, was founded with the noble goal of improving the standard of education for orphans and vulnerable children. Through scholarships and support, he provided opportunities for less privileged youths to nurture their talents and skills, giving them a chance to realize their potential and dream big.
Etokebe’s influence extended beyond financial aid; he served as a mentor and inspiration to the youth, motivating them to pursue careers in politics with the aim of serving humanity and promoting good leadership. His exemplary lifestyle and values became a guiding light for those who aspired to make a difference in society.
Dr. Iyke Kanu was married to his beautiful wife, Deaconess Blessing Kanu and their union is blessed five amazing children.