The remains of iconic philanthropist, socialite and serial entrepreneur, Dr. Iyke Lawson Kanu will be interred today 17th August, 2023 in his family compound, Nde Ezeazaali, Ujari in Arochukwu, Abia State.
Dr. Iyke Kanu until his death was the Chairman of Etoks Communications and Classic Magazine.
Late Deacon Kanu (Etokebe) had a humble beginning, born on the 23rd of December 1973 into the loving family of Late Chief Frank Nanna Kanu Arizolemgbe and Madam Grace Ejighiato Kanu Arizolemgbe of Eziuko Nnam Ezeali Oji, Ujari Village, Arochukwu, Abia State.
His academic journey was marked by brilliance, determination, and a passion for sports. He began his primary education at St. John’s Primary School, Umuimo Agbaja, where his intellectual abilities began to shine. After completing his primary education, Iyke proceeded to Agbaja Technical College for his secondary schooling.
In Technical College, Iyke not only excelled in academics but also discovered a special interest and talent in sports, particularly football. His prowess on the field earned him his famous nickname ‘Etokebe,’ a name that became synonymous with his skills and dedication to the game.
Upon completing his secondary education, Iyke’s excellent performance in the General Certificate of Education (GCE) examinations opened doors for him. He secured admission into Alvan Ikokwu College of Education in Owerri, where he pursued his National Certificate in Education (NCE) with a focus on Biochemistry. During his time at Alvan, he continued to excel academically and actively participated in sports, showcasing his multifaceted talents.
Determined to further his education, Iyke’s academic journey took him to Abia State University Uturu, where he pursued a degree in Industrial Chemistry. His dedication and hard work paid off as he graduated with a second-class upper degree, a testament to his commitment to excellence in both academics and sports.
After obtaining his degree, Iyke faced challenges in securing a white-collar job. However, he never let setbacks deter him from pursuing his dreams. With an unwavering spirit and a thirst for knowledge, he decided to continue his education and enrolled in a post-graduate program at the prestigious University of Ibadan.
During his time at the University of Ibadan, Iyke’s path took an unexpected turn. Immersed in the academic environment and exposed to various entrepreneurial opportunities, he found his true calling. He developed a keen interest in becoming an entrepreneur and recognized the potential to create a successful business venture.
Fueled by his passion and determination, Iyke channeled his academic and life experiences into building his own business. Through hard work, innovation, and a strong entrepreneurial spirit, he carved a path of success in the business world.
Etokebe, Deacon Iyke Lawson Kanu, was not just a successful businessman but also a man of the people with a compassionate heart. He used his wealth and resources to uplift the lives of the masses, especially the less privileged and the poor. Driven by a deep sense of empathy and a desire to make a positive impact, he ventured into creating various financial investments and companies that aimed at generating job opportunities for the youth.
Among his notable establishments is the popular Grand Palazzo Hotels & Suites in Owerri, a luxurious haven that not only provided hospitality but also contributed to the local economy. He also founded Marve and prince Nig Limited, a company focused on bureau the change, and engaged in real estate management, which not only brought prosperity to his businesses but also to the communities they operated in.
Recognizing the importance of education and its transformative power, Etokebe took it upon himself to build numerous community centers, roads, schools, churches, and health centers. His alma mater, St. John’s Primary School Umuimo Agbaja, held a special place in his heart, and he personally constructed a modern school building dedicated to the memory of his late grandmother, Rossanna Ekpule. It was a testament to his commitment to education and his belief in the potential 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.