It was in 2011 and another Sista; Audrey Joe-Ezigbo had the leading to bring five of us together and that fateful afternoon, we met at the then Roberts Café in Victoria Island. That was the day I gained another Sista in Nneka Nwobi. It has been four glorious years, not of seeing or speaking with each other every day, but four great years of knowing that when it matters we will show up in each other’s life. Everyone who knows me and my Sistas, wonder who Nneka is. Mostly because her lifework and schedule are such that she is not on hand at every meeting.
That said, Nneka is my Sista. What do I love about her? Her authenticity and her forthright way of dealing with others. What do I admire most about her, her disregard for undue pressure from others to impress. What you see with Nneka is what you get, no hidden agenda and definitely no guile.
What do I hope my daughter can learn from her? Well, the power of vision and the tenacity to match dreams with action. Nneka Nwobi is definitely one God’s Leading Lady to watch. More than her intellectual capacity is the heart to please God that she carries. Most people will definitely not see her coming because she can be self-effacing like that but Nneka is definitely going somewhere to happen and when this all unfolds you will recognise by benefit of hindsight why she is our God’s Leading Lady on the Destiny Adventures edition.
Enjoy and be inspired.
My name is Nneka Ifeoma Nwobi, and I come from Igbo-Ukwu in Anambra State. I spent all of my childhood years in Lagos. I attended Estate Nursery & Primary School, Ilupeju but moved over to Corona School in Gbagada in Primary 5. My secondary school education was at Queens College, Lagos and then to the University of Lagos, where I graduated in Economics in 1990. Immediately after graduation, I moved to the UK where I started my training to become a Certified Accountant. I got my ACCA qualification while also working as a Management Accountant. By God’s grace, I became a professionally qualified accountant at 23!
In the early 90’s, I recognized the growing importance of technology in business and decided to get an MBA with an emphasis in Information Technology & Management from City University Business School (now CASS Business School) in London in 1995. Shortly after that, I migrated to Toronto, Canada and planned to stay there for 3 years in order to get my Canadian Citizenship before moving to the USA. God however had other plans for me!
Within 3 months, I was recruited by a USA company and relocated to the USA. I became a Business Systems consultant and worked with major fortune 500 companies in over 10 countries implementing global business management systems. My job entailed 100% travel across 4 continents for the four years I worked with them. This means I was home only on weekends. After I had got married, I decided I could not continue with this type of schedule and decided to sit for my CPA (Certified Public Accountant) exams. I passed the exams at first sitting and started a CPA and Business Advisory Practice. I continued that until we moved back to Nigeria in 2007.
On returning to Nigeria, I set up a business consulting practice (while still running the one in the USA). I had the desire to start a multi-national consulting practice at the time but I however underestimated the challenges of running a service-oriented business in Nigeria, as well as dealing with some major emotional issues, having just gone through a divorce in 2007.
I sold off the USA practice in 2011 and focused on the Nigerian business. In 2012, Microsoft approached me to run their Business Solutions division (at that time; I was one of their fast-growing partners). I considered the opportunity and accepted the offer, knowing it was a larger platform and the job was still very much entrepreneurial. To the glory of God, I received the MEA Circle of Excellence in 2013 for my exceptional performance.
Sometime in the middle of last year, I was asked to consider becoming part of the management team of the Government Agency responsible for providing Connectivity and IT infrastructure and solutions to all the Government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies. After prayerfully considering the opportunity and seeking counsel, I accepted the position.
As a result of my education and experience, my current areas of expertise include Strategic and Financial Management, Marketing & Sales, People Management and Leadership. Talk about destiny adventure! I thank God for continuing to perfect all that concerns me.
I come from a very close-knit family. I am the eldest of 5 children. My parents taught us how to be independent at a young age. I have 2 younger sisters and 2 younger brothers. We are all business-oriented. All my siblings have their own businesses and are doing very well- to the glory of God! I got married in 1999, sadly separated in 2005 and was divorced in 2007. I am blessed with 2 wonderful children – a 14-year-old daughter – Ozioma Adora and a 12-year-old son – Tobenna Joel.
I am thankful that I had the opportunity to school and work abroad. It has helped broaden my horizons and experience, and I believe my return to Nigeria is a way of giving back from all the experience I have gained. Most people I knew were very surprised when I did not take a soft landing (as most returnees will say). By that they mean to accept a cushy job with all the perks upon one’s return to Nigeria. I definitely had a hard landing by starting my own business after a 17-year sojourn. I have absolutely no regrets however, because I was able to inspire and train some young men and women who are thriving in their respective careers. I still get to mentor some of them. Had I not had my business & IT consulting practice, Microsoft would not have offered me the job and I definitely would not have been able to build extensive relationships in two continents, most of which I can always tap into.
My big goal in life is to inspire and help others reach their potential in spite of seemingly adverse circumstances and serve my country in whatever capacity God brings my way. By God’s grace and mercy, I believe I am on my way there. I see it in my mind and being made manifest. I ran my own business full-time for 12 years – both in the US and Nigeria.
I believe going back to the private sector and now, public sector employment is part of my preparation for what God has in storefor me in the future. I have experienced working with some of the best companies in the world. Some of those experiences, I am already implementing at my current public service position.
I am now in the process of launching an online business advisory & coaching practice which will enable me work with growing SMEs (my passion – www.enspirebusiness.com.) Although it was never my intention to return to paid employment, God had other plans, and I willingly submitted to them. I am indeed excited at how things will pan out. For me, this speaks of Destiny Adventure again!
I gave my life to Christ in 1990 and rededicated my life to Him in August 1994. It has been a most wonderful and exhilarating experience. God has remained faithful and constant throughout this time. When I mess up, He still picks me back up, and I continue the race set before me.
Such amazing grace! I thank God for my pastors over the years who have taught me the Word of God that remains true no matter the situation. I thank God for steady spiritual growth. I am really excited about the current phase of my walk with God.
As a human being, yes, I sometimes wish I knew what God was up to ahead of time. However, I am reminded of His word that says
‘Call unto me, and I will show you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ So I believe that I will know if He wants me to know anything pertaining to a matter.
My life is guided by a number of principles and top on the list is to stay connected to God. Apart from Him I can do nothing –
John 15:5 ‘I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.’
Others are diligence and responsibility. Abiding gives me the right foundation; diligence and responsibility ensure that my ways are prosperous –
Joshua 1:8 – “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success”.
There is also the confidence in God’s ability to carry me through. “…being confident that all things work together for good…”
Life is indeed an adventure and as long as you are connected with God, inspite of the unplanned twists, turns, trials and temptations, you can still fulfil your destiny.
The key for me is to remain connected to God and remain intentional about deepening my relationship with Him.
My earliest encounter with the principle of destiny adventure as a Christian was when I relocated to Canada in 1996, without knowing anyone there. I was so excited and felt like Abraham trusting completely in God, not knowing what the future held but was confident that He will make a way out of nowhere. And He sure did!
As I ponder over my life’s journey, I see that as I continue to delight myself in the Lord, He has indeed given me and still gives me the spoken and unspoken desires of my heart.
This is without knowing how it will be made manifest. I have now learnt to dare to dream really big and excitedly watch our Heavenly Father bring my dreams to pass in His own time.
You don’t live as long as I have had the privilege to without the direction and guidance of others. During my formative years, it was my Mum and Dad. As I grew spiritually, I have been blessed to have great pastors who taught me the Word with simplicity and understanding. Pastors like, Wynne Lewis/Colin Dye (Kensington Temple), Creflo Dollar (World Changers), Mirek Hufton (World Harvest Church), Ituah Ighodalo (Trinity House). From as long as I remember, I have enjoyed reading a lot of inspirational books. Those authors also did impact my life. Currently, I am being greatly impacted by Dr. Andy Osakwe (Summit Bible Church) and John Maxwell and his leadership team, as I am affiliated with the John Maxwell coaching team.
In 10 years through Enspire Educational Foundation, I dream that we will be facilitating educational support for over 50,000 orphans and vulnerable Nigerian children alongside our worldwide partners (www.enspireeducation.org).
In 10 years, I hope to serve my country in a greater capacity. If the Lord tarries, I definitely want to be a highly successful business coach and advisor to thousands of growing SMEs. Of course, I hope to be a fulfilled wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend, manifesting God’s glory and walking in her God-ordained purpose. All of this in 10 years if Jesus tarries!
If I had the opportunity of a do-over, I would change my decision to rush into marriage without spending sufficient time to know the person I was planning to marry. At that time, I had my own timelines and needed to ensure I met my deadline. I now know better! But then again, I may not have had my 2 wonderful children. So I do believe that all things work together for good for those that are called according to his purpose. So I constantly offer a sacrifice of praise for all my experiences – the good and seemingly ‘bad’, which may not be so bad, after all.
To every young woman out there, I say a big YES! YES! You can make something of yourself if you intentionally decide that is what you want, regardless of whatever circumstances you find yourself.
I am now speaking specifically to the younger women who may have made a major life mistake or experienced what you may think as a setback and wondering how you can rise again. Girl, I have been there before- a shattering of one’s life dreams, experiencing a near-bankruptcy, losing all material assets…
One thing I am confident about is that once there is life, there is hope. This is not the end of your road! Reconnect with your heavenly Father, and He will give you the grace to pick yourself up, dust yourself out, stand and then start walking again!
Before you know it, you will be sprinting. Like the widow who had nothing but a small jar of oil, God still leaves you with that little jar of oil. Find it! It is within you – it could be your gifts, talents, abilities, education and/or experience. Surrender it to Him, and He will definitely multiply it. He is not a respecter of persons. If He did it for me and still is doing it for me, He most certainly will do it for you and more.
Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His]power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and]do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare]ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]—To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it). Ephesians 3: 20-21 (Amp).