By Nairaland Forum Jerome Ezeneche is the leader of Ndi Igbo in China, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. He recently won the Anambra Diaspora Person of the Year. In this Exclusive Interview with IGBERE TV, he talks about his early life and his status as Eze Ndi Igbo in six countries. Excerpts:
*WHAT WAS GROWING UP LIKE FOR YOU?*
I was born and bred at Onitsha. I lost my father Cyprian Ezeneche at a very young age. I was six , assisting my mother who ran a restaurant . I had other siblings but I was the first son and the responsibilities associated with that position are many. The death of my father made me grow up fast. I became a father figure to my younger ones, playing the role model while at the same time assisting my mother. Before his death, my father was a hardworking and successful man in his time, with houses in the village and at Onitsha where he was based. At his demise, his siblings who were his business partners kept the knowledge of my late father’s properties away from us because my mother was not literate enough to ask questions. I would later join my mother in her restaurant. I believe that contributed to the person I am today because the restaurant afforded me the opportunity to learn some culinary skills which rubbed off of what I do today.
My mother’s restaurant was located at Awada, a suburb in Onitsha and it was a very popular restaurant in those days. I was a boarder in school. During holidays, I would come back to help my mother. My experience in her restaurant and the cooking skill I learnt earned me a position as the school kitchen prefect at Abbot Boys College, Ihiala and I was in that position from class 4. It was from that class that my mother stopped paying my school fees and that was because of my position. Some parents were even paying me to help look after their wards in school and in turn took me as their own son.
Due to paucity of funds, I decided to quit further studies for business after my secondary school. I learnt baking materials trade under Mr Boniface Okwuolisa, from Ihiala. I was with Mr. Boniface before I met Cornel Tochukwu Kpajie, from Uke. Mr. Tochukwu’s boss was selling baking powder with the name ‘First Choice’ in those days. Read More
Source:: Nigerian Chatter