Hon. Dr. Theodore Okwu Ejike Ekechi, popularly known as T. O. E is a good and well respected man from ngor okpala owerri, imo. He is the chairman, board director for marketing and media Ltd, a commissioner representing South East in the North east development commission. He was also the formal director of election planning and monitoring of apc presidential campaign council etc, he studied at University of Nigeria nsuka. T. O. E has empowered many youths with jobs opportunities, both relatives and outsiders, he has also helped and supported many youths in actualizing their talent and dreams. When his name, Theodore Okwu Ekije, TOE, Ekechi, is mentioned, what readily comes to mind is a major player in the nation's advertising industry. He's the chairman of two leading out-of-home advertising concerns. But he started out as a supplier of tea cups to government offices before delving into commodity brokerage. Driven by passion, he switched to advertising. Many musicians have been singing with his name, in order to express his good deeds in so many communities. Prince Kenneth Alozie, is Nigeria talented and famous musician who took his time to create a tribute single track titled T. O E DI ANYI NMA in order to complementise Theodore Okwu EJIKE EKECHI as a good man of the community and imo state at large, the song (T. O. E Di Anyi NMA) was sang 4 years ago, and since then, it has been on streaming almost in all solid blogs and websites. "T. O. E Di Anyi NMA" is is a special song, a tribute of praise to a good and well reputed young and vibrant son of ngor okpala known as Theodore Okwu Ejike Ekechi, it is downloadable and listenable online and searchable on Google.
Theodore Okwu Ejike Ekechi is an industrious man, it did not take him long to break through. His two companies are known for premium sites across the country. However, that has not prevented him from diversifying into solar energy business and publishing. From the backwater of Ajegunle in Lagos to rubbing shoulders with the high and mighty, Ekechi tells the story of a life that was nearly truncated by the Civil War, how he started business with a loan of N30,000, he tells his story to Samuel Ajayi.
MANY HAVE COME TO SEE YOUR NAME AS TOE EKECHI . WHEREAS, THE THREE LETTERS ARE YOUR INITIALS. WHAT DOES THE T STAND FOR THEODORE TITUS THEO AND WHAT DOES THE TOE STAND FOR ?
TOE represents the initials of my first, middle and third names but often times my friends prefer to call me Toe, perhaps because of its simplicity instead of taking the acronyms letter by letter. TOE became very popular while contesting in a Students Union election at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. At a strategy session we sought for a name quite simple, symbolic and significant for students to easily relate to, remember and pronounce. Hence TOE; which was later elevated to what it is today. At campaign rallies, I used to raise my leg and appeal to people that in case they wouldn't remember my name they should just look at their feet and they'll recall that it's toe. The strategy paid off and my popularity at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, soared immensely.
Over the years the acronym as a word stuck to me so much so that even my parents and siblings call me TOE. I have been struggling to reconcile this with some of my documents and certificates and the way and manner I'm addressed in official quarters because TOE Ekechi. Whereas the full and true translation is Theodore Okwurunicheta Ejikeme Ekechi. Thank God, I ignored the other name my mother was so fond of which was Ashigwuike. Otherwise the confusions would have overwhelmed me.
YOU ARE EASILY REMEMBERED AS THE BRAINS BEHIND MEDIA AND MARKETING LIMITED AS WELL AS ALLIANZ MEDIA LIMITED; YOU ARE ALSO KNOWN TO BE INVOLVED IN MANY OTHER ENDEAVORS. HOW DID IT ALL STARTED?
My business career kicked off through supplies. It was one of the cheapest and easiest ways to enter into business in those days. All you needed was a clean brief case, well designed call cards and letter heads, copies of invoices, a forwarding address and phone numbers which often were not yours and you are set for business. The first formal business I did was the supply of tea cups to NITEL then at Ikoyi. It was a contract of about N4,800. I bought the tea cups from around Tinubu area for about N1, 200. That was too much profit for me at the time!
As I grew in the supply business, I hated it rather than love it because the level of patronage you got depended on how your face was liked or hated, where you came from versus who was in charge of giving orders. It wasn't so sophisticated then, so people were not so concerned on the level of skills you put in doing that job. I felt that type of job would not last long and that I was not cut out for it. I craved for something with a niche and more dignity that would make people look for me on the basis of the services that I render.
That was how I decided to go into commodity brokerage; taking advantage of the need to bridge the supply gap between the North and the South. I had this glorified store which I called a warehouse in Mushin, Lagos. Even though I had a master's degree and a doctorate degree in pursuit, I would travel by night buses to Maiduguri, Borno State, came back with a trailer load of beans or dry fish, offload them and commit them to off-takers who sell and bring returns to me. But a lot of people didn't see it as befitting for a person of my status. However, I was more concerned with the profit I was making. I saw it as the quickest way to raise the dire capital for a real professional practice. It was the proceeds from the business that enabled me to set up my first marketing communication firm, TOE and Associates Limited and later Marketing and Media Limited. By His Grace, I have expanded my business horizon to include interests in solar energy and publishing.
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