Obina Ekezie Biography, Networth, and Investments
Obina Ralph Ekezie is a former professional basketball player of Nigerian descent and Co-Founder and CEO, Wakanow. He is also the founder of online travelling platform, ZeepTravel. As mentioned above, Obina once played in America’s NBA and in other leagues all over the world. The word which forms his name, “Obina” means ‘Fathers Heart’. His father, Duruike Akubugali was a business man and an Igbo warrior in the 19th century.
- 1 Obina Ekezie Biography, Networth, and Investments
- 1.1 Early Life
- 1.2 Educational Background
- 1.3 Physical and Other Characteristics
- 1.4 Basketball Career
- 1.5 Basketball Career history
- 1.6 Business Career: Wakanow and Destinations Africa (DA),
- 1.7 Investment in Wakanow by The Carlyle Group
- 1.8 Obinna Ekezie’s Net Worth
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Obina Ekezie Biography, Networth, and Investments
Obina Ekezie was born on the 22nd of August, 1975 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. He is however from Obor Autonomous Community in Orlu Urban Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria.
Obina Ralph Ekezie had his education at Worcester Academy, a college in America before he studied at the University Of Maryland School Of Business.
Physical and Other Characteristics
Obinna Ekezie is 6feet and 10inches tall (i.e., 2.08m). He weigh 268.4lbs (i.e., 121.7kg) and his zodiac sign is Leo. The Sun is Leo’s ruling planet with lucky days being Sundays. Leo’s lucky numbers which imply that Obinna Ekezie’s lucky numbers are 1, 4, 10, 13, 19, and 22. Leo’s lucky colours are Gold, Orange, White, and Red and this could be Obinna Ekezie’s lucky colors too.
People who have Leo as their Zodiac sign have positive character traits such as self-awareness, Optimism, Dignity, and Romantic. These set of people could also have negative character traits such as arrogance and impatience.
Obina began his career in 1995 when he started playing for Maryland Terrapins. He ended his stay there in 1999 when A 6’9″ 270 lb. center. He was selected later by the NBA team Vancouver Grizzles in the 37th 1999 NBA Draft. Obina played between 1999-2005 for five NBA teams before leaving America to Serbia where he played for Red Star Belgrade and to Italy where he played for Lottomatica Roma and in Russia where he played for Dynamo Moscow. His playing career lasted between 1995-2007. His playing position was at the centre.
Basketball Career history
1. 1999–2000 Vancouver Grizzlies
2. 2000–2001 Washington Wizards
3. 2001 Dallas Mavericks
4. 2001–2002 Los Angeles Clippers
5. 2002–2003 Red Star Belgrade
6. 2004–2005 Columbus River dragons
7. 2005 Atlanta Hawks
8. 2006 Virtus Roma
9. 2006–2007 Dynamo Moscow
Obinna Ekezie retired from playing basketball in 2007 having played professionally since 1999.
Business Career: Wakanow and Destinations Africa (DA),
After retiring from active basketball, Obina Ralph Ekezie founded an online travelling platform in 2009 in Nigeria called “Wakanow”. Ever since it has become one of Africa’s top online travelling platform.
Wakanow has recorded more than seven hundred thousand online bookings. This achievement helped the company to earn an exclusive license as an event reseller during the FIFA world cup of 2010.
Wakanow was founded in Nigeria in 2009 and is a fully operational full-service online travel company in West Africa. The company provides its wide array of customers with a one-stop online booking portal for services such as hotels, holiday packages, flights, and other ancillaries, and travel services.
Wakanow is a highly networked system with traditional brick-and-mortar travel centres and has operations spread across Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the United Kingdom (UK).
The company also launched a travel platform for booking flights in Africa called “Destinations Africa (DA)” which allows bookings on all categories of travels in the continent. Wakanow provides customers an online portal for booking flights, lodging into hotels and other holiday packages.
The company provides easy, cheap and affordable with just a click of a button. Obina thought it right to provide a means where Africans especially Nigerians are provided a proper customer service, due to his experience in America.
Investment in Wakanow by The Carlyle Group
As the company continued growing and providing proper services to its customers, a US based equity firm invested over $40 million in the company. The firm known as ‘The Carlyle Group’ founded by David Rubenstein, William Conway and Daniel D’Aniello through its Managing Director Idris Mohammed said in an interview:
“Wakanow has experienced incredible growth since inception, disrupting the travel market and taking market share both online and offline. We believe that this strong growth trajectory will continue as Wakanow benefits from an expanding middle class across the continent in addition to increasing internet penetration and mobile connectivity, which is driving increased online traffic. We look forward to working with Wakanow’s management team to help them deliver on their vision for growth and expansion.”
Obina Ekezie responding said:
“The Company will clear its debts and become debt-free and gives us the ability to grow the business and offer customers various exciting hotel packages and others.
“It gives us, from the Carlyle prospective, a massive investment fund and the opportunity to leverage on their networks and capacity to add value to the business and customers.
“We are focusing on the current markets for now – Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya,”
Obinna Ekezie’s Net Worth
industry pundits posit that the year 2019 has had a good bearing on Obinna Ekezie’s net worth. He is estimated to be worth about $2.9m in 2019 as reported by the users of vipfaq. This estimate is based on several factors such as his investments in stocks and properties, as well as ownership of luxury goods including private airplanes and yachts.
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