Monday, October 21, 2019

HOW I GOT MY BREAKTHROUGH IN SOUTH AFRICA - SALON AND HOTEL OWNER, REKIAT OKPE


Rekiat Okpe is a good example of one Nigerian who is doing so well abroad. She lives in South Africa. She runs a solid business there built on hard work, focus and creativity. She is one success story that needs to be celebrated.
A few days back she told City People Online Fashion and Beauty Magazine her success story, how she succeeded against all odds.

BACKGROUND
My name is Rekiat Aifereomoh Okpe, popularly known as Rekky. I live at 45, Kelvin Road, Bramley Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa.

I was born on 26th September 1973 in Mushin, Lagos State, Nigeria, and I come from Ihievbe, Owan East Local Government, Edo State. 
I attended Aiyetoro Primary School, Mushin 1979-1985 (This is an impoverished province in the outskirt of Lagos State, Nigeria) where I obtained my 1st School Leaving Certificate. I then proceeded to Nigerian Model High School, Idi Oro, Mushin 1985-1991 for my Senior Secondary School Certificate.

I graduated from the University of Benin, Edo State 1992-1996 with a Bachelor of Science, Geography and Regional Planning, with a Second Class Upper Division (2:1)

I completed my National Youth Service Corp in 1998.

I am a single mother of 2 beautiful daughters, Chidinma Mercy Okpe, A graduate of BCom Accounting, University of Limpopo who is currently pursuing her Honours in Accounting, also at the above mentioned University and Olachi Victoria Okpe, a graduate, BSc Human Physiology and Biochemistry from the University of Johannesburg (UJ).

My journey in South Africa commenced when I arrived in South Africa on 27th November 2004, in search of greener pastures with just a $100 to my name. It was not smooth sailing as I had no support, except sheer determination and the spirit of never yielding, even in the face of defeat, helplessness and hopelessness. I had to scratch my way up; it was a real struggle as I had to try and fit in with the culture and norms in this foreign land. Being no stranger to hairstyling (this was my hobby back in Uniben as well as a means of sustenance in school) I delved back into this immediately and started working in a salon on Corlett Drive.
My creativity impressed the owner, who saw what I had done with a friend's hair that had come to her salon to fix her nails. That was first breakthrough! I was hired immediately and spent 4 months there before being head-hunted by my former boss Lydia, who offered me better working conditions and a better salary. To augment my income, and in order to manage the basic costs of living such as rent, I took on a second job at St. John School as a Caregiver in the hospitals. However, I soon realised that my passion was in the hair industry. I left St. John and devoted all my energy into establishing a legitimate hairdressing business. My determination not to engage in any illegal or illicit business or activity pushed me to work hard and attain a worthy life for myself and my family

Growing up very indigent taught me that being focused, having set goals and hard work are the only things one can afford and have at one’s disposal to achieve any measure of personal success. Those were the building blocks for starting my business in this foreign land, where personal finance and institutional funding were non-existent.

Blessed with an entrepreneurial and tenacious spirit, I was never complacent that what I had achieved and was restless to move onto the next big project. The idea on what to do was sparked on one of my trips to China (where I stock high quality hairpieces for the salon). I had spent all the money I had with me, barring the taxi fee for the final trip to the airport. As per hotel rules, I had to check out of my room at 10am; my flight was only at 11pm that night. With no other option, I had to hang around the hotel lobby and watch people come and go! The idea soon dropped that this could be another income revenue stream for me.
It was only after a friend in Nigeria had suggested in passing that I could convert my house into a guesthouse that I really put the idea into action. I have always surrounded myself with people that can add value in my life, or with who a symbiotic relationship allows us to grow. With almost zero finance from anywhere, I worked tirelessly for 11months, building and converting my personal home into what is today Rekky's Signature Guest House.


ESTABLISHMENT IN HOSPITALITY

Rekky's Signature Guest House opened its doors in 2018. It is a 4-Star Guest-house, as awarded by South African Tourism Grading Council. We provide a great visitor experience from the simple yet sophisticated ambiance and facilities to the tranquil and surroundings, in the heart of Northern Johannesburg’s thriving metropolis.
Rekky’s Signature Guest House and Lodge is an up-market, luxury guest house. Your comfort in our beautiful rooms is our concern, and we place a strong emphasis on privacy. Our highly competitive rates make this the perfect place to stay in Bramley, Sandton.
The rooms of the guest house are spacious, modern, equipped with luxury services and are all en-suite with a bath and shower. Each room is in its own way unique and each is named after a gemstone that inspires the room’s decoration and vibe.
We have seen different and diverse groups and individual come to our door and has given great reviews on our services and co.












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