WRITTEN BY: OMEGA NGEMA
After enjoying a professional sporting career since high school and being head hunted from his home country, Nigeria, into South Africa to pursue a rugby career, Nnamdi MEC ‘Bruno’ Onyiewu (40), had no idea he would be drawn back the career that he was born into.
Now successfully running, a safety and security business for over a decade, son of police officer mother and father Bruno says he realises that protecting others was his ultimate destiny.
“I was raised by very energetic, very loving parents. I had four sisters and two brothers. We were raised in a Christian home, and we had a very structured life. I had a strict routine, after school it would be homework, and thereafter household chores, before hitting the gym to keep fit,” said Bruno.
The both academically strong and sports active student says, in hindsight, he also adopted his entrepreneurial disposition from his parents as he would assist his mother with her baking business during school holidays.
In February 2004 his South African brainchild, The Bold Heart Group was established. At first the business was a mainly security services provider, however over time the it has evolved and ventured into other avenues of the industry including venue cleaning, as well as artist management and recording label.
“The best thing about our line of work is the fact that we are doing our bid to keep South Africa safe, one day at a time. This alone, makes me sleep better at night,” said Bruno.
This once sports star, said although he had always envisioned a career in sports, he feels just as passionate about his ultimate line of work.
“It is important in any career to love what you do. To attain success in business, you need to put in the hard work and market your business all the time because you never know who is watching,” said Bruno.
Running a business, however is never smooth sailing and Bruno said one the biggest challenges they encounter is having to chase clients for payments. He said as a small business, there will always be the challenge whereby potential clients only prefer bigger companies for business, however it was important to never give up and prove your worth.
He admitted that the Covid 19 pandemic also presented its own challenges, and the lesson to be learned was the fact that times were changing and it was imperative to adapt to the new normal to survive. Like most businesses, he said they have had to diversify their investment as multiple streams of income were the only way to go.
“What sets us BHG apart from other services providers in our industry is our amazing team. To us, what we do is more of a calling than just a job. We are big on relationships, some of our current clients were there since day one,” said Bruno.