Kanu was born in Isiama Afara, Abia State, Nigeria. His father is HRM Eze Israel Okwu Kanu (JP) and his mother is Ugoeze Nnenne Kanu. He attended Library Avenue Primary School (now part of Government House, Umuahia) and went to Government College Umuahia for his secondary education. He later gained admission to the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) but left after two years. He moved to London and studied Political Economics at London Guildhall University now called London Metropolitan University (LMU).
According to Nnamdi KANU himself, he said that he was admitted to study geology but all receive chemistry class, which according to him was not in line with what wanted. Nnamdi went home, and told his father to send him abroad to study,that he will no longer continue with UNN. He he got admitted,and studied political economics at London guildhall university.
Nnamdi KANU and his friend Luke chukuma Egemba established Alpha Phoenix consulting firm,which was incorporated in 2005.
Nnamdi KANU and his wife resigned from the company and focused on the Biafra course.