Former engineer Drea Okeke goes from calculations to comedy and makes $1 million

Abu Mubarik October 13, 2023
Drea Okeke. Photo: Instagram/drea_knowsbest

Drea Okeke is a former engineer turned content creator. The Nigerian American’s talents lie within comedy, storytelling, consultancy, motivational and public speaking. Over the years, she has been hailed as one of the best TikTokers to follow.

She has seven million followers on TikTok and has collaborated with brands such as Nissan, Google, Coca-Cola, 7-Eleven, Disney, Netflix, McDonald’s, and TikTok. She also runs her education company, Next Level Influence, which teaches people how to build digital communities. 

Okeke’s content-creating journey began during her college days. According to her, she discovered content creation as a form of escape from the endless studying that she was doing to get her bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering.

“I started to make videos of myself as a fun distraction and a way to entertain both myself along with my peers. What initially started as a way to kill time quickly evolved into a passion for creating engaging and relatable content,” she told Wonderland Magazine.

After graduation, she moved to California where she worked as a full-time engineer. She balanced her day job with content creation and by 2018, she gained more traction and recognition for making people laugh and bringing joy to many.

“Witnessing people drawn to my videos and receiving positive feedback inspired me to fully embrace content creation as a career,” she noted. “The love and support from my growing audience further solidified my commitment to entertaining and inspiring others. Today, my journey in content creation continues to be a labor of love, where I’m grateful for the opportunity to connect with a diverse and engaged community through my humour and relatable storytelling,” she said.

Okeke’s content creation journey did not come without challenges. She had to overcome personal struggles to be among the top 50 content creators in the world, per Forbes. She had alopecia which is a sensitive subject for her. According to her, the thought of being vulnerable to the entire world was overwhelmingly daunting.

“I knew that my intention for wanting to share it with people was to show that self-love is a journey worth embracing, and that it’s okay to be different, but that didn’t negate how hard of a decision it was,” she noted. 

“The hardest mountain to climb isn’t the tallest one but the one where you have to face your demons, and by demons I mean insecurities. But I pushed the button nevertheless and it was published for everyone to see.”

Her social media influence has seen her featured on Forbes’ 2023 Top Creators list. According to the business magazine, she made $1 million and is ranked 49 on the list.

Okeke was born in Nigeria but she and her family moved to New York when she was young. Integrating into American society was initially challenging but the differences allowed her to develop and harness her God-given talents, Forbes reported.

“Being that girl with an accent and extremely tall towering over all my peers made me stand out and targeted to be bullied,” Okeke recalled to the magazine. But her accent challenge and more helped identify her and make her a social media sensation. “There is a major demographic of first-generation kids who can relate to my videos where I bring a lot of things from my culture in my content,” she told Forbes in the 2021 interview.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: October 13, 2023


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