Member of the Advisory Committee of the
US Exim Bank on Sub-Saharan Africa.
A Nigerian-American, first son of late Chief & Mrs. EE Okpa, who moved to Dallas in May 1987, and has remained in the same city ever since. He comes from a family of many siblings, but as first son in typical
Igbo-Nigeria family, He had privileges given by his father’s position but not one that got to his head. He’s a Father of 2 grown kids.
1. How would you describe yourself in one word?
2. There are so many countries around the world why have you
decided to move to the United States and why Texas?
Before I came to US, I read about it and decided it is the only country whose ways suits my nature. And Texas with its ‘Can-Do-Spirit’ – fits my way of looking at things.
3. Looking at your profile, you appear to be a very successful person. You are an honorary Admiral in the States of Texas, appointed by Governor Rick Perry.
You are the first African immigrant to become a mayor candidate in a major city and we have seen your pictures with Top US leaders not limited to US Presidents, senators and governors. What is the story behind your success?
I came to the US as an American not Nigerian. If being a Nigerian is important to me, I had no reason to have left but my ancestry and heritage are never in doubt.
Meeting important persons, by the way every person is important in their own right, is not to me. My father while I was a child took me to places and when people visited him, he had me sit in to listen. In college in Nigeria, I knew the Governor and Deputy Governor of the state and I was often invited to the Government House.
I developed my interest in networking long before I came to the US. I typically don’t socialize, I network. My father told me, Go to US and be Engaged and Involved, that if going to America was about degrees and money, I shouldn’t bother leaving Nigeria since I could get all degrees and money there.
So, I took it to heart because my parents were my role models. Meeting people in US, is natural for me.
4. Can you tell our readers something that’s true, that almost nobody agrees with you on?
I don’t apologize for my ways and I am a Republican by choice.
5. What advice do you have for African people in the Diaspora?
I was a busboy but decided that was not what I came to the US for. I said if in 2 years I didn’t get into Real Estate which is what I have always wanted to, I was going back to Nigeria.
Before 2 years was up, I got into Real Estate. My advice is for one to have a goal and still be flexible to change when due and or necessary.
They need to claim America in order for America to claim one.
There is no magic to America. Most immigrants in America don’t take advantage of the opportunities either because they do not know or just dislike America and only hang around their own. When one liberates their mind to appreciate the values America has in stock for them and are willing to claim or embrace it, America become endlessly enjoyable.
America may not be a perfect country, but it is the BEST in the world. I love being an American.