One of Nigeria’s famous motivational speakers, Lucky Udu, is one man who has seen it all – from losing both parents at a tender age, to becoming a popular Nigerian filmmaker as well as an honorary doctorate award recipient at the age of 24.
Cyber Reporters caught up with the filmaker who has close to 270,000 followers on social network platform Facebook as his videos have garnered well over 60 million views.
Who is Lucky Udu?
My name is Lucky David Udu, I’m from Ika North East Local Government of Delta State. I was born on the 2nd of June, 1997. I’m 24 years old.
My dad died when I was about 2 years old. After his death, my mom took me with her to Port Harcourt and there we lived with her step-brother and three of his children.
My mom later passed on before I was even 5 years old.
Tell us about your childhood
I grew up with my uncle and I schooled in Port Harcourt along with his three children.
When I was 14 years old in 2012, my uncle sent me parking out of his house and back to Delta state because he couldn’t accommodate my short comings.
It was then my story started, it was then I realized I was an orphan.
It was then I realized I had no siblings and no grandparents, I began to strive, life was harsh. I was 14 and I had no experience in anything. I was exposed to the street life. I lived in an abandoned kitchen and there wasn’t even soap or bucket in my possession. All I had was my Ghana-must-go-bag. I was homeless at some point in my life. I saw wickedness and I saw evil flourishing in the streets.
Your journey to becoming a great motivational speaker seems peculiar, how did it all start?
My story is a long one, I did all kinds of hard job at that age to survive, I starved for days.
I got a job as a receptionist when I was 15years old (2013) at Legend hotel, Owa-Ekie road, Agbor, Delta state.
The owner of the hotel then helped me with N50,000 when he realized I was homeless. I then rented a one room, 2,000 naira per month and I paid for 1year, I bought foam, torch light, stove, pots and bucket and I started my life then, I was already 16 years.
I worked really really hard to earn daily bread. I worked as a gateman, a conductor, I hawked everything that had value. I was well known in College junction, Agbor, Delta state. I hawked there from 2013 to 2017 when I finally gained admission into the University through a scholarship program. Although the scholarship wasn’t free, but that opportunity shaped my life.
What was your major step in life while you were all alone?
At 17, I had already compiled some of my favorite quotes in a book I titled “Fountain of Wisdom”, I asked for help to publish that book but nobody gave me any and even my pastor disappointed me despite I was a true and reliable member (I did so much for the church).
I had to hustle and also sold my phone to raise N20,000 in 2015 to publish that book. I published 1,000 copies, I was 18 already.
It was hard selling it, I had no experience but in 2 months, I had already sold everything. I began to compile some of the mistakes people make in English and their different corrections in a book I titled “My Little Big Errors In English Language” and I published 1000 copies of it. That was now my second book.
I worked hard and hard and I moved to a self-contained apartment, I published more copies of my two books and I single handedly sold 8,000 copies of it.
Among the people who bought the 8,000 copies, only one person looked at me and thought that someone like me shouldn’t be on the streets.
He asked me if I would like to go to school, I said yes and he said I should go buy a jamb form. This was in 2016.
His name is Douglas Chukwusa (A student of Novena University)
He told me to process the scholarship would cost some money and I’ll have to pay his boss (the person that also helped him).
Douglas told me he used to ride Okada on the street to survive until he got this scholarship to study in school.
They first requested for 50,000naira. I didn’t tell them I have never seen that kind of money in my entire life. I have never come across any reasonable opportunity in my life and I didn’t want to discourage them.
I began to hustle, I was selling my books and sending them every penny I made. My books got finished and I had only raised 20,000 naira. I had to sell my generator, my TV, my DVD, stabilizer, fan and every valuable thing I had own and finally I paid the 50k.
Later they requested for 20k and then 10k again. I had no book left to sell and no way to raise the money cause I was looking so bad, nobody really gave my help.
I had to sell my new phone again for the second time to publish 700 copies of my book and in 2017, I gained admission through the scholarship to study at a world class private university- Elizade University.
How did you find yourself making videos?
I started making videos in 2017 and one day I woke up and I was viral. The video that brought me to limelight was the video I made about common mistakes in English Language. I began to teach English and sell my books online and that was how life began to change. The money from the sales of my books and online classes, I put it into creating contents.
Actually when I started posting videos, I use to have only 5 views, I mean nobody knew me. I was surrounded by thugs and illiterates, most of who are drug dealers, cultists, and miscreants.
Today I have 265,000 followers and over 60 million views on Facebook (meta) with my contents reaching over 40 different counties.
If you watch my videos and pay attention carefully to it, you’ll notice they are all dedicated to the course of the less privileged in the society. My experience in life has shaped me and hardly will I post a video that won’t be beneficial to the less privilege in the society.
What is your source of inspiration?
I have seen and endured hardship under the surface of the sun and this in turn, has shaped me into becoming a motivational speaker and inspired me to speak on certain topics.
I hope that in years to come, my identity as a poverty activist and Orator would have be known to the world and I’ll travel to speak to people and speak words that will sweep them off their feet and shape their lives for good.
For every video I post, I’m using my pain to create love for someone out there.
Are you also looking at delving into politics?
My dream is to become a leader in Nigeria. It wasn’t up to a week that I finished my final exams at Elizade University that I received a honorary doctorate award from the institute of Cooperate and Public Administrators of Nigeria (ICPAN).
I also got contacted by the President of the Nigerian Youth Congress and they would like to have me as one of their executives in the Congress. I am expecting a letter of appointment from the office this week as their Director for Youth Sensitization and Rehabilitation Affairs.