Ebby Magazine





Meet the TikTok Sensation and Forbes honoree who is revolutionizing influence with heart and humor, setting a new standard for connection.






In the vast expanse of cyberspace, where trends come and go, and voices vie for attention, there exists a rare gem—a figure whose presence transcends the screen, whose laughter resonates deeply, and whose words spark joy and introspection in equal measure. Enter Drea Okeke, affectionately known to her 6.6 million TikTok followers as @DreaKnowsBest. Her journey from engineering graduate to digital sensation reads like a modern-day fairy tale, marked by resilience, authenticity, and an unwavering commitment to uplifting others.

Drea’s rise to prominence is not merely a story of viral success but a testament to the power of authenticity and connection in a digital age. Hailing from a Nigerian American background and having lived across continents, her experiences have woven a rich tapestry of cultural influences into her content. This tapestry resonates deeply with her audience, regardless of geography or background.

What sets Drea apart is her ability to entertain and her gift for infusing every skit and video with a profound sense of humanity. Whether she’s hilariously impersonating her Nigerian mother, sharing intimate stories of her struggles and triumphs, or creating content that celebrates her cultural heritage, Drea’s authenticity shines through, inviting her audience to laugh, reflect, and embrace their journeys with grace and humor.

But Drea’s impact extends far beyond the confines of social media. As a sought-after speaker, consultant, and host, she has leveraged her platform to champion causes close to her heart. Her advocacy work has led to tangible results, from advocating for marginalized communities to empowering the next generation of creators. Her dedication to giving back is evident in every facet of her work, whether funding college scholarships for first-generation African American students or helping build schools in her native Nigeria.

In a world where influencers often prioritize image over substance, Drea Okeke stands as a beacon of authenticity—a reminder that actual influence is not measured in likes or follows but in the lives we touch and the hearts we uplift. Join us as we explore the multifaceted brilliance of this digital luminary, whose laughter, wisdom, and boundless heart continue to inspire millions around the globe.






Your journey from engineering to digital content creation is fascinating. What inspired you to make that leap, and how did you navigate the transition?

First of all, I’m so excited to have this interview. I’m glad to be here and sharing my journey with the Ebby Magazine fam!  My switch from engineering to content creation has definitely been a wild ride fueled by faith! What really pushed me to make the leap was this burning need to bring joy to people worldwide and share my Nigerian culture on a level that just wasn’t possible to do from my cubicle. Life is too short not to chase your dreams, so I bet on myself and chase!

I jumped headfirst into the world of content creation, self-teaching myself on everything from video editing to how to really engage with an audience. I brought my problem-solving skills from engineering into the mix, which helped a ton in planning out my content strategy. Honestly, I just took it one day at a time, focusing on creating content that felt true to me and hoping it would resonate with others. It’s been quite the journey, but sharing my culture and bringing smiles to people’s faces has made every bit of it worth it!


To achieve a seamless blend of comedy and cultural commentary in your content, how do you approach crafting material that resonates with humor and authenticity?

No matter who you are, the first time we chat, I’ll probably get you involved in my culture in some way—maybe by teaching you an African dance move or having you try some Nigerian jollof. It’s just my thing; I naturally want to make everyone Nigerian by association! lol This authenticity is what I live by, so bringing that same vibe into my content was a no-brainer. It’s super easy for me to weave my culture into my storytelling because it’s genuinely a part of who I am. Sharing these bits of my heritage just feels like inviting friends into my home. 

Creating content that blends humor with culture is all about authenticity. I draw from everyday life, like family antics or cultural quirks, ensuring it resonates universally. By deeply listening to what engages my community, I craft stories that not only entertain but also celebrate my Nigerian heritage. It truly warms my heart to see people from different cultural backgrounds connect with my content and get joy from it. I’m happy to bring joy to diverse people worldwide. 


Advocacy and giving back are integral to your work. Could you share more about your initiatives supporting marginalized communities, such as funding scholarships and building schools?

Growing up in a family of philanthropists, giving back was a value instilled in me from a young age. My first major initiative began in 2018, not long after I started earning a substantial income from social media. I committed then to using my resources to support others and help bring their dreams to life. One of my early projects was a partnership with Geek Code Planet in Abuja, Nigeria. We organized a coding contest for girls—the winner, a remarkably talented 10-year-old, coded her robot to be the fastest, winning a new laptop. This experience opened my eyes to the vast potential and talent on the continent, and I’ve taken immense pride in using my platform to nurture these young minds ever since.

A key project for me has been the El Gibor Academy, located in a rural community in Nigeria. I’ve been deeply involved in the construction of this school, especially during my time in the National Youth Service Corps, a community service program in Nigeria. Building relationships with the students at El Gibor Academy, whom I call my ‘bonus kids hehe,’ has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my work. In December 2023, I visited them and organized a big Christmas party after not seeing them for so many years! Considering the average monthly income of parents in that community is around $30, it was important to me that these kids have a joyful Christmas, regardless of the challenges their families might be facing at home. Working on the expansion of the school has not only been about constructing buildings but also about creating an environment where these children can thrive and feel supported. Each visit and each project brings us closer together, and watching them grow and enjoy these moments is incredibly fulfilling.

Scholarships are another pillar of my philanthropic beliefs. Believing firmly that education can unlock doors to opportunities otherwise inaccessible, I launched the Drea Knows Best Scholarship in 2021. In partnership with My Scholly Inc., we awarded $7,500 to two first-generation college students—children of immigrant parents—understanding personally the financial challenges of education from my own family’s experiences at Penn State.

Looking forward, I aim to establish my own nonprofit to expand these efforts, allowing me to undertake even larger projects that can have a significant impact on marginalized communities. Each initiative is a step toward empowering the next generation, and I’m excited for what the future holds.


Your recent television ventures, particularly “We Need to Talk About America,” offer a unique platform to explore cultural identity. Can you share what this experience has been like for you?

Being part of ‘We Need to Talk About America’ has been an incredible journey for me. The best part? I got to be my authentic self on screen, which isn’t always a given on television. I had the opportunity to discuss my Nigerian culture and point out the quirky differences I see in American behaviors—always a fun topic! It was also amazing to connect with other comedians from diverse backgrounds, sharing laughs and perspectives on the unique ways we each view America. But beyond the fun and games, the truly rewarding aspect was taking my talents to a larger stage. Being on the big screen felt like a huge milestone—like, ‘Mama, I made it!’ It’s been a validating experience, affirming that embracing my roots and sharing my point of view can resonate on any platform.




How do you unwind and care for yourself mentally and emotionally amidst your busy schedule and inspiring work?

I play tennis! It’s great cardio, it’s super fun, and it really helps me clear my head. Plus, there’s nothing like a good playlist to boost my mood. Listening to music is my go-to songs; it’s like therapy for my soul, keeping me centered no matter how hectic things get.


What mindset or practice helps you stay grounded and focused on your goals in moments of doubt or challenge?

Whenever I face doubts or challenges, I turn to my journal. It’s my go-to practice for staying grounded. I write down everything I’m feeling when I hit a hurdle, and then I pray and focus on staying optimistic. Once I’ve overcome the challenge, I make sure to journal about that victory, too. This way, when new challenges arise, I can look back at how I’ve navigated past difficulties and remind myself of how things turned out better than I feared. It’s like telling myself, ‘Calm down, Drea, everything will be fine. What’s meant for you won’t miss you.’ It’s a comforting reminder that helps keep me focused and moving forward.


As a speaker and consultant, you’ve shared insights on personal branding and digital success. What advice do you have for aspiring creators looking to impact today’s digital landscape?

Don’t chase after what every other creator is doing. Focus on your unique strengths and passions. Master your niche. In my course, Next Level Influence, I dive into strategies for discovering your niche and how to navigate creating engaging content that will help aspiring creators level up their online brands. The digital world is packed, but trust me, there’s room for everyone. It can get noisy out there, and it’s super easy to lose who you are and why you started creating in the first place. But Don’t try to blend in or copy what everyone else is doing. Find your lane, own it, and crush it. You’ve got something special that nobody else can offer, just the way you do. Cherish and leverage that uniqueness to stand out and make a real impact.


Can you tell us more about your TikTok Masterclass, “Next Level Influence,” and how it empowers aspiring creators to navigate the complexities of social media?

My TikTok Masterclass, ‘Next Level Influence,’ is really a culmination of everything I’ve learned through trial and error in the digital space—all packed into one comprehensive course. It gives creators the tools they need to thrive in the world of social media, from the basics of crafting engaging content to the deeper strategies of algorithm mastery and audience engagement.

I break down the essentials of creating standout videos that not only catch the eye but also keep viewers coming back for more. We dive into understanding TikTok’s unique environment, how to optimize your posts for maximum visibility, and how to build a loyal community around your content. Whether you’re an aspiring creator or a small business owner, I designed Next Level Influence with your success in mind. 


With your extensive collaborations and partnerships, how do you maintain authenticity and align with brands that share your values?

Staying true to myself and my values is key when it comes to brand partnerships. I only team up with brands that I genuinely use and love, which makes it natural for me to integrate them into my content. Take Nissan, for example. My first car was a Nissan Altima, which I bought with my savings right after college. That car was with me through everything, from driving to hosting classes to collaborating with other creators. When I left my engineering job, I packed all my belongings into that same Nissan and headed off to pursue my dreams in LA. Fast forward to today, and I’ve come full circle with a major brand partnership with Nissan—they’ve even given me the latest model to drive and promote. This isn’t just a partnership; it’s a personal story, and that’s why it fits so seamlessly into my content. It’s all about connections like these that keep my collaborations authentic and true to who I am.






What are your goals and aspirations for the future, personally and professionally?

In your stand-up comedy, you often celebrate your Nigerian heritage and culture. Can you recall a moment when your humor helped bridge cultural divides and foster understanding?

In terms of my future goals, both personally and professionally, I aspire to expand my reach and deepen the impact of my work. I want to take my talent for hosting to the next level by being booked to host my own global show. 

I’m passionate about using my platform not just to entertain but to educate and foster cultural understanding across diverse audiences. I plan to continue exploring new ways to connect with people globally, perhaps through more international trips or collaborative projects that bring different cultures together.

A vivid example of how humor and cultural sharing can bridge divides occurred during a trip to Italy. I posted a video where I was teaching locals Nigerian slang and the interaction was filled with laughter and genuine curiosity. A lot of my comment responses were positive, while many were surprised to see such warm acceptance, which challenged some existing stereotypes. Comments like ‘Wow, I guess they do like us out there!’ were common. This moment underscored the power of sharing culture in a lighthearted way, helping to soften perceptions and open doors to mutual respect and enjoyment. 


Your comedic sketches often feature hilarious impersonations of your Nigerian mother, which resonate with many viewers. How has your family, particularly your mom, influenced your sense of humor and shaped the content you create?

Growing up, humor was a huge part of my family’s life. My mom, who inspires my ‘Mama D’ character, along with my three siblings, were always cracking jokes and playing games. These moments really shaped my sense of humor and inspired much of the content I create today. In fact, I’m channeling that same family fun into my latest project—a slang challenge card game called ‘Nonsense Slangs by Mama D.’ This game incorporates various African slangs, and each comes with a fun challenge.

I’m thrilled about the idea of bringing people together to laugh, play, and maybe even learn a bit about the vibrant slang from our continent. It’s a nod to those playful days with my family and a chance to share a slice of that joy with the world.


As someone who shares positivity and encouragement with your audience, what’s a mantra or affirmation you rely on during challenging times?

When things get tough, my go-to mantra is, ‘Optimism is my lifeline.’ I truly believe that holding onto hope and expecting the best, even when things look impossible, is what keeps me pushing forward. When things look impossible, God can make it possible. Optimism is the lifeline that has gotten me through life’s rough patches. 


Reflecting on your journey, what moment or achievement are you particularly proud of, and why is it significant to you?

Reflecting on my journey, one moment that stands out as a true highlight was being invited by The Academy to attend the Oscars. It was a phenomenal experience, not just personally but also culturally. I wore an exquisite outfit designed by the Nigerian designer Anit Cuts, proudly showcasing my heritage on one of the world’s biggest stages. More than just representing, I had the incredible opportunity to teach Nigerian slang to celebrities on the red carpet, bringing a piece of my culture to the global spotlight. Moments like these are rare—they don’t just happen to anyone. It’s giving: blessed and highly favored!


Lastly, what legacy do you hope to leave through your work, and what message would you like to impart to future generations of creators and influencers?

Looking ahead, the legacy I hope to leave through my work is all about authenticity. I want people, especially future generations of creators and influencers, especially creators of color, to see that being true to yourself isn’t just possible—it’s actually the secret to success. You know that old saying, ‘Be yourself because everyone else is taken’? Well, it’s not just a cute quote; it’s real advice. It’s so much easier and more rewarding to be yourself than to try to be someone else. By embracing who you are and every unique part, you can carve out your own space and truly shine. That’s the message I want to leave behind: Work hard, Never underestimate the power of your voice, and Win by being you. 




My belief in optimism.


I really believe that optimism is my lifeline in every situation; what I’m going through, adversary, whatever challenges I’m going through, there’s always that light at the end of the tunnel, and I have to find that light. I’m like, find that light, like girl be optimistic; find something to make you feel positive even if we're going through the lowest of low.

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