Some Inspiring Stories of Nigerian Immigrants in the UK and US

Written by Bella

Among the many Nigerians in the diaspora who have found themselves outside the shores of this country lay some very inspiring stories. Many have left their homelands with an unwavering determination to pursue higher horizons and have journeyed to the UK and the US. 

Their thirst for a brighter future made them overcome adversity, face challenges and carve a niche of success and prove that anyone can make it with determination. 

From excelling in academics, business, leadership, etc., these Nigerians are a motivation. 

Now, get ready to be inspired as we look at some inspiring stories of Nigerian Immigrants in the UK and the Us

  1. Chuka Umunna (United Kingdom)

The name Chuka Umunna rings a bell in the British Government, being that he is not only a politician but a former Member of Parliament. Chuka came to live in the UK in the 1960s when his parents left Nigeria for the United Kingdom. 

Since then, he has been living in the UK and has contributed to the British Government. He attended the University of Manchester, where he studied law, and then went further to participate in politics, where he was actively involved. 

Having been an active politician and shown excellent leadership skills, in 2010, he was elected as a Member of the Parliament. Despite being a Nigerian in the UK, Chuka became a prominent person in the British Parliament. 

  1. Helen Adeleye (United Kingdom)

The world of entrepreneurship has seen the impact of one of the best brains in the UK, Helen Adeleye. At a young age, she and her parents moved to the UK from Nigeria. Helen was passionate about doing her own business, and amidst the cultural and financial difficulties, she was able to launch her career. 

Her fashion line, “House of Nod,” is one of the biggest stores in the UK that sells African fabrics. The story of Helen is inspiring and shows determination to succeed even outside her homeland. Her fashion line is her way of showing Nigerian fabrics and Nigerian culture to the world.

  1. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (United States)

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a matchless brilliant award-winning Nigerian Author. She is Nigeria’s celebrated novelist known for some of her literary works like Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun, and Americanah. 

Chimamanda went to the US to study further and attended Yale University and Drexel University. She is a prolific writer on relatable topics like feminism, race, culture, and identity. She has used her voice as a writer to advocate for social change. Chimamanda is a definition of courage and resilience, seeing how she broke into the literary world and became a force to reckon with. 

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  1. John Amaechi (United States)

The story of John Amaechi, who started as a professional footballer, is inspiring. He is of Nigerian descent with Nigerian parents but was born in Boston. Before leaving professional basketball to become a motivational speaker, he faced many challenges. 

John Amaechi had to deal with discrimination and prejudice as a basketballer, but he followed his passion and became successful in his career. He has retired from active basketball and has become a motivational speaker. Amaechi is one of the first NBA players to declare publicly his gay status. He is the CEO of Amaechi Performance Systems, where he coaches people as a psychologist and consultant.

  1. Funmi Odegabmi (United Kingdom)

Funmi Odegbami is the CEO and founder of the Minku brand in the UK. Initially, Funmi was to study law in the UK, but she left her law degree to pursue fashion design. 

Minku luxury brand is a business that deals in selling handcrafted leather goods. Over the years, Minku has been awarded for providing high-quality and innovative designs. Funmi is a source of inspiration today because she took the time to pursue her talent. Her brand continues to show Nigerian culture and craftsmanship in its works. 

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  1. Femi Oguns (United Kingdom)

His full name is Olufemi Temitope Igunsanwo MBE, a renowned British agent, and an actor. He gained a joint honors degree in Race and culture. Femi founded the Identity School of Acting and Identity Agency Group. 

He wanted an environment where everyone, whether in Nigeria or anywhere, could come and express themselves. As an actor, Femi has done a couple of movies in movies Kine Strange (BBC), the feature film La Chinoise for Film Four, The Good Lie, etc. In recognition of his career, he was nominated as UK Film Council Breakthrough Brit as an actor and writer. 

  1. Grace Ononiwu (United Kingdom)

Grace Ononiwu is the Chief Crown prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service. She attended the University of Hertfordshire, Guildford College of Law, and has been practicing till now. Grace is one person who is passionate about her career and has received various awards in the UK, including Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). 

Despite being an immigrant in the UK, she has built her career from scratch to where it is now, which is an inspiring achievement. 

Amongst other awards, Grace is a visiting lecturer at her alma mater, the University of Hertfordshire, and there is a building in the University named after her. 

  1. Tope Awotona

Tope Awotana is one of the entrepreneurs making waves in the US. He spent his early days growing up in Lagos before he left for the US after his father’s death. He attended the University of Georgia and majored in Management Information Systems in school. 

As a young child, Tope wanted to own a company like his father and launched about three companies which all failed at some point. However, he finally took off when he founded Calendly LLC in 2010. 

Calendly is an app that helps people schedule meetings, appointments, and events, and now the startup’s value is at $3 billion. The story of Tope teaches perseverance and consistency and never to give up on one’s dreams, no matter how many times you fail.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Have These Inspiring Immigrants in the UK and US Handled Challenges to Achieve Success?

There are many challenges these people face ranging from prejudice, cultural differences, and support to start. However, they maintained determination and resilience and worked hard to succeed. 

Have Nigerian Immigrants Contributed to the Growth and Development of Business, Science, and Technology in the UK and the US?

Yes, the Nigerians in the diaspora have excelled in many areas, such as business, science, and technology. They have contributed mainly to the advancements of these fields in their communities. 


The stories of these inspiring Nigerians who have made an impact in the UK and the US are worth emulating. It shows the spirit of determination and hard work on their part. They have risen from scratch and defied every circumstance to create a better future for themselves and their families. 

This shows that as a human being, there is nothing you can’t achieve so long as you are passionate about it. Their inspiring life is a reminder to always believe in one’s dreams and know that even outside your homeland, you can succeed in any country.

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