As you all know Espact platform exists to celebrate people making positive impact across the globe.
Am so delighted to share this insightful interview with A US based Nigerian Health And Wellness Entrepreneur whose career is to help people keep a healthy lifestyle.
In addition to this career path, he is so keen about young and old minorities in the United States and Africa as a whole. This passion of his led to a podcast project which will be launched in October via www.thinkalpha.net
Valentine Ewudo is an example of a positive minded individual that many can learn from. In the course of his life journey, this dapper looking and proud igbo man was able to turn a huge challenge he faced into a great opportunity which he is thankful for today. In his interview you will find hope, motivation, strength and the mindset you need to turn your weakness, and challenges and shames into opportunities.
Now sit back, as there’s a lot to learn, take a chill pill and read along…..
Great to have you here Valentine Ewudo, let’s start on a lighter note… Share with us a brief biography of you; family, ethnicity and education.
It’s amazing joining you here as well. Am a Nigerian from Anambra State, born and brought up in Los Angeles. Though I left for Nigeria when I was thirteen years old, to attend an amazing boarding school called Gaius Benton at Oko, Anambra from JSS2 to SS2. It was a well spent period and I must say am a proud Igbo man.
I came back to Los Angeles for my senior year in high school. After graduation I was admitted into Calfornia State University in Los Angeles where I studied Nursing and graduated with Bachelor of Science in Nursing. While in the University as part of my extracurricular activities, I was the president of three organisations, and I ran them successfully. I also joined a black fraternity called Alpha Phi Alpha Fratenity Inc , which am very proud of. Our mission is to develop leaders, promote brotherhood and academic excellence, while providing service and advocacy for our community. A lot Nigerians are part of it here too. That’s a brief history of my school life.
Moving on, not too long after graduating from the university, I started working, but interestingly six months into my first job, I was laid off . Guess what? Instead of killing my vibes, it triggered it and led me into a health management business. As disappointing as it was back then, believe me, it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me. I focused on my health management business, which was basically to help people with their health in various ways, ranging from helping them loose weight, gain weight and energy, to changing their bad eating habit and embracing balance diet. All these will help them live healthier.
Have been doing this for like 6 years, and it’s been an awesome journey. So some events then triggered me to make that decision of putting myself out there, so I can help more people, which led to my podcast project.
I have a twin brother, a younger brother and my lovely baby sister. And we are all of very tall (lol). I talk to my siblings almost every day and we all we are very tight. Our lovely parents live here in Los Angeles as well.
It’s amazing to know you’re have a TWIN brother! How was growing with him like? Share with us, your experience growing up in the United States as a Nigerian?
Growing up with my twin brother was FUN! We shared everything together and have similar things. And its so funny that now that we are adults, we kind of do similar things as well. For instance last he got himself a camera to start doing photography, when I started my empowerment project, I had to get a camera also for my photos, and I got the same camera like his So it’s amazing like that , we do almost everything together unconsciously and unconscious.
We were together throughout my schooling, we pledge the fraternity together, he lives very close to me and we talk almost every single day. He is my best friend from the womb till now and forever to go! It’s such an amazing feeling to have him as my twin.
As a Nigerian, growing up in the United States, my experience is awesome and I must say that am very pleased. This is basically because of the upbringing I had; its no different from that of other Kids in Nigeria, the respect given to elders, the rich culture couple with the great value gotten from education. I am very much into my culture, because I lived in the rural part of Nigeria for 4 years and my parents are culture oriented as well. I can speak my language fluently, so can my siblings as well.
My experience is super different from many black Americans here because my family is a very culture oriented one, so as a black American living here I have the strength and identity of a Nigerian with a rich culture and history.
How often do you visit Nigeria? What do you love about being a Nigerian?
I left Nigeria in 2005 for the United States and sadly i haven’t visited again since then, so it’s been a long time but I will be visiting soon. Am so much of a proud Nigerian! As it made me a spectacular person, many people here are always surprised about how I talk and things I do, and it basically because of the upbringing I got , value placed on education, achievement and excellence spirit in Nigerians.
You know that as Nigerians we are always achieving great things across the globe. So am very proud to be a Nigeria, It’s sure an advantage.
As a health and wellness entrepreneur, tell us briefly tell us your focus. Why did you choose this career path?
My focus on Nutrition and I work with a company Herbal Life Nutrition. Through them I sell Nutrition products. But that’s not the only thing I do, I mentor people, and support them. I have a community for that, because I realise a lot of people need support. It’s something very important and so passionate about it. So far a lot its being incredible because a lot of people have gotten amazing results. So in a nutshell, I help people live a healthy lifestyle.
To the next question, I chose this career path its still within the heath field which is the field I studies in university and am very passionate about. I love helping people, have been able to do that for myself as well. Through my nutritional programme and changing lifestyle, I lost about 40 pounds within 3 months. Now have been able, to build an amazing body and health.
My love for nutrition field could be drawn from a persona l experience as well. Because before I left for Nigeria I was an obese teenager, so I know what people go through looking that big. Till now I still get very conscious of my body because of what I went through back then. And lastly, I believe if you don’t have a good health you have nothing!
Now let’s move to the bone of contention, who do you refer to as minorities? How did this empowerment journey for them start? Is your twin brother in this with you? Why did you choose podcast as your medium of communicating to them?
Good question! So many people have given various definition but to me minorities are the underdogs in any situation or society. Black people, Latinos, Asians, and ageing people are minorities in the United States. If you’re living in Nigeria, Fulanis and ageing people are considered as minorities. Also women working in a male dominating field like engineering and Tech industries, and men working in a female dominating field like me in a nursing field, we are all minorities.
So there’s a common thing among the minorities, often times they are looked at as lesser than others and they usually have to work twice as hard, if not thrice to compete with others that are not minorities.
Now to how the journey started, often times have been able to address large numbers of people, and usually I get feedbacks like; ‘you inspire me’, ‘seeing you up there makes me feel like I can do it’. It all seems fun and fulfilling. I also know that counselling, empowering and inspiring people, has been part of me a naturally , so at some point I felt it will be great to create a platform for what I have being doing for long , so I can reach out to more people.
Smiles… My Twin brother has been very supportive on this project. He is my videographer and photographer. Though not involve in the core activity but always there to support me anyway he can with his skills and also his presence. He is one of the episode, watch for it, you will sure get to hear from him.
Then I choose podcast because I love to speak and naturally I counsel others. Also speaking as always being part of me from childhood, I get to address people, so I see it as what I am CALLED to do. So I asked myself, if this is my calling, what way can I reach a large number of people through speaking and the answer to that was a podcast.
My project manager brought the idea of making videos. Trust me it’s fun speaking in front of the camera.
What makes you think the minorities need this? Is your reason by any chance linked to a personal experience?
My years of experience in counselling other minorities, made me realise the need. One question I usually ask them is ‘who do you share your thoughts with, who do you have similar conversations you have with me with?’ And over the years many tends to say no one! So they made me understand two things; firstly, a lot of young people just like you and me are seeking counselling, advice and a voice from people who can encourage and empower them.
Secondly I noticed we don’t have enough people working on empowering minorities . In addition having young minorities talk to people who have similar background and can connect easily with them, makes a huge difference in their lives. Am very sure of this because i have personally experienced it.
Briefly explain what your podcast contents revolve around? Youths lately appreciate humorous contents a lot, are you passing any of your message through humor?
My podcast revolves around empowerment with a focus on success in business, career, health and money, mental health, emotional success and development. Basically around the pillars of finance, that is; health, wealth in career, and relationships.
The goal isn’t to be humorous. Though have been told am funny many times, just by what I say, which I don’t believe but am not infusing humor into this. Am here to touch people by sharing deep life history of people that they connect to and learn from to make great life decisions.
Briefly enlighten us on the impact you intend the podcast to have on your target audience?
I see this having great impact on a large population of minorities in the United States, such as the Spanishs, Latinos, Asians and other kinds of minorities. And also people in Africa, not just Nigeria, I believe they will appreciate seeing someone like me do this empowerment thing. As am not just speaking as someone living in th United States, but as a Nigerian who has lived in the rural area for years and understands the African lifestyle. When I was in
I want to reach millions of people across the globe with this podcast and I don’t care how long it takes. Am willing to invest all it takes in it. Have being doing this for long time and it’s been fulfilling.
Since you started working on your podcast contents, what challenges have you come across? What do you love most about this project?
There have been lot of challenges. You know things looks easier when you make a plan to achieve them. But when you start the execution you will realise there a lot you need to put in place. The farther you go into the project, the more you find out more things you need to do. So this has been the number one challenge.
Secondly, it hasn’t been easy finding the right people to work with as a team. I had to let go of the person I started with because things weren’t just working. But I presently have 3 people on board and we are fine. So one thing I will tell you from this experience of mine is, when you plan to start something, you have to ask yourself if you have enough time it needs, if you don’t, then you should find some help because you have to look into getting things done in time.
Another challenge is the equipment used for this project, most times am like damn! Am I buying this one too, so I tend to buy new set of equipment frequently and a lot of money is being invested.
Others are creative challenges, have never being this challenged creatively, but it’s a good thing, it making me better.
Every time I get to brainstorm on how to become creative for other people to like what I do. Then I have to look into my team, to figure out what they have that can help the project and discard the unnecessary ones. Also sometimes I struggle with time, I always find out there are more things to do but we are getting things done.
What I love most about the project, is the fact that we deal with something new everytime. It an amazing means for me to meet new people and make new friends. Anyone I get to interview, I know them more and if it’s any one of my friends, I get to know them better.
After each episode myself and my project manager tends to get high over the experience in when driving back home. We feel so good with what we are up too. We are meeting new people, who are already inviting us to new places and other opportunities are already when we haven’t even launched yet. It’s being a fun and fulfilling one. The biggest thing here is the sense of adventure that comes with the project.
How do you intend to run the podcast? Who are your target audience? How and where can they access the podcast from?
The podcast will be a mix of interviews; having people talk on different topics. .Am going to be doing a lot of solo episodes as well, but one thing I want people to know is , as you tunes in to each episode you will learn something new which will impact your life positively. The podcast is basically to educate, inspire, and empower you. So you’re going to learn something.
Once again my target audience are minorities, men, women and people who are looking to grow. you can access the podcast through www.thinkalpha.net and my instagram (@valewudo) as I will be promoting each episode on it.
Do you have an official launching date for it already?
We are launching first week of October, My birthday is on October 5th so am taking advantage of that to do a launching party in Los Angeles. You all are invited… Smiles.
Will there be an easy feedback system for your audience to drop their thoughts?
YES! For every episode there will be a dedicated web page, where you get to see pictures and information on the people we are interviewed and a comment section for feedback will be placed along with that. I truly need the feedback as it will make us better at what we do. I want people to see this podcast as a team, thing so let’s all work together and help each other grow this, so we can touch more peoples’ lives. You can comment on the podcast post of my instagram as well.
I will look forward to reviews on iTunes as well, I need to be sure we are reaching as much people as possible
Are you and your experts available for mentoring?
Yes we are. For any questions in line with the podcast and nutrition programme which I do mail send them via firstname.lastname@example.org or just comment on my instagram and ask questions. What I do mainly is help people manage their heath and get healthy so am always available for that. if you’re looking to lose weight or stay healthy, just drop me questions on instagram or send an email.
I have been doing this for about 6 years and so what we do is proven. I have a team that will be ready to help anyone achieve their weight lose goal anytime anyday.
Your candid advice to youths.
Things you have in your heart that you really want to work on, are your dreams and goals, don’t count on anyone to help you accomplish them. You have to get up, start with nothing or the little resources you have to achieve the best you can. You own the unique dream and you have to do all you can to achieve, it, definitely it’s not going to be easy but far better than and different from settling for what you aren’t happy doing.
If you have something in your mind, you want to do, Just go for it, figure out who you need to connect with or who to learn from, to achieve it, Life is short, so start now. Am living by this and going for what I want to do, just as advised.
Thanks for sharing with us Valentine Ewudo, we are excited about your podcast! And can’t wait for it to be launched.
You can reach Valentine Ewudo via:
Facebook: Valentine Ewudo
Email : Val@thinkalpha.net