Meet the Medical Doctor That Has Traveled to 62 Countries: The Story of Waka Waka Doctor

#CreatorStories showcases the honest personal experiences of digital creators who monetize their knowledge of a skill and sell it on Selar. We share these stories every week to inspire you to create and sell a product out of your wealth of knowledge and be a part of the digital creator economy.

This week, we turn the lights on Waka Waka Doctor, popularly known to be a traveler and medical doctor.

Let’s get to know him, shall we?

Can we meet Waka Waka Doctor?

Across social media platforms, I am known as Waka Waka doctor, a name that was coined just about the end of 2019. Believe it or not, it was coined over a bowl of pepper soup, catfish, and very fine wine and dining. 

It was a consequence of traveling to several countries (now 62 countries) at the time. I had seen about 40 of them then but I was terrible with documentation, I only had pictorial evidence and a very famous social media influencer friend of mine who is also a doctor. 

He told me, “why not share your experience with people as to how you move abroad and how you do stuff or the things you see when you go abroad, touring sites, hotels, food?” And that’s how I started.  

I started showing people food from different places, hotels, restaurants, and tourist sites, things to see, and things to do, and that went on for about a few months, maybe 6  months, and then he challenged me again and suggested that I talk about how people can move to these countries themselves.

That month, I was going to France. So I did a video about moving to France and I got about 20,000 views on YouTube and I was surprised that people actually liked it. That was how I started creating videos about how to move abroad. 

The name, “Waka Waka doctor” was coined over that dish of pepper soup and wine. We were thinking about how I am a medical doctor, who also likes to travel. We came up with the name “Waka Waka doctor” which is simply an informal term that describes someone who enjoys the nomad experience, who likes to travel, who never sits still, goes from place to place, and who is also a doctor. That’s me in a nutshell.

What’s your career journey in a nutshell?

I am a medical doctor, who enjoys traveling. I’ve been to 62 different countries – and lived and worked in five of them. I am a doctor who is currently still practicing. I’ve got a master’s degree in public health, I am doing a post-graduate diploma in Neuroscience and Psychology, and I’m looking forward to doing my Ph.D. very soon too. I love good food and amala is my best (laughs).

How do you combine being a doctor, and traveler, and managing a travel agency?

First and foremost, let me establish that it’s not easy. It is a very daunting and difficult task. But one of the most important things I have learned is that if you are going to do anything in life, it has to be something you love, and you can take a cue from the Three Idiots movie- it is a fantastic movie.

It’s not about the money, let your motivation be something you love. I love medicine and travel and I can do them in my sleep. Medicine is about passion to care for people – I love that. Travel is about the experience of seeing places and joining the beauty and the ambiance of where you are. I love it too. 

So it doesn’t come to me as difficult as people would expect. I am not saying it’s easy, but it’s not so difficult because I love these things and I can do them. 

And of course, I don’t run these things alone, I have a very good support system. I run a travel agency that helps people travel abroad, get admissions, and assist them with visas. 

I also have fantastic consultants that work with me. I have great friends who support me and want to see me succeed. There’s my dad as well, who always shares my videos and tells people about me. Yeah, it’s not easy but the most important factor is that I enjoy these things, so it makes it a bit easier for me to do.

What’s been the biggest challenge of running a travel agency, especially for Nigerians?

The biggest challenge is that Nigerians like free things. I always tell people you need to pay for time. If someone is going to dedicate their time to helping you secure admission and assisting you during your visa process, you need to pay them. 

To mitigate this issue, I create videos that explain the step-by-step processes involved because doing it yourself (DIY) is the best. So I just direct people to my videos to watch. And I get several testimonials from people who made their move abroad by just watching and following instructions on the video.

As much as I try to explain everything in these videos, there are still a few people who would always need a helping hand or are busy and need someone to do the whole thing for them. This comes at a cost. But Nigerians will ask, “why are you asking for money” (laughs).

Another thing is, Nigerians doubt everything. You are trying to give them news based on research that you have made and available options for them but they think you are either blabbing or want to scam them. 

Also, because most of them don’t read or have the information, they think you want to take advantage of them which is false. So, these are the challenges I think I’ve faced.

What’s a travel experience that blows your mind every time you think about it?

There are quite a few. Some of them are very funny while some are very interesting (lol). Before I went to Santorini, I was always seeing beautiful pictures on Instagram and I said we must go there. Only for me to reach Santorini (laughs) and I asked,  “Is this the Santorini?” Because the maths was not mathing, if you get. (laughs). Good roads are limited, and everywhere is sandy with hard rocks probably because of the topography of the place. 

There is nothing spectacular about the place. But the way they were able to place the view, the water, the sunlight, the dawn that comes out, and the white picturesque buildings, make a lot of people go there to enjoy Santorini. But I didn’t find anything amazing about it. 

Another one is my time in Cape Town, I had never done paragliding before. But because I like adventure, I decided to go paragliding one day. I got there and the man in charge said we were going to climb on top of the table mountain. It is one of the wonders of the world and is table shaped. 

The guy said it was $150, and I said okay. He said I shouldn’t be in a hurry, and that I should take a form to fill out. I was taken aback and asked which form. He said it’s a form that exonerates them in case anything happens to me. 


I asked the guy how many years he had been doing this, and he said he’s been doing it for 28 years. I then asked him how many people have died, and he said, “nobody.” (laughs). Then I asked him if he had gotten any injuries and he said no, and I said okay, let’s go. 

So they strapped me up and asked if I was ready. I was like “ready, how?” Are we just going to start flying? The guy said I have to run and jump off the table. Haaa (lol). 

He said he’ll be behind me so there’s nothing to worry about. I went ahead and jumped off the mountain. Within those 30 seconds of jumping, I asked the guy, “can you reverse?” (laughs).

Those 30 seconds were the most enlightening 30 seconds for me because it made me realize that there is a thin line between fright and excitement. 

For those 30 seconds, I was very frightened and after that, that view was one of the most spectacular views I have ever seen and I can only compare it to when I went deep sea diving in Seychelles underwater. Deepsea diving was another amazing view. I’ve also had quite a few experiences during my time in Venice. Venice, Italy is beautiful, simply amazing, breathtaking environment, and mountains – an awesome place.

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You’ve been to over 60 countries and 3 continents. Are these work funded or personally funded? 

Well, nobody has ever funded any of my travel, I support all my travel myself. I hope and wish that someone will come one day and say take money to travel, let’s cover your expenses, but it has not happened. I’m hoping it does but everywhere I go, I fund my accommodation, my flight, the experience, everything. It is out of my personal pocket.

Do you intend to continue practicing as a doctor or are there plans to transition to being a travel and lifestyle creator?

There’s a plan. At the moment, I’m a doctor, traveler, and content creator. I intend to get to the pinnacle of my career once I finish my Ph.D., and submit a few articles. I’m not 40 yet, so the aim is that when I practice up till I’m 40, I quit. Hopefully, by that time I’m at the apex of my career and I can focus on travel, seeing the world, and creating content.

One would almost think you want everyone to leave Nigeria as soon as possible. What’s the passion behind encouraging people to japa?

Firstly, this is no disrespect to my country. I’m Nigerian and I was born in Nigeria, But I always motivate people to leave because there are many countries that offer you much more than what Nigeria is offering you at the moment. And I’m talking about the quality of life, career advancement, basic amenities, places where you get free education, and places where healthcare is fantastic. 

In my subconscious mind, I know that a good road shouldn’t have a pothole, but it didn’t register in my brain until I traveled abroad and traveled for two hours by road without seeing one pothole. Then it dawned on me that this is normal. Over here, you don’t need to worry about low battery, when Nepa will take light, or any of the many things we worry about because there’s always light, and power is stable. 

Moving abroad is an investment, you get an opportunity to get a second passport, one of the most powerful passports in the world or in Europe. Nigeria’s passport is like 88 in the world or something like that. If you can find a place that serves you better under the things I mentioned, just go there.

I believe that if I can convince one person to go abroad, he’d also convince the next guy to move abroad, and so on. You will see that in the next 30/40 years, 300 of us, assuming we go abroad, will gain all the exposure and see that life can be much better, then we can bring it back to our country, and implement these things and bring Nigeria back up, that’s the aim. 

If Nigeria gets back up, nobody wants to be here, I don’t want to be here, I never wanted to leave Nigeria. If Nigeria is good and offers competitions to these countries we all run to, I will go back, that’s the truth. So that’s why I do what I do. 

Do you also encourage people to come to Nigeria or is it a one-way ticket?

Well, just go, you can come back later if you want to but just go. 

When was the first time you traveled abroad? What was the experience like? 

The first time was as a result of my job. The job I got gave me a free ticket and accommodation and picked me up at the airport. I graduated from Nigeria as a Doctor and I was doing two jobs at the time and my salary was less than 200k in 2012/13. 

I go abroad and I make thousands of dollars with less effort. I don’t see as many patients as I see in Nigeria. I was shocked and realized that we are really suffering in Nigeria. I work hard, I don’t sleep, and my money is still not enough, here I just see 4 patients and I go home. 

I was like this is how life should be. There was a huge culture shock. It’s one of the best experiences I’ve ever had and I have never regretted going abroad, never, not one second.

Was it difficult for you to adapt at first?

No, it wasn’t, I’m very free and adapting to something I love to do. For instance, I went to eat and about four Arab guys were sitting and crossed their legs around one big bowl. They didn’t know me from anywhere and they called me “Sadik – my friend come and eat.” I said thank you. Then one of them got up, pulled me, and said, “sit down, welcome my friend.” 

I sat down and they dug their hands into the food. I was shocked to my bones. In fact, that was my first culture shock. I had to say it wasn’t what I wanted to eat. Out of respect, I took a piece of chicken and ran away. I asked and learned that that’s how they eat and it’s their culture. So I adapted easily and learned the language within six months. It’s what I love to do, so it’s not a problem at all.

What fueled your decision to move abroad?

I never looked for opportunities outside Nigeria. I believed in the Nigeria dream. I used to live and work in Oshogbo at the time. Then one day, I went to eat Amala at a canteen and lying there was this already used Newspaper. I flipped it open and saw the advert, “Saudi in need of Nigerian doctors, Interview in Lagos, free accommodation, free travel ticket, and a huge salary.” 

I left my food and ran home to pack my bag. I took the next bus to Lagos because the interview was the next day. 

So I just stumbled upon the opportunity by chance. I never thought I’d leave Nigeria. I didn’t even plan it. 

How have you built a successful brand name around travel?

Honestly, I am not a great storyteller but I have built my brand based on just being real and authentic.

I just say it the way it is. I tell people how to do it and motivate them. I think the power of motivation is one thing I use very well – motivating people with my own success stories and the success stories of others who have used my tools and resources to move abroad. It’s as simple as that. 

Coincidentally, this never started as a  business for me, I never wanted it to be a business until people started encouraging me to do so. And that’s how it started for me.  But the motivation was just to help people get better lives. So far as I see the opportunity, I will take the pain to do the research and share it, no big deal.

Why travel? Has it always been a passion or you just fell in love with it?

There’s this saying that goes “You always think that your father’s garden is the biggest until you see the garden of someone else.” I didn’t know that there was an existence somewhere else, a bigger and more beautiful garden till I moved abroad.

My first move was to the Middle East, where I had the resident permit which gives you the opportunity to travel around the Gulf countries, (the GCC countries) without a Visa. So I could go to Dubai, Huawei, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain without the need for a visa. When I went to these countries, I saw things – monuments, cultures, food, traditions, languages and I was wowed. 

Having listened to Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, and English all my life and now seeing the Arabs do things differently – the way they sit down, eat together in harmony, and are always ready to share was mindblowing.

The Arabs are always willing to share, they don’t need to know you, they just want to give you, they take it as an insult when they say “come into my home and eat and you say no.” You don’t tell an Arab person “no” when he’s offering. I learned a lot of things there and that changed my mentality.  

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How have you benefited from the creator economy? 

The biggest benefit for me is that I am able to help other people, help other people. So if you have a business idea or structure that you want to propagate and you think that I have the numbers and tools to help you push it out, I am happy to do it. 

As long as other people will benefit from it and take that move or be able to get a job abroad, move abroad through academics or get a skill or something like that. 

Those who know me and have worked with me will tell you that I always say I am not after the money. I have a full-time job that pays me. The money you are paying is for my time because my time is valuable.

That’s why when anybody asks for my rate card, I don’t have a set rate card. I only designed one because there was a company that insisted that I had to have one. I just tell my clients to arrange a meeting, let’s discuss and reach an agreement.

At the moment I don’t just focus on travel anymore when I do my content creation. It’s more about giving value, offering substance, and helping someone who might require it. 

What advice would you give to other creators who are inspired by you?

Several rules apply to this content creation and the way it has blossomed over the last few years. 

But I think one of the most important things is to be original, be yourself, don’t be dilly dally. Focus on yourself and your audience, and don’t be distracted by the noise. 

People will discourage you, and say kinds of stuff, let it just fly over your head. You have a target, and a goal, focus on those things.

Don’t copy someone else, and don’t imitate anybody. In fact,  let other people imitate you. There are people who try to imitate me for instance, but I’ve learned that you need to be original to stay at the top of the table. 

You need to be dynamic as well  – constantly change and evolve and become something different. That’s what I love to do and that’s my advice: Be original, evolve, keep your focus straight and keep producing for your target audience. Don’t let the noise distract you, that’s it.

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