The minute the conversation begins, you know that Remi Adeleke is a man of many words; but he is also disciplined and focused on how he shares those words.
An Actor, Navy Seal and Author, Adeleke came to America at the age of five after his family fled Nigeria following a government uprising. His journey is a story that Adeleke still remembers vividly as a grown man.
In Nigeria, Adeleke came from wealth; all of that was left behind when he came to the States. “My mom preached excellence—to not do things half-way, but the right way," Adeleke said of how he was reared. His mother’s mandate may explain where his passion and zeal emanate. During Adeleke's teenage years, he lived a life that was outside of what his parents had taught him. He says plainly that "I began to live a life that was outside of how I was raised."
When Adelke looks back on his life, he would be the first to say that he is amazed that he became a Navy Seal Officer. Conversely, he says, "I would always stand up to bullies, so it was one of the things that drew me to the Navy Seals." From where Adeleke grew up, people obtained positions of authority by doing something bad, such as criminal activity, which is one of the reasons Adeleke had to transition his mind into joining the Navy Seals.
Once Adeleke became a part of the Navy Seals, he learned that it was really a community of brothers. It was this community and brotherhood that helped Adeleke carry on, despite the evil he encountered in his career.
According to Adeleke, seeing what the Seals stood for and how the Seals protected and served the country around the world, gave him a love for America that he did not have going into the seals. "Before going into the Seals, I was anti-military and police,” he shared.
"When you live in the inner city there, isn't a lot that gives people hope." This is a major reason that he is a big proponent of minority recruitment.
In addition, Adeleke knew that his time as a Seal was one of service, and he was thankful for what the Seals allowed him to do and the connection that it afforded him. Although he didn't know what he would do upon leaving the Seals, Adeleke had to trust God to bring him the answer, which at the time was hard for him to do. So, when the first call came for him to try out for a major part and eventually play a significant role in the 2017 blockbuster hit, "Transformers, The Last Night," Adeleke was beyond surprised; but he knew that it all came from God and that God had a plan for his life.
Little did he know that God would use his future connection with former Today Show host Kathy Lee Gifford to do something life-changing. "From the moment that I met Kathy Lee, she knew that I needed to write a book.”
So, in 2019, this is exactly what Adeleke did. In his biography titled Transformed, the former Navy Seal shares personal stories from his life and delves into how God delivered him through his childhood and personal issues. Adeleke sees his life as one of transformation, to the point of being able to tell his story—a story of how God used an inner-city immigrant boy from Nigeria to serve and love America.
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Timothy Hiatt/Stringer