Nigerian TV presenter and Big Brother Africa Season 5 winner, Uti Nwachukwu is clearly a boy with a lot of good luck on his side. Not only did he win one of the most competitive reality shows on television, he also won something that is statistically virtually impossible for anybody to win – he won the US VISA lottery.
There is a less than 0.05% chance of winning the VISA lottery. In fact, now, Nigeria is excluded from the 2021/2022 US VISA lottery draw so it is impossible for a Nigerian to win. For Uti to win it, you know that he must be a very lucky man and he was – until he wasn’t.
You see, despite winning the VISA lottery, when Uti went to the embassy to collect the VISA, he wasn’t given. In a new interview with internet influencer, Taymesan, Uti opened up about what went wrong and why he couldn’t collect the visa.
Here’s what he said.
During a conversation with Taymesan, Uti was talking about some of the disappointments he’s faced in his life. One of the biggest disappointments he faced when he was around 22/23 was not being given a US Visa despite winning the Visa Lottery. Uti said about it:
I was supposed to get direct entry into America, I had already applied and everything, got admission, supposed to go. I now said let me play VISA lottery, won the visa lottery, day of interview they said – first name, last name – Uti Nwachukwu, Nwachukwu Uti is not the same person, I died.
My mind because na oyibo TV I grow up dey watch, I don already envision myself for set of FRIENDS. What I’m doing now, I used to fantasize about doing it abroad because I never really believed in the Nigerian system. You know how laughable our entertainment industry was back then. It was a joke then. So it felt like everything was falling into place so I was like ‘Thank you Jesus, thank you Lord.’
I have luck, I’m used to winning things and getting things I want. I don’t think there’s anything I’ve ever expected from God that He hasn’t given me and even if it’s not for me, He would just show me that look oh, this thing will be yours but (in time).
So the fact that I could win VISA lottery then, out of how many millions of people that were playing back then, that was a clear sign that special grace dey this dada head.
I remember walking back from the embassy. I already told my friends ‘I dey go oh, kachifo, bye bye’, we don already even do small drink up for Bele. I had already celebrated leaving Nigeria because I wasn’t used to losing things.
So WHY did they reject Uti? Uti said:
You know that year na cyber cafe, and internet no dey fast for night, so I left it (his personal details) with their attendant and you know say for Nigeria, we dey write our surnames first. So the person that won which is Nwachukwu Uti, the person’s first name is Nwachukwu, the last name is Uti but my first name is Uti, my last name is Nwachukwu. It’s a lottery, they will use any small thing to disqualify you. I qualified every other thing – I had my papers, medicals, everything perfect. They now said, “I’m sorry, play again.” I said “this is a VISA lottery, are you assuring me I will win again?” The person said, “I’m not assuring you anything, play again.” I wan die! I was shouting “but it’s the same person, the names are mine”. They said “Yes, but this person has the family name of Uti, you have the family name of Nwachukwu. Even if I don’t detect it here, it will be detected over there and you’d have wasted all your money and time.” I died. Part of me died inside.
So because the winner of the lottery was Nwachukwu Uti (first name: Nwachuwku, last name: Uti) and Uti’s own name is Uti Nwachukwu (first name: Uti, last name: Nwachukwu), they were considered to be 2 different people. Wow, just goes to show that one has to be very careful when filling out these forms and that you really cannot trust such things into the hands of people who won’t really care about it the way you do.
Thankfully, Uti has now found success in Nigeria and can probably go to America for a vacation anytime he wants now.