A retired Navy SEAL has written a book about his amazing journey from Africa to San Diego.
Author Remi Adeleke is also an actor who appeared in "Transformers: the Last Knight."
His life story began in Nigeria. His father was a Chief of one of the largest tribes, so his family was considered royalty.
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"It was amazing. I mean, we lived a life of luxury," Adeleke told NBC 7.
He says his father was dedicated to bringing prosperity to all Nigerians. So, he invested his fortune in developing land. Then, the government stripped his father of the entire property.
"And then my dad died days later," Adeleke said. "We went from rich, having absolutely everything, to poor, not a nickel to our name."
His American mother moved them to New York.
"My mom struggled tremendously financially to provide for my brother and I she struggled to pay the rent," he said.
But his mom's perseverance taught him to stand up to life's challenges, like growing up in the Bronx surrounded by crime and bad influences.
He says he "started out stealing from my mother and then that progressed to stealing from stores and that progressed to getting jobs and stealing from jobs."
His dream was to own a hip-hop record label, but his "8th Wonders Entertainment" couldn't ever land a big deal. That left him broke, without direction.
Then one day, Adeleke heard a voice telling him to join the military. His criminal record presented a bit of a problem, but a recruiter decided to take a chance on him.
"She could've easily given up on me, she could have easily turned me away, she could have easily turned me in to authorities. But instead she took me to the judges to get my record cleared," Adeleke said.
And that's how he ended up a sailor, stationed at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton. He decided he wanted to try to become a Navy Seal, even though he couldn't swim.
"Not only couldn't swim, I didn't have the academic scores and I was super skinny," he said.
Adeleke worked extremely hard, training to swim and studying.
"Looking back, I don't know how I did it, but I did it," he said, "I did the extra hard work."
And eventually, he did make it through training and became a Navy SEAL. He deployed three times to war zones.
He also got married and eventually had three sons.
And then, he got recruited for a whole different kind of job: movie star. He acted in "Transformers: The Last Knight."
"Here I'm just minding my business, and I get a phone call to be in a movie," Adeleke said. "Yeah it was absolutely surreal. It was eye opening. I learned so many lessons."
Adeleke says he's learned important lessons that include: Never let failure define your future, give second chances, and never, ever quit.
"You know, I could be on my death bed, I'm not gonna quit. There's nothing that's ever going to get me to quit. I'm committed to everything that's in front of me," Adeleke said.
Adeleke just finished acting in another action movie called "Six Underground" that comes out in December. He's writing two other films. And he's working to turn his new book "Transformed" into a movie.