Iyeoka Ivie Okoawo is a first-gen Nigerian-American poet, musician, literacy advocate, and TED fellow.
In her native Esan language, Iyeoka (ee-yo-kah) means "I want to be respected."
Iyeoka received her pharmacy degree from Northeastern University in Boston, MA, transitioning from a career as a licensed pharmacist, into a fulltime writer and musician, founding the group, The Rock by Funk Tribe, a collective of touring session musicians. She released her first album of lyrics and songs, Black and Blues, followed by Hum The Bass Line. In 2010, she released her third studio album, SAY YES, whose single "The Yellow Brick Road Song" became a theme song for USA Network series Fairly Legal and featured on the HBO series How To Make It In America.
Iyeoka's music video, Simply Falling, has generated attention throughout the world attracting over 11 million views on YouTube.
As an educator and founder of the Lyrics For Literacy Initiative, Iyeoka presents writing and wellbeing master classes at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA and the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY, delivering authentic and inspiring message of healing through self-expression.