If Bukky didn’t live in downtown Toronto and I in Mississauga, I truly believe we would have been on our way to a very strong friendship…. Looooool! Bukky comes across as having a huge sense of humor and is very charming. She loves good food, and towards the end of the summer, she reached out to me to go and ‘charter’ tatashe pepper and tomatoes in my freezer to cover for the cold winter months. She and I connected on Twitter, and thereafter on my IG page, and she was wonderful enough to accept to guest feature here on the blog. Something she said here that really resonated with me is doing your own research when you arrive Canada. There is a whole lot of information out there but no one ever tells you. Either because they don’t know or they don’t care. @Boooketin is her IG page and she is would rather take the bus/subway/cable car downtown than drive ;).
1. Introduce yourself in an artistic way (You can chose to give your government name or not)
My name is Beckie with the Good Hair (as my colleagues fondly call me) hehehe. I currently work with one of the banks in Canada. I am someone’s only girl, someone’s wife, someone’s mother
2. When did the idea of moving to Canada first strike you?
Actually, the idea wasn’t mine. It was my husband’s and I didn’t really know much about it until he started bugging me to write IELTS. Prior to that he had tried talking to me about it, but I guess I didn’t put it to mind. By the time we found out we were expecting our second child, I was deep in the process, as I was hoping that I could have him in Canada. But the boy is stubborn like his momma- I had him in Nigeria. I guess I could talk about when the idea struck my husband. There were friends in his office and they all sang the same song all day. Leaving home at 5am and getting back at 10 pm and with little to show for it. They all asked themselves a question; “if I lose my job today, will I be able to still send my kids to school and pay the school fees for a year without blinking?” Majority of them couldn’t say yes! Then coupled with other things, Canada became a viable option. It started as “let’s apply and see” until some of them got approved. I guess it is a story now and almost all of them are here.
3. What method did you arrive into Canada? (Student, PR, Canadian Citizen by birth, Refugee, other)
We all came in as Permanent Residents
4. How long have you been in Canada for? (Be inventive)
We have been here a little over 2 years. I am closer to applying for citizenship… hehehehe
5. How did you decide on the city you finally settled in?
Hmm! This was a bit hard to decide at first. Having lived in Lagos all my life (and for my husband for the better part of his adult life), we didn’t mind going to a little reserved area with peace and quiet. We initially wanted to settle in Saskatchewan, but we started going through the job portals, most jobs that we fit into were in Ontario, so we changed our minds and we came to Ontario. I am glad we did, I am not sure I would have enjoyed Saskatchewan.
6. Did you continue in the same profession here that you practiced in your home country?
Yes, I worked in a bank back in Nigeria, I currently work in a bank here too (lol). I actually met my husband working with different banks (story for another day). It was easier getting into the bank since that was where we had experience. Over time, I would like to try other industries which I am already working on.
7. Any main or side hustle to mention?
Yes, eventually my side hustle is going to be my main hustle. It has not been finalized yet, it is still in the making, but it is always nice to have side hustle
8. What mistakes have you made while on this journey?
My first mistake was setting low standards for a job. I was fearful, because I was in a new land. I usually tell new immigrants not to settle for less, be confident and be able to sell yourself. As much as I understand that you have to start small sometimes, still don’t limit yourself. Read, read and learn about where you are. Just like the motto for Ontario is: “Yours To Discover”, No one is going to tell you everything (as a matter of fact, they also don’t know. Lol), but when you read and ask questions, you would be amazed at a lot of things that you could achieve here.
9. What are you most thankful of in your journey?
I am thankful that my husband made this decision for our family, I am thankful for the opportunities that my kids are getting. Most importantly I am thankful that I have the opportunity to start all over again, with any career of my choice. I am thankful that the sky is my starting point!
No one told me that daycare will be this expensive! Chai! No one told me the Hubs and I will have to work a schedule to ensure that one of us is at home with the kids. Sometimes he works night, and I work day and vice versa. We figure that out now. No one told me that the cold could cause a migraine. lol
11. Knowing what you know now, would you still relocate to Canada? Why?
Yes, we should have done it sooner sef. There are a lot of things that you don’t have to worry about. The most common example will be electricity- how do you have time for life, when you are so busy making sure the food you cooked over the weekend doesn’t get spoilt. Here, I can cook and decide not to cook again for 2 weeks, with everything stored in the fridge/freezer (don’t mind me, I like food a lot!)
On the other hand, “there is no place like home”. I miss home sometimes, I miss my siblings, I miss my parents (thankfully, I have been able to drag my mum here). There is the feeling that you get sometimes that makes you want to consider going back. But asides that, it has been a really good ride here in Canny. It is not all rosy, but if you persevere and work smart (not necessarily hard) you can become whatever you choose to be.