Where are you from?

I’m from Nigeria

What is your childhood like?

My childhood was like the average childhood of a Nigerian kid. Lived in a house with my parents, siblings of 4, uncles and aunts. Went to a boarding school, I wasn’t really allowed to go outside the house to play but doesn’t mean I am an introvert. 

What brought you to Cleveland?

My dad brought me and the family to Cleveland because we had an opportunity to live in a better, developed country.

What were your first thoughts about coming to the U.S.? Did those change?

I can’t really remember my first thoughts coming here but I remember I was determined to taste a cheese burger because people talked about it a lot while i was in Nigeria and after I did I was disappointed because I still think its widely overrated. I wish I could tell you more but I just can’t remember. It’s been 7 years.

What challenges did you face as transitioning here?

The challenges I faced transitioning here were speaking British English, some of the words they used here are obviously not what I used in Nigeria. For example: Americans say trunk and we say boot, football vs soccer, biscuit vs cookies etc. Another transition I faced was weather, my first snow experience was interesting, never experienced that extreme cold, I hated the snow but fun fact I love it now. Thirdly, I will say the accent, speaking and people still not understanding what you say was/is still challenging.

What is your occupation?

I am a student at Cleveland State

How have other Clevelanders made you feel welcomed?

I have been blessed to meet awesome Clevelanders whom helped me navigate and understand Americans better

What traditions or customs do you continue to practice? 

I still practice Nigerian Independence day, I am Igbo and we have a tradition called New Yam festival etc.

What do you love about Cleveland?

What I love about Cleveland is the weather, I like the fact it has 4 weather changes, I love the Cavs, I love the fact it’s not as busy as New York or Atlanta etc.

Why is it so important to welcome immigrants and refugees?

It’s very important to welcome immigrants and refugees because it can be very lonely coming into a new country and they need someone to help them understand the ways and culture of how people and things work.

Why is it important to travel abroad?

It’s important to travel abroad because knowledge is power, learning new things expand your mindset, and understanding other people’s culture is fascinating.