As a Nigerian or coming from other parts of the Africa and you are planning to emigrate to Canada, there are lots of things you need to unlearn before emigrating to Canada.
While unlearning those habits as an African, there is a need to learn healthier habits/lifestyles to enable you to cohabit with Canadians and have a fruitful stay in Canada.
Below are some of the basic things you need to know before emigrating to Canada.
Things You Need To Know Before You Emigrate To Canada
Dating in Canada is different in a lot of ways. No one is responsible for your bills, or for funding your lifestyle just as it has somehow become a norm in Nigeria or in some other African countries.
- Tip: If you can’t afford a cab, you take the bus or bike, or walk
2. Cordial Invitations
If your colleagues invite you to any celebratory lunch, dinner, the movies etc., please also come with your own funds because the bills will likely be split.
Expect to pay for alcoholic beverages (at the bar) when you invited to social events/weddings, unless hosted by Nigerians.
- Tip: Do not forget your wallets at home
3. No Corporate Begging
There is hardly any “rich uncle/aunty” to ‘dash’ you free money in Canada. The rich uncles/aunties are also paying their mortgages/bills/taxes – the higher you earn, the more that taxes.
It is socially unacceptable to beg random persons for money online/offline.
- Tip: If you want to beg, use a “go-fund-me.”
4. Pay Your Debts On Time
This is a trust-driven and credit-based system. You ability to pay your bills and debts on time, e.g, even if it is a minimum payment on credit cards, is valued over paying late and in full. Learn a lot about how credit works and your credit/FICO score.
The system rewards DISCIPLINE, DELAYED GRATIFICATION, DCA and LIVING WITHIN YOUR MEANS.
If you are a 2-person household, at least one should register a business, even if you work 9 to 5. File all your taxes, even if you do not earn a lot. File personal/business. Keep all receipts.
- Tip: Always the keep the receipts.
5. Boarding A Public Bus (Transportation)
If you emigrate to the GTA/suburbs in Canada, and use the viva bus, it is largely a trust-honor-based system. The bus driver will NOT ask you for proof of ticket before/after you board. You are simply expected to have your ticket based on trust. Once in a while, olopa (Police) will enter & check o!
The bus fare is about $4 or so. However, if you think you can get away with anyhowness/ not buy a ticket, the day olopa (Police) catches you, you will get a ticket, go to court, and pay a hefty fine. Plus the public disgrace when you are asked to step down from the bus. BUY YOUR TICKETS O!
- Tip: Always buy your bus ticket
6. Live Within Your Means
Live within your means, cut your coat according to your material. No one really gives a sh*t whether you have bone-straight or gold cufflinks. Or whether you drive a jag or corolla. If you have a decent job/good credit, you can access a lot of things.
- Tip: No needless competition.
7. Discard The Impatient Attitude
If you do it right while you emigrate to Canada, in five to seven years, you will be amazed at how well you are doing. Be patient with yourself. The initial one to four years may not be so smooth, however, it will all eventually pay off.
Get involved with community/volunteer/ask for access to resources/be open/learn.
Do not look down on any work/job opportunity. DO NOT look down on people based on what you think they have or what they do. In Canada, there is DIGNITY in labour, eventually, the PhD that drives a cab gets into his/her field, the Doctors working as PSW get into med school and thrive.
- Tip: Be patient with the process
8. Get A Side Job Outside Your Day Job
Have something you do on the side, regardless of your day job. Even if you emigrate with a lot of funds, try to get a job – you will understand the system better when you immerse yourself.
And you will thrive better in business if you grasp the work culture/HR/systems/regulations.
- Tip: Get a job as you emigrate to Canada
9. Beware Of Black Tax. Keep A Low Profile
In your initial years as an immigrant, no do pass yourself when it comes to black tax. Learn to say NO to those asking for money back home, unless it is for health emergencies.
You need to be able to stand well before you help others, if not you get trapped in a cycle of struggle.
If you can, keep a low profile in those early years; FOCUS -on your studies, professional exams, work, getting settled, understanding the system. Fill your cup first, put on your seatbelt first, before you try pour a drink or fasten the belt of others.
- Tip: Don’t try to impress anyone
10. Go Back Home When You’re Mentally and Physically Ready
Remember, you can love Nigeria very well from afar. Go back only when you are ready/have the mental courage to thrive there, & leave again if it does not work out🙂 Wherever you are, simple EXCEL! Success attracts many.
Nigerian Government will find you & “Dabirize” you #ProudlyNigerian
- Tip: Do all you can to be successful.
11. Be Very Pragmatic When Choosing A Course
Please be very pragmatic when you are choosing your courses here in school. You can always go back to study what you are passionate about.
At the initial stages – it may be better to take on courses that have a strong demand in the labour market so your finances/bills are healthy.
- Tip: Take on courses that have a strong demand in the labour market.
12. Emigrants Can Still Date
If you are single, consider being open to dating Nigerians/other Africans/races, not just Nigerians. Even though Canada is far, “handsome Yoruba demons” & “fine wicked Igbo girls” are open to date. These 2 groups connect very well in Canada & knows how to love each other uniquely.
- Tip: Be wise while choosing a date
13. Always Have Insurance
Make sure you have insurance, car/home/life etc. Especially if you have a family. If you have children, open an RESP account as soon as possible. If 18 and above, have a TFSA.
- Tip: Make sure you have insurance, car/home/life etc.
Young and old, when you visit Canada, please ABSTAIN, OR USE CONDOM/USE CONTRACEPTIVE O!
Canada does NOT joke with CHILD SUPPORT! 18 YEARS!
Think twice before cohabiting with anyone o! Canada does NOT joke with COMMON LAW UNIONS, whether you’re marry officially or not.
CANADA is officially a FEMINIST NATION! It also protects the RIGHTS OF ALL REGARDLESS OF GENDER OR SEXUAL ORIENTATION OR RELIGION. It does NOT joke with Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), RAPE CULTURE SPECTRUM.
Please unlearn all the patriarchy, misogyny, sexism, homophobia, transphobia. No careless jokes!
CANADA is officially a FEMINIST NATION! It means EQUITY/FULL AGENCY/RIGHTS/ACCESS. AND EQUAL RESPONSIBILITIES/CONSIQUENCES.
If you are a woman and you earn much more than your spouse, if you divorce, you will likely pay ALIMONY to him. If the man earns more, he pays to his ex.
MAN/WOMAN, BOYS/GIRLS, please learn to cook. Learn to care for your children. Learn to do house chores. Learn to be financially independent. If you’re a couple, learn to be accountable to each other. Learn gender fluidity in terms of roles/responsibilities. CHILDCARE is EXPENSIVE
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Op-Ed: The article is a personal opinion of a Nigerian/Canadian resident, Juliet Kego. Some of the above suggestions can be disputed with facts. However, she reserves the right to her opinion on emigrating to Canada.
Find her on Twitter. @julietkego