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Claudius Otegbade, Nigeria to Canada

Claudius Otegbade, Nigeria to Canada
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Canada, because of the diversity here, was very easy for me to fit in. There is no particular race that dominates, and so no inferiority complex or anything. Canada I think has a good mix of races.

I arrived in winter—I really thought I wasn’t going to make it! The jacket I wore was warm back in Nigeria. I arrived in the evening and I had to get another jacket the following morning. Waiting for public transport was terrible. If the bus didn’t come in two or three minutes I would run back home. I couldn’t feel my ears anymore.

There was the support from the government for the kids, so that kept the pressure off me while I tried to figure out my path. When I decided to go to school there was government support for that. So it was all there.

I got a letter that my student loan was due in six months. And then, when it was time to start paying, I checked my account online and found out that the government had paid part of my loan.

The biggest issue I had was my accent. You are speaking English and people you talk to back home hear you clearly. But when you get here, they find it difficult. You keep hearing, “Pardon me?” or “What did you say?”

I started my career as a chartered accountant in Nigeria; I now work as a forensic accountant with a multinational firm.

I have been involved with volunteer work in the last two years, helping other new immigrants to fully understand the tax system in Canada.

I want my kids to have the opportunities that I didn’t have back home.

Many, many days I get a call from someone back home asking, “Tell me, how do you move to Canada?”

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