Opportunities for cognition and tingling sensations amount to infinite in Asia, you never know what you’ll see, but you never know it if you don’t want to see. Whatever reasons these people are there for, let your fellow Africans share with you their life experience in the Far East. They’ll tell you never know too little about this continent!
Chukwuemeka George Anene-Nzelu is 10,000 miles away from home, he has counted 18 months since the first day he stepped foot in the city-state of Singapore. Read more to find out what the Enugu-born medical doctor has to share with you FAB readers about the sunny island.
FAB: What made you decided to move to Singapore?
G: Well, I was trained as a medical doctor in Cuba…Latin American School of Medicine, ELAM for short in Spanish. After my training I worked in Nigeria for 2 years, I wanted to gain more experience in research. I initially heard about National University of Singapore and the country from a cousin of mine, and when I searched through the web, I realized it was a great place for study and research as it ranked high in most indices.
FAB: Describe your experience!
G: It’s been a whole new world of experience for me. Singapore is known as a food haven as there is a variety of things to eat, however I am not adventurous with food, so I only stick to a few dishes.
In my opinion, it takes time for people to “open up” otherwise they are not as pleasing as those back at home (Nigeria) or in Cuba.
The transportation system here is probably one of the best in the world. Singapore is a multi racial and religious society. The most common races are Chinese, Indians and Malays, but there are also many Caucasians (or ang moh) as they are called here in their local dialect. Very few blacks reside here in Singapore. As for religion, mainly Buddhist, Taoist, Hindus, Christians and Muslims.
Life here is quite fast paced, everybody is always busy.
FAB: What do you do during your free time in Singapore?
During my free time, I love hanging out with friends, which gets to happen like once every 2 months ‘cos most of them are either very busy or prefer hanging out with their local/child hood friends. Most of the times, I go to the lab or to my church (New Creation Church).
G: Similarities with Nigeria… I can’t think of any. Differences a lot. Singapore is more organized and developed.
FAB: What are the benefits/positive gains of working/living in Singapore or Asia as an African? (e.g. Learnt a new language, made new friends etc…)
G: I think benefits of working in Asia are quite numerous. It opens you up to a different world. People here see things differently, besides Asia seems set to become an economic powerhouse. I am also learning Mandarin as of now.
G: Well, I guess my faith in Jesus, hardwork and support from family and friends. Anyway, I don’t think I’m fabulous yet.
FAB: What are your advice to other fellow Africans about venturing abroad in Singapore or Asia?
G: Well if you intend to come to Singapore you must be really talented or outstanding in your field and be prepared for loneliness at some point of time.
FAB: Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? (e.g. your next pinnacle)
G: Finished my PhD.
FAB: In your opinion, what do you think is the most challenging event you’ve encountered while living in Singapore?
G: Well nothing very challenging as such except that it was very lonely initially. But I was actually shocked to find out that many people here think Africa is a country and people are less tolerant for criticisms as well, in my opinion.
These people have felt the Ganges, cruised the Malacca straits and seen the Yangtze. They were pondering and afraid in the beginning but they went for it. These people never regretted; these people are Africans.
To find out more about others in Asia, be sure to check us back regularly!
Coming up next: Okwy Ukwuaku in Malaysia
Pictures of Singapore: