By Other Expats
Other ExpatsJun 12, 2021
42. Abubakar Bala - Make sure you're not crossing boundaries
Our guest on this episode is Abubakar Bala, a research assistant at a university in Malaysia where he's been working on artificial intelligence and machine prediction/predictive maintenance. He's also trying to take the same model into healthcare in predict/classify diseases, specifically cancer. He talks about his experience studying/living in Malaysia compared with Nigeria and Saudi Arabia and some of the things he has learned being outside his country.
41. Kingsley Chiedu Chiemeke - Have a goal
Kingsley Chiedu Chiemeke is our guest on this episode of the Other Expats podcast. Kingsley is an academic researcher at a university in Kuala Lumpur as well as a business analyst at his self-started consulting firm, KC Systems.
40. Henry Angala: Get out of your own way to learn
Henry Angala, a tech expert in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is our guest on this episode of the Other Expats podcast.
39. Mbeke Waseme - How to live abroad successfully
Our guest on this episode is Mbeke Waseme, a management coach, international education consultant, photographer, yoga instructor, and writer. Her books include "Make the changes, feel the joy" and "How to work and live abroad successfully." We discuss her experiences being a Black expat in Malaysia and being Jamaican in Ghana, where she currently resides.
38. Stanley Obi — The acknowledgement of failure is the beginning of growth
Stanley Obi is our guest on this episode. Stanley is a serial entrepreneur based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
36. Ngonidzashe Jokomo — It's now your time to make a life for yourself
Ngonidzashe Jokomo is our guest on this episode of the Other Expats podcast. Ngonidzashe is a knowledge specialist at a leading online trading platform in Kuala Lumpur and runs the fashion and printing label mhazilife.
35. In conversation with Chisomo Sakala
In this episode, our guest is Chisomo Sakala, a customer service specialist at a leading call center in Kuala Lumpur and founder/content creator at A Younger Voice. We talk about being a Black woman and an expat; the good, the bad, and the not-so-nice of living in Malaysia; and more.
Follow A Younger Voice on Instagram and catch/join live episodes of the discussions every Sunday at 9.00 PM Malaysian Time. The discussions are open to everyone and lively and always welcome new and distinctive thoughts and ideas.
34. In conversation with Danny Madzura
Danny Madzura, our guest on this episode of the Other Expats podcast, talks about getting lost in Cuba and speaking Spanish, the career advantage of being multilingual, being a black expat in a pandemic, and more.
33. Christina Belloge of Melanin Travels Magic — Connecting the Black diaspora
Visit the Other Expats website to get £100 off your next Melanin Travels Magic tour deposit!
Our first episode in 2021 features Christina Belloge, a multilingual paid media/digital marketing consultant, travel enthusiast, and director of Melanin Travels Magic. Christina has been an expat for 14 years, living in London, Amsterdam, and Dusseldorf.
Melanin Travels Magic is a black-owned travel agency aimed at helping the Black diaspora facilitate their discovery of other Black nations (African and/or Caribbean) via travel experiences. Melanin Travels Magic was recently accepted into the London Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
32. In conversation with Fadzisai Matewa
Fadzisai Matewa is our guest on this episode of the Other Expats podcast. Fadzisai is Zimbabwean, has lived in Malaysia for several years, and is a market development specialist with a multinational software company in Kuala Lumpur.
31. In conversation with Ralph Mpofu
Ralph Mpofu is our guest on this episode of the Other Expats podcast. Ralph is a community builder, strategist, and changemaker, passionate about connecting the dots for impact and sustainable development.
30. In conversation with Jacinta Nalweyiso
Our guest on this episode is a graduate of biotechnology from UCSI University in Cheras in Malaysia, currently pursuing a Master's degree. Jacinta Nalweyiso shares her experience living in Malaysia for four years, and her interests, including singing and stop-motion videos, which are really, really cool! Visit otherexpats.com for links to some of her projects.
29. In conversation with Carl Kapapiro
Our guest on this episode of the Other Expats podcast is Carl Kapapiro, co-founder of SNCT Marketing. He spent 12 years in Malaysia, where he earned his Bachelor's degree in business studies from the University of East London and proceeded to pursue his career in sales and marketing. He is currently based in Uganda, where he is continuing his life as an expat while establishing the nation's premier digital marketing agency.
28. In conversation with Emmanuel Okwu
Our guest on this episode of the Other Expats podcast, Emmanuel Chisom Okwu talks about his experience starting the International Student Council while at the Kuala Lumpur Metropolitan University to change the perception of Malaysians about foreign students, transitioning from student to working, what he enjoys most living in Malaysia, visiting Sabah, and a lot of other stuff you'll hear when you press play.
27. Dadje Valere — Understand and adapt to the culture
"When you travel in a country, the first thing you should do is try to understand and adapt to the culture..." says our guest on this episode of the Other Expats podcast—Dadje Valere, French-speaking Camerounian, and instrument and control engineer who has been in Malaysia since 2009.
Dadje talks about how he integrates into society, from being active in the university's students union and the international students' community to developing and pushing policies that allow foreigners to be heard in the campus environment.
26. Whei Meng, CEO, Speedhome.com — Protecting their properties?
Whei Meng, CEO of Malaysian-based startup, Speedhome.com, is our guest on this episode of the Other Expats podcast. We haven't featured a lot of non-other expats, but one of our goals is to provide useful resources for living in Malaysia. Speedhome.com is one of those useful resources.
In addition, Whei Meng's Speedhome.com is fighting (or, at least, trying to) what many other expats have encountered in Malaysia: discrimination when looking to rent a property. It's either "the owner doesn't want foreigners" (general) or the more specific, "the owner doesn't want Africans/Nigerians."
Whei Meng believes that the homeowners are not necessarily racist, they're just protecting their properties. From what? Ahhh you'll have to listen to find out. Here's a link to the podcast. Also available on whatever platform you get your podcasts from.
25. In conversation with Halima Attahiru
Stuff we talked about:
1.32 - Who's Halima Attahiru?
2.35 - Living here for nine years, how different is it from living in Nigeria?
3.54 - The food wasn't anything to write home about because it had too much sugar. If you're an expat in Malaysia, did you have any issues transitioning or eating Malaysian food?
5.25 - In Malaysia, you don't water for free in restaurants. You have to pay for water separately *shock*
6.07 - Experience as an African woman living in Malaysia?
7.35 - What does Halima do when she's not working? Tip: cooks, takes online classes.
8.10 - Loves cooking African food. Where she lives in Malaysia has a lot of African convenience stores — expensive but available.
9.50 - What's one thing every expat should try when they're in Malaysia?
10.57 - She works with the airline so she gets to do a lot of traveling within and around Malaysia.
11.44 - Most and least favorite things about living in Malaysia? The public holidays! And the transportation system.
15.17 - Who are her crowd in Malaysia; Africans, locals or more of an international group?
17.24 - What's most different about living abroad?
24. Republish - Black and dating with Shams, Ahlam, and Faithful
Initially recorded in 2017, we share a lot of cringeworthy stuff (that you should probably skip) about the dating scene for POCs in Malaysia.
Shams, Ahlam, and Faithful also talk about and compare the 'high stakes' of dating in Saudi Arabia to the more open dating environment in Kuala Lumpur and the swiping culture in Kuala Lumpur. Also highlighted: the toxicity of expected gender roles.
23. Rumbidzai Lyn Kasinamunda - The dating pool is wider for Black men
Rumbidzai Lyn Kasinamunda is from Zimbabwe and is a customer experience and senior IT adviser based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
What we talked about...
Companies that make you go through the entire job application process with multiple assessments, then filter you out based on a call they make to you. Do HR executives even look at the candidate resumes at all?
Would you prefer to be informed by HR that the company is not looking for foreigners, only looking for locals or you think being in the dark is better?
The experience hasn't been all bad, though. Between 2015 and 2018, she was based in Cyberjaya, and going to work was a major highlight of her time.
** Regarding people being deported, the interview was done in June 2019. I'm not sure what the situation is now. There's the story of Jeff who — like the MBA student who died in police custody recently — spent a week in police custody even though he had valid work documents.
If you're a foreigner in Malaysia, do you have local friends? Do you think that you should have friends who are Malaysian?
She talks about the Black woman's experience in Malaysia. Black women tend to stick to their people, "the dating pool is limited. But for Black men, the dating pool is wider."
22. It's because you're black
In which we talk about how you know if you are being differently because you're black or because you actually did something wrong. Oh, and we arrived late to this but we all talk about the begpackers who were getting notorious around Kuala Lumpur, and we called Al Ibrahim in to get his opinion.
21. Introducing Zainab Olamiji... and how different are jobs from careers?
Who's Zainab Olamiji? Why did she go from studying medicine to being a business development manager? Are jobs and careers the same thing? Or just how different are they? Did our parents care about their jobs or their careers? You'd have to listen to find out.
20. Felix Tabenda — Cameroon to Dubai to Malaysia
Stuff we talked about
01.20 - Moving from Cameroon to Dubai to Malaysia
04.39 - Work culture in Cameroon vs Dubai vs Malaysia
07.00 - Culture shocks and medical certificates (MC)
10.30 - The challenge of spouses getting into the job market in Malaysia
14.25 - Renting a house as an African in Malaysia
17.13 - Needing international vetting to open a bank account
21.30 - Being followed at the mall
26.30 - Some of the weird questions African expats get
31.00 - Being an expat African husband and father in Malaysia
32.32 - Long-winding sentence about family hangouts with other families
36.40 - Have financial plans in mind when moving here
... and more
19. Expat in Malaysia? Two things that you need to know now
18. Nasara Katuka — Nigeria does not have an accent
Stuff that we talked about: 1:45 - She doesn't miss church 2:04 - The point where I'm still not sure if she's Nigerian 2:12 - Introducing Nasara Katuka, from Kaduna State in Nigeria 2:23 - [Facepalm] Ignorance galore 3:50 - She's a Business Developer 4:04 - Background music from all the families playing at Paradigm Mall in Petaling Jaya 5:10 - What's your story? 5:38 - SHe studied Business & Management 5:54 - Company closed and everyone had to "find their own way" 7:55 - Nigerian expats in Malaysia and our reluctance to "go back home" 12:02 - What does she do when she isn't working? 13:53 - Al talks about his video project 14:52 - Nigeria doesn't have an accent 16:11 - Favourite and least favorite things about being in Malaysia. First on the list? Electricity 21:00 - How much traveling do you do? 24:05 - We find out that she models as well! 24:47 - Was in a commercial for Harpic in May 2018 and a music video with DJ Policy's African Woman in July 2018. She also does photoshoots. Check out Sunday Girls on Instagram 28:00 - Advice to other expats in Malaysia. Have a backup plan
17. In conversation with... Tatiana Shulgina
7.34 - What impact do you expect the book have on readers?
9.21 - What other experiences have you had in Malaysia?
9.43 - Favourite place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia? Brickfields.
11.13 - Where is home to you? For Tanya, it is wherever she feels comfortable in, whether it's Bali or Kuala Lumpur.
15.29 - One of her greatest experiences in Malaysia is at the fireflies reserve at Kuala Selangor. The park is considered to be the largest colony of fireflies in the world.
17.34 - Recommendations for a nature outing for expats in Malaysia?
19.25 - What's a typical day for her like?
21.20 - Rereading the book that changed her life—Life of Pi.
22.10 - When we talk a bit about religion
26.00 - Tatiana's TV show recommendation—The Good Doctor.
26.40 - She's a Harry Potter fan!
27.52 - When can we be expecting her next book?
If you want to support Tatiana and/or her cause—improving the welfare of refuges in Malaysia—you can get in touch with her here.
16. Olajide Adejumo — Between basketball and media studies
In this episode of the Other Expats podcast, Ben talks about similarities and differences between living in Malaysia and the motherland, making friends, and dribbling on his extremely tight schedule.
01.06: Who is Olajide? BTW, Olajide is Yoruba for wealth comes in the morning
07.04: What adjustments did he need to make moving to Malaysia on a sports scholarship?
17.11: "My social life is basketball," says Ben, who shuffles between basketball practice and games and studies
21.00: The conditions that come with a sports scholarship don't allow for any laziness. "You constantly have to be on your toes."
28.36: Being judged before we are known
15. Usman Garba — Just get your foot in the door
We met Usman Garba at his place in February for a one-on-one interview, where he talks about his experiences in Malaysia, turning down two job offers for a chance to work with Google and then losing that opportunity, taking a pre-sales job to get his foot in the door and the "two-second rule". He also shares some of his favorite TV shows and what he does when he isn't doing technical training.
14. Deon Akitoye — Think like there's no box
"All my life, I've been hearing people say 'think outside the box'. I don't care about it anymore. I care about 'what the hell is the box?' Think like there's no box. Who created the box? Because, even if you think outside the box, you're limiting yourself to just outside the box. You can go much further."
— Deon Akitoye
13 Samson Oludapo — Connect with people who can advance you
Samson went from studying accounting and finance to practising IT in Malaysia. His interest in IT started back home in Nigeria when he worked in the Lagos "Computer Village", which (as the name implies) is the central location for all things IT in Lagos State.
There wasn't much of a culture shock being in Malaysia from being from a culturally diverse country too.
Opportunities vs greener pastures? Why are you away from your country?
12. Aminu Akhabue — Come for the study, development and knowledge, then go home
Stuff we talked about
2.30 Does not recommend Malaysia for people at the start of their careers, especially not Africans. Malaysia doesn't give foreigners the option to study and work at the same time
11.30: Nigerians need a new mindset. A friend in a Nigerian company goes to work at 8 am, checks in and immediately leaves the office. She still gets paid at the end of the month.
18.35: Maybe you've heard about the chain restaurant that started in South Africa called Nandos?
20.20: You've also probably heard about the artist named Akon?
28.52: Of course, not 'the solar system'. He (we) meant using solar power.
33.10: He supports development. If you're going to be a doctor, lawyer, or musician, there are no opportunities in Malaysia for you.
11. Maysoun Mustafa — Be open to experiences
"Be open to experiences, be open to meeting new people and, it might seem creepy at times, but just smile. Smile at strangers and smile at whoever...because you never know how a simple smile can affect someone in whatever they're going through with their day or life..."
Stuff we talked about
2.36: Choosing a career path
3.00: Why you should care about food security
5.59: What is Crops for the Future? Hint: It's not about a war on rice.
12.00: Teff in Ethiopia--the replacement for quinoa?
13.00: Enough about work. What happens when you're not working?
10. Kristen Noelle — Building communities
4.50: LITT Nomads - remote work and travel program to give remote workers an immersive experience in Southeast Asia
7.15: "My travel around Southeast Asia has been really good to me!"
09.08: What is something every expat in Malaysia should experience at least once? Explore outside of the city areas!
15.20: Living here is not super difficult for me culturally because it's such a Westernised city. It's a very modern place; they have a lot of conveniences, they speak English in most places, I can find what I need and my work environment specifically is very Western
19.10: Learning the power of building community; moving outside a circle of friends based on familiarity.
Images by Kristen Noelle
9. Roth Mikoungui — If they can do it, so can I
Congolese, Roth Mikoungui, a support engineer in Kuala Lumpur, talks about his career, his Malaysian experience, dealing with his hectic schedule and his favorite place in Kuala Lumpur, Bukit Bintang.
Here's some of the stuff we talked about:
1.34: Roth is the first Congolese we've met so far! Apparently, the Congolese community in Malaysia is very small because many of them who leave the country prefer to go to China, Europe, and the US
9.53: Some foreigners (or just people who've never been at before decided now was the best time to crowd around the people recording and take pictures. That's all the discussions you hear in the background for the next few minutes.
13.00: "Before I used to be very sexy with a six-pack, but now I have a family pack, so..."
14.23: "They are black like me and they have jobs, is there any magic involved? No. If they can...
8. Emmanuel from Geekception — Enjoying the inflight entertainment
We also talk about taking time to enjoy the "inflight entertainment"-all the small things that make life more bearable. How he kicks back and enjoys the flight through life whether there's a turbulence or not, and what's next for Geekception.
7. Q Sound talks about 'everything'
Image source: MTalent Asia
6. Al Ibrahim — Art, deportations and relationships
This episode was produced by the amazing fellows at The Small Room audio production unit, with Feras Ibrahim (@feras-ibrahim) from the Dukkan Show podcast (@Dukkanshow) and sound engineer, Ameer Ismail.
Image source: www.instagram.com/failedimitator/
5. Black and dating with Shams, Ahlam, and Faithful
4. Samar Almontser — Home is where the heart is
But no one seems to know I'm gone
Home is where the hatred is
Home is filled with pain and it
Might not be such a bad idea if I never
Never went home again...
The lyrics from Kanye West's On My Way Home don't appear particularly home-friendly. It's a consolation to know that he does take some poetic license in the piece.
Truth is, many of us expats don't feel that way. However, some of us do. To others, home is our birth countries as well as where we currently are now.
I personally prefer the third option; you can always go home when you feel that it's time. But you have the choice to experience other cultures—the best of both worlds.
It's not always rosy for us Other Expats, however. Some of us have to be away from home for various reasons; wars, and political and economic instabilities.
Then, it is not just about not having the opportunity to return home, it's having the good fortune to be able to live outside of your home.
Whether you've made Malaysia you
3. Amal Adam — Behind the magic
In this episode of the Other Expats podcast, we reached out to Amal Adam, who notes that in addition to fielding ignorant questions, black women face an almost all-around pressure. "Sometimes it's from our own people, other times it's from outsiders—that's why for us we have to always be perfect, like there's no margin for making a mistake because doing so it going to attach you to everything negative so you have to be the model black girl." She, however, noted that she generally feels "safe" in Malaysia.
2. Faithful Anere — Setting the record straight
"It's impossible to get a job in Malaysia". "You can't have a bank account here!” "Debit/credit cards?! Are you crazy? That's impossible!” I've heard it all. As an 'other expat' in Malaysia, I'll have to admit it is difficult to do any of those things here—sometimes, however, not more difficult than other countries, or even back home.