The Canada Manual – Wale’s AbroadLife.


September 27, 2019

With the way Nigerians play Canada up on Twitter streets and Facebook alleys, you would think it were some promised land with arms opened wide for West African immigrants or at least a country with a leader who has the utmost respect for everyone ⁠— lazy youth or no. In reality, Canada is turning down Nigerian visa applicants faster than they can say ‘5AM in Toronto’ and their prime minister is a black-face wearing weirdo. But tell that to the average Nigerian and see if they care.

Leading the charge of Nigerians giving -0 fucks about anything that isn’t the skies between Murtala Muhammed and Toronto Pearson, is the subject of today’s Abroad Life – Wale. A pre-MBA student who recently moved to Ontario.

I’ve never been to the Great White North, so I had to know :

First things first, is Canada as great as everyone hypes it up to be?

Man, Canada is great, I can’t even lie. Funny thing is, maybe because I had my visa since last year, I had ejected my brain and my spirit from Nigeria way before I even moved here, so that has kind of reduced the hype in my mind. But forget, even with that, it’s actually really mad.

Okay, that’s what you’d have said. Because passing this Canadian visa interview is now as serious as SS3 WAEC, what are three things you absolutely must have on deck to pass it?

Let me see, you need your documents, all the basics like your proof of funds, landed documents. That kind of thing.

Then um… look, if I’m being honest ehn, whatever it is you need for your visa interview, just check Nairaland. It’s there.

Wait. Documents I get, but what concerns Nairaland with visa interview?

Boyyy! When I was trying to get my visa, I was checking on Nairaland every day as if  I was in a relationship with it. Because I was applying for my visa myself, and the Canadian embassy is now ruthless with Nigerians, I needed all the hacks in this life I could get, and know where all those hacks are? Nairaland!

It was from there I learnt to be super extra with my application. Nobody asked for it, but when I was applying for the visa, I packaged my GMAT and TOEFL scores for them. Let everybody know it’s school I came to do, not asylum. Please dear.

LMAO. That deep? 

That deep oh. But I mean, this doesn’t always work. Sometimes it gets crazy, and they deny applications regardless of how hard you prepare. 

Nairaland has something for you still!

A wow.

See, if you get denied, there’s usually some letter or email the embassy sends you explaining why your application got turned down. Through Nairaland, I learnt you could apply for GCMS notes. These notes give you fuller details as to why your application was denied so you can make up for whatever they found wrong in the application process. 
That you won’t enter your country, Canada is a lie oh, Nairaland won’t stand for it!

Okay, with this Nairaland Ph.D in visa applications, how long did it take you to get your visa?

I remember exact dates. I applied June 12th 2018, and didn’t get it until August 30th 2018. But ⁠— it was actually ready by the 29th, only, I deliberately left it for a day.

Now, why would you do a thing like that?

God bless you oh. So I had already started classes with the school I currently attend even from Nigeria, but the deadline for registration was August 30th. With the way it was set up, if I collected my visa on the 29th, I would have had to fly out to Canada that night, start physical classes and registration the next day. I already had a presentation due and there were  tests holding the week after. Only me!
So I decided to just wait it out for a little bit.

And how did that work out for you?

See, I didn’t realise how much I needed my city and how much my city needed me man. That one year I did in Lagos when I could have been in Canada  … oh well, kashamadupe.

LOL. So how empty will my account have to be to get this visa?

Not very empty. It costs maybe 100 – 250 dollars. And that’s Canadian dollars, so nothing too crazy.

So clearly, you’re in Canada for school. We’re going to pretend this isn’t an obvious question and ask if there’s any other reason you chose to move abroad.

Well, because Nigeria is trash. When I was a corper, I got queried at work because it was a bad place and everyone just kind of took whatever treatment they got and grumbled about it quietly. I always spoke out. When I got a proper job, my salary was a monthly, ‘open for a surprise’ event. Whatever the employers felt like giving that month, just take. I resigned in December last year and just said yeah, I’m not working until I go to my real country for school abeg.

Yikes. Throw this country away. But speaking of school, how does Nigeria’s education system match up with Canada’s?

Well, first of all, Nigeria’s education system is non-existent. I’m actually learning here. I attended UNILAG and got so frustrated with my department, that I had to send my HOD a really rude text message, he had to involve my parents you know. Like the frustration had gotten up to here.

But that’s not to say your work isn’t cut out for you here. I have tests every other day, and these are like 10 mark tests, then attendance counts, in-class assignments carry marks as well. Like I had to pencil in a 20-minute window for this interview because I have a test in two-hours. But with every step, you actually feel like you’re learning and not like someone is forcing their notes from 1982 down your brain.

Like last week, we had a lecture on Friday and when everyone was leaving the class, we saw our lecturer had started to pick up the litter everyone left behind. He said because it was a Friday and no one would have come in to clean until Monday, so everyone stayed back and made sure they tidied up. That small event would have played so differently in a Nigerian classroom.

Oop. Somebody let ASUU see this. So for education, that’s Canada 1, Nigeria 0. How about say, transportation?
Okay funny thing, where I stay in Ontario, there are no Ubers, or any ride-hailing services, really. Think there’s a law prohibiting them. But that aside, there’s the train, buses are always on time, I mean the bus I take to class comes every hour, so it leaves at 5:50, next is 6:40 and so on. Almost like clockwork. Then there are trains, metros. You can’t be comparing danfos with all that now.

Yeah, no. Fully digging Nigeria’s grave here, but how about security?See, rock your afro, walk at night, do backflips on the sidewalk, or not… no SARS will stop you, there are hardly any robberies. But if you stay somewhere like Toronto, which has a higher density of people, then it’s a little less safe.

Must be nice. Okay, so what’s one thing Nigeria has that Canada doesn’t? 

Nothing. Next question.

LMAO. Not even amala?

Who amala epp?

Ah!

I mean yes, family and friends. I miss them. It’s why my watch is still set to Nigerian time so I can check in on them at appropriate hours. But see, everything I need is here.

Is there a Nigerian community where you are?

Hmm, there are some Nigerians, like here and there. But, let me tell you something. If you think Nigerians want to japa, then you haven’t met Indians. These people collect loans to leave their country for Canada. In my class, there’s me, the only black person, then like 4 Canadians, 1 Sri Lankan and the rest are Indians. No be joke.

Wait what?

Seriously. My Indian friends joke that they feel like they are in Punjab sometimes. The minute the Indians get here, they’re hustling for that Permanent Residency (PR). So if you think Nigerians are about that Canadian life, you just wait, let the Indians teach you a thing or two.

A real wow. So how long have you been enjoying Canadian breeze?

About 4 weeks. Here’s to many more. Although, the cold here is mad I can’t lie. Currently growing my hair out for warmth, because while everyone is still rocking t-shirts and shorts here, I don’t know how,  I’ve been wearing cardigans and thick jeans since day one. Winter gets really crazy, so I have to be ready to give it back.

Haha. So do you keep up with Nigerian news?

Not if I can help it.

Oh Lord. Well, shameless self plugging here, if you want to keep up with Nigerian news, and by news I mean weekly dissing of politicians that want to stain our whites home and abroad, then make sure to subscribe to Zikoko’s newsletter, which I write – Gameofvotes.

Here’s a link for everyone else.

So, what are your plans after school?

Well, I’m currently doing a pre-MBA, so MBA right after. And hopefully after that, remove the first letter from CPR.


*Internet fist bump.*

Want more Abroad Life? Check in every Friday at 12 PM (WAT) for a new episode. Until then, read every story of the series here.

Find Zikoko
wherever you are

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.