Toronto Raptors Superfan
As an immigrant, what was one major hurdle you had to overcome while adjusting to the Canadian lifestyle?
Like most immigrants, there are many hurdles you have to overcome. I don’t think I can just pick one — from understanding the language better, dealing with huge financial stress and limitations, experiencing racial intolerance, and feeling isolated from family back home. There’s so much we deal with, but nothing outweighs being in a beautiful country and living in peace.
Before coming to Canada, what was your impression of the country?
I honestly didn’t know much. I had applied to many countries for a visa to bring my wife and me over, and by luck, I should now say that Canada gave us that visa by god’s blessings. So here we are.
How has this impression changed over time?
I love this country. Canada has given my family and me everything we could ever have imagined. From my early years to now, my impression of Canada has changed. The people are fantastic.
How has being recognized as the Raptors Superfan impacted your life?
I would never have imagined this “Superfan” thing would be as big as it has become. All across the world, I’m recognized and asked for a picture and autograph. The scale of what the Superfan has become has given me the ability to reach out, help many more people, and inspire our youth.
Owning a successful dealership in Canada, what’s the importance of diversity in a business?
Diversity is the cornerstone of my success. When you treat everyone like you want to be treated yourself, you will look beyond colour, resulting in a much larger pool of people to draw from. If you remove colour, you will find we are all almost the same.
How important is it for you to support newcomers in Canada?
Very important. I mean, I was given a chance, and look where it has taken me. You never know what story has been written for who, so It’s my responsibility to give to and support newcomers as a thank you to those who gave to me when I first arrived.
How important is multiculturalism in Canada to you?
I believe it is what separates Canada from the rest of the world. Nowhere is it as multicultural as it is here in Canada. Our multiculturism is our biggest strength. It is the strongest reason for my family to stay here in Canada. The people of this country are beautiful.
Is there any advice you would like to give those of diverse backgrounds?
Our differences are our superpowers. What makes you unique is your gift. Embrace it. Educate people. By doing so, we can create a very harmonious society.
Is there anything you would like to tell Canadians in regard to embracing their cultures?
It’s important to embrace your culture. It is your identity. But in the same respect, it is important to be tolerant of other cultures. It is important to learn about and understand other cultures. Only when we embrace our neighbours can we create a true heaven on earth.