Mediaplanet sat down with Feyi Mac, a newcomer from Nigeria, and Finance & Lifestyle blogger to talk about her journey migrating in 2015. Read below to see her tips and tricks for newcomers looking to build a life in Canada.
What inspired you to become an influencer and advocate for newcomers in Canada? Could you share your personal journey and experiences as a newcomer?
The journey from being an international student in a country with a different educational system to becoming a Canadian citizen is an extensive and fulfilling one but can go wrong in many different ways in the absence of reliable information and resources. I wanted to create easily accessible, reliable and relatable content about how I navigated my way through the process, in hopes that my story will inspire others who are looking to go down that path.
What are some of the most common challenges newcomers face when settling in Canada, and how do you believe your platform can help address these challenges?
The first one I would like to call out is implicit bias. Implicit bias shows up in hiring and employment, housing discrimination and day to day microaggressions. Learning how to identify some of the popular scams that are targeted at newcomers to learning how to read a credit card statement and how mortgages work among serval other things can be challenging. Having worked at a big 5 Canadian bank for five years, my desire is to foster financial literacy in the newcomer community. Loneliness and isolation is also prevalent among newcomers. I encourage them to actively network, find their communities, build relationships as well as pay attention to their mental health.
Can you highlight some of the key resources, organizations, or initiatives that you recommend to newcomers for a smoother transition into Canadian society?
Check out my platforms, Feyi Mac on Youtube, @Feyi.Mac on Instagram and @FeyiMac on TikTok, I have hundreds of educative videos. Check out organizations like the Naija Lawyer in Canada (NLIC), Network of Nigerians in Canada (NNC) and Nigerian Association of London and Area (NALA) for vibrant settlement programs in the African community in Canada. ACCES, SUCCESS and YMCA provide amazing support to newcomers through newcomer centres.
In your opinion, what are the most significant cultural differences newcomers should be aware of when adapting to life in Canada, and how can they navigate these differences successfully?
I know people say that Canadians say “sorry” a lot but I think Nigerians own the trophy for this one. We say sorry A LOT when it is not needed and it takes some time to unlearn that. I quickly learnt that my saying sorry when not at fault came across like I was at fault and taking responsibility for something that went wrong. This can create a problematic image in the workplace if you mistakenly accept responsibility by saying sorry for things that are not your fault.
What advice can you give to newcomers who are looking to purchase real estate in Canada?
Beware of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). As a potential homebuyer, you need to determine your why and it should not be to follow the bandwagon. This does not only apply to your reasons for wanting to buy a property at a particular time, it also applies to the location you are looking to buy in. Some locations are more affordable than others and it is critical to cut your coat according to your cloth to avoid unnecessary financial pressure on yourself and your family.
Get a team of relatable and reliable professionals who have your best interest at heart and can communicate in a way you understand. It is why became a Mortgage Agent myself and I highly recommend my darling husband and Real Estate Agent, Ayo Macaulay for real estate in Ontario.
To learn more about Feyi check out Feyi Mac on Youtube, @Feyi.Mac on Instagram and @FeyiMac on TikTok.