How is life like for Nigerians living in Canada?
As the saying goes, it is NOT always greener at the other side. With all the noise about Canada being the best place to settle and all of that, I was a bit disappointed with what we found. As a family of 5, we were super excited at the prospect of a new beginning and a better life here in Canada. I along with my wife and 3kids decided to move to Canada after facing series of issues back home that was beyond our control. We arrived in the middle of Feb of 2018 which was about one of the coldest time of the year, we wobbled our way through the bitter cold feeling bless to be among the lucky few to have made it to Canada in the mist of millions of Nigerians harbouring such dreams. Within a month of our arrival in Toronto Canada, the harsh realities of life in Canada begins to dawn on us. The first thing that hit us was how expensive basic commodities are in comparison to the US. If you are on a minimum wage, there is no way you can afford a decent life or accommodation even if you and your wife are both working and unfortunately, those are the kinds of jobs that are readily available for new arrivals. Rent is astronomically high and even if you can afford it, you still have to pray that the landlord picks you from maybe 5 or 6 applicants that are equally vying for same house. In the last three months we have applied and inspected over 8 properties and the landlord would say to you, I will call you and they never will. So far we have been virtually living from hand to mouth, our basic salaries of $15 CAD per hour is not enough to see us through the month, we are still huddled up in our 1 bedroom basement apartment which is too small for us. Getting a 3 bedroom apartment is about $2,400 - $2,800 and based on our current salary combined we still cannot afford it. What this simply means is that Canada currently have a housing crisis than they are willing to admit and if you are a family on a minimum wage, Toronto definitely is not for you. Dont even get me started with issues like internet data and how expensive it is or Car insurance that goes up the roof once you are a first timer. Unlike Nigeria were you can receive calls for free once you have a SIM card, in Canada you must pay just to have the privileged of receiving calls. We are currently thinking of moving to smaller towns around Ontario were the rent is sparingly cheaper, but with no job or maybe move entirely to a new region like Alberta where it is colder. Anyhow you look at it, the situation is dire and a bit hostile to new immigrants.
It is more tougher for my kids who have not seen anything called rest of mind since we embark on immigrating to Canada. Since we started this journey it has been movement from one place to another and it is nearly 2yrs and still we have not settled. Many times I look back and regret why did i make this journey, but again, back home is not cozier either, especially with the horrible stories emanating from Nigeria just make you to reinforce your suffering and smiling spirit. Bottom line, life is not bed and roses here in Canada, everyday is a struggle. But what I hope is that if you get the hustle right, there will come Calm after the Storm.
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