내 이상한 이웃들| The One with the Ghanaians - Nigeria (3) vs. Ghana (1): Episode 43 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with the Ghanaians

Here’s a joke for you:

Two Ghanaians and a Nigerian walk into a bar… but left because they didn’t have Nigerian jollof rice.

Ghana, a relatively unknown place until Nigeria shot them into popularity (ugh, the things we do for them!). Also, Ghana, the place filled with people of mystery, strange English diction, low production movies, and weird jollof rice concoction. In a bid to explore this enigmatic country, I invited two Ghanaians over to my house over a meal of Indo-Thai goat curry, Korean steamed rice, and mixed vegetables (all made by yours truly). We explored salient issues like jollof rice (of course! And why Ghanaians cannot get this right), pet peeves (turned out I am more finicky than I thought, ugh), acculturation problems, adjusting to the educational system, books, what traits determine success in grad school, racial identity, questions about my marriage, and so much more.

Read More
소녀의 힘| The One with Zainab - The Dreams of a Rural Nigerian Girl: Episode 42 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with Zainab

Meet Zainab – single mom, graduate student, and special-ed enthusiast! She hails from the Hausa tribe in the Northern part of Nigeria. Zainab has faced some adversities in her life as a domestic violence survivor and divorcee, but she’s turned that all around to pursue her dreams. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree in Special Education at The University of Texas at Austin, majoring in learning disabilities and behavioral disorders.

She plans to go back to Nigeria to establish a world-class school in rural areas and provide free and subsidized education to children, especially those with special needs, who will otherwise not have access to education.

I met Zainab on an online forum, and we became fast friends. In this episode, we talked about her life story, why Northerners don’t migrate to the US, her dreams for her daughter, and why we all need to wear sunscreen, and so much more. Also, find out one thing Zainab does well, that shook me as a Yoruba girl.

Perhaps, the most central thing about this episode is the merit of educating the girl-child and providing her with equal opportunities to change the world around her. Also, remember to seek help if you are in an abusive relationship. Abuse is not OK!

Read More
내 눈을 통해| The One with Teresa Nhi Nguyen - Good Eye for Details: Episode 41 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with Teresa Nhi Nguyen

As this is a show for Blacks, Asians, and those who love them, what better way to solidify that message than with this week’s guest – Teresa Nhi Nguyen. Nhi is pronounced /ɲi/ and Nguyen /ŋwɪn/.  Teresa is a freelance graphic/web designer based in Austin, who hopes to create work that can serve to communicate beautiful messages, inspire others, and change the world. In her free time, she dabbles in HTML/CSS, goes on food adventures, and learn new skills to add to her arsenal. You can learn more about Teresa and her work here: http://nhibnguyen.com/.

In this episode, we talked about being Vietnamese-American means to her and the gentrification of the Asian culture via food and clothing. We also explored career switch, fear of failing, and managing parental expectations.

Perhaps, the most central thing about this episode is how our dreams can shape our world and that of the people around us – from Teresa’s father’s dream of fleeing communist Vietnam (way back then) to start afresh in the US, to Teresa’s dream of changing the world around her through her eyes and talents.

Read More
대통령 후보| The One with Rev. David Esosa Ize-Iyamu - The Nigerian Presidential Candidate: Episode 40 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with Rev. David Esosa Ize-Iyamu

Meet Rev. David Esosa Ize-Iyamu, one of the more than 30 Nigerian presidential candidates running in the 2019 election. On a warm, humid Friday evening, just before I was scheduled to catch my flight out of Nigeria, I sat with him in his office to talk about his platform, why he is running, and what he hopes to achieve if given the opportunity to become the next president of Nigeria.

Rev. Ize-Iyamu is the senior pastor of Jesus Evangelical Assembly in Lagos. For more than 20 years, his platform – the Youth Revolution Movement (YRM) has aimed to mobilize youths to play a decisive role in the national socio-economic development and to see empowered Nigerian youths fully realize their potentials and positively contribute to the overall growth, development, and governance of Nigeria.

Read More
나 같은 친구| The One with Yvonne Edo-Olotu - The Beautiful Mind: Episode 39 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with Yvonne Edo-Olotu

Here’s re-introducing, Yvonne Edo-Olotu. She is a lawyer during the day and a content creator at night/weekends. She is the brains behind the Beautiful Mind Podcast; you can find that show on iTunes/SoundCloud/Stitcher. We met when I worked in Ibadan (a Southwestern city in Nigeria) several years ago. She got her LL.M at Cornell University and recently returned to Nigeria. In this episode, we took a drive to memory lane to explore our differing personalities and how this defines our friendship; our love-hate relationship with Korean dramas and favorite shows; and why we, as women, need fewer mentors and other kinds of key players to advance our careers and grow personally and professionally.

We also talked about adjustments she had to make when she moved back from the US and how she builds social support in a city as boisterous and crazy as Lagos!

Read More
전의 의사| The One with Buchi - The Rotarian| Medical Doctor| Father| Husband| CEO: Episode 38 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with Buchi

Today’s guest on the show is very dear to my heart and has been a source of support and an oasis of wisdom, especially during some rough patches I experienced in my first few years in the US. Dr. Nnabuchi Anikpezie or 'Buchi (as I like to call him) is another Nigerian in diaspora trying to make a home in his new environment. Though he trained and worked as a physician before moving to the US, he currently works in healthcare administration as an analyst. His work does not define him, rather it is his Rotary affiliation that he credits for much of his experience and culture. 'Buchi has been part of Rotary for almost twenty years. He is the immediate past president of Rotary eClub One. 'Buchi lives with his family in the Houston metro area.

In this episode, we explored his childhood dreams, why he studied medicine, his decision to switch career trajectories, considering he took a different route than most of his counterparts who end up writing the USMLE and practicing in the US. We also talked about home, our constant search for it, and the sad realization of what we find at the end of it all. Also, on how his accidental stumble into fatherhood changed his life and sharpened his focus.

Read More
희망을 본다| The One with Afolabi - The Nigerian-American Returnee: Episode 37 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with Afolabi

Now, even more than before, many Nigerians are leaving the country to seek better opportunities in developed countries. This is unsurprising if you consider the prolonged political and economic instability that have rendered the country hard and reductive for its inhabitants. For those who have moved abroad, fewer are even willing to relocate to Nigeria voluntarily. That’s why I find today’s guest intriguing. Meet Afolabi, who holds dual citizenship as a Nigerian and an American. He spent a chunk of his formative years in the US but made the decision to move back to Nigeria after college. In this episode, we explored the reason behind this decision, returnee issues, and how small businesses can thrive in a parasitic environment like Nigeria. Finally, what Nigeria, despite its extractive economic and political institutions, where a culture of monopoly, corruption, and lack of political rights are the norm, does relatively better to help businesses grow compared to Western countries.

Read More
호주 여자| The One with Tanya - Third Culture Aussie in China: Episode 36 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with Tanya

Meet Tanya Crossman – she grew up in Sydney and Canberra, Australia, and lived in Connecticut, USA for two years of high school. She moved to China independently at age 21, where a study year turned into 11 years abroad. While in China, Tanya began mentoring Third Culture Kids (TCKs) - young people who, while not Chinese citizens, were growing up there due to parents' choices of work or study. After ten years spent supporting TCKs, Tanya wrote a book to explain their experiences and perspective to others. She currently lives in Beijing with her husband.

In this episode, we talked about homesickness, the constant search for home, acculturation, and how to build emotional support in a new country. In addition, we explored emotional resilience, why we should visit Australia, and what I would want people to know about Nigeria.

 

Read More
희망과 사랑| The One with Poojee - On Cross-Cultural Friendships & Resilience: Episode 35 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with Poojee

This is one episode you should not miss as it features my very own Poojee!

In this episode, Poojee aka Omonike (my mother gave her this name, and it means ‘a child to be cherished’ in Yoruba – A Nigerian language) and I gush shamelessly about the love we have for each other. Pu, as I love to call her, and I went to grad school together in Austin, and she now lives in London. If you’re my friend on Facebook, you would have seen posts of me her and together. In this episode, we explored Poo’s story: growing up (female) in India; dropping out of grad school; how she coped with managing those expectations and from others too; our friendship and its oddities; and why we will not be breaking up anytime soon.

Poo is about one of the very few friends I chased (I am usually the one being chased), and I explain why this was so and why I would shamelessly do it over and over again. Poo is as geeky and nerdy as I am and loves Korean drama too. We also both share a mutual disdain for Apple® products. Suffice to say, our friendship will irretrievably break if either one of us cheats on the other by taking a bite from any of the already-bitten Apple products that are Mac and all of its i-Friends.

TL; DR: It’s a story of an odd love, friendship, and sisterhood between two most unlikely people who share different beliefs on religion (she is Hindu, I am Christian) and food (she eats rabbit food (aka vegetarian), and I eat rabbits (aka non-vegetarian), and even personalities (she’s introvertish, and I am hella extravertish, yup it’s a word!). How we make it work and how a little understanding and radical acceptance is needed in cross-cultural friendships. It’s also a story of resilience, dealing with the fear of failure, and keeping things moving.

Read More
우리의 이야기| The One with Shama - On Immigration and Storytelling: Episode 34 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with Shama

Hey friends, I want to take a hot moment to let you know how grateful I am to have this platform to share stories and connect humanity. So, if you are reading this and would like to come on the show to share yours, please let me know. This is our platform, and together, we can set our stories free.

 

Meet Shama Farag – an Arabic-English Translator at TED talks, Coursera Global Translator Community. She’s an author and a journalist blogger at HuffPost Arabic, Aljazeera blogs, Sasa post. She is also a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church Interfaith community FIRE “ Fostering Interfaith relationship in Eastside,” a member at MAPS MCOC “Many culture one community,” member of IOC “Interfaith outreach community at Muslim Association of Puget Sound. She is Egyptian and a mom of two boys.

In this episode, we talked about heart stories and immigration, how Africans aren’t really taught about other African countries and what we can do to fix this. We also talked about what it is like being Egyptian, and she gave us reasons why we need to visit Egypt.

Her book, “Hi, I am Syrian” was inspired by some negative experiences she had as a Muslim and she decided to do something to change that narrative.

 

PS: My ignorance about African countries, especially Egypt, shone brightly in this episode.

Question: Why do you think Africans aren’t taught about other African countries?

Read More
마음과 건강| The One with Ayokunle Falomo - On Mental Health and Being: Episode 33 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with Ayokunle Falomo

 

First, happy birthday to me! It’s the second anniversary of my 30th birthday! As a way of saying thank you to you all for being wonderful fans, here’s a bonus episode. It’s also a special one because it depicts my favorite trait in all of its rawness – vulnerability. In this episode, my guest – Mr. Ayokunle Falomo and I traded stories on our struggles with depression, how we cope with it, and how religion can be a cure and curse, depending on how it is wielded. I chose to share this with you all because I think it is important to remind you of the story behind the glory. I also believe that God is not silent when we suffer and that we ought to reject the shame and embrace the hope in Christ. Finally, that: 1) depression is not as uncommon as you think and affects a lot of people, 2) it’s OK not to be OK sometimes, and, 3) there’s always help around the corner.

So, I hope this episode helps someone feel connected and to remind that someone that they are not alone. Don’t give up on fighting and it’s OK to seek help. Here’s me saying that a new day will dawn tomorrow and you’d be there with me to practice your purpose once again; one replete with choosing life and finding ways to be more gentle and compassionate with yourself. That you would always remember to remind yourself that you are enough and always will be.That every baby steps you are taking right now to get back on track are a significant move towards the right path.

PS: We also explored how funnily our depression can be brought on by just not our fear of failure but when we succeed. And how there’s a recurring struggle with purpose and productivity, and how these are tied to our self-worth. Ayokunle Falomo is: a Nigerian, a TEDx speaker, an American, the winner of the 2018 Stacy Doris Memorial Award and the author of kin.DREAD & thread, this wordweaver must! As a poet, his singular mission is to use his pen as a shovel to unearth those things that make us human. He and his work have been featured in print (Local Houston magazine, Glass Mountain) and online (The New York Times, Houston Chronicle, and Berkeley Poetry Review. You can find more information about him and his work at www.kindreadbook.com

 

Read More
하바나, 하바나| The One with Dr. Planas - The Cubana-American Professor of Pharmacy: Episode 32 (2018)  

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with Dr. Lourdes Planas

Welcome back to another episode of the podcast! I have not been getting feedback about the show like I used to, so I am guessing things are either good with the show or I’ve been forgotten L. Guess this is just to say, I’d love to hear from you. Please send me an email on talktomo@mosibyl.com or just say hello here :-D

 

Here is introducing Dr. Planas, Ph.D. -  an Associate Professor of Pharmacy, my senior colleague, and African sister! Her office is two doors away from mine, and she’s partly one of the main reasons I landed my academic position at the University (it began with a conference in 2015, listen to find out how). I met through my advisor while I was still in grad school.

 

Dr. Planas or Lourdes as I call her is Cubana-American; her parents fled Cuba when she was just one month old. In this episode, we talked about life in the US and growing up in New Orleans instead of Miami (this has the largest concentration of Cubans). We also explored racial identity and how pharmacy helped her overcome racism and cultural identity issues, especially growing up in a time when it was certainly not cool to be Cuban.

 

You will also hear about the two clocks that are churning fast for fecund women in academia – the biological and tenure variety. And why Lourdes’ deliberate plan of putting her biological clock ahead of the tenure one is one she does not regret. Also, we talked about why women require more than just mentors to have a successful career.

 

Dr. Planas is married to Rick (also a pharmacist), and they have two adorable kids who I have had the pleasure of babysitting a couple of times. I am technically family :-D Lourdes also emphasized the importance of having a supportive spouse when on a tenure-track or in grad school while raising kids.

 

PS: After taping this episode, her mother’s DNA results were updated and linked with hers. She is 0.5% French, yayy her wishes finally came true. Only 0.5%, you say? C’est la vie!

Read More
인도의 사랑 이야기| The One with Emily - On Being Jewish-American-Indian: Episode 31 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with Emily

A little-known fact about me is that I grew up on a staple diet of Indian movies, and this continued shortly until after Bollywood became a global phenomenon. India, for me, will always be my first entry point into Asia and its cultural diversity, as a young child growing up in Nigeria. And still on India, this week’s guest has a unique story, especially how her love for India was forged at a young age (hint: it began in a classroom). In this episode, you will hear how her dream spurned into something glorious that has now shaped her life-course and those of the generations coming after her.

Meet, Emily: she describes herself as Jewish-ish and a lover of Jesus. She is also a wife to Jose and mother to two delightful, energetic kids. In this episode, you will learn what it means to follow your calling even when you are not sure where it might lead you. You will also hear tips on multicultural marriage and how to raise kids in such a dynamic environment, as well as its beauty and challenges.

PS: This episode was shot in my house when Emily came visiting with her kids; you may hear her daughter’s voice in the background. Shout-out and a Namaste to Daphne Raj for introducing me to this wonderful lady.

Read More
올리비아에 대하여| The One with Kenny -  The Unspoken Love of a Father: Episode 30 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with Kenny

Still on the daddy issue (I know! But hear me out on this one). This week’s episode started with an email I received from one of my ardent listeners. It was also the first official fan mail I got!:

Dear Mo:

Everyone believes fathers should be strong and just provide financially while the mothers raise the children. I am a father of a 3-year-old daughter with a rare medical condition (which has resulted in massive learning/developmental delays). My wife and I are very hands-on in raising our daughter. What I've experienced in the three years of fatherhood is that the mothers get more support than fathers. I'm Nigerian born but been living in the UK for the last eight years. Do you have any guests who can talk on the topic - fathers and support for them?

 

The contents of the email tugged at my heartstrings. After much reflection on the choice of guest, I decided to ask Mr. Kenny if he wouldn’t mind doing the honors as I could not think of any other perfect guest to do justice to such an important and rarely discussed topic.

 

In this episode, you will hear about the challenges, societal expectations, and triumphs of raising a child with special needs. You will also hear tips on how to build and foster support for those with special needs, especially for parents and caregivers. More importantly, you will hear about a father’s love; the kind that is unspoken but constant, affirming, assuring, and ever-giving.

Read More
버마 소년| The One with Nathan -  A Tale of Two Countries - Burma (aka Myanmar) & Nigeria: Episode 29 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with Nathan - My Burmese Friend

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is the second largest country in Southeast Asia with a population of more than 50 million people. Chances are Myanmar is one of those countries that has never crossed your radar. It used to be this way for me too until I met my dear friend, Nathan, in 2014. Nathan is from Myanmar and is ethnically Chinese. He left Myanmar in his teens to live in Singapore. He holds a Masters in computer science and software development but switched his career by bagging an MBA with a focus on public health, so people won’t think he is the IT guy (*insert Asian joke here*).

 

In this episode, we explored the shadows of our countries, post-British colonization. If I learned anything from this episode, it is that poor countries (as measured by absolute poverty) have similar presentations, no matter what part of the world they are located in. This is because poor countries are poor because they have extractive economic and political institutions, where a culture of monopoly, corruption, and lack of political rights are the norm. (Recommended text: Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty (2013) by D. Acemoglu and J.A. Robinson). As a result, Nigeria and Myanmar as so much alike in more ways than I thought, and not just due to our common colonizer – the British.

I gauged his opinion on Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, who is making headline news over her alleged inaction to the persecution of the Rohingya people in Rakhine State and refusal to accept that Burma's military has committed massacres.

We also talked about his hobbies – reading and traveling, as well as our mothers and WhatsApp broadcast messages.

PS: Nathan and I met in 2014 while interning at the same biotech company in Boston. During that time, we hung out a lot and explored a lot of the Boston scenes.. This episode was shot at his house in Somerville while I revisited Boston in July.

Read More
우리 가족의 가치| The One with The Lawals - On Raising Nigerian-American Kids: Episode 28 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with The Lawals

In talking with some of my friends, especially those who just became new parents, I found that a lot of them struggle with the feeling of insecurity around parenthood and fear of not doing enough as a parent. It humbles me when I hear these conversations because I think most of them are really good parents. In a bid to build community for these issues, I invited The Lawals on the show. Thus, this episode is dedicated to those friends and others like them. I hope you find community through this episode and that much more, you realize how amazing you already are.

This episode features a candid conversation with Nigerian parents who are raising Nigerian-American kids. You will hear about their insecurities, fears, and rewards regarding parenting. On how certain adaptations and tag teaming are necessary when raising kids in a different society than you grew up in. Also, on cultural differences and why some Nigerian parents do not allow their kids to go on sleepovers or playdates.

PS: This episode was shot in their house on a lazy Saturday morning.  I have come to a soft conclusion that Nigerian kids, raised by Nigerian parents, have a lot of shared experiences and of being grounded similarly, regardless of where they grow up in the world. Gotta give it to Naija parents for the homogeneity.


Read More
비욘세 최고 팬| The One with Dr. Bamgbade - On being Nigerian-American and Mental Health Research in US Blacks: Episode 27 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with Dr. Bamgbade

For this episode, we need to do 100 cartwheels, throw some confetti, and roll out the red carpet, because it features the very Queen in all of her splendid glory! Here’s introducing Dr. Benita Bamgbade, aka BeNyoncé (get it?) Born to first-generation Nigerian immigrants, growing up in H-town (Houston), Benita grew up very conscious about her heritage, especially at an era when it was uncool to be African (pre-Wakanda times). In this episode, we talked about all these and what it has been like moving to Beantown (aka Boston) from Texas. We also explored life as a new assistant professor of pharmacy and how dating or making friends in your 30s can be Herculean tasks.

PS: She does research on mental health and designed an intervention recently on the health-seeking behaviors between Blacks and Whites in the US. She loves Jesus and Beyoncé! Also, we may have been well oiled and highly spirited when we taped this episode #redredwine #invinoveritas


Fun facts about Dr. Bamgbade:

  • She is so extra like me, and we connect on a deeper, spiritual level with that. We work well together and always come up with the most extra, lofty ideas, haha! 

  • For her research on mental health, she has won two back-to-back awards at the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) meetings. #gogirl

  • She is the first rapper on the show.

  • We both love and miss #HEB. If you never lived in North and Central Texas, you won’t understand the struggles #lesigh


Takeaway Points:

  • Significantly higher proportion (81%) of young Black adults living with depression in the US do not seek help when compared to Whites.

  • Don’t get too bogged down about what your friends and family would think. The people you are worried about care about you. If you are living with depression and not living your best self, go get help. It gets better when you get help.

  • So people don’t like you? Oh well! You will be alright, and they will be alright too.

  • We cannot be our jobs; there’s gotta be more to life. Find your ‘more.’


Notable Quotes:

Being Nigerian now is super cool, but it was not cool growing up from elementary school till the beginning of high school. Being African was not cool, but now everyone is like ‘Wakanda Forever.’ Like no! You used to make fun of me; this is not for you. Go sit down or apologize or do both.”

Being Nigerian and American to me means being the best of both worlds. I love being Nigerian; I thank God that I am Nigerian, I love the culture. My American side too has its merits and having a ground foundation on both sides are great. The downside is not being fully grounded on either side.”

Being a professor is like graduate school on crack. The pressure is so much more now on a tenure clock.”


Recommended song:

" Red Red Wine" – UB40 (1983)  


I woke up like this,

모 /Mo!/

Read More
내 일본 섬에서| The One with Mai - On Multiculturalism and Being Okinawan-American: Episode 26 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with Mai

Born to an Okinawan mom and an American dad, thus growing up bi-racial in a multi-cultural home meant Mai had to ask tough questions from the start about identity, equality, community, friendships and the like. An aspiring graphic designer and a secretive poet, she uses the arts to continue the journey of those questions, through her multi-cultural marriage, and the community around her. A fighter for love to be in action in all places; who loves hearing the stories of those around her in hopes to build better bridges in all places and with all people. Mai also enjoys the simple pleasures of puppies, coffee, food of all kinds, and summer activities. 

In this episode, we talked about her cultural heritage and tips on how to navigate multiculturalism in language, marriage, and expressions.

PS: Okinawan-Japanese is the equivalent of Hawaiian-American; thus, Mai is ethnically Okinawan. Also, it would mean a lot to Mai if you went to see 'Crazy Rich Asians;' according to her "your ticket purchase helps affirm the industry that people want to see diverse leads."

 

Fun facts about Mai:

  • Her parents met in Japan when dad was in the US Airforce.

  • If she speaks too much in one language, her brain gets tired. So, she needs a fine balance of people with whom she can speak English and Japanese.

  • She spent a lot of time in Japan when growing up. So much so that when she moved back to the US, she was classified as an international student and had to take ESL (English as a second language) classes.

 

Takeaway Points:

  • Mai had two very good questions for me as a Nigerian about Nigerians.

  • Your insight as a multicultural person is always needed and valuable.

  • Be proud of your heritage.

 

Notable Quotes from Mai:

“I find the Japanese culture at times fascinating because even though it is a communal society, there is so much pressure on the individual to succeed which sometimes creates a painful tension.” 

"In America, it is harder to build quality friendships because it is an individualistic society. Thus, self-love here, ironically, is to schedule spontaneous activities to make sure I spend quality time with my friends.

“Being married to a Chinese-American, we both have to learn how to navigate this space of multiculturalness we share. We both have parallel lives of being able to relate on how it feels to navigate multiple cultures and not really feeling like we belong to anyone in particular.”

 

Recommended song:

"Say Anything" - X-Japan (1991) [Mo says: "The arrangement of the musical instruments reminds me of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody"]

 

Jya-ne,

モ /Mo!/

Read More
부부 선교사| The One with The Bunns - Americans Serving Internationals: Episode 25 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with The Bunns

Meet the Bunns or like I call them, Love Bunns; they are one of my favorite dyads in the world. Despite just meeting them a little over a year ago in Oklahoma, I consider myself blessed and honored to be a part of their family and that I get to call them “fremily” (family+friends).

Charlie and Dona Bunn are also the Directors/Chi-Alpha campus pastors for the University of Central Oklahoma. Chi-Alpha is an outreach ministry to universities to reach students, reconcile them to Christ, and transform the university, the marketplace, and the world. Statistics have reported that 85% of international students have neither eaten in an American home and 75% have never been in an American home. The Bunns, through their ministry, are trying to change those statistics. For twenty years, they have been building community for international students to give them a sense of belonging.

In this episode, we explored how Americans can benefit from multiculturalism, and how internationals (students) in the US contribute to broaden the worldview of Americans. We also talked about what Americans can do to change the perception held by most internationals of Americans of being just friendly but not necessarily good friends.

Read More
다행이다!| The One with Damilola Falodun - The Arduous Journey Back Home: Episode 24 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with Damilola Falodun

On one lazy Sunday in May, I fell into one of those YouTube black holes and ended up watching a video about Damilola - today’s guest. I remembered being transfixed for the whole 30+ minutes I watched it. It made me cry, raise my hand furiously to heaven, sigh deeply, contemplate the hearts of men and the pains we inflict on each other, and most importantly, it made me want to do something. Thus, I was moved to action to help this young lady re-tell her story in a more humanistic way, with more emphasis on the person behind the story, as I thought this element was grossly lacking in the interview I had just watched her in.

Dear friends and listeners, today, I present to you a story of Ms. Damilola Falodun, a 23-year-old native of Ekiti state, an orphan, and a survivor of human trafficking. Lured under the pretext of finding work in Oman, her and several others endured harsh conditions while in Oman. It’s a story about finding your way back home after you have lost your way, in every sense of the word. It is also one that reminds us of, perhaps most importantly, that home is always where the heart is.

Ms. Damilola is back in Nigeria now, safe, and slowly trying to build her life back. She also recently enrolled in a University to study entrepreneurship and business management. Her goal is to set up a foundation to help rescue and train young girls on artisan skills that can make them financially independent.

You can make that Ms. Damilola’s dream come true by listening to this episode, sharing it with your friends and contacts to increase awareness on this issue, or making a small donation to help Damilola get her life back. You can also do all three.

Read More