Posts tagged Podcast
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.

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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.

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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!/

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저는 보편적이다| The One with Solonia - On Being Ethiopian-Taiwanese and Cultural Richness: Episode 23 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with Solonia

Meet Solonia: America-born-Ethiopian-Taiwanese, currently living in Singapore, with life chapters spanning the US and Asia. Solonia identifies as a citizen of the world - challenging conventional notions of identity and purpose, and evangelizing life + work by design. As co-founder of The Change School, Solonia designs and facilitates transformational learning for harnessing self-discovery, entrepreneurial grit, and creative intelligence. She is a writer, storyteller and mindset coach.

In this episode, we talked about being a cultural nomad – tips, its perks and downsides, embracing one’s cultural richness, and how to homogenize ones’ culturally-rich identity.

PS:  Solonia and I compared Asian and African cultures and the concept of same-same but different.

Contact Solonia: solonia@thechangeschool.com

Find out more about TheChangeSchool: http://thechangeschool.com/ and mention the show “The More Sibyl Podcast” to get discounts on their programs.

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자기 용서를위한 시간| The One with Theresa - Childhood, Interrupted : Episode 22 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with Theresa

Warning: This episode contains messages that might be disturbing to some listeners – especially those who have experienced one form of child sexual abuse or the other.

This was easily the most difficult episode I have worked on this podcast. The prevalence of child sexual abuse is one that cannot be ignored (especially in a country like Nigeria with its burgeoning population and lax rules). Why? Because abused children grow up to become adults who may suffer from mental health issues ranging from substance abuse, personality disorders, conflict in romantic or interpersonal relationships, to eating disorders. Of all the things that can be done to you, rape is probably one of the worse because it is your body and you have to carry it along for the rest of your life; there is no escaping from it. Even when you try to physically escape from it, the body (and brain) always keep the score.

In this episode, I discussed these issues at length with a longtime friend and a lawyer – Theresa Odigie. As an author, Theresa uses her words to rescue people from grief, insecurities, or anything that poses as a stronghold in one's life. Follow her on Instagram as Theresa.odigie.

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다음 알베르트 슈바이처| The One with Soo - The South Korean-Sierra Leonean: Episode 21 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with Soo

So, y’all know like how I am the first Nigerian-Korean you know, right?! Well, I am here to introduce you to the first Korean-African - Soo, or Joshua (you will get this reference once you listen) who speaks Pidgin English fluently. He’s as African at heart as I am Korean and as passionate about Sierra Leone as I am about Korea. The only difference is that I am yet to set foot in Korea.  I always describe my guests as amazing or wonderful; Soo is all these and much more and one of the spectacular 20-something year-olds I have met. Soo is Korean, born in England in 1995, but raised in Sierra Leone. His parents work as missionaries, and due to unforeseen conflicts and disasters, he has moved around quite a bit. For now, though, he is in Michigan, USA for his studies but hopes to go back abroad. In this episode, we talked about the duality of being African while looking Korean. The advantages of being a third culture person and how growing up in Africa is helping him excel in his studies. We also talked about first-world problems, African values, weighing wants vs. needs, and learning how to empathize with others who are not like us.

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블랙 판터| The One with Chinwe - On Social Justice and Christianity: Episode 20 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with Chinwe

One of the arguments against mainstream social justice warriors (SJWs) is that they reject the concept of sin and hold the belief that humans are inherently good by nature. As a result, in the face of evil, the society is largely blamed instead of upholding individual personal responsibility. In this episode, I chatted with Chinwe Oriji, a scholar and a PhD candidate in African and African Diaspora studies, on whether Christians should be involved in social justice or even identify as social justice warriors (SJWs)? 

We also talked a bit about an article she wrote on Wakanda's Black Panther as a place that shows that post-independence Africans in and outside of African are not exempt from a diasporic reality of loss, longing, and resistance. We also explored the Biafra war and her identity as an American born to first generation Igbo immigrant.

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건강을 위해서| The One with Aayah - Let Food be Thy Medicine: Episode 19 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with Aayah

Get ready to kiss dieting goodbye in this episode (Joshua Harris, anyone?). Aayah, an Egyptian-American who is now based in Seattle, is a holistic health coach, detox specialist, YouTube content creator, wife, and mother of two kids. Her journey into healthy eating was inspired by her health issues such as chronic fatigue, joint pain, mood and digestive issues.

In this episode, Aayah drew from both her personal and professional experiences on ways to eat clean and well on a budget, recipe substitution (this is important especially for immigrants), and maintaining an overall balanced lifestyle. We also talked about the elephant in the room (literally, me!) and my constant love-hate relationship with dieting and ways people like me can be more successful at mindful eating and maintaining a healthy weight.

Aayah’s parents are currently held political prisoners in Egypt. Her mom is the longest held female political prisoner in Egypt and in solitary confinement. See link below on how you can support and help them raise awareness on this.

PS: Aayah is currently running a promo for a mid-summer detox session and health coaching. To get a discount on her services, contact her directly letting her know you are one of the listeners of the show.

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법과 질서| The One with Mr. Olanipekun Esq. - Law and Order; Naija Version: Episode 18 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with Mr. Olanipekun Esq.

In Nigeria, the Police might not be your friend (insert police jokes here), but there are some friendly faces who are working on reforming the criminal justice system, and I’d like for you to meet one of them. Here’s introducing Mr. Nelson Olanipekun Esq., a human rights lawyer and the team lead at Gavel. Gavel is a civic tech organization, which started in 2017 and aims to improve the pace of justice delivery through tech.

Gavel has reached millions of Nigerians with over 100 indigent Nigerians benefiting directly from it. They provide free legal support for inmates awaiting trials, victims of domestic violence, and a whole lot of other people. In this episode, we talked about the Nigerian justice system and ways to rebrand it, as well as police brutality amidst the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) pandemic. We explored the Nigerian prison system and its many challenges, chief of which are overcrowding and not following due processes. I also probed Mr. Olanipekun’s thoughts on whether SARS should be reformed or as scrapped as a whole?


PS: Years and years of watching legal dramas such as Suits, Ally McBeal, Boston Legal, The Practice have finally paid off. See if you can get your own legalese on, like I did, with this new episode. Also, Gavel has this cool feature on their website where you can track cases of individuals who are awaiting trials; it has been used to track over 500 inmates – check it out here: http://gavel.ng/opened-cases


Fun facts about Mr. Olanipekun Esq.

  • He wrote a letter to the Supreme Court of Nigeria (SCN) on enforcing the existing rules that have implications for ending police brutality. The SCN replied favorably. Wait what?!

  • He once sued the Government over the long detention of over 100 inmates who have been awaiting trial for over seven years.

  • He failed at his first start-up in 2014 but restarted in 2017.

  • He is, most certainly, not a lazy Nigerian youth.

  • If he didn’t study law, he would be a tech geek.


Takeaway Points:

  • Tips for entrepreneurs: learn from your mistakes and don’t give up when you fail.

  • Be more active citizens. Most Nigerians need to take more interest in governance.

  • Be your brother’s (and sister’s) keeper; If you see something, say something.

  • Lawyers can also volunteer and donate their time to help at the Gavel.

  • Donations are needed to reach more people and to continue to provide legal aid to indigents.

  • As at March 2018, 68% of the Nigerian prison population are awaiting trial. 

  • Avoid prison, especially the Nigerian kind, if you can.


Consider donating to Gavel to help their cause. Donations can be made here:

  • Local: Access Bank 0773466368, Citizens Gavel Nigeria

  • Dollar donations: Access Bank 0773502598 Domiciliary Account Citizens Gavel Nigeria

  • Online donations: rave.flutterwave.com/pay/citizensgavelnigeriagv8z


Additional Resources:

Legally Yours,

모 /Mo!/

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저는 아직도 믿는다| The One with Kelechi - Not All Who Wander Are Lost: Episode 17 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with Kelechi

I lost my faith once when I went through a phase of existential crisis that spanned almost a whole year; I wrote about it here - https://goo.gl/NCf1A2. I look back at that period with gratitude as it made my faith stronger and my relationship deeper with Christ. In this episode, I ‘sat’ down with one of my dear friends – Kelechi – who is on the other end of the spectrum, searching for meaning and questioning his faith.  We talked about crisis of faith and the roles the church and our culture play in this. Kelechi is a Nigerian who has lived in Canada for a major chunk of his life.

 

PS: His favorite word seems to be “absolutely.” If you can correctly guess how many times he used this word in this episode, you get a chance to recommend a topic we can explore on the show.

 

Fun facts about Kelechi

  • He is a continent drifter since he has visited less than ten countries. With the exception of Antarctica and Australia, he has visited every continent on earth

  • He studied pharmacy briefly then got a degree in biochemistry and is now in school wrapping up his MBA

  • He is very single (*wink wink* ladies)

 

Takeaway Points:

  • Not all who wander are lost; be kind to those who have left the faith

  • All your friends don’t always have to be people you agree with all the time. You can disagree with someone and still respect them

  • Christianity has a lot of space for questioning and asking those tough questions does not reduce the quality of your faith

  • Embrace your crisis of faith tightly; it could make your faith stronger

 

Recommended Song:

“Dare You to Move” – Switchfoot (2004)

 

Cited books:

  • Lewis, Clive Staples (1940). The Problem of Pain. The Centenary Press

  • Lewis, Clive Staples (1961). A Grief Observed. Faber and Faber

  • Bryson, Bill. (2001). In a Sunburned Country. Doubleday Publishers

  • Bryson, Bill. (2010). At Home: A Short History of Private Life. Doubleday Publishers

 

Yours Faithfully,

모 /Mo!/

 

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우리 사이의 역사| The One with Andrea - The Spanish-speaking Southern Belle: Episode 15 (2018)

Hola amigos! Can you say Spanish-speaking Southern Belle three times without blabbing? I didn’t think so. Also, would you ever consider going back to school to learn a new language to help the people you serve? In this episode, I explored Andrea’s story and her love for the Spanish language, history, and travels. I also talked a bit about growing up in Nigeria during the restrictive, military regime. Andrea hopes to visit Ghana first, and I gave her the best tip ever – avoid the jollof rice there :-D.

We also explored her relationship with Africans and what she thinks of us. I am also seeking business partners for what I think would be a very profitable business for Africans and African Americans. It has to do with cultural exchange. Email me on talktomo@mosibyl.com, if interested.

PS: I spoke a bit of Spanish as well.

Fun facts about Andrea:

  • She is wanderlust like me and has visited six countries (one of which was Cuba #jealous).

  • She holds two bachelor’s degree.

  • She loves the Lord.

Takeaway points:

  • If you are in Ohio, consider getting the #Skyline chili.

  • Tips on how to avoid getting deleted as a Facebook friend.

  • Teach African-Americans about the African culture.

  • Africans and African-Americans need to learn to be more culturally patient with one another.

  • Why we need to visit Cuba ASAP

Con amor de,

모 /Mo/

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여자의 일생| The One with Ada - The Life of a Woman: Episode 12 (2018)

Here’s introducing my friend, Ada – one of the most beautiful souls I have ever met, who served in the US military. We explored her story from growing up in Nigeria, moving to the US, being drafted into the army, getting married, surviving an eventful divorce, raising multicultural kids, and life as a single mom.

We explored divorce in a cultural context (stigma, shame, losing friends, etc.) and what we can do to support divorcees around us (and it is not by choosing sides or totally avoiding them like a plague). We also talked about PTSD, mental health, and ways to self-care - post-divorce.

Outro-ish Song: *Don’t Let Us Get Sick* by Pat Guadagno; the original song was by Warren Zevon

Fun fact about Ada: She backpacked across Europe.


PS: To all the veterans like Ada, thank you for your service.


TL; DL:

How to Thrive after a Divorce:

  • Choose your battles

  • Stay alive

  • Do not rush into any kind of relationship (except with Ben and Jerry’s Ice-cream and chocolates, of course :-D)

  • Take your time to open up

  • Be vulnerable but not enough to allow reopening of old, healed wounds

  • Don’t waste yesterday’s tears on today

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마음이 아플 때| The One with Som Ghosh - On Grief and Loss: Episode 10 (2018)

Last week, I took you on a trip to India with an interview with Dr. Shah. I decided to stay longer in India to bring you this week’s episode from another Indian. Losing one parent is hard enough but imagine losing both of your parents, and in addition to this monumental grief, having to cope with the guilt of being thousands of miles away from home when this happens.

In this episode, I speak to Som Ghosh – a Tabla-playing Indian living in America on grief observed. We talked about how grief is handled by Hindus and how certain burial rites performed by Hindus might make coping with grief better, and how he has been coping with losing both parents. I also talked about a personal grief and how I was able to (and still) cope with this. We begin his story from why he decided to leave his job at Pfizer and head on to pursue a PhD in Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR) and tips for those considering going back to school after working for a while.

How to cope with grief, as surmised by Som and me (in no particular order):

  • Let grief run its course.

  • Take time to mourn the loss.

  • Cry if you must.

  • Label the emotions as they come, anger, sadness, pain, anguish.

  • Remember that emotions are like messengers, we do not shoot them. Listen to the gifts they bear and afterwards, send them on their journey  in a nice way, knowing fully well that they might come back again.

  • Find someone you can trust to talk to about your grief. And if you cannot find someone, just like Tennessee Williams suggested, depend on the kindness of strangers who are usually obliagted to listen to you.

  • Seek grief counseling or therapy.

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내 청소년| The One with Adenike - The Nigerian Youth: Episode 8 (2018)

Adenike had this to say about voting:

“More than half of those who voted for the over 170 million votes for BBN are not registered to vote in the next presidential election. Nigerians don’t even know the importance of voting and I understand that we say “oh, well my vote might not count,” that is the lie we have been telling ourselves. When it is going to count, no one is going to tell you. And until you start doing your own part, you cannot even complain of not getting the best infrastructure. It is your least civic duty. Even though you didn’t vote, by not voting, you voted for the winner.”

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나는 고향으로 돌아가고 싶다| The One with Bill - African-American + 7% Nigerian: Episode 5 Part 2 (2018)

According to Bill James:

  • "We can’t just be Black as African-Americans, we are Black from the Caribbean, we are Black from everywhere."

  • There’s a cultural difference between Africans and African-Americans and it is not necessarily based on specific characteristics, it has more do with educational level.

  • At some point, it would be really nice if we all had a chance to sit down together and talk about ourselves and maybe we can then find some common ground.

  • The American immigration system handpicks the best of the best and that includes Africans. As a result, most African Americans do not come in contact with Africans based on their social level and we do not run in the same social circles.

 

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