Coming to Canada

Saskatchewan Polytechnic students Khyrstyna Krupka (left), Emmanuel Gbajuola (centre) and Hulda Luna (right) answer questions during the International and Newcomer Student Panel discussion on Wednesday. The discussion is part of Intercultural Week festivities at the Prince Albert campus. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

As a child, Emmanuel Gbajuola wanted to travel, and there was only one destination on his mind: Canada.

Gbajuola, who was born and raised in Nigeria, decided he wanted to go to head north, much to the confusion of his family and friends.

“I just liked the name Canada,” he chuckled during an interview on Wednesday. “I didn’t know anything about Canada. They’d say, ‘why do you like it?’ I just like the name. The way it sounds.”

Although Gbajuola’s father didn’t understand why he chose Canada, he was supportive of his son’s decision to travel and live abroad.

When they began researching job opportunities, living conditions and immigration laws in various countries, Gbajuola was pleasantly surprised to find Canada ranked near the top.

“One thing I’ve discovered about Canada, when you have everything right, you have your papers right, you have a good reason why you want to be in this country and you have reasons why you want to be in this country, then you will definitely be allowed to come in, and when you come in there are opportunities to learn, to work and to gain experience,” he said.

Gbajuola moved to Ontario, before coming to Saskatchewan at the suggestion of some friends. He began taking courses at Saskatchewan Polytechnic, and on Wednesday was one of three panelists talking about his experiences as part of the school’s Intercultural Awareness Week.

For the rest of this story, please see the March 23 online or print edition of the Daily Herald.