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Other Expats

Author: Other Expats

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A podcast about subjects that affect people of color (POC) expats in Malaysia—from fun subjects to topics that we may not be all-the-way comfortable talking about. The podcast also features non-POC expats and locals who provide more information about things relevant to the POC expats. Say hi, email
28 Episodes
"When you travel in a country, the first thing you should do is try to understand and adapt to the culture..." says our guest on this episode of the Other Expats podcast—Dadje Valere, French-speaking Camerounian, and instrument and control engineer who has been in Malaysia since 2009.Dadje talks about how he integrates into society, from being active in the university's students union and the international students' community to developing and pushing policies that allow foreigners to be heard in the campus environment."The other thing we did was to participate in the homestay program that the Malaysian government was organizing for foreigners to go and stay with local families for some time. So, I spent two weeks with a family in Perlis and that was very interesting because you live the everyday life with the people and you really understand that there is not much difference in the way they live their lives and what we have in Africa."Outside of college, he suggests that you should get yourself some local friends. The idea is that "you benefit from having local friends because you learn about things that you typically are not privy to because you don't speak the language. Having local friends means you get (almost) free translation services when there's information that concerns or may affect you."A lot has been said about how foreigners study in Malaysia and expect to find work afterward, and how that is not always the case. Of course, no one promised anyone anything at any point. According to Dadje, "...even though you graduate from Malaysia; it's like people are telling you to come here and get training but 'sorry we can't help you' after that. It's like 'We don't trust our own training, so go try it somewhere else."This episode of the Other Expats podcast was produced by rewordink. The intro soundtrack is by big mean sound machine edited by the small room productions. Subscribe to the Other Expats podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Overcast, Pocket Casts and Anchor, and sign up for our monthly newsletters You can also connect with us and let us know how you feel on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn or send us an email via hello @
Whei Meng, CEO of Malaysian-based startup,, is our guest on this episode of the Other Expats podcast. We haven't featured a lot of non-other expats, but one of our goals is to provide useful resources for living in Malaysia. is one of those useful resources.In addition, Whei Meng's is fighting (or, at least, trying to) what many other expats have encountered in Malaysia: discrimination when looking to rent a property. It's either "the owner doesn't want foreigners" (general) or the more specific, "the owner doesn't want Africans/Nigerians."Whei Meng believes that the homeowners are not necessarily racist, they're just protecting their properties. From what? Ahhh you'll have to listen to find out. Here's a link to the podcast. Also available on whatever platform you get your podcasts from.
Stuff we talked about:1.32 - Who's Halima Attahiru?2.35 - Living here for nine years, how different is it from living in Nigeria?3.54 - The food wasn't anything to write home about because it had too much sugar. If you're an expat in Malaysia, did you have any issues transitioning or eating Malaysian food?5.25 - In Malaysia, you don't water for free in restaurants. You have to pay for water separately *shock*6.07 - Experience as an African woman living in Malaysia?7.35 - What does Halima do when she's not working? Tip: cooks, takes online classes.8.10 - Loves cooking African food. Where she lives in Malaysia has a lot of African convenience stores---expensive but available.9.50 - What's one thing every expat should try when they're in Malaysia?10.57 - She works with the airline so she gets to do a lot of traveling within and around Malaysia.11.44 - Most and least favorite things about living in Malaysia? The public holidays! And the transportation system.15.17 - Who are her crowd in Malaysia; Africans, locals or more of an international group?17.24 - What's most different about living abroad?
Initially recorded in 2017, we share a lot of cringeworthy stuff (that you should probably skip) about the dating scene for POCs in Malaysia. Shams, Ahlam, and Faithful also talk about and compare the 'high stakes' of dating in Saudi Arabia to the more open dating environment in Kuala Lumpur and the swiping culture in Kuala Lumpur. Also highlighted: the toxicity of expected gender roles.
Rumbidzai Lyn Kasinamunda is from Zimbabwe and is a customer experience and senior IT adviser based in Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaWhat we talked about...Companies that make you go through the entire job application process with multiple assessments, then filter you out based on a call they make to you. Do HR executives even look at the candidate resumes at all?Would you prefer to be informed by the HR that the company is not looking for foreigners, only looking for locals or you think being in the dark is better?The experience hasn't been all bad, though. Between 2015 and 2018, she was based in Cyberjaya and going to work was a major highlight of her time.** Regarding people being deported, the interview was done in June 2019. I'm not sure what the situation is now. There's the story of Jeff who---like the MBA student who died in police custody recently---spent a week in police custody even though he had valid work documents.If you're a foreigner in Malaysia, do you have local friends? Do you think that you should have friends who are Malaysian?She talks about the black woman experience in Malaysia. Black women tend to stick to their people, "the dating pool is limited. But for black men, the dating pool is wider."
It's because you're black

It's because you're black


In which we talk about how you know if you are being differently because you're black or because you actually did something wrong. Oh, and we arrived late to this but we all talk about the begpackers who were getting notorious around Kuala Lumpur, and we called Al Ibrahim in to get his opinion.
Who's Zainab Olamiji? Why did she go from studying medicine to being a business development manager? Are jobs and careers the same thing? Or just how different are they? Did our parents care about their jobs or their careers? You'd have to listen to find out.
Stuff we talked about01.20 - Moving from Cameroon to Dubai to Malaysia04.39 - Work culture in Cameroon vs Dubai vs Malaysia07.00 - Culture shocks and medical certificates (MC)10.30 - The challenge of spouses getting into the job market in Malaysia14.25 - Renting a house as an African in Malaysia17.13 - Needing international vetting to open a bank account21.30 - Being followed at the mall26.30 - Some of the weird questions African expats get31.00 - Being an expat African husband and father in Malaysia32.32 - Long-winding sentence about family hangouts with other families36.40 - Have financial plans in mind when moving here... and more
One of the biggest insurance companies in Malaysia recently released a memo about its sanctioned countries and expats will start contributing to Sosco.
Stuff that we talked about:1:45 - She doesn't miss church2:04 - The point where I'm still not sure if she's Nigerian2:12 - Introducing Nasara Katuka, from Kaduna State in Nigeria2:23 - [Facepalm] Ignorance galore3:50 - She's a Business Developer4:04 - Background music from all the families playing at Paradigm Mall in Petaling Jaya5:10 - What's your story?5:38 - SHe studied Business & Management5:54 - Company closed and everyone had to "find their own way"7:55 - Nigerian expats in Malaysia and our reluctance to "go back home"12:02 - What does she do when she isn't working?13:53 - Al talks about his video project14:52 - Nigeria doesn't have an accent16:11 - Favourite and least favourite things about being in Malaysia. First on the list? Electricity21:00 - How much travelling do you do?24:05 - We find out that she models as well!24:47 - She's done a commercial for Harpic in May 2018 and a music video with DJ Policy's African Woman in July 2018. She also does photo shoots. Check out Sunday Girls on Instagram28:00 - Advice to other expats in Malaysia. Have a backup plan
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