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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
34 Episodes
Visit the Other Expats website to get £100 off your next Melanin Travels Magic tour deposit! Our first episode in 2021 features Christina Belloge, a multilingual paid media/digital marketing consultant, travel enthusiast, and director of Melanin Travels Magic. Christina has been an expat for 14 years, living in London, Amsterdam, and Dusseldorf. Melanin Travels Magic is a black-owned travel agency aimed at helping the Black diaspora facilitate their discovery of other Black nations (African and/or Caribbean) via travel experiences. Melanin Travels Magic was recently accepted into the London Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Fadzisai Matewa is our guest on this episode of the Other Expats podcast. Fadzisai is Zimbabwean, has lived in Malaysia for several years, and is a market development specialist with a multinational software company in Kuala Lumpur.
Ralph Mpofu is our guest on this episode of the Other Expats podcast. Ralph is a community builder, strategist, and changemaker, passionate about connecting the dots for impact and sustainable development.
Our guest on this episode is a graduate of biotechnology from UCSI University in Cheras in Malaysia, currently pursuing a Master's degree. Jacinta Nalweyiso shares her experience living in Malaysia for four years, and her interests, including singing and stop-motion videos, which are really, really cool! Visit our website for links to some of her projects.
Our guest on this episode of the Other Expats podcast is Carl Kapapiro, co-founder of SNCT Marketing. He spent 12 years in Malaysia, where he earned his Bachelor's degree in business studies from the University of East London and proceeded to pursue his career in Sales & Marketing. He is currently based in Uganda, where he is continuing his life as an expat while establishing the nation's premier digital marketing agency.
These are trying times and we hope you are staying safe by following the recommended health guidelines. This is going to be here a while but it will pass. Our guest on this episode of the Other Expats podcast, Emmanuel Chisom Okwu, does not talk about "the rona."  Emmanuel talks about his experience starting the International Student Council while at the Kuala Lumpur Metropolitan University to change the perception of Malaysians about foreign students, transitioning from student to working, what he enjoys most living in Malaysia, visiting Sabah, and a lot of other stuff you'll hear when you listen.
"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, Malaysia What 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."
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 about 01.20 - Moving from Cameroon to Dubai to Malaysia 04.39 - Work culture in Cameroon vs Dubai vs Malaysia 07.00 - Culture shocks and medical certificates (MC) 10.30 - The challenge of spouses getting into the job market in Malaysia 14.25 - Renting a house as an African in Malaysia 17.13 - Needing international vetting to open a bank account 21.30 - Being followed at the mall 26.30 - Some of the weird questions African expats get 31.00 - Being an expat African husband and father in Malaysia 32.32 - Long-winding sentence about family hangouts with other families 36.40 - 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 church 2:04 - The point where I'm still not sure if she's Nigerian 2:12 - Introducing Nasara Katuka, from Kaduna State in Nigeria 2:23 - [Facepalm] Ignorance galore 3:50 - She's a Business Developer 4:04 - Background music from all the families playing at Paradigm Mall in Petaling Jaya 5:10 - What's your story? 5:38 - SHe studied Business & Management 5:54 - 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 project 14:52 - Nigeria doesn't have an accent 16:11 - Favourite and least favourite things about being in Malaysia. First on the list? Electricity 21:00 - 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 Instagram 28:00 - Advice to other expats in Malaysia. Have a backup plan
Some of what we talked about 7.34 - What impact do you expect the book have on readers? 9.21 - What other experiences have you had in Malaysia? 9.43 - Favourite place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia? Brickfields. 11.13 - Where is home to you? For Tanya, it is wherever she feels comfortable in, whether it's Bali or Kuala Lumpur. 15.29 - One of her greatest experiences in Malaysia is at the fireflies reserve at Kuala Selangor. The park is considered to be the largest colony of fireflies in the world. 17.34 - Recommendations for a nature outing for expats in Malaysia? 19.25 - What's a typical day for her like? 21.20 - Rereading the book that changed her life—Life of Pi. 22.10 - When we talk a bit about religion 26.00 - Tatiana's TV show recommendation—The Good Doctor. 26.40 - She's a Harry Potter fan! 27.52 - When can we be expecting her next book? If you want to support Tatiana and/or her cause—improving the welfare of refuges in Malaysia—you can get in touch with her here.
It's been a while, I know, but we're still mostly here and we're trying to give you better content and stories. That's what Season 2 of the Other Expats Podcast is about. We're getting that started with Russian teacher and writer, Tatiana Shulgina who just launched her book, A Dream too Far, about how to provide refugees in Malaysia with effective education. This is just a trailer. The full audio will be coming soon. In the meantime, subscribe to the podcast and follow/like us on whatever platform you get your audio fix from. That's the support that we need.
While he may not technically be an expat yet, Olajide (Ben) Adejumo, a student of HELP University on a sports (basketball) scholarship from Nigeria, shares and experiences a lot of what expats do. In this episode of the Other Expats podcast, Ben talks about similarities and differences between living in Malaysia and the motherland, making friends, and dribbling on his extremely tight schedule. Show Notes: 01.06: Who is Olajide? BTW, Olajide is Yoruba for wealth comes in the morning 07.04: What adjustments did he need to make moving to Malaysia on a sports scholarship? 17.11: "My social life is basketball," says Ben, who shuffles between basketball practice and games and studies 21.00: The conditions that come with a sports scholarship don't allow for any laziness. "You constantly have to be on your toes." 28.36: Being judged before we are known
We met Usman Garba at his place in February for a one-on-one interview, where he talks about his experiences in Malaysia, turning down two job offers for a chance to work with Google and then losing that opportunity, taking a pre-sales job to get his foot in the door and the "two-second rule". He also shares some of his favorite TV shows and what he does when he isn't doing technical training. Some of the things we talked about 06.03: Insecure was the show to watch last year. Looking forward to the new seasons of Insecure and Atlanta 07.25 - The Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB) and West African Examinations Council (WAEC) are the college entry exams and I'm not sure how it works now but back then, after the exams, you can't be 100% sure you'll get results. The exams may get canceled or it'll take forever to get the results. 20.40: If you're coming to Malaysia to study, you have to pick a really good school 24.40: I started out as a virtual profiler, calling companies to
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