Hello! I am Samuel from Nigeria. I grew up in Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria. Growing up as a child was filled with so much fun as there were many kids in the neighborhood to play with. I remember how we regularly met at open grounds to listen to folktales, play football and other games like ‘ayo olopon’ (a traditional Yoruba game board in Nigeria). How we visited the pond to pick snails and also met in the church for prayers and other religious activities. As Nigeria is culturally diverse, my interaction with other kids gave me the opportunity to know and learn about different cultures in my country and to also appreciate the beauty of diversity. My tribe is ‘Yoruba’ which predominantly occupies the South Western part of Nigeria.
In my elementary and high schools, our teachers encouraged us to write many essays particularly about our cultures and social events as it was part of the school curriculum. My father also encouraged me to read newspapers and listen to the news. I found it very useful as it contributed immensely to my knowledge and understanding of the English language and helped to develop my writing skills. It also gave me the opportunity to be socially, politically and economically-aware of events in my country and other parts of the world. It provided me with enough information-base to make meaningful and informed contribution on societal matters and discourse.
My early education created within me an unquenchable thirst for science and writing. I graduated as a Systems Engineer from the prestigious University of Lagos, Nigeria. I must say that the science-based training I received has enabled me to engage in discussions and present my ideas in an analytical and clear manner. My passion for writing is undiluted as I really love to write; particularly about societal topics, events and issues affecting humankind. My main writing interest areas are science, religion, politics, sports and entertainment. I am an explicit writer as I love to tell stories. I do not want my readers to miss any information and so I try to write in detail…………..more like writing for a lay man to read.
Moving to Finland has been a good experience and living in TOAS apartment has been good also. I have been here for about 2 years and the experiences from the cultural diversity in my country has really helped me to settle well in Finland. I have not had so many problems adapting and interacting with students and people from other nationalities, cultural or religious background as this is just a representation of my country, Nigeria – a country of highly diverse people along cultural, ethnic, political, religion, language and tribal lines. It is more like having of country of countries. Therefore, meeting new people with totally different cultural backgrounds and adjusting and understanding their way of life has been quite easy.
It is in view of my past experiences and my passion for writing that I have accepted to blog for TOAS. This will enable me to express my views and thoughts about living in a multicultural environment such as the TOAS apartments. The environment created in TOAS apartments is just a subset of a larger multicultural society in the city of Tampere. I would like to share my experiences about living and interacting with several international students from different backgrounds and nationalities in TOAS apartments, as well societal events and happenings. I believe that there is always something good learn about other cultures and nationalities.
I am open minded, outgoing, very accommodating and with a heart for everyone around me. I like to make new friends. I speak English and Yoruba and I am also learning Finnish language. Generally, I love languages and I hope I can speak German, French and Spanish someday. I love writing, playing and watching football, travelling and singing. I can also be adventurous as just recently I started playing badminton and I think I am loving it. I am a Christian (Catholic), a lover of God, sports and science. At the moment, I have written two scientific papers and several articles. I am currently studying for a master’s degree in Automation Engineering in Tampere University of Technology. These few words briefly tells who I am……A man of faith, a man of science and a man of the people.
I hope you enjoyed this piece. I look forward to writing more exciting entries. See you in the next blog!
Samuel Olaiya Afolaranmi
4th May, 2016