Hi Adeshola, thanks for the interview! Please introduce yourself.
My name is Adeshola Ezeokoli (people call me Shola). I am a Christian and was born in the UK to a Nigerian father and a Guyanese mother. When I was two years old my father moved us back to his home in Nigeria. I grew up there where I went to medical school and moved back to the UK. After three years in the UK, I moved to the US.
Why did you decide to move to the US?
There were many factors. My boyfriend had moved to the US and felt that there would be more opportunities here than in the UK. At the time in the UK, there were many changes being made with regards to jobs for doctors. It was the right time for me to make a move.
Did you have the chance to gain some US-related experience before you moved here?
Not really, I had been to the US in 1997 on a vacation sponsored by an Uncle and Aunt who lived in New York.
How did your friends react when you told them that you were leaving England?
There were mixed feelings. They were going to miss me, but since I was leaving to join my husband (the boyfriend whom I had since married) they were happy for me.
What was your first impression of the USA? In which points the American people differ from people in your home country?
When I first came I suffered a huge culture shock! In the UK people seem to be a bit more direct. If an Englishman does not like you, you know it. In America, the social politeness can come across in some ways as false to someone from England. Because Americans tend to be really friendly (friendlier on first impression than the English), one does expect people to be more direct with their feelings, wants and expectations.
How were the first months in the US, where there any problems, what went well?
My first months went reasonably well. My husband worked for a University so we had a decent income. His job at the time was not stressful, so he had time to take me around and show me the ropes.
Do you have a green card or are you already an American citizen?
I have a green card, although I initially came over on an immigrant visa.
What did help you to settle down?
Having a husband who was already in the US really helped. I did not really have to do too much fact finding on my own. He had a decent income, so we were no cash strapped like immigrants usually tend to be.
How would you rate your decision in retrospect?
It was one on the best decisions I have ever made! I could have convinced my husband to move to England with me but I do not think I would have had the same opportunities that being in America has afforded me.
Do you have specific ideas for the coming year?
Many! I have written a Christian devotional book titled: “His Delight-31 days of Praise and Worship”. I also have a Kindle book of poetry titled : “Shoetry”. Shoetry will soon be in print form.I am looking to promote these books in Christian and non-Christian circles, book speaking engagements, book tours, etc.
Are there other things that you want to point out?
America is still the land of opportunity, if you have the right tools and attitude to grasp the opportunities ahead of you.
Shola, thanks for the interview!