Diaspora Matters

Interview with a Zimbo based in Canada


We reproduce by popular demand, one of our interviews of our members and volunteers living in Diaspora- Ms Irene Samambwa. We have asked her to do a Facebook Live update for the forum which she is going to share in the coming few weeks. Below are some of the questions that we posed to her and her responses.

How long have you been living in Canada?

I have been in North America for 17 years. Six of those where in the USA. But only three months in Europe, Germany, on a scholarship.

How is the weather in Canada, have heard that its extremely cold?

Canada has 4 seasons but three predominant ones. Coast to coast has different weather patterns/ The summer can get quite hot with temperatures going up to 36 or 39Degrees Celsius. Winters are also cold depending on the region. In the northern territories winter temperatures, can get to -50Degrees Celsius. But on average winter temperatures are anywhere between -15Degrees Celsius to 10 Degrees Celsius.

Coast to coast winters are characterised with snow, ice and rain. Snow levels can reach 5- 10 metres in some cases. In winter the sun goes down around 4 pm and comes out around 8pm.

However, while this might sound scary, Canada has some of the best winter clothing worldwide. If you dressed correctly for the outside you will hardly feel anything. Indoors houses are heated so the chances of feeling cold are minimal. The body has a remarkable capacity to adjust to the weather.

Zim Community, is there a big Zim community in Canada?

Yes there is a big Zimbabwean community spread out in popular provinces where there are jobs such as Alberta and Ontario. The most popular cities being Toronto or Edmonton. However more Zimbabweans are venturing out to the Northern remote parts of Canada

Tell us about education for kids, is it expensive?

Canada has an excellent public education system. The Prime Minister’s children go to public schools. Education is very free and state of the art with smart board, smart pads etc. Kids receive homework online and all kids have school email accounts. They have virtual classrooms with their teachers for homework and revision. College and university is not free but each province has different rates. The students have access to grants and loans and these are available until they complete whatever level of education they want. A Canadian education is acceptable anywhere in the world.

Cost of living, how is it?

Canada is a bit more expensive than the USA but cheaper than the UK in terms of housing. Plus, our standard of living is higher than the UK and US. Canadians have good work times and hours. Parents have maternity vacations for both husband and wives. Pensions and retirement plans are available.

Healthcare is free from maternity to cancer surgeries or treatments. Name the issues you get treaed for free. Jobs for professionals are highly rewarding with popular jobs being in teaching, nursing and social work. Finance jobs are also popular as well as energy jobs. Artisan jobs are indeed very popular. Economic resistant jobs are in the social and nursing fields and if you want to go out to serve the remote communities you get very good packages. The remote communities being NorthWest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut.

Which other African communities dominate the immigrant communities in Canada?

Anywhere you go in the UK, US, and Australia perhaps, the biggest African communities are West African and Eastern African namely Nigerian, Ghanaian and Kenyans, Somalians and Ethopians.

Which cities do you recommend for first time immigrants?

Toronto, Montreal and Edmonton

Five good things you like about Canada?

1.Safe. Can sleep with door unlocked and keys in the car. I am speaking from experience!. 2.Family friendly. There are plenty of vacation and holiday spots that are affordable. Plus work schedules are not horrible like the UK and US.

2.Family friendly. There are plenty of vacation and holiday spots that are affordable. Plus work schedules are not horrible like the UK and US

3. Education opportunities: you can advance as far and as wide as you want to go

4.Business and work opportunities: when you think outside the box, the sky is the limit

5.Strong economy and policies. Canada is safe foe everyone 51/2. Friendly people and not too much race issues

So there you are forumites, our Forum Admin is one helpful and friendly person feel free to add more questions and she will answer respond when free.



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