The impetus for this weekly column was the portrayal of Nigerians in the diaspora as it relates to crime. Rarely are the stories of Nigerians that are beating the odds ever shared. Clearly, there is a relationship between economic hardship and crime that is not frequently discussed but in spite of being replete with problems of basic human needs as electricity, clean water, healthcare, food and other necessities of life, Oluwatosin Balogun still rises up to make Nigeria proud in Michigan, USA.
Oluwatosin is a success story that was challenged by having to re-adapt himself to the American culture and to preserve his own. Arriving in the United States in 2010, Oluwatosin joined several international students whose voices are hardly heard. There is no doubt that the identities of immigrants in our modern fast-changing society are often debated but in speaking with Oluwatosin, City People heard his courage, aspirations, and hope to succeed.
Tell us about how you got into your current profession?
Nothing special was done, I was at the right place, at the right time and with the right person – and the journey has been very interesting.
Tell us about your breakthrough career-wise in the U.S?
One thing that has helped me is passion and control. Focus and determination in all that I do. I have also focused on building viable professional relationships.
When you mentor young Nigerians who look up to you on how they can make it in life, What advice do you give them?
I advise them to be determined and passionate about what they believe in. I encourage them to keep their eyes on the prize/goal.
Tell us about your schooling. You were born here in Nigeria. Why did you relocate to the US?
I relocated to the United States because I wanted to get more education and also, international exposure. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Media Studies. A Master of Science in Administration and Leadership. And a Juris Doctorate Degree in International Law and Litigation.
What were the major challenges you encountered along the way?
The fact that some people don’t believe in my goals. The fact that some people think there are some goals that are impossible, and the fact that people think having an accent is a weakness.
How do you see the current negative image Nigeria is suffering from?
Nigeria is a great country! Nigeria is blessed with talents and gifts. It is unfortunate that some people think that Nigeria is bad. For me, I think with more positive activities such as NAPAC, we can better showcase the beauty of our thoughts and tenacity for what is right.
Why have you remained proud of being a Nigerian?
Because I am a Nigerian first. I believe in the Nigerian brand. And I know that Nigeria is a great place. Nigeria is my source.