Photo Credit: TN
The Black Expat: 'Senegal And Malaysia Are Similar In Many Ways'
Senegal native Moustapha Djamil Seck first thought about moving to Malaysia in 2016, when he met someone through social media who began showing him pieces of her daily life there.
“I started doing research about the county and its culture, and asking some friends I knew who lived there about how they enjoyed their lives there,” said Moustapha. “The thing that really attracted me was the environment, the nature, and the mix of cultures.”
His findings were enough to convince the civil engineer to make the move. Making the transition from a majority Black nation to a more racially diverse one proved to be a great learning experience. As someone who always loved learning about different cultures and languages, Moustapha enjoyed the blend of ethnicities and nationalities he found in Malaysia.
“I had the chance to meet many people from various countries. I even met people from countries that I did not even know existed! That really helped me to grow up and look at life from a different perspective.”
However, his first year was also a difficult one. As he tried to settle in and get acclimated to his new home, Moustapha found himself sometimes facing racism and ill treatment that he was not used to.
“During that time, I experienced racism in a harsh way. It was hard for me, and at times I just wanted to give up and fly back to Senegal. However, that really made me stronger. I was blessed to have met some wonderful people that truly supported me during those moments.”
Moustapha made a strong effort to focus on the positives, and soon began to realize that despite the differences, Senegal and Malaysia are similar in a lot of ways. In addition to the many kind and generous people, there were other similarities rooted in the nations’ shared religion of Islam. Inspired, he embarked on a personal mission to teach others about his homeland.
“Instead of staying to myself, I decided to promote Africa, and Senegal in particular. I call myself Captain Africa. The idea behind it was all about educating racist people in a peaceful way about my homeland. Now many of the people I meet here want to visit Africa because of the information and positivity I spread. It has helped to make my integration much easier, and I also get to know some wonderful people as I travel around Asia making unforgettable memories.”
Despite the rough start, Moustapha considers Malaysia a nice and safe country with a beautiful landscape, many activities, and great food; an overall amazing place to visit and live. He has found that most of the locals are very open-minded and love to discover new cultures.
With the lifting of COVID-19 travel restrictions, Moustapha looks forward to traveling more and exploring new cities and islands in Malaysia. You can follow him on Instagram at @captain_africa7.