Moji Taiwo is described as ‘daring, fearless, focused, dedicated, persevering, successful and contented’. Born in Lagos, Nigeria Mrs.Taiwo immigrated to Canada in 1978 when she was just nineteen years old. She left her parents and six siblings behind in Lagos to make a new life for herself overseas. At this time, Canada was not the ‘in’ place to be. Mrs. Taiwo is happily married with three grown-up children and she is a grandmother as well.
Her key achievements include being the recipient of “Corrections Exemplary Service Medal Award ” in 2008 and in 2015, Mrs. Taiwo was honoured with the ”Corrections Exemplary Service Bar Award”. This is the highest honour in that category of awards. In 2009, she was awarded the “Solicitor General and Public Security Leadership Award”. Mrs. Taiwo is a sociologist by training. She studied Sociology at the University of Lethbridge, graduating in 1983. Before that, she earned a Diploma in Radio Arts(Broadcasting) from 1979 – 1981 from the Lethbridge Community College. Retired, she is an avid gardener who loves growing tomatoes in her family home garden in Calgary. She is also a mentor, public speaker and community organizer in Calgary, Alberta.
Mrs. Taiwo worked her way up from being a youth worker in 1984 to retiring as a Deputy Director of Operations with the Government of Alberta in 2015. Mrs. Taiwo spent over thirty five years serving the people of Calgary and the Government of Alberta. Her new book ‘ I Give Because I’m Blessed-I’m Blessed Because I Give‘ is out now. Mrs. Taiwo’s book chronicles her journey as an immigrant to Canada, giving hope, inspiration and courage to new and old immigrants alike. The book covers 39 years of personal and professional experiences which she is eager to share. Existing immigrants ‘can relate to her challenges, dealing with racism whilst working to achieve set goals’. New immigrants still struggling to realize their goals are ‘inspired to focus and not give up on their dreams’. The book was written to inspire, enlighten, motivate, encourage and empower anyone and everyone who reads it.
Here are some of the book reviews:
“Moji is a mentor and an inspiration. Moji is a role model to young immigrants like me. Her book is inspiring and it gives you a glimpse into the struggles of being an immigrant. Immigrants do not get it easy. Imagine having to struggle to succeed in a system where you are already at a disadvantage from the start. Moji survived an era where attitudes towards immigrants were not the best. She persevered and now she writes about her triumphs. These did not come easy. This book is an immigrant’s guide towards success. Meeting Moji has positively changed my attitude towards life, work and overall perspective on life. This book tells a story of strength, character and motivation”. George.
“Reading this book gave me a lot of Aha! moments as a young woman who comes from a similar background. The challenges that Moji overcame are the challenges newcomers are going through today. This book can be a blueprint for overcoming fears, challenges and other people’s ideas and opinions about ourselves. It is one woman’s testimony of staying true to herself. Moji stayed true to her innate feeling of humanity and a sense of purpose since arriving in Canada as a young woman from Nigeria in the 1970’s. She had every reason to fail and give up and back up. But she stayed and carved a life unique and special to her. A life that now becomes a blueprint for young people, newcomers and any person that needs the inspiration to move past their own blocks.
This book is all about mental fitness and being bold enough to stay the course. In a racially charged Alberta, Moji’s skin colour didn’t hold her back. She innately knew who she was and her worth. There was never a time where she would give in and give up her desired life because of someone’s opinion of her humanity. Moji, always knew what she wanted and she was committed and got that desired result. She didn’t let the world outside of herself deter her or force her into a life of settling for scraps. For the next 40 years, Moji a Nigerian-Canadian gave the world her heart in form of service. She has impacted many lives with her journey, her truth and her ability to serve across all barriers.
Moji taught us that you can have the life you truly desire by staying the course. Also, to never take the opinions and negative commentary about oneself too seriously. Everyone is fighting their own hidden battle. Therefore compassion, friendship, understanding and trusting life are paramount to one’s life journey and evolution”.
How has your book been received by people in general?
The book reception has been fantastic! Because of its ease, children as young as 12yrs old are reading it and telling me about it. Young adults are learning how to choose and pursue their dreams while building their networks and adults are learning that they are not alone in their struggles in a new country. The book has received positive reviews from immigrants and non-immigrants.
If you had three top tips for new immigrants in Canada, what would they be?
The three top tips are: find your local Heritage community association for relativity and emotional support. Secondly, go online and find resources geared towards immigrant services. You will meet service providers who will steer you in the right direction. Thirdly, volunteer. Volunteer at your school/children schools/place of worship/your neighbourhood etc. You get to mingle with other people not from your country, which promotes quicker integration and expanded networking opportunities.
Are you proud of the contributions of Nigerian Canadians in Calgary and in Canada as a whole
Yes, I am extremely proud of my contributions to the Nigerian Canadian Association of Calgary and to Canada as a whole. This summer, like the past three summers, I have the privilege to (life) coach 15 young girls and boys ages 16 to 21yrs from high school to university. It gives me great joy that these young people will become leaders in the future and I have contributed to their lives. That is awesome!!!