Expat Interview- Nigerian Expat experience in Malaysia



Meet Modupe fondly called Shafkat. A Nigerian. When she’s not accounting for the company, she’s busy coming up with recipes (@foodiesmith) or jumping off an aeroplane.

She was obligated by work to move to Malaysia over a year ago.


What part of Malaysia do you live in?

I Live in the capital city Kuala Lumpur. The district of Ampang

How did you get a job in Malaysia as an African?

I got transferred by my company from Dubai.

What’s the visa procedure like?

It was relatively seamless, as my company handled everything.

What was your biggest challenge moving to Malaysia?

The change in culture, and lifestyle.

What is the most challenging part of being an expat?

The challenging part is adapting to the change in culture, food and lifestyle. Both at work and personally. I find the work pace quite slow. Everyone takes their time to get things done.

What do you think about the Healthcare system in Malaysia?

Well, I can’t really say much on this, as I have never had to use the health care system yet. However, I find it odd that you need referrals from clinics before going to the hospital.

Moving on to transport, what’s the public transportation system look like?

The buses are very affordable, which makes them convenient.

What has been the greatest culture shock for you upon moving here?

The whole system is a culture shock for me. Considering where I relocated from, businesses hours are open till late, and I mean late, but here everywhere and mostly supermarket closes early around 10 pm.

What’s your favourite part of living in Malaysia?

My favourite part honestly is the accommodation. It’s super affordable and fortunately for me, My building provides all convenience. I have a supermarket, pharmacy and restaurants, just an elevator away.

How have you been able to integrate into society?

Well unfortunately I haven’t really been able to integrate. This is because I’m just between my work and my apartment.

Are the locals foreigner friendly?

The locals I meet and talk to are my colleagues and I will say they are quite friendly people.

What are the major differences between Malaysia and  Nigeria?

As a Nigerian, I will say the major difference is electricity. If you know what I mean.

Can you share the challenges you may face here in Malaysia as a Nigerian Expat?

Rejection: I got rejected a few times during my house search by house owners as soon as the owners heard my race and country of origin.

Do you have any neighbourhood recommendations for expats?

I would say Ampang, because it’s an area I am familiar with. There are enough convenience stores catering to expats.

Do you know any fun facts about Malaysia you think most people are not aware of?

  1. The local time in peninsular Malaysia has been adjusted a total of eight times
  2. The biggest roundabout in the world is located in Malaysia.


What’s your best advice you can give to anyone who plans to move to Malaysia?

  1. Keeping an open mind cannot be overemphasized. For me, this is the most important thing.
  2.  Do not judge the lot through one bad experience.

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