Meet Canoo member Olabode Samuel Adegbayike
Meet Canoo member Olabode Samuel Adegbayike.
Originally from Nigeria, Olabode moved to Canada by himself to attend university. Olabode officially joined the Canadian family last summer, like so many others, in a virtual citizenship ceremony and now lives in Calgary with his wife and two children. Olabode decided to become a Canadian citizen after completing his studies, as he felt that Canada was home thanks to “the opportunities offered to me and the warm embrace of my community.” Olabode met his now wife, got married, and had two kids which motivated him to get his Canadian citizenship. He wanted his kids “to see how proud they could be of where they are from”. Olabode is most proud of his children and his degree, both of which he attributes to the help and support he received from his community.
Olabode has a deep respect for the Indigenous Peoples of Canada and is dedicated to continuing to learn about and understand their culture and history, stating that “The indigenous communities made me feel wanted and part of something larger.” Olabode says we all play a part in shaping the future of this country, and active citizenship is essential to that. For him, active citizenship means “striving for the greater good of Indigenous people, and making sure everyone has equality.”
Olabode said that he began to feel truly Canadian right after he got married: “My family always said I was more Canadian than Nigerian. It felt easy but with lots of responsibility and duty to keep you grounded.” Despite being a proud Canadian, Olabode is also proud of his Nigerian culture and understands the importance of sharing it with his family. Sharing his Nigerian culture with his children adds to the cultural mosaic that is Canada. In addition to wearing traditional clothing and preparing traditional food, Olabode also performed a traditional naming ceremony for each of his children 7 days after their birth, to welcome his children to the family the way his parents and ancestors did for him.
As he continues to learn more about Canada, Olabode looks forward to visiting all the museums and art centres he can with Canoo! He believes that arts and cultural places play a role in fostering inclusion and belonging, affirming that “Art inspires ideas, critical thinking, information, growth and mostly a place to call home. It offers familiarity and new horizons. It brings you in and makes you take a step back.” Olabode heard about Canoo from a friend who used it with his family the year before, and has been excited about it ever since. He has already visited Canoo venues like the Ontario Science Centers in Toronto, and the Human Rights Museum in Winnipeg. Next up on his list is Studio Bell in Calgary, home of the National Music Centre: “I love music and what it can do to change the lives and moods of people. It is a great unifier.”
Despite getting his citizenship at the height of the pandemic, Olabode plans to make up for lost time! He and his family look forward to planning more excursions and discovering all there is to know about Canada and its Indigenous cultures using the Canoo app.
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Canoo gives new Canadian citizens and their families access to more than 1400 arts and culture spaces and parks across Canada. While Canoo is free to use, it’s not free to operate. As a charity, we rely on donations to help keep Canoo available and free for new citizens. With your generous support, we can help thousands of new Canadians and their families feel like they belong. Give the gift of Canoo! Become a monthly donor today.