Meet Jolyon Etaoghene | #RoadToRyerson

Photo 1My first name is Jolyon. Most people I have come across find it difficult pronouncing Jolyon at first. It is pronounced as Joo-lee-oon, Jol-yon/Jol-yawn, Jo-ly-on and so on to name a few. It’s an old and uncommon English name which is a variant form of Julian. Etaoghene, my last name, is pronounced as A-ta-hor-geh-neh. I have three other names I no longer go by too.

Before coming to Ryerson, I attended three high schools to be precise. Before The Great Lakes College of Toronto (which was where I obtained my OSSD and took pre-university courses), was Good Shepherd Catholic Boys’ Secondary School. On June 2nd, 2014, I departed from The Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, Nigeria to Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, Netherlands where I took a transit and arrived on June 3rd, 2014 at the Toronto Pearson International Airport, Toronto, Canada (there’s a reason as to why I am giving these little details).

For a year now, living in Toronto has given me more reasons to live. Every day, in every way, there’s always something about the city that fills me with euphoria. The moment I learned Ontario’s motto is: “Yours to discover”, I was inclined to agree with it. Nevertheless, I still think of home and how much I miss my parents, grandma and family. Sometimes, I think about the people, the economic state and the Pidgin English humour. I think about when I sat on the trunk of my Dad’s car during frequent blackouts in the day and night. I reminisce about Christmas breaks I spent with relatives too but these never made me home-sick. Lastly, I think about the beauties of where I came from as well as its misfortunes. I still have flashbacks of the times I used to imagine about life elsewhere. Though I attended a good school and after-school lessons, I was always curious about life in places I saw on television. Lo and behold, when I was only days old in the city, I saw that from the people, food and culture to the pets, Toronto was different from what I had known. I remember my childhood days when I was chased by dogs in neighbourhoods and how the society knew cats to be demonic. I can now say that’s all wrong. I have known a lot pets and Milo is one of them. We have spent quality times together.

Photo 2

Now here I am, living in Toronto, ON and attending Ryerson University this Fall with a major in Politics and Governance. From the very onset, I took being chosen to document my #RoadToRyerson story as a privilege because from the minute I submitted my audition video, it wasn’t in my wildest dreams I thought I’d be selected.  I found faults in what I submitted because I thought some details were omitted or it just wasn’t accurate enough for a 30s video.

Having said all this, along with the fifteen questions (video above) and answers I prepared to introduce myself in order for us to be familiar with each other a bit, I answered questions from what prompted me to audition for the #RoadToRyerson campaign to the hard feelings I have as a recent immigrant in Canada. I also added Don’t Dream It’s Over by Crowded House (Instrumental) in the background to give you an idea of what my taste of music is. Tag along as my story unfolds until Illuminate 2015 concludes.

Warmest greetings to all,
Jolyon Etaoghene.

To follow my story, click here.