Our guest on this episode is Mbeke Waseme, a management coach, international education consultant, photographer, yoga instructor, and writer. Her books include “Make the changes, feel the joy” and “How to work and live abroad successfully.” We discuss her experiences being a Black expat in Malaysia and being Jamaican in Ghana, where she currently resides.

Stuff we talked about

• The difference between a successful and unsuccessful expat —

• Integrate with the society that you’re in. Try different foods, take public transport, go hiking, explore, and embrace new experiences

• Racial profiling is real. There are opportunities that are open to light-skinned Black women that are not open to dark-skinned Black women

• Book by Angela Fisher (Africa Adorned)

• If you’re ready to come out of your comfort zone, you get new experiences

• Some of the pros and cons of being a Black expat in the UK, Malaysia, and Ghana

• Mbeke Waseme talks about the “work voice” or code-switching

• The feeling of not being welcome in the country where you were born in

• There’s no level of diversity training that chips away at that old English racism, which is very subtle but excludes

• Wearing wigs, having straight, and hair being politicized

• In the UK, the challenge of having Black/brown people in senior management positions and leadership roles in predominantly white organizations where they have little work to challenge their own prejudices

• Discussions around race; why am I having to explain something that is your problem?

• Growing up with so many things that tell you that you’re not welcome

• One of the advantages of Malaysia is the autonomy that transport infrastructure provides. In Ghana, you only have two options to go around the country: air and road, and some of the roads are very bad

• The Uber and Grab drivers in Malaysia are great storytellers; you learn a lot about the country from them

Books, poetry, chapter titles, and videos

Mbeke Waseme’ s books and chapter titles include

1. Exploring all of me 2019 (poetry)
2. And then it was 2020 (poetry)
3. How to work and live abroad successfully (self-help book 2019)
4. Make the changes, feel the joy (self-help book 2014)
5. Chapter in This is Us: Black, British, and Female (2019)
6. Chapter in Trusted Black Girl, Challenging perceptions and Maximizing the Potential of Black Women in the UK Workplace, edited Roianne Nedd (2018)
7. Short stories and poems are in Fifth Estate, Dovetails, Pure Slush, Home, The Writers Café. Flexiblepub, and essays and academic articles have been published in Pambazuka, 72M, and Anastamos
8. Poems We Women who travel and Hold me with music by Xolo Spkg.
9. In Ghana with Mbeke (YouTube channel about life in Ghana)


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