Great read, must read for entrepreneurs. I find Moji’s attitude of turning challenges into opportunity very encouraging.
I Give Because I’m Blessed—I’m Blessed because I Give by Moji Taiwo is a great story of the life of a Canadian immigrant. It is indeed, as the subtitle says, “A Chronical of an Immigrant’s Journey,” which illustrates the author’s personal journey from her first day in Canada through her working years to her retirement. The story encompasses the challenges and the gifts of being an immigrant, a woman, and a member of a minority group.
The book answers the question, Can an immigrant mother from a minority group succeed in educating herself and making a career in whatever field she chooses? The answer is clear in the author’s story of resilience and accomplishment. Moji Taiwo was born in Nigeria, raised in a large family, and moved to Canada at the age of 19. Despite all odds and discrimination, she made the decision to educate herself and become who she knew she was meant to be. If you are a new immigrant and find yourself wondering “Can I really go back to school and earn a living as I imagined before I arrived in Canada?,” this book is for you.
Taiwo expresses herself in a way that all readers can easily understand. Her language is simple, empowering, and full of emotion. On p. 11, she encourages her readers to turn “challenges into opportunities for advancement.” She also expresses the hope that her journey will empower her readers “to build a fruitful and fulfilling personal, emotional, professional, and prosperous life of service.” Her insights illustrate the importance of service to humanity and the love that can derive from working and being of service to others.
The book begins with a description of Taiwo’s childhood and her background in a strict, disciplined, and successful family. She grew up and built her life on the “conviction” that a sense of service and giving of herself to others without expectation of return was the basis of a good life.
Taiwo explains that when she arrived in Canada, she experienced the culture shock that is common among immigrants. For example, she had to get used to the weather in Canada and to the sense of loneliness from missing her home country. Taiwo also describes the experience of speaking English with a “thick accent.” She had to learn to listen carefully to people with Canadian accents as well as to alter her speech so that she could make herself understood. If you wonder if people who speak with thick accents really do speak English or if you speak with an accent and wonder about your acceptance, this book is for you.
Taiwo tells the story of the silent immigrant woman as she obtained a formal education despite being turned down originally. She exposes what it takes to live and fulfill one’s dream as a Canadian immigrant. This is a must-read book for people who have been turned down and for those who are interested in understanding the effects of being rejected.
This is a book for those who struggle with racial identity as well. Taiwo shows how to be proud of who you are. She was Nigerian, yet she worked very hard to identify with the Canadian culture and become a perfectly illustrated blend of a Nigerian Canadian woman.
It is easy to like Taiwo with her unpretentious presentation of her adjustments to the Canadian culture and work environment and her strong personality and management style. She adjusted to the weather, paying her bills, getting around and finding a job, starting a relationship and a family; she learned to balance work and school and caring for her family. Taiwo had to make many adjustments, yet she triumphed. Her distress and experiences of discrimination did not deter her; rather, they became catalysts for positive actions.
Taiwo’s stories of finding common ground with her neighbors, peers in school, and co-workers are inspiring, as are the descriptions of her activities in the community. On p. 49, she writes about her family’s experience of distress because of discrimination:
Our misfortune opened up the opportunity to, not just be more aware of our rights and exhibit fairness and kindness to those in our path, it opened the door to meet people who were not prejudiced towards people of colour.
Taiwo describes the goodness of her neighbors and the various gifts that come with having decent neighbors. This book is about making connections—between continents, cultures, lifestyles, and people—and it can appeal to anyone who is interested in these issues.
Dr. Juliet Onabadejo, RN, PhD.
Review: I had the pleasure of reading the book ” I give because I’m blessed, I’m blessed because I give” written by Moji Taiwo. The book is a chronicle of an immigrant journey that started over 40 years ago, it is also the story of most coloured immigrants. I can relate to the stories told, battles fought, insults endured, victories won and kindness received.
The book is written in simple prose and easy to follow and understand. It is full of relatable examples for immigrants and eye opener for non-immigrants that are interested in the plight of new comers to this beautiful land. The book reinforces all the good sayings about hard work and resilience, it also highlights the beauty inherent in human family and human history. It shows that immigration is okay, attendant hardship is okay, community service is okay, helping others is okay and documenting our journey is okay.
Moji is a mentor and an inspiration. Moji is a role model to young immigrants like me. Her book is inspiring and 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 immigrants 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. And I am ready to also give back to my community.
Just completed the recently launched book ‘I give because I’m blessed, I’m blessed because I give’ written by the ever graceful Moji Taiwo….. my first reaction to the book after reading it was ‘ This woman is such a power house!
It’s a real story of a resilient, powerful and Confident woman that has and is still living a life of service to give back to the world that has been gifted to her. All I saw in the book was a woman who understood the concept of creating the life she wanted. I am totally inspired by this book and as a result, I am determined to do more in my community as a first generation Canadian immigrant……I believe this book is for everyone both men and women as it covers parenting, career, community service, standing up for yourself, handling bullying at the work place, settling down as an immigrant, self -development, goal setting, values, following your dreams and the list goes on….
I am so grateful for the gift of this book because you could have decided not to write it but because of the value of Giving that you have, you decided to gift us this book…thank you thank you thank you……
Everyone needs to read this book, it’s an easy read with a beautiful style of writing.
I have learnt so much about giving like I have never learnt before from this book and today I am going to gift 5 hard copies of this book to the first 5 that comment’ I want’. You must be able to pick up at the
Also if you will love to buy online, here is the link to buy:
Adedoyin Omotara – Adoniaa Beauty Boutique -A place of makeup and Magnificence, 4239, Bow Trail, SW, Calgary
This book “I Give because I’m Blessed – I’m Blessed because I Give” was so enriching, captivating, relatable and uplifting. When I was reading the book, I felt like I was being fed the reality of life, it got my attention, I was wanting more . Being an immigrant myself, I found out that most of our struggles were similar. Finally, I admire the writer’s tenacity to continue to forge on despite the challenges she faced. She demonstrated endurance and perseverance, which made her journey palatable. Kudos Moji Taiwo.
Thank you Moji, for sharing your story.”I Give because I’m Blessed – I’m Blessed because I Give” is a very good account of the challenges first generation immigrants go through. To me, this book shows that boldness can help you achieve your goals; that disappointments can be blessings; and no one should ever settle for less or let anyone prevent them from following their dreams.
Very well done and I look forward to the next book!
Thank you for the opportunity to read “I Give because I’m Blessed – I’m Blessed because I Give” manuscript. Such an honour and privilege. When I started reading the book I couldn’t put it down till page fifty because I had to go to work. I couldn’t wait for every break time to catch up on my reading. So, I completed it in one day! The ease at which it was written must be applauded.
It is a book that should get into the hands of every new immigrant, for encouragement. It is a book to be read by every resident immigrant because, in many ways, it tells all of our stories. Thank you for your honesty and real-ness.
Not only is this book fun and easy to read, it is full and diverse in imparting knowledge; the struggles immigrants face; decision-making with focus and confidence; some of our Nigerian traditions; perseverance and consistency; love and life choices; higher education in Canada; being a minority black African in a predominantly white country; and, adapting to a new culture while maintaining respect for yours.
“I Give because I’m Blessed – I’m Blessed because I Give” is an attractive, compelling and honest story with a clear layout, beautiful photographs and cultural details.
Moji was destined to be special from a young age with a humble and cosmopolitan upbringing. She showed early signs of her remarkably strong character. A beautiful book about accepting yourself and others for who they are and embracing the unknown and life’s challenges head on by turning what seems to be another barrier into a lesson and opportunity.This book is recommended for anyone going through changes in their life, need to adjust to new circumstances and let go of all that does not serve them, as it provides stories of finding your strength and the time to give service.
“I Give because I’m Blessed – I’m Blessed because I Give” is an amazing book, written with a free, flowing style and art of a skilled story teller. It takes off with how a single, young Nigerian lady ventured in to Canada with high hopes in search of golden fleece and brighter future. She went through the usual initial challenges of an immigrant especially of African descent.
She devoted a whole chapter on what goes on within the criminal justice system and how the youth at risk are assisted through the process of stabilization, mentorship, discipline for ultimate family and community re-integration.
We recommend this book for three groups of readers.
1. The newcomers are encouraged not to be deterred by the initial obstacles to make their goals and continue to follow through
2. The parents of teenage and young children. It will give them an idea of what takes children to the system. It will help parents to know how to keep them off criminality and if already there, it may provide the way to assist parents in showing support
3. Group Home Staff and clients should have opportunity to read this. It might change the lives of some.
P & O Latilo
Moji, your story in “I Give because I’m Blessed – I’m Blessed because I Give” is empowering on so many levels. You are an inspiration to not only new immigrants to Canada but to anyone who reads your life story. It goes to show how perseverance and determination will help guide you through life’s encounters.
The manner in which you detail your arrival to Canada and the challenges you faced kept me glued to the pages. You take the reader through a journey, making them feel like they are right along side you as you walk through your life’s story.
Thank you for sharing your story with everyone. Prior to reading this I still knew Moji as this incredible, caring and amazing woman but to get a glimpse into your world gives me a better appreciation of who you are as a person.
- Smart sgt.
“I give because I’m blessed, and I’m blessed because I give” offers readers an insight into the life of Mrs T and her very interesting life in Canada. It is an honest, funny, and eye-opening good read that captivates the readers and keeps you reading until the end. Mrs T was very open in sharing her many life lessons, new discoveries, the many struggles to be accepted and fit into a new country as well as her various friendships and lifelong relationships. She was also candid and open to sharing her heart; hurts, joys, and love.
A very well job done Mrs T. for such an inspiring book.”
One of the first things that jumped out at me about Moji’s book “I Give because I’m Blessed – I’m Blessed because I Give” was that it
felt like she was pulling out a story from within me. It was not just her story, it was an inspiring account of what many of us have to walk into, work with, and work through to get to where we want to be.
Moji’s authentic writing style would connect with just about anyone and this book could become the how-to manual for anyone planning on embarking on a similar journey.
“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself” Oprah Winfrey
Moji Taiwo is a mentor.
I see this book, I Give because I’m Blessed – I’m Blessed because I Give, not as one book but as a prelude to many others. I will not say that the stories are incompletely told rather they are shared in a way that leaves the reader with so many “Haha” moments that bring on the urge to say can there be more…. Please.
It is an ode to a journey of sheer will to thrive no matter the daunting odds. There is no apology for blazing a trail different from that trodden by people that came before. It is a testament to the why not if not philosophy. It is an ode to daring to dream and live different.
……I Give because I’m Blessed – I’m Blessed because I Give.. was very interesting. It shows the need to make tough decision in order to forge ahead in life. Moji, you needed to get out of your first job despite not having any hope of getting a new job. That was a good decision because you have to let go of what you have in order to get new opportunity.
…..And in your determination to follow your dream was without bounds. I love that you set goals and work towards accomplishing your goals.
I Give because I’m Blessed – I’m Blessed because I Give is the story of Moji, the story of an independent woman who emigrated from Lagos, Nigeria to Calgary, Canada in the seventies, a time when Southern Alberta was still a very homogeneous society. The book tells of the cultural shock she faced in terms of climate, language and social norms, of her encounters with both racism and welcome, and of her determination to always forge ahead. Moji meets Derin soon after she arrives in Calgary and together they endure the difficulties of concurrently working, raising a family, and going to school. The narration is funny and poignant at the same time, and embeds you, the reader, right with her as she goes through life’s experiences in her adopted country, Canada. This book is a really good read for anyone who wants to know what it’s like to be a new immigrant that grows into contributing citizen, a citizen with a strongly developed sense of service.
For those who have met Moji like I have, they will find it difficult in separating her personal traits in real life from how she has written her first book – I Give because I’m Blessed – I’m Blessed because I Give – Blunt. Frank. Unpretentious. This is the most potent book by an immigrant that I have read; she clearly puts her story in the most candid manner.
In this book you will find in practical terms how courage, boldness and resiliency can help you achieve your goals. Moji uses this book to teach us how to turn every mistreatment to positive, every setback to triumph, how to reap from valuable connections and that even in retirement there shouldn’t be a dull moment. With Moji every skill learned was never wasted, it was always needed along the way.
I am practically thrilled about the sharpness of her memory in remembering names of those she worked with several years ago including what transpired between them.
In Chapter 8, Moji gave me a big takeaway, in her words ‘Part of being successful is recognizing that a closed door is sometimes the best thing that could happen to you’.
A book like this is rare and every immigrant no matter where they come from, will be inspired by this book.
I recommend I Give because I’m Blessed – I’m Blessed because I Give – this autobiography to:
1. Prospective immigrants – as it enables them to birth their expectations in a new country in reality;
2. Existing immigrants – as the story of Moji’s struggles and achievements may resonate with some people, whilst encouraging those immigrants still seeking to reach their goals that they would make it if they do not give up;
3. The general public, particularly non-immigrant Canadians – for an understanding of what it means to be an immigrant: the discouragements and strength of character that goes with breaking through human barriers in a challenging environment;
4. Canadian policy makers – towards identifying means and processes that enhances the arrival and existential experiences of immigrants in Canada.
This memoir is about focus, courage and success in a new land. In it, I have found a practical guide for my mentees on building a career using project management tools and processes.
Conclusively, I will describe the author, Moji Taiwo with these words: daring, fearless, focused, courageous, dedicated, persevering, successful and contented.
- Ojeleye – PhD.
What have I learnt from I Give because I’m Blessed – I’m Blessed because I Give? I learnt that yoimagined. While I understand this to be a memoir, it is a huge comfort to me as a first-generation immigrant in that in your book, you were able to clearly show how challenges we face in integrating into a new environment and culture are nothing but stepping stones and a means to reaffirm our decisions to call Canada home. You never allowed your experiences to embitter you to any race or people. I have learned that people act themselves and one or two or many bad experiences does not mean that a people group are all the same or should be painted with the same brush.
I always knew you were special but reading this explains why and now I do understand why you cheer me on so loudly.
I truly loved reading this book, it is a well written and engaging page turner. You opened a door into your life for everyone to see. It is amazing how you could find a way to incorporate your generosity into every aspect of your life and you continue to do that till this very day, you have always been a giver, leaving a piece of yourself in every life you meet. Your legacy lives on in the lives of family and friends alike.
I recommend this book to everyone; to immigrants, it portrays the mindset that triumphs over the negativity that one is bound to experience in settling into a new culture, and to indigenes/locals; it brings one face to face with the effect that bigotry has on your fellow human.
Dr. O. Oyebanji
The honesty, transparency, and grit of this book – I Give because I’m Blessed – I’m Blessed because I Give – is a breath of fresh air. Welcome to a biography where the protagonist represents diversity within diversity: she is female, she is black, and she’s also an immigrant from Nigeria. It’s a modern-day pioneer story about a young Nigerian woman who finds herself at the doorstep of the Canadian prairies.
As an African-Canadian woman; I read through the pages with a deep sense of ‘here is someone who has walked MY walk’. I was invigorated by the challenges Moji surmounted in the Canadian workplace; and I rejoiced in her hard-fought successes. This story captures the very essence of the immigrant woman experience.
This book is the very first of its kind- an immigrant female African Canadian writing about her experiences in Alberta, Canada. I consider myself fortunate to have found this read, as I find myself highlighting and bookmarking pages throughout. This has become a reference book in my library.
I wanted to say thank you for sharing your incredible journey with us, you are truly a trailblazer.
Best parts for me:
-When you spoke about success that its all about being resourceful. Even better ” Part of being successful is recognizing that a closed door is sometimes the best thing that could happen to you.”
You have no idea how many times I was saddened by ‘missed opportunities eg not getting the dream job/boyfriends leaving’ because I thought I needed them but GOD HAD WAY BETTER PLANS, you never ‘see’ the blessing until later.
– Dealing with white people: you did not shy away from their interest/ignorance, you were quick to ‘school them’ on every thing awesome about being black and explaining Africa. Well, the hair part is the best because I always cowered away when they looked confused every time i changed my hairstyle. With my new found confidence I will ‘school them like you.’
-Low points: The fact that you were left with children on the side of the road at night. I will just leave it.
-Nigerian Association vs Igbo Association: fight fire with fire.
Your tenacity has opened so many doors for immigrants and all humanity in general.
Stay blessed, always.