As part of the Embassy’s Globetrotters programme, we profile a different UK-based Equatoguinean each month, allowing us to learn about their experiences living and working in the country. In each interview, the Equatoguinean expats will detail their likes/dislikes of the UK, their experiences in learning English, and what they miss most about Equatorial Guinea! To view the full list of Globetrotters, please click here. This month’s Globetrotter is Balduino Borico.
Where are you from in Equatorial Guinea? Tell us a bit about yourself, and your memories of Equatorial Guinea.
I am from Malabo, the current capital. My mum travelled to Spain to give birth to me, therefore I was born in Spain where I also lived during my early years. I would travel back to Guinea to visit relatives, particularly my grandmother.
Why did you choose to move to the United Kingdom?
I moved to England at the age of 16. My main purpose in coming to London was to study. Upon landing in the UK, I attended college where I studied Mechanical Engineering. That is how it all started.
Balduino’s time in the UK:
What do you like most about living in the UK?
When I speak about the UK, I have to speak about London as a city. I like the fact that this country provides you with the knowledge and opportunities to better yourself. Believe it or not, I like the weather a lot. In my line of work you have to wear a shirt, tie and overcoat. In a hotter environment that would be impossible.
What are the biggest differences between Equatorial Guinea and the UK?
Well, for starters, in Equatorial Guinea everyone speaks to everybody. The fact that the country is so small helps too.
What are you doing in the UK?
I work and I study a Master’s course. I have started my fifth company so far; I started the first one when I was just 17 years old. I have employees in different parts of the world, and my main task is to coordinate projects in various parts of the world.
If you were to leave the UK, what would you miss most about living here?
I would miss the business environment and its customer service. Only when you leave the UK do you realise the differences between the UK and the rest of the world. The UK has some of the best customer service in the world.
What are the biggest benefits about working/living in the UK? And the downsides?
Benefits: I would say education, ethnic diversity and living quality.
Downside: People are very cold sometimes; it is harder to get to know other people.
What qualifications did you need to acquire your job, and in what manner did you obtain them?
I have a BTEC in Mechanical Engineering; I have a Degree in Architecture and shortly a Masters in Real Estate Development. At some point, I will obtain an MBA in Finance or Project Management.
How did you learn English?
I learnt by only interacting with English-speaking people. I tried to avoid people who would choose to speak Spanish instead.
On Equatorial Guinea:
What do you miss most about Equatorial Guinea?
Do you plan to eventually return to Equatorial Guinea?
Yes. I plan to provide the country with my expertise and, along with the new generation, lead the country into the golden age of Equatorial Guinea.
Advice for other Equatoguineans:
Would you recommend other Equatoguineans to move to the UK? What advice would you give those who choose to move here?
Do not wait around for things to come you. There is no such a thing as a million dollar idea, just a million dollar action. Keep dreaming at night, and when you wake up in the morning, work towards having similar experiences during the day.