With everything going on in our country at the moment we find that more and more people are choosing to immigrate in search of better lives for themselves as well as their families.Its not for everyone though as many of those people often return to SA. With this in mind I thought of having a little Q&A with a very good Friend of mine Angelo September who now resides in Bolton,England.
Before we get to the Q&A abit more about the talented young man.He is one of the most talented young men I have the privilege to have ever met with a voice of an angel. He formed part of a Cape Town boy band called 4LUV who travelled back and forth to Perform in Spain, where he met his lovely wife Sarah and made the choice to move to Sarah’s hometown of Bolton in England. Where he now lives with his wife and 3year old son Riley.
Q)Main reason for the move?
If your wife wasn’t English would you have still immigrated or would that have changed things in any way?
A)My main reason for moving is a really simple one….LOVE….and luckily for me it turned out to be the real thing.
Also I realised that I wasn’t getting any younger and as much fun as it was to travel around Europe, performing on some fantastic stages, partying and meeting some wonderful people…I wanted more than that….I wanted the car, the nice house and a family of my own and this was my chance to have that. My chance to grow up.
I think the reason I find myself in England is because the woman I fell in love with (Sarah) is British, but were she to be from anywhere else in the world then I would’ve considered moving there to be with her (unless ofcourse she was happier moving to SA or travelling with me across Europe with the group).
Q)Biggest difference between SA and England?
A)In terms of differences between SA and England:
Firstly, I do have to say that there is nowhere else in the world where people are as friendly and welcoming as in SA and I miss that over here.
People also have the misconception that everyone in England are well off money wise but that is just not true. Yes the British Pound is worth a lot more than the South African Rand but then again everyday life is more costly over in England.
Crime is the big thing I would say….here you are shocked if there are reports of gun violence, so much so that Police do not carry guns on them, whereas in SA it’s just part of life. You feel a lot more secured. In fact I would do things here I wouldn’t dare do in SA like walking home from Town after a night out drinking (last time I tried that in CT I got mugged and nearly stabbed…ha ha).
Trains are clean and efficient and so are the Train Stations
No Gatsby’s and only 2 Spur’s in the whole country
A national favourite take away is Fish & Chips and a Fisheries is called a ‘Chippy’ also where I live a roll is called a Barm so if you wanted a Chip Roll you would have to ask for a Chip Barm or risk being looked at like you’re weird.Winters are freezing and snow is amazing.
They don’t have taxis here rammed with people but you can order a cab to your door or anywhere if you don’t feel like driving or walking.
Q)Ever considered moving back to SA ?
What needs to change in SA for you to move back?
A)I have thought about moving back to SA many times and I suppose the one thing that prevents me from doing it is work.
At the moment I run a fairly successful telesales company that helps raise funds for a National Charity and have slowly worked my way up the corporate ladder and my fear is that I would have to start at the bottom again if I did move back to SA.
In order for me to feel happy to move back to SA I would have to know that I can afford to move my family somewhere safe and secure as crime is a major concern for me. Unfortunately I have not been keeping tabs on the political side of things in SA but based on comments I have heard it does seem that SA has not moved forward since Mandela’s release or in the direction which he would have endeavoured.
Q)Hardest part of making the decision to immigrate?
A)Hardest part of deciding to leave SA is knowing that I will not be seeing my family and friends as frequently as I would like and leaving everything I know behind in search of a better future for myself.
Q)Being a father now and seeing things as a parent that’s it made things harder regarding being away from your family?
A)Being a Father now to a beautiful son Riley has put things into a lot more perspective in terms of what really matters in life and I do not regret the decision I made to leave SA but I wish it was not as far away from SA.
I would love for my family in SA to be a lot more involved in the lives of my wife and son because at the moment they are missing out on all the big events like birthdays, first steps, first words, tantrums and ofcourse most importantly babysitting duties….lol…however I do call home (SA) every week just to check in with everyone and stay in touch.
Q)You have accomplished a lot in your time over there what do you consider your biggest accomplishment?
A)My biggest accomplishment since I’ve been here is a tough one….my wife would expect me to say marrying her or becoming a dad, and I am extremely proud of that but I would have to say that for me the one thing I am most proud of achieving personally is, that from having started out as just a telesales rep in 2008 at the company I worked for, I have worked extremely hard and now not only Manage the company but also own part of it. This has in turn allowed me to buy my own house for me and my family.
Q)Now the million dollar question for me you were one of the most talented singers on the Cape Town scene while you were part of 4LUV do you still perform? And if yes how does the local music scene differ there from here?
A)I do still do the odd performance with a couple of friends who are from CT strangely enough but are living and working over in the UK, namely Marlon De Goede who was a contestant on SA Idols and Edwin D who has been doing this longer than I have. Both fantastic vocalists and performers.
I would say that over here you won’t find the kinds of Carnivals or Variety Shows that we find in CT because most bands would try and go for televised competitions like X-Factor or Britain’s Got Talent but people do appreciate good music and if they believe in you, they will do all they can to support and help.Outside of that there are so many genres of music that people follow it is difficult to comment about the music scene in the UK as a whole….all I can say is that for an artist who is prepared to work hard and put in the effort, the rewards are definitely there to be had.
Q)Any advice to people considering immigrating to England ?
A)For anyone who was seriously considering moving to the UK my advice would be to ensure that you have planned your trip well….do your research. You need to know where you are gonna be staying and what you are gonna be doing and make sure that you have a Plan B. Visas are of massive importance and having the right Visa can be the difference between being allowed into the country or not as they are quite strict with regards to immigration.There are organisations based in SA that will help you with the process and can be of great benefit. I know cos I used the help of one as well.
Q)You were fairly young when you made the choice to leave any advice for youngster out there who is thinking of working abroad?
A)Be prepared to work hard….over here no-one is going to give you a hand out…you will have to earn your respect and your way. It’s a tough old world out there but having a positive outlook and a must do attitude will definitely put you in good stead if you were to think of moving abroad.
Remain true to your roots, as people respect that. Proudly South African!!