People from many different countries live, study and work in Eindhoven. Every week, Innovation Origins has a talk with an international about what brought them here and what life is like in Eindhoven.

Name: Kingsley Buseni
Country of origin: Nigeria
Work: operations specialist at 50five

For this interview, we head to Eindhoven Airport. Right across the airport is a business park, including the office of 50five, the company Kingsley works for. He welcomes us and leads the way to a space where we can talk. “I’m moving back to Eindhoven soon. I’m currently living in Belgium, just across the border, because I couldn’t find an affordable living space here in Eindhoven. Luckily I now found something close to the city center. It’s nice Eindhoven is booming and all, but that means also there is more need for housing.” Kingsley’s road to the Netherlands had Cyprus on its way. That is something we don’t hear a lot. “I wanted to study in England, but a friend of mine studied in Cyprus. He was very enthusiastic about it and I decided to join him. I really liked it too, although my friend left for a job somewhere else, a month after I arrived.” Kingsley laughs out loud at the thought of this memory.

While studying in Cyprus, Kingsley meets a Dutch girl. “We fell in love and after a while, we got married. When our son was born, my wife wanted to go back to the Netherlands. That is how I ended up in Deventer. Well, that was quite a shocker for me. There was not a lot to do and I worked whatever job I could get. I went back to university and got a degree in International Business and Communication. I have a European residence since I lived in Cyprus, and I’m very glad I have freedom of movement in the EU and can work and study here. I hear very complicated stories from friends from other countries.”

“Eindhoven is almost like a small version of Amsterdam with all these nationalities that live here. I have colleagues from India, England, France, America, you name it. In Eindhoven is a small group of Nigerians, in Amsterdam, the community is much bigger. So when I need the African feel from back home, I can also find it here in the Netherlands, in some way. In Eindhoven you can do a lot of things. My French colleague goes to improve classes and invited me to come along. It was very nice to meet new people. I also went to the Philips Museum. It is very interesting to see how this big brand started in Eindhoven. I also like to go to the Catharina church and people really should see the church during the Glow Festival. It looks amazing. In my spare time I also like work as a model and as an extra in movies. I was an extra in the Dutch movie about the airplane crash in the Amsterdam Bijlmer neighbourhood of 1992. Being part of this movie was very intense.”

“Friends tell me I’m starting to act as a Dutch person, I don’t see it, but they do. Like for example, we are used to shopping groceries for a month, the Dutch don’t. Dutch people do their shopping every weekend and a lot of them even day by day. I do that too now. I’m getting better at learning how the Dutch system works. Before, my wife used to handle all Dutch correspondence, but since I’m divorced I have to do it myself. My friends or co-workers help me translate when something a letter is not clear to me. I learned Dutch, but only the basics. I don’t know what the future brings, I’m struggling with the question rather I want to stay in the Netherlands. I have a good job here and of course, my son lives here, both very good reasons to stay.”

Photography: Diewke van den Heuvel
Read more stories of internationals here.