Auxiliary nurse by trade, elderly carer by passion, Precious Atigolo cannot wait to get back to work
Updated: Jun 23
“I grew up staying with my grandmother, the elderly are the sort of people that I love so much,” said Precious with a bright smile.
Coming to Malta might not have been her first choice, but then she found opportunities that would lead to her dream job: caring for elderly. Elderly who in her culture represent wisdom and respectability. Asylum seeker and Mother of a 6-month-old baby, the 29-year-old young Nigerian woman welcomed us into her house and opened up about her wish to get back to work soon, her love for the Kinnie soft drink and Marsaskala’s fresh sea air.
Who is Precious Atigolo?
I am an Auxiliary nurse trained in Nigeria and an elderly care worker trained in Malta. I have been living in the country for four years now and in Marsaskala for a year plus.
What do you do for a living?
I did auxiliary nursing back home. Over here in Malta I was told that you had to go through some processes before you can become a nurse, but I was so glad I could take the course to become an elderly carer because I know it is also my dream job; it's also something I want to do. I did the care course before I became a mum.
It is very easy to find a job in the areas of my studies because there are so many elderly people in Malta and so many elderly homes and I cannot just wait to meet someone to care for, so that is my major concern.
When doing such a course, your major concern is how to impact someone else's life, how you can do it with all your heart and just make them feel at home. I have been there before and I really love it and cannot wait to get in there again. I'm actually looking for a job now that my baby is old enough to go into childcare.
You are very enthusiastic about your career, do you have a particular relationship with the elderly?
Yes! Talking about the elderly, those are the sort of people that I love so much because I grew up staying with my grandmother; she was old, and did things that no one can do. It is said that when you get older, you behave like a baby, and there were things she would do that were so funny, I kept on laughing even when I was supposed to be angry. The way the elderly behave is very funny. When I lost her, I felt so much pain because no one would do the way she did. Sometimes she would tell you she hadn't eaten since morning, when you knew very well she had eaten.
Settling down in a new country can be difficult for a young black woman, how was it for you in Malta?
Let me tell you that if you stay in a place where nobody wants you, you can’t settle. You don't want to stay in such a place. All you want to do is leave, but if you are in a place where you are accepted, you can do anything you want to do.
I love Malta because the Maltese are accommodating. It is very difficult to see other EU countries welcoming Blacks the way Maltese do. They are so caring. The majority loves us being around. So it makes it very comfortable for you to stay here.
Your experience can be an inspiration for those who are still in the process of integration, so can you tell us about your life in Marsaskala?
I visited Marsaskala some years back and I found that it is a very quiet area. It is a place where you feel nature, the fresh air from the sea. It is a place that I really love. I have been here for a year plus and I still love it.
The water, there are lots of gardens you can go with a baby; sometimes you can go around, with your partner, as a family. It is a nice place, people come around. As a mum, you meet other mums and It is very fun.
Tell us something that you love about Malta
I love the food. I have eaten the soup, but I'm not sure of the name. I love Kinnie, I have tasted it and I love it. It is very popular here and I think it is nice.
I am still not a Maltase speaker but I try to see if I can get online classes. Sometimes I sit and speak some Maltese, like kif inti, grazzi hafna. I am still hoping to learn more, as an immigrant here, you have to learn.
Watch the video of the interview
On the occasion of World Refugee Day 2021, SuccessStories-RAS ( Success Stories among Refugees and Asylum Seekers) aims to showcase four unique lives of refugees based in Malta.
During the month of June every week, a video is published on our social media accounts, as well as on the US Embassy Malta's Facebook page.
The project is done in partnership with the newspaper L'Orizzont _ It- Torca, publishing the printed and online version of the the stories in Maltese.
All stories are featured here on our multilingual webzine.
This is the first article of the series. Read the Maltese version here
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