INTERVIEW: From Nigeria to the KSA - Dr. Ngwaba's Optometrist Journey
<p>We recently sat down with Dr. Francis Ngwaba, Optometrist and <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="" target="_blank"> Scholar</a>, and talked about his career, experience working in Saudi Arabia, and his outlook on life. Dr. Ngwaba became our <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Jobs Scholarship Fund</a> Scholar when he updated his <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">professional industry</a> on his <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener"> account</a>. The Scholarship was established to help our registered Members achieve their career goals and the US$1,000 fund can be used to further the Scholar’s career goals.</p> <h2>Thanks for taking the time to talk to us! Can you tell me about yourself?</h2> <p>My name is Francis Ngwaba and I’m currently working in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. I’m an optometrist licensed by the Saudi Council for Health Specialties. I got my qualifications from Abia State University in Nigeria. I have worked as an optometrist throughout Africa and the Middle East.</p> <h2>You moved to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for work. Can you tell me what fueled your decision to take your career from Nigeria to the Middle East?</h2> <p>I wanted the opportunity to seek greener pastures. What made the decision easier for me is that I’m an individual who likes to take positive risks. I like to venture into many areas of life, explore the world and get to know people.</p> <h2>Can you tell me about your move to the KSA and what tips you would offer to those considering a similar move?</h2> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img loading="lazy" width="1000" height="627" src="" alt="" class="wp-image-13345" srcset=" 1000w, 300w, 768w" sizes="(max-width: 1000px) 100vw, 1000px" /><figcaption>&#8220;I had the desire to succeed, the ability to adapt, and a positive mindset&#8221;</figcaption></figure> <p>When I was single, I came to Saudi Arabia and met my spouse. After we got married, I brought my family here.</p> <p>Saudi Arabia is an Islamic country and I’m a Christian. However, in Saudi Arabia, many expatriates live here. There is a mix of people from various nationalities and backgrounds working in the KSA. Initially, this mix was a took a while to get used to.&nbsp;</p> <p>But I had the desire to succeed, the ability to adapt, and a positive mindset towards cultural diversity, which has proved successful for me so far.</p> <h2>Did you have any difficulties finding work as an optometrist in Saudi Arabia?</h2> <p>I came to Saudi Arabia with a work visa, which is how most people come to the KSA. However, I have also changed jobs while living here. Changing jobs in the KSA as an optometrist is not that difficult. There’s a very good chance you will get another job since you are already licensed to work in the Kingdom.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <h2>Why did you decide to pursue a career in optometry?</h2> <p>I decided to pursue a career in optometry because I was really interested in vision. When I was young I had glasses and I was fond of my dark glasses. I had poor vision but got it corrected. In contrast to what I previously saw, the clarity and brightness encouraged me to explore sight and help people the way I was helped. It’s like magic: the moment your vision is corrected, everything you see becomes clearer.</p> <h2>Can you tell us about your job as an Optometrist?</h2> <p>My typical work week starts with a lot of preparation and an analysis of the previous week. In optometry, we see different types of people with different kinds of problems. So you have to prepare and review our products. You also have to check the optical lenses, contact lenses and stock. Optometry also has a design and fashion element. This means you have to stay up to date with fashion trends. </p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img loading="lazy" width="1000" height="627" src="" alt="" class="wp-image-13346" srcset=" 1000w, 300w, 768w" sizes="(max-width: 1000px) 100vw, 1000px" /><figcaption>&#8220;The clarity and brightness encouraged me to explore sight and help people the way I was helped.&#8221;</figcaption></figure> <p>What I enjoy most about my work and colleagues is our shared experience in solving problems. I enjoy the experiences that we share, the normal adversity you experience in the workplace, and our positivity. I also like the attitude my colleagues show to carry out their job. Of course, I enjoy earning from practicing my profession to solve the needs of life &#8211; but that is secondary.&nbsp;</p> <h2>What advice would you give optometrists or healthcare professionals who want to work abroad?</h2> <p>My advice for optometrists and other healthcare professionals who want to work abroad: this is a profession that is done with the heart. You need to develop a passion for it and have a desire to sincerely help people. Yes, we know that there is the money aspect, and that you need to meet the needs of life. It’s important to approach optometry as a passion and be dedicated to it.&nbsp;</p> <h2>How was your experience working in healthcare throughout the pandemic?</h2> <p>The experience was quite a good one because we were able to help other people. We helped to reduce their anxiety. Of course, we ourselves have some anxiety because the coronavirus is highly unpredictable. But we are positive and look at where we are now.&nbsp;</p> <p>When we are helping people, we keep them happy and try to let them know that they will pass through this tough time.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Where do you see yourself in 5 years?</h2> <p>I see myself in a good managerial position, and I also plan to have an optometry business. I want to establish a business in the KSA and Nigeria because I have the experience and the necessary licenses.</p> <h2>Outside of work, how do you like to spend your time?</h2> <p>I like to spend my time in freelance photography and take pictures of nature. Optometry is related to photography because both are related to what you see. I also like to travel and go to small zoos and places of nature.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Do you have any feedback on</h2> <p>The feedback that I have for is one of gratitude. has made it very easy for professional credentials to be verified and validated. I remember when I came to the KSA, it was painless to get our documents verified. And what actually surprised me until now is that I don’t think you have an office in Nigeria, but you went to my university and verified my licenses. It was something that I appreciated that I got it done within two weeks &#8211; that’s how fast DataFlow assisted me.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>I want to express my gratitude for the work that you guys do. When you move from one country to another &#8211; they will not trust you. But when you have a credible association like, you know, you have your problem solved, and we should thank you for that.&nbsp;</p> <h5>Note: Healthcare professionals who have verified credentials with can transfer their reports for FREE to an organization or employer anywhere in the world.</h5> <h4>Moving to another country? Verify your credentials with <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener"></a>!</h4>