Nurse, singer and mum-of-four Maureen Aku Disu, above, who came to Ireland from Nigeria in 2002 but is now an Irish citizen, was a guest on RTÉ R1’s Mooney Goes Wild, with Derek Mooney, yesterday
Ms Aku Disu came here with her partner, who was from another tribe.
At the beginning of his show, Mr Mooney read out a letter Ms Aku Disu wrote to him, as a means to introduce her to his listeners.
I’m newly graduated from Trinity College’s as a general nurse (St James’s Hospital) . I am an immigrant and yes, my first name is Maureen, although many Irish people find it hard to believe. The story about my name is a long one but I believe it’s destiny, my Irish name, migrating into Ireland and becoming an Irish citizen. Destiny is the only explanation for it. There are different types of immigrants, just like there are differences in Irish people but most people do not see people like us, who have been through hell to put ourselves through university and be meaningful members of society.
I went to school Monday to Friday and worked Saturday and Sunday to raise my school fees while students went away on summer breaks. I worked all through summer just to make money to pay my university fees. In total, it cost me over €40,000 to get my degree as I did not have my citizenship then, so had to pay fees. Life in Ireland has not been a walk in the park for me, like someone walking up to you on a street and telling you to go back to where you come from. Apart from being a nurse, I also have a passion for putting my feelings into songs.
Some of my experiences have led me to write the songs in the enclosed CD. I hope to send my message across via my songs but I have faced many rejections. I feel like some people don’t want my voice to be heard. Some music producers have asked me to change the words in my songs. They tell me that Irish people will not like my message. That I am wasting my talent with such lyrics. Some say I should change my lyrics to love lyrics or something else to make my songs more acceptable but I am not that type of a songwriter. I write from my heart. If I don’t feel it, I can’t sing it. Every single song that I’ve written comes from deep within me. I do not seek to entertain, I seek to pass a message across and I believe my message is clear. Being an immigrant does not make me less human.