International Student Exauce Madjibe Returns Home for Christmas

Exauce Madjibe

Born in the francophone central African country of Chad and raised in Burkina Faso, Exauce Madjibe (known to his friends and co-workers as Exo) discovered a love for capturing life on camera at an early age and found his way to DBU to advance his skills and fulfill his passion. 

“When I was a kid, my parents had a camera and wanted me to take pictures of all the events that were happening--church events, family events. I taught myself and started serving media ministry in the church.” 

When it came time to graduate, however, Exo was not convinced this was a calling he should pursue. Many other members of his family thought he should follow a more lucrative career as a doctor. “But my dad told me to pursue something that I like and enjoy, and if I do it well I will get more out of it.” 

Many times, it is our current students and alumni who are DBU’s best advocates, and this was certainly true in Exo’s case. After he finished high school, a friend was back home for a visit on vacation from DBU and told him all about the University. His mind was made up, and Exo only applied to one school--DBU. Since his arrival, he has been thriving as a student and plans to graduate next December 2021 with a degree in Christian Ministry/Communications.

While his classes are giving him the technical skills to add to his raw talent for visual communications, Exo has been able to put his passion to work, overseeing social media content for the African Student Union on campus and serving as a student worker in University Communications, capturing many major events happening on campus. 

But it has not been easy as an international student to be so far away from his family back in Burkina Faso, where his father for years worked on refugee projects through a partner company of the United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and now consults with local companies in project management. 

“Being away from family, you grow a lot. You need to manage your money, yourself. We talk a lot, but it’s hard to keep up with all that is going on and also the time zone difference. I need to purposefully make time.” 

The culture of the Southern U.S. has also taken some adjustment. “The food is totally different, especially here in Texas. Mexican food is kind of close to African food with rice and spices. We do barbecue back home differently. Brisket here is cooked so soft, but I like to feel the toughness a little bit.” 

Exo also misses the larger hospitality of African culture where the door of one’s home is always open to receive guests. “Anytime I can go to my friend’s house, I can just show up and stay as long as I want. I don’t need to text beforehand. Also, for events of people you know, you can show up without invitation.” 

When asked what he was most looking forward to in returning home for Christmas after two years of being away, Exo says he always enjoys the New Year’s Eve service held at his church. He also treasures the moments of sitting and talking with his mom as she prepares the big meal for Christmas Day. This year, he also has the special privilege of being home to see his sister get married.

“In Burkina Faso, weddings don’t really have a specific beginning or end. They can last all day.”  

Wherever he goes, you will be sure to find Exo behind the camera, and this was sure to be the case while he was home for the holidays. “I like to share people’s lives, capturing moments, people’s big days, and special times. You get a glimpse of what their family is like. I really like to capture that. Testimony videos are also so powerful. When you love what you do, you don’t burn out. You enjoy it and want to do it again.”

 

Written by Dr. Michael Whiting

Dr. Michael Whiting is the Director of Written Content in University Communications at Dallas Baptist University.

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