Tayo Rockson, the CEO and founder of UYD magazine, is a TCK on a mission to make a difference in the world by spreading the word about Third Culture Kids. A Third Culture Kid is someone who straddles cultural boundaries by moving and assimilating into several different countries before they enter adulthood. Rockson’s magazine and his website, www.tayorockson.com, is a way for him to use “his difference to make a difference.” His writing about his personal experiences, motivation and inspiration have been published on the Huffington Post, and Global Living Magazine. He also wrote his own book titled “The Ultimate Guide to TCK Living,” and he produces his own podcast and blog on the topic as well.
Rockson has the background to back up his expertise on the topic of TCKs. He is Nigerian, and his father was a diplomat, which lead to a lot of traveling while growing up. He grew up in five different countries in four different continents. At the age of 1, they moved from Nigeria to Sweden. Later, they came back to Nigeria and from there moved to Burkina Faso in west Africa. He experienced a major culture change there because it was a French speaking country. He participated in sports as a way to integrate into the community. Then, Rockson moved back to Nigeria for high school. Based on his outward appearance and the way he sounded, people considered him an “African American”, even though he had never been to America before. “It’s an interesting dynamic when people think things because of how you sound,” Rockson says.
Later in life, Rockson moved to Vietnam. His father wanted him to attend a university in the U.S, so he traveled back and forth between Virginia and Vietnam. After moving back to Nigeria again, he then decided to move to New York City and get his MBA. “It is my favorite city in the world,” said Rockson. His father just moved to Washington D.C, which puts them in the same country for the first time in a long while. He has a passion for culture and embraces his TCK lifestyle, rather than pushing it away.
“The thing I really like to harp on is as different as we are, we’re all just one race-the human race. I think people spend too much time from ww2 and hitler, to Rwanda the tutsis, I think people need to take time to understand the people around them and get to know why they do what they do. Embrace the difference and don’t push it away.”
His goal is to use his global identity as a way to make an impact on the world, and leave it a better place than it was when he came into it. He says he wants to the be the “male Opera.” He explains his mission to build the next set of global leaders by saying, “I want to bring East and West together and have them sit side by side with North and South to trade stories of adventures and experiences they each have had.” He strives to use his experiences as a way to connect people of all cultures, to turn discrimination into appreciation, encourage diversity, tell stories to build global mindsets and “educate the world about the beauty in all of us and how we can work together to improve our global identities.”
Click the links below to learn more about Tayo Rockson: