Iceland Mag

7 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag


Go north!

By Sara McMahon

  • New home  When Sheba Wanjiku first arrived in Iceland, she found the country very dramatic, in a good way. Photo/Björn Árnason

Iceland Magazine met with four people from four African countries who have made their home on this small island in the North Atlantic.


Africa and Iceland appear to be worlds apart, especially when it comes to climate and culture, yet, deeper under the surface, people from Iceland and the African countries seem to share some similarities. Iceland Magazine met with five people from four African countries who have made their home on this small island in the North Atlantic. 


Peaceful and vast
Sheba Wanjiku is Kenyan. She arrived in Iceland in 2001 with her then boyfriend and has lived here since. She lives in downtown Reykjavík with her daughter and works as an educational assistant 

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The dark winters freak me out
Kito Paulo moved from his native Mozambique to Iceland in 2013. He now lives in the Reykjavík suburb of Kópavogur with his wife, Salome Friðgeirsdóttir.

To him, there are few similarities and many differences between his home country and his adoptive country.  He has gradually become used to the colder climate, but he admits he still gets ‘freaked out’ by the short, dark winter days. 

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Liya Yirga Behaga, Teni, Afríka

Liya Yirga Behaga. Photo/Björn Árnason


Cold but exciting
At the age of eleven, Liya Yirga Behaga moved to Iceland from her native Ethiopia to live with her older sister, Tsige. She says the two countries are completely different, especially when it comes to culinary culture.

The two sisters recently opened an Ethiopian restaurant called Teni, located at Skúlagata 17, by the oceanfront, in downtown Reykjavík. 

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The most unique land I have ever been to
Terry Devos was born in Uganda and moved to England when he was 13 years old. He and his former fiancée and their children relocated to Iceland 8 years ago, as they felt the fast-paced urban London lifestyle was not suitable for raising a family.

Terry had visited Iceland a number of times before his move and was impressed by the creativity of the people, the music, the fashion, and the unique landscapes.Terry now co-owns the men’s fashion boutique Skyrta at Skólavörðustígur 21, where he also holds the position of art director. 

Read full interview.

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