Nigerians Someone travelling used to illustrate the article - Immigration

Five things you must do before you japa

A new trend is sweeping the nation, and though it is officially called emigration, every Nigerian refers to it as the Japa syndrome.

It’s no secret that the socio-economic climate of Nigeria is forcing thousands of people, especially the youths, to seek greener pastures in western countries like Canada, the US and the UK.

While the increasing rate of people leaving the country continues to spark several debates, it doesn’t necessarily stop you from walking to an embassy, taking a visa interview, and boarding the next plane to only God knows where.

However, before you do all of those things, there are some things you need to know.

In the spirit of lifting each other, we listed five essential things you should do before saying goodbye to Nigeria.

Mentally prepare yourself

Compared to what social media might have you believe, living aboard is not glamorous or luxurious as portrayed. Many of us, when we hear names of countries like the US or the UK, have a particular notion that once you arrive there, there is a money-growing tree planted on every street.

If you think the hustle in Nigeria is complicated, wait till you get to a place where you are not a citizen. So, ensuring you wrap your head and mind around where you are going isn’t all rosy and fun; you are bound to face challenges.

Acquire different skills

We are not sure who needs to hear this, but stop relying on one skill alone. While it’s advisable to have a niche, some situations, like your travelling abroad, call for the need to gather more. Having several skills gives you a better opportunity to be hired and doesn’t limit your employment prospects.


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The skill you think makes you a boss in Nigeria could be obsolete in another country. For example, if you are very good at sealing a product, it would shock you that when you go to another country, they don’t hire people for that because they use machines.

Build a strong relationship with family and friends at home

Listen up! Not everyone is out to destroy you. Many people make the mistake of not informing their family and friends when they travel out of the country, only due to the belief of “my village people.”

This is quite understandable in a way, but that doesn’t suffice for the need for you to open up to those people who love and care for you.

Imagine in a situation where, after informing no one, you face problems; you would lack the courage to reach out to the home and ask for help. Keep your trusted family members and friends updated. Who knows, they might even be an avenue for your success.

Set your goals

In the same way, not going to the market without a list of items is how you should never plan to relocate abroad without setting your goals.

Goals are like a guide to what you want your life’s final destination to look like. They help keep track and serve as a constant reminder of what needs to be done and achieved.

Journeying to a different country comes with other distractions, and goals are a way to measure if you allowed these distractions to overwhelm you or if you made the desired progress.

Know someone

No man is an island. Before you japa, it would be an advantage to know someone in the country you are going to. This person helps serve as a sort of guide, teaching you how to survive the waters of the foreign state properly.

Remember that a person doesn’t need to be a family member or a friend. It could be a friend to a friend or a trusted pal you met on social media.

This article was originally published on Premium Times.

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