It happened to me

The new normal…JAPA

Onume Ekwo Written by Onume Ekwo · 2 min read >

The Japa culture has become the trend for a while now. One minute you have your friends around, the other minute you only have to chat with them or call via skype, facetime and other apps because you are far away from each other.

The past few years for me has been a really funny one because a lot of my close friends left the country and more are leaving. I know for sure that by the end of this year, I would have just 1 or 2 left..( the need to start making new friends😪😪☹️🤔)

Japa refers to the act of leaving one’s country of origin, in order to seek a better life in another country. The term “japa” is a slang word that originated in Nigeria and is commonly used among Nigerian youths.

In Nigeria, the japa culture has gained popularity in recent years, especially among young people who are dissatisfied with the state of the country’s economy and security situation. Many Nigerians who engage in japa culture are seeking better job opportunities, higher education, and a better quality of life.

The act of japa, which refers to leaving one’s country to seek a better life, can certainly have an impact on friendships. Depending on the circumstances, leaving friends behind can be a difficult decision for those who choose to engage in japa culture.

In some cases, the decision to japa may strain or even end friendships, particularly if those left behind feel hurt or abandoned. However, japa can also strengthen friendships, particularly if the friends are supportive of each other’s goals and aspirations.

Personally, I have a couple of friendships that are no longer the same because we do not get to talk as much any longer because of work schedules, time difference and it feels different altogether. This is however not because I feel hurt or abandoned, it is just hard to find the exact cause. For some of them, we have spoken about it and decided to be very intentional about our friendship. We agree that it takes a lot of commitment and dedication but we hope that things get better as we put our minds to it.

Ultimately, whether Japa has a positive or negative impact on friendships depends on the specific circumstances and the relationships involved. However, with effort and communication, it is possible to maintain and even strengthen friendships despite the challenges of Japa culture.

New friends would be made, we would meet new people, things would not exactly feel the same but we need to allow ourselves go through the processes together. Be expressive, take time out to show your friends and loved ones far away how much you care about them.

Furthermore, the internet and social media have made it easier for individuals to maintain friendships across geographical boundaries, which can help alleviate some of the challenges associated with japa. For example, staying in touch through messaging apps, video calls, and social media platforms can help friends remain connected even when they are physically separated.

The japa culture has also been criticized for promoting illegal immigration and brain drain, as many skilled and talented individuals leave the country, often leaving behind their families and contributing to the already struggling economy. Additionally, the japa culture can be dangerous and expensive, as many individuals often fall prey to human trafficking, fraudulent travel agents, and other criminal activities.

Overall, the japa culture in Nigeria reflects the desire for a better life and opportunities, but it also highlights the challenges faced by the country’s youth and the need for improved governance and economic development.

I hope that the country gets better and we all do not have to runaway eventually.

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