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An Alternative to Japa Syndrome

In Nigeria, “Japa” has gained popularity on social media and popular culture to describe leaving one’s home country, often to seek better economic opportunities abroad, particularly in Western countries.  It is commonly used to refer to the decision to emigrate from Nigeria to settle elsewhere, usually in pursuit of better living conditions, education, employment, or other opportunities.

The term “Japa” is derived from a Nigerian pidgin English phrase, “Japa e go, “ which translates to “run-away” or “escape.”  It is often used humorously or colloquially to describe the phenomenon of young Nigerians migrating overseas, especially in response to economic challenges, unemployment, or political instability in the country.

The concept of “Japa” has been widely discussed in Nigeria's social media circles, music, and movies, reflecting many Nigerians' aspirations, challenges, and realities when seeking a better life abroad. The truth is that “Japa” is not the ultimate answer to the economic challenges many young Nigerians face.

As we’ve learned, the world is now global; this is one of the reasons why Nigeria's entertainment industry is widely accepted. Gone are the days when you must relocate overseas and try to sound like some foreign national to be accepted. Social media has globalized the world in a way that the inventors never envisaged. Had they known it would turn out this way, they would have put some measures in place to prevent or reduce the openness of the various platforms.

From my knowledge as an investor and an IT professional with over 20 plus years of experience, anyone willing to learn the following skills: Web design, Social Media Marketing, Software development, Graphic design, Translation, Writing, and more can make money from anywhere in the world. Take, for instance, a country like India, which earns over 60 billion dollars annually from IT  jobs outsourced to them from various companies across the globe.

With youth aged 18 to 32 making up 62 % of its population, Nigeria should be at the forefront of Africa regarding earning from Information Communication Technology. Most Nigerians are naturally bright and fearless; we possess the I can do all things mentality, which is why we do so well wherever we find ourselves; just like the Indians, we can start channeling our energies into learning the various IT skills as mentioned above, the sooner we learn this thing, the faster we will pull ourselves and our country out of poverty.

Migrating overseas will not pull you out of poverty overnight; it will give you some gleams of hope because you are in a better environment; this does not exempt you from going through the journey of life. That is, learning a trade, furthering your education, whatever the case is. Ask yourself this: if life was so easy in the West, why is everyone in the West not rich?

Here is the truth: IT rules the world, and IT dominance is here to stay. Any nation that wants to prosper must invest enormously in IT. Learning IT is necessary; IT professionals don’t need to travel outside their country. The jobs will come to you. You will earn the needed dollars legitimately from the comfort of your home. No passport or visa is required. The only thing that you need is a computer, access to the internet, and the willingness to learn.

Here are some steps to help you acquire the IT skills that will enable you to make legitimate money online.

1.      Acquire a computer: A computer is needed to start this journey.  The computer will serve as your classroom and your notebook/worksheet. Without this, you can’t embark on this journey.

2.      Access to the Internet: You need the Internet to browse and view training materials online. The internet serves as a messenger (Https/URL)  that gets you whatever information that you need as far as it is available online; without the internet, it’s impossible to access the various training materials that are available out there. 

3.      Identify the IT skill set that is high in demand; do not go and learn an IT skill because it’s easy to learn. Go after the skillset that are high in demand and difficult to learn. Skillsets that are difficult to learn pay the most money and have a lot of openings due to a shortage of workers.

4.      Once you’ve completed steps 1 to 3, the next step is to start learning; you can do this for free on YouTube.com or paid training from IT training sites such as Udemy. 

5.      Certification and Examinations. Take as many certifications as possible. This helps to build your confidence and increase your level of understanding.

6.      Signup as a freelancer in the numerous freelance platforms out there, they include XPlace  (https://www.xplace.com/il/en/), weworkremotely.com (https://weworkremotely.com/), freelanced.com (https://www.freelanced.com/)

Fiverr  https://www.fiverr.com/)  PeoplePerHour.com (https://www.peopleperhour.com/freelance-jobs), Upwork.com (https://www.upwork.com/i/how-it-works/freelancer/) etc.  I will review the pros and cons of the listed freelance platforms in my follow-up.

The key to success in this type of venture is to practice; you can’t master what you don’t spend time practicing; it's impossible. Ensure you do all the homework and practice exercises. Volunteer to do some work for free during your training. Practice, they say, makes perfect.  You need approximately 6 to 12 months to become comfortable in any chosen field.  Your training should provide anywhere from 30 to 40% of your needs to succeed. The rest will come when you start doing some real work.

Some of you might say that you don’t have the patience or time to do this; others might even say that they don’t have the capital. The truth is this: even if you decide to migrate to your country of choice today, you will still have to go through all kinds of hurdles before you legalize your stay; you will have to learn the language where applicable, culture, and the society at large, it takes time and money to acclimatize and assimilate.  Why not invest that money and time in yourself by acquiring a new skill set to help better your life at home and abroad? Even if you still decide to travel overseas, you will travel there as an expert, meaning you can start earning some good money when you get there.

Anyone can learn a skillset; you don’t have to be a math whiz or science major to do this; all it takes is the willingness to learn, and that’s it.

I will go into details in my following writeups; please share this with your friends and family, and follow me on: https://naijalist.com/member/ITguru (https://naijalist.com/) 


Lagos, Nigeria

Comments (13)


kelechi 1 month ago

JAPA is good, yes, at a young age. Because, that age, you can roll with the tide of a certain country. their reforms, their laws, their do"s and don"t, because you are young. But as an old person, you, Japaing will be a burden on you and your family, especially when family is left behind. What time do you have to adapt, learn language and start earning good money to send home? Well, for some people, they have gotten to the stage of no return, as regards their travelling. they are just bent on moving out of the sick country. For these people, you can"t convince them otherwise. they will JAPA. Sometimes, Ones destiny play a huge role in a person travelling.

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Adols theo 1 month ago

The craze of traveling to the western world is on the rise, that skilled people have failed to see the possibilities that abound in some african countries. where their skills are needed. You can make money as a skilled worker and also find peace, recognition and very free to come back { NIGERIA }. You only need to get the skills.

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Kingsley Aguwamba 1 month ago

Constructive and intelligent writeup. Our basic setback in Nigeria. is the avialability of basic amenities such as constant electricity. With electricity, businesses will thrive well. young ones will kill the idea of traveling. Am not a fan of JAPA thing, but if the opportunity arises, i will not look back, because the economy right now is unfunctional and corrupt.

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Bethuchy Hot Kulis 1 month ago

Even the exchange rate to japa now is too much, thanks for showing us these other part of success

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Babatunde Ayinde 1 month ago

I learn alot from this article

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Bello Habeeb 1 month ago

Freelancer is a big deal now adays, and also tech is a new oil in nigeria...everyone cannot japa...Nice write up

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Mianna's World 1 month ago

Knowledge is power, I never knew there are a lot of opportunities like this 

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Limah Collections 1 month ago

This is quite impressive, even japa is so expensive now, is it not better to look for other opportunities in Nigeria here

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Olatunde prestige limited 1 month ago

Thank you for this platform 🙏

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Odetoki Faidat Omolara 1 month ago

There's still hopes and opportunity for youth in this country rather than travelling for green pastures.  

Because better days are ahead 

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Houndeton silvalix adewunmi 1 month ago

We can still make it in naija,it just a matter of time 

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Ayilara Hamdalat 1 month ago

So true, there are so many things people can do in Nigeria to make money rather than the 'Japa Syndrome'. Graphic designing is very lucrative and can be done at your very own comfort with just a laptop and internet. 

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Esther Oni 1 month ago

Wow, this is so good and it's convincing.

I'll give TECH a trial and be a BOSS of myself.

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