We know that sometimes living in Nigeria feels a little difficult, and the things we see on the news do not help matters.

It’s very tempting to pick up a passport, find a way to Murtala Muhammed Airport, and jump on a plane out of the country…

But before you make that move, think twice, in fact, think three times. You will really, really miss Nigeria if you decide to japa, and here are five reasons why:

  1. The Food: If not for anything else, you will miss all the mouth-watering dishes that form an important part of Nigerian culture. Our jollof rice and banga soup are globally recognized, and no matter where you go, it will be difficult to replicate the spicy feel that our Naija cuisine comes with. Foreign food will take a very long time for your tongue and stomach to get used to.
  2. Communication: Our use of language and expressions is unlike anywhere else in the world. It’s only in Nigeria you will hear things like “come and be going” or “put to bed”. There is nowhere else that the phrase “how far?” or “ehen” can mean six different things depending on use. Also, our pidgin English is funny and colorful.
  3. Innovation: For all the challenges that exist here, Nigeria has always been a fertile ground for business, innovation, and investment opportunities. There is always room for new ideas, and the country’s huge population means that there is a large market to work with. Nigeria provides an enabling environment for the operation and functioning of payment platforms like Paga, which has transformed the face of financial transactions in Nigeria. These innovations lead to the creation of jobs too. For instance, the entry of Flying Doctors Nigeria, Gradely, Uber and the likes into Nigeria provided a lot of employment opportunities.
  4. Communal Living: One thing that sets us apart as Nigerians is the communal life we live. You can knock on your neighbor’s door to get salt, strangers come together to fund a child’s education, a young man wants to get married and gets support from his extended family. This is different from what happens in foreign countries, where life is very individualistic and you could go for three years without seeing the person who lives next door.
  5. Vibes: There is no party like a Nigerian party, and that’s a fact. From the dance moves to the music to the atmosphere, the feeling you get when you show up at a Nigerian event cannot be reproduced anywhere else. There is rhythm, and there’s soul. Why do you think it’s common to see foreigners upload videos of themselves dancing to our music on Instagram?

Nigeria is not perfect, but it is home, and it is certainly a beautiful place to be. As we celebrate Democracy Day, take some time to reflect on the reasons why you love it here, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and reconsider the idea of leaving.

We gather dey here! Happy Democracy Day.

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