Abroad Life: 10 Must-Read Stories of 2021

December 31, 2021

Abroad Life constantly tells stories of Nigerians in diaspora with a wide range of experiences, from the mundane to the extraordinary. If you missed any Abroad Life stories this year, it shouldn’t be these ones.

1. “I Left Malaysia Because Cultists Threatened My Life”- Abroad Life

This story was a movie: Smart young boy moves to Malaysia because he’s tired of university in Nigeria. He gets really good at software development and some bad guys find out, so they begin to pester him to help them create apps and websites that will move millions of dollars out of people’s accounts. He says no. They stalk him and threaten his life. He has to run away.

Definitely a must-read.

2. “I Went From Earning ₦20,000 to $200,000”- Abroad Life

When you see this headline, you might say, “Whoa!”, but when you read the story, you’ll end up speechless. On the morning of the day this woman was to move to the US, she had no clue. She had applied for a visa and got it, and was just going to let it rot in her passport, until an aunt she hadn’t spoken to since she was a child called and said, “Pack your bags. You’re coming to the US today.”

3. “If You’re Not A Fraudster In Cyprus, You’re A Nobody”- Abroad Life

My first ever Abroad Life story about Cyprus was about fraud. When I set up the meeting to speak with this guy, I expected something different. I was wrong. In the midst of all this pressure to do fraud, he’s also struggling to make new friends after his Nigerian friends abandoned him. Tough life.

4. “I Financed My Japa By Freelancing Online”- Abroad Life

The comment my editor made when she got halfway through story was, “What the hell is going on here!?” When you think of hustle, this guy should probably come to your mind first. The things he did to make money range from fixing phones to selling electronic gadgets to teaching Karate and then to freelance writing. Now, he’s in the UK with his wife and two sons, and he’s finally resting.

5. “I Returned To Nigeria And Almost Got Kidnapped By Fake Policemen”- Abroad Life

When I first saw this story on Twitter, I thought “I want to hear everything that happened.” When the guy and I eventually got in touch, I loved every single second we spent talking.

Fun fact: I’m pretty sure this was my longest Abroad Life interview ever because we kept getting distracted and talking about the most random stuff.

The story though, was pretty mind-blowing. You should read it.

6. “We Lost Everything We Had in South Africa, But We’re Not Going Back”- Abroad Life

What happens when you go into a new country almost empty-handed, work your way to some form of wealth and then leave to visit your home country right before the pandemic hits? In this woman’s case, she and her husband lost everything they had worked for and are having to start from level 0 again.

And it’s all because of terrible friends.

7. “It’s Not Easy Shuttling Between The US and The UK”- Abroad Life

My editor’s note when she saw this headline was, “God, please make my life difficult.” After seven years and ten countries, the subject on this Abroad Life is now finally settled in the US for her PhD. She talks about living in the Gulf, being underwhelmed by America and keeping her marriage stable by travelling to the UK frequently to see her husband.

8. “Nigeria Destroyed My Expectations, But I Chose To Stay”- Abroad Life

This story will make you angry at Nigeria over and over and over again. Seeing life through the eyes of someone who lived in Nigeria when things weren’t so bad will make you feel some type of way. He returned to Nigeria because he hoped to make it big here. What he met however, was a destruction of his expectations, and confusion.

9. “My Husband’s Ministry Brought Me Back To Nigeria”- Abroad Life

A lot of people on social media were angry at the woman in this story. She was a “baby girl” in Dubai, living her best life and getting paid sweet money, growing to the top of her PR career and stepping on her haters necks. All of that changed when she got married to her husband, a pastor in Nigeria, and had to move here with him. Now, she’s starting her career again in a place she doesn’t really understand.

10. “I Saw $1 Million In Cash And I Almost Lost My Mind” – Abroad Life

This story should be made into a movie. Imagine seeing $1 million in cash right in front of you, and knowing it’s crime money. He talks about how the organised crime scene in Malaysia almost made him go into fraud and why he’s back in Nigeria.


Hey there! My name is David and I’m the writer of Abroad Life. If you’re a Nigerian and you live or have lived abroad, I would love to talk to you about what that experience feels like and feature you on Abroad Life. All you need to do is fill out this short form, and I’ll be in contact.

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Abroad Life tells the stories of Nigerians who japa’d, but many times, the stories have a shocking twist.

From jaw-dropping stories of grand-scale internet fraud to heartbreaking stories of family betrayal, these are the top 10 most-read Abroad Life stories of 2021.

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