Abroad Life: 10 of the Most-Read Stories of 2021

December 24, 2021

Listening to the everyday experiences of Nigerians who have stayed abroad is one of the highlights of my week, and this year, I got to hear some pretty amazing stories.

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.

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

When I first started texting the subject of this story, he said to me, “My experience in Malaysia will blow your mind”, and I replied, rather mundanely, “Sure”. By the time we met for this interview, I couldn’t contain my shock at the things he was telling me. I probably said “Whoa” and “Omo” more times than I can count. It’s a real jaw-dropper.

2. “Returning To Nigeria Is The Worst Decision I’ve Ever Made”- Abroad Life

I was speaking with my friend about how writing Abroad Life has changed my perspective on emigrating, and he paused and said, “You should totally interview my dad!” I was excited because I love hearing older people tell me about their lives. They speak so freely. Like they’ve been waiting for someone to ask for their story. 

His dad was no different. All I did was introduce myself, tell him about Abroad Life, and he was ready to tell me everything I wanted to know. He even dragged his wife into the conversation, asking her for specific information like dates and event details. 

3. “I Became A Child Slave In My Aunt’s House” – Abroad Life

Interviewing someone who is telling you a heartbreaking story about their own life is hard sometimes. You don’t know if you should pause and allow them to process their emotions, or if you should ask more questions, or if you should just sit in silence as you hear their voice break because they’re holding back tears. 

Speaking with this subject on Abroad Life, I did all of those things. But you know what made me happy in the end? The hope in her voice. She’s back in Nigeria now and excited about new possibilities. And that’s all that matters. 

4. “I’m Terribly Lonely In Canada”- Abroad Life

This story was personal for me because the subject is my friend. One day, I called him and said, “Let me do your Abroad Life.” He was reluctant at first, but we set up the call and started speaking and for a while, he just kept talking. He later told me it felt like a therapy session. I’m glad he could get it all off his chest. 

5. “There Was No Point Staying In A Place That Didn’t Want Me” – Abroad Life

I find it hilarious that the first time this story’s subject ever considered moving abroad was when he would be watching cartoons as a kid and NEPA would take light. Motivation can come from the strangest of places. 

6. “Canada Denied Me Three Times, I’ll Never Apply Again” – Abroad Life

This story was a wild ride. This subject here had packed his boxes and was ready to leave because he was sure he wasn’t going to be denied a visa the third time. He was on his way to the airport when he opened his passport and saw his third rejection

A few years later, he was in the U.S. getting his master’s in an Ivy League school, but Canada still holds a special place in his heart. 

7. “I Had To Strip To Pay My Sister’s Rent”- Abroad Life

For many people, when it comes to family, nothing is too much to do. The subject on this Abroad Life saw stripping as the only option to pay her sister’s rent and went for it. She loved it. 

8. “My Dad Died, And Everything Changed”- Abroad Life

This story is an emotional rollercoaster, but I’m happy it ends on a high, happy note. It’s my favourite Abroad Life from this year. You should definitely read it. 

9. “I’m In Ireland Because I Ran Away From My Marriage”- Abroad Life

The subject on this Abroad Life saw the opportunity to run away from a marriage she believes she shouldn’t have entered in the first place, left her kids with her sister and ran. She’s such a high-spirited person. She has energy for days!

10. “Living In Dubai Is Not Expensive If You Stay In Your Lane”- Abroad Life

This Abroad Life is much more than what the title says. If “Just do it” was a person, it would be the guy in the story. One day, I want to be like him.


Hey there! My name is Sheriff 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.

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

January 29, 2021

The subject of this week’s Abroad Life moved to the UK eight years ago. She talks about choosing the wrong school, racism, leaving religion, and going the extra mile to make sure her sister wasn’t stranded.  How long have you been in the UK? I’ve been in the UK for almost eight years. I was […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

Recommended Quizzes

how much of an ajebutter
February 12, 2020

Are you an ajebutter or not? Well, if you’ve gone through life blissfully unaware of its harshness, then you probably are. Now, we want to know just how high you rank on that ajebutter scale, using your food preferences as a (very accurate) measure. Take to find out:

November 1, 2019

Twitter is buzzing right now, bringing a new conversation to the concept of cool vs not-so-cool, especially in relationships. If you’ve been thinking about how much of a red flag you are, why don’t you let this quiz help you decide once and for all?

October 30, 2019

2010 was a game-changing one for Nollywood, with our movies making serious cash and getting international acclaim. So, which of these hits released between 2010 and 2019 — from the pace-setting The Wedding Party to the divisive Trip To Jamaica — best suits your personality? Well, that’s what this quiz is here to answer:

What are you like in a relationship?
February 7, 2020

Your taste in music can say a lot about you, and this time, it’s going to reveal what you are like in a relationship. So, pick a few of your favourite Nigerian love songs, and we’ll let you know if you’re typically a distant, passionate or unbothered partner. Here you go:

December 29, 2021

A new year is right around the corner. Before we go into 2022, enjoy some of our top quizzes from this year. 1. QUIZ: Only Nigerian Gen Z’ers Can Make It To The End Of This Musicians Quiz Forget about your age. If you can make it to the end of this quiz, you’re definitely […]

More from Citizen

February 3, 2023

This week’s Abroad Life subject is Nigerian diaspora Twitter influencer, Oluomo of Derby, who is the founder of NIUKCommunity, a diasporan community with over 9,500 members. He tells us about his ‘japa’ journey, his inspiration to build a Nigerian “home away from home” and how he’s enlightening his community on the 2023 elections.

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

September 13, 2022
Vs The World is a Zikoko original video series that follows best friends Astor and Hassan as they take on the world.
August 23, 2022
Zikoko Ships is a Zikoko Original series where we invite two people who share a relationship to play the Zikoko card games
December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X