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

April 30, 2021

The Nigerian experience is physical, emotional and sometimes international. No one knows it better than our features on #TheAbroadLife, a series where we detail and explore Nigerian experiences while living abroad.



The subject of today’s #AbroadLife is a 22-year-old man who left Nigeria immediately after secondary school. He talks about  being lonely in Canada and why he wants to come back home but can’t just yet. 

When did you decide that you wanted to leave Nigeria?

I didn’t make the decision. My parents made the decision for me right after I left secondary school. I didn’t want to leave, but when your parents make that type of decision for you at 17, there’s really nothing else you can do. 

Why didn’t you want to leave?

I liked it in Nigeria. All my life, I’d heard people complain about Nigeria. They’d say, seriously and jokingly, they wanted to leave. Most of those jokes had Canada as the dream destination for Nigerians, I liked it at home. 

In retrospect, I realise that I just hadn’t seen enough of life. I was shielded. My parents are super comfortable, so there was no need for me to complain. Everything I needed, I got. 

You felt safe. 

Yes. I’ve always been the person that takes family as the most important thing there is, so because I was with my family, I was okay. 

How did it feel moving away?

I knew that I was going somewhere better, but I wish I stayed. The quality of the education I came here to get is definitely better than what I would have gotten in Nigeria. One thing I knew I would always miss being a part of was watching my two little sisters grow. I’m the first born and the only guy. I mean, yes, it was 2016, there was video calling technology, but it’ll never be as good as being there with them.

I consoled myself with the thought that I’d probably be home from time to time, and they’d also visit me often. 

How has that worked out?

It’s been five years and I’ve not seen them since I left. I’ve seen my parents, but my sisters have not been able to travel. 

Damn.

All of that has added to the extreme loneliness I suffer over here. I miss home so much. It gets really bad sometimes. Soon, all those long video calls won’t cut it anymore. 

How do you deal with loneliness?

COVID has changed the way people interact. For example, when I was lonely before, I’d go out with my friends or we’d play sports together. But since last year, I’ve just sat indoors, in front of my computer, doing whatever. It doesn’t help that when I have a new close friend, they have to leave Canada shortly, sometimes for work, and sometimes  to move back home. 

I have a job now though. It started as a school internship, but they decided to keep me. Now they’re paying me more, and I have a sense of security. I also went into photography full time last year, and I recently got my first bookings to shoot at two different events. Things are looking up financially. 

That’s nice. How far gone are you with your education?

I’ll be done next year. I can’t wait. 

Is that when you’re planning to come back home? 

I think I’ll eventually have to wait until then. I try to go home every year, but every time, something happens. This was the year I already promised myself and my friends that I would come. I already had a prospective date in mind and we’d made plans to fuck shit up when I got back, but I don’t think I’ll be able to travel. I can’t even break the news to them yet. They’ll be heartbroken. 

Why can’t you travel?

It’s a lot of reasons: first of all, I’ve not taken the COVID vaccine, and I don’t want a case where I’m not allowed back into the country for something as simple as that. Flights are expensive, I have some visa and passport issues, and all that. I thought I’d be able to sort all of that out before next month, but it looks like I’ll be spending my hot boy summer in Canada. 

Omo. 

Exactly. And honestly, Nigeria isn’t the best place to be at right now. I hear and see all the news about insecurity and it breaks my heart. My family is in Nigeria, so I care, but I’d also rather not be in a place where I’m not safe. 

I remember being an active part of the EndSARS protests online. It was heartbreaking for me.

Do you think you’ll settle in Nigeria or Canada?

The best scenario for me right now would be to become a Canadian permanent resident so that I can visit Nigeria whenever. 

Nice…

Scratch that. The best scenario would be for my family to join me here. 

Psst. I need your help making Abroad Life the very best series it can be, can you take half a minute, okay maybe two minutes, to fill this form? You’re the best!

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.

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

June 12, 2020

When it comes to life goals, ask the average Nigerian and they’ll tell you something along these three lines: l’owo (have money) L’ola (have wealth) L’alaafia (have rest of mind) Take those same Nigerian across the pond and the story stays largely the same. The elements of wealth and money being apparent, while peace of […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

Recommended Quizzes

November 20, 2019

Last month, we thoughtfully made a quiz telling you guys exactly when you’ll marry, but some of you claimed that your spouse was nowhere to be found. Well, now we’ve created one that’ll tell you exactly who you’ll be dragging down that aisle. Take and start planning that wedding: 11 Quizzes For Nigerians Who Are […]

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:

November 15, 2019

There are two types of people in Nigeria right now: those who are proud Marlians, and those who are still in denial about stanning the divisive star. So, for those who proudly wear the Marlian tag, we made a quiz to test how well you really know Naira Marley. If you get more than 6 […]

December 11, 2019

In the past month, we’ve made quizzes that guessed the last time you had sex, how many people you’ve slept with, and just how good you are in bed. For our latest attempt, we will use your taste in Nigerian music from the 2010s to ascertain what you’re like in bed. Take to find out:

More from Citizen

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