“It’s Strange To Find A Guy In Cyprus Who Isn’t A Fraudster”- Abroad Life

October 30, 2020

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.


This week’s subject on Abroad Life is a 25-year-old woman who transferred from Nigeria to Cyprus for school. She talks about how underwhelming the country is, her terrible experiences with over-flirty men and the fraud epidemic in Cyprus.

First things first, where are you right now?

I’m in Cyprus.

What’s going on there? 

I was in school, but I’m done and about to return to Nigeria. I studied Petroleum Engineering. I started in Nigeria, but finished here. 

What school in Nigeria?

I prefer not to speak, but it’s a school that oppresses its students. Just think of a popular private university in Nigeria known for oppression. 

Haha… I think I have an idea. Why did you choose Cyprus?

If I was rich, I’d be in another country, but due to my financial condition, I’m in Cyprus. Cyprus is basically for Nigerians who want to be abroad but cannot afford the main abroad. I love Nigeria, but I despised the school I was in, so I wasn’t performing really well. I felt like I was wasting my time, so I decided to leave for Cyprus. 

My dad had never heard about Cyprus before I brought it up. He was intrigued. He said if I wanted to go somewhere new, I should. 

I had a lot of time to think from when I left “School of Oppression” till when I went to Cyprus. In the middle of it all, I changed my mind from Cyprus to Canada because I have family there, but when I brought it up with my dad, he went, “Are you going abroad for family or for school?”

At some point, the visa processing for Cyprus was also taking time, so I brought up Canada again, and he told me not to be confused and see it through to the end since I had already started it.  That’s why and how I’m here.

What was the process of going to Cyprus like? 

Tedious. First of all, you know how Nigeria is, with the ups and downs and interviews getting postponed. Also, the part of Cyprus I’m in isn’t the main Cyprus, it’s a small village country that is only recognised by Turkey. It’s called the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. So you have to go to the Turkish embassy to get your visa. The process took about a month, and by the time I got my visa, classes had begun.

How long was it from when you started applying for school till when you left? 

I started applying the minute I left my oppressive school. I had a lot of issues with transcripts and all so that took some time. And then the visa time came, and it was a stressful process as well because they just kept telling us to come back the next day. And then one day, they tear-gassed us. 

WHAT?

Yep. In Abuja. Because of all the “come back tomorrow”, people started getting frustrated. You would see people complaining about how they’d been there since 3 a.m. and hadn’t been attended to. On this day, the security operatives told people to leave as usual, but the people stayed and said they needed to be attended to. They were teargassed. It’s not like they were getting violent or anything. They were just demanding for their visas. I was lucky because I had just left when this happened. 

I understand why people go these lengths to go to Cyprus. Things are cheap there, education and all. But when you get there, you realise that it’s not all that great. I even got scammed trying to get my visa. 

Ah!

There was a man that always lurked around the embassy saying he could help us get our visas. At that point, my dad was already cranky because I’d been at home for a while, and he wanted me to leave because school had already started. Then a girl I met at the embassy said her mother knew someone who could help. It was that man. We paid him 75k. Long story short, he took my money, ran away and stopped picking my calls. It’s like he even knew when I was calling with a random number because he wasn’t picking those as well. I can’t remember his name right now, but God punish him. 

Lol. What was your first impression of Cyprus?

When my plane landed, I was waiting excitedly to see the magic that everyone was rushing to. Nothing. I got in a cab and headed where I was supposed to be staying. On my way, I kept looking outside the window for something to blow my mind. Nothing. I slept, woke up the next day and went out. Nothing. I kept asking myself, “Where is the abroad?” The best way I can describe it is living in Cyprus is like living in a very big Lekki.

Wow. You’ve been there how long?

Two years this October. 

You said something about Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Why does that sound like colonialism?

To be honest, I don’t know. They taught us about it in school, but I can’t remember. There are two sides of Cyprus. The south is under Greece and the north is under Turkey.

What are the people there like?

In my first three months, I was kind of overwhelmed. 

I had a very bad experience with a guy that kept hounding me, stalking me and all. He wanted to sleep with me. Things got really messy with him.

Then there was another guy that I was sure I’d fallen in love with. I even thought we were dating. We were all lovey-dovey and all, but it turned out that he had a girlfriend he had been with for three years. It’s crazy because one time, I saw her picture on his phone, and he said she was his sister’s friend. Men. 

Then there was another guy that tried to rape me. I escaped and ran for my life. 

Wow, I’m sorry you had to experience that. Were these guys Nigerians?

Yep. People say there are Nigerians everywhere, but in Cyprus, there are so many Nigerians. 

What was your experience with actual Cypriots like?

I didn’t really interact with them for a couple of reasons. First, the language. They speak Turkish. But in my school, they spoke English so I didn’t need to learn the language. 

Cypriot men are extremely flirty, it’s mind blowing. There was a day I was at the market downstairs to get something, and a guy there said something that I didn’t really hear. I got to my apartment upstairs and heard a knock on my door. When I opened, he was standing there, asking me if I was married and if he could give me money for sex. They have a terrible perversion problem.  

Also, many of them are racist. 

I never paid attention to the racism because I believed if I didn’t understand what they were saying, it wouldn’t bother me. But on my first day at the school cafeteria, I was on a seat that could contain about eight people, and this guy left immediately I sat there. Another day on the bus, a girl stood up when I sat beside her. I decided that whenever they came around me in situations like that, I would also clench my bag or stand up and walk away. Of course, I only did it when it was convenient for me. It’s not like if there was no extra seat, I would stand up. Common sense over racism, please. The more I understood parts of their language, the more I realised that they said words like “Monkey” when I was around. 

What’s the Nigerian community in Cyprus like?

Among Nigerians here, you have to be intentional about picking your friends and your circle or else you could end up in the wrong crowd. You have to be careful or you would lose your mind. In my school, I met like-minded people that I could have meaningful conversations with, but outside school was very different. 

I met the two friends I’ve had for the past two years here at the Turkish embassy. It turns out we all went to my oppressive Nigerian school. We are still very tight today. I’m grateful for them.

What types of Nigerians will I find in Cyprus?

It’s a jungle out there. Fraud is very common in Cyprus.It’s so normal that when you find a guy who doesn’t do fraud in Cyprus, that’s weird. I know a girl who blocked the guy that was moving to her because he said he wasn’t doing fraud and he got his money from collecting allowances.  Seeing flashy cars on the roads is an everyday thing, and the owners will comfortably tell you they got it by doing fraud. Fraud is so normalised here, it’s crazy. Oh and it’s not even only guys. Babes too. 

Did you…

I did not. One day, I was doing my hair, and the loctician asked if I did fraud. I told him no, and he got super surprised. He went on to tell me that I could definitely be a picker. A picker is a woman who picks calls and talks to “clients” for fraudsters. 

I know people do fraud in Nigeria, but I never ever bumped into one. In Cyprus, you’ll see them every day. 

I know a guy here who was strongly against fraud. He was an allowance collector just like me. I saw him a few weeks back, and he was driving a nice car. He looked at me and told me, point-blank, that the lockdown period got really hard for him. He got really broke and he started doing fraud.

Omo. Does the government crackdown on fraudsters? 

I’m not sure, but I don’t think the government here sees fraud as such a huge crime. If they find you with a lot of cash, they’ll confiscate it, but I don’t think they’ll charge you or take you to prison or something like that. I don’t think the government puts their time into fixing that problem because the economy survives on fraud money. 

I feel like it’s also important to state that Nigerians are not the only ones who do fraud here. It cuts across a wide range of people. 

Fraud is so normal, people come here just to have a place to do fraud peacefully.

In Nigeria, I was sure that if I caught anyone doing fraud, I would definitely blow the whistle, but it turns out to be so normal here, reporting would be ridiculous. My first housemate would say all sorts to me about how he didn’t know why I’m not into fraud and how he was willing to teach me. 

What do you like the most about Cyprus?

Cyprus is very peaceful. I can take walks at 2 a.m. and know that nothing will happen to me. Maybe the worst thing that could happen is that I’ll meet some pervert, and he’ll offer me money for sex.

But if you can afford better, then there’s no reason for you to go to Cyprus except you’re a fraudster who wants to live in a comfortable environment. I see people saying they’ve been here for seven years, and I’m wondering how that’s even possible. 

For an exposed person or someone that knows better, Cyprus is a 3.5/10. I wouldn’t recommend it.

Want more Abroad Life? Check in every Friday at 12 PM (WAT) for a new episode. Until then, read every story of the series here.

Zikoko Donation Banner

Help Zikoko keep making the content you love

More than ever, people are turning to Zikoko for stories that matter and content they love. But still, we, like many media organisations, are feeling the financial heat of these times. If you find us valuable, please make a contribution to help keep Zikoko zikoko-ing.

Thank you for your support.

We are also cool with Crypto.

Donation Close
Zikoko Logo

Complete Your Commitment

Donation confirm

Your Contribution is confirmed! Amount

David Odunlami

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

October 25, 2020

Nigeria’s youth unemployment is growing. But on October 22nd, 2020, in his highly anticipated broadcast to the nation, the president mentioned that his administration had put in place a lot of programs to help Nigerian youths, including Tradermoni, Farmermoni, Npower and so many other social investment programs. We decided to look at the unemployment data […]

bayelsa by-election
November 26, 2020

A few weeks, ago we wrote about the by-elections that will be taking place on December 5, 2020, including the most important things you need to know. In addition to that, we will be writing about the candidates in the Bayelsa West and Bayelsa Central senatorial by-elections. This is because it is important for you […]

October 17, 2020

For over a week now, Nigerians have been deeply involved in what many would call the biggest movement to happen in the country in recent years. Fair enough because we’re fighting for our lives here. Social media has played an important role in amplifying the voices of Nigerians, giving the rest of the world an […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

December 3, 2020

On Sunday, November 30th, 2020, many Nigerians woke up to the sad news that over 43 rice farmers in communities near Borno State, Nigeria, had been killed by Boko Haram insurgents. While the government has claimed that Boko Haram has been “technically defeated”, the group continues to carry out terrorist attacks, especially in the northeastern […]

December 3, 2020

Yes, you have a crush, but are you your crush’s crush? These are the questions. To catch your crush’s attention, you have to be different and think outside the box, because many people are doing the same thing you’re doing. Here are 5 easy ways to enrapture your crush. 1. Be rich You thought it […]

December 2, 2020

Adeoye Mercy Abosede of the African Action Congress will be contesting in the Lagos East Senatorial bye-elections which is scheduled to hold this Saturday, December 5, 2020. The by-election became a necessity after Senator Bayo Osinowo, who represented Lagos East Senatorial district at the senatedied died following a brief illness. A by-election is an election […]

Recommended Quizzes

how tall are you
March 11, 2020

Did your parents give you enough beans when you were growing up? If they did, then you’re probably around 6’0″ and above. Either way, we created a quiz that can guess your current height (pretty accurately, if we do say so ourselves). Take to see if we nailed it:

June 14, 2020

Have you ever been with someone so horrible that you swore to never date again? Yes? Well, do you know that one or more of your exes probably feels the same way about you? You never thought about that, huh? Thankfully, this quiz is here to let you know just how much of a hassle […]

December 3, 2019

Are you a professional Yoruba demon? Are you walking around in search of whose life you can wreck at any given time? Well, this quiz knows exactly how many hearts you’ve shattered to date, and before you lie that your result is inaccurate, just remember that Zikoko is never wrong. Now, take it and be […]

November 30, 2019

With No Nut November FINALLY coming to an end, we’ve decided to mark the torturous month with some more horny content. After quizzes that guessed how many people you’ve slept with, how good you are in bed and who you’ll sleep with next, this one will guess when next you’ll get lucky. Take it to […]

More from Citizen

December 3, 2020

On Sunday, November 30th, 2020, many Nigerians woke up to the sad news that over 43 rice farmers in communities near Borno State, Nigeria, had been killed by Boko Haram insurgents. While the government has claimed that Boko Haram has been “technically defeated”, the group continues to carry out terrorist attacks, especially in the northeastern […]

December 2, 2020

Adeoye Mercy Abosede of the African Action Congress will be contesting in the Lagos East Senatorial bye-elections which is scheduled to hold this Saturday, December 5, 2020. The by-election became a necessity after Senator Bayo Osinowo, who represented Lagos East Senatorial district at the senatedied died following a brief illness. A by-election is an election […]

Buhari
December 1, 2020

President Muhammadu Buhari rode to office on the major campaign promise that his administration will put a final end to the Boko Haram insurgency. However, on Sunday, November 9th 2020, many Nigerians woke up to the news that suspected Boko Haram insurgents had killed more than 43 rice farmers in Garin Kwashebe, a rice farming […]

Nigerian Army testifies SARS panel
November 29, 2020

The Nigerian Army has shared their testimony twice at the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution For Victims of SARS Related Abuses. At Zikoko Citizen, we have been following the “Lagos SARS panel” ever since the panel was inaugurated, and we have also been present at the panel hearing on the two occasions […]

Cross River by-election
November 27, 2020

There will be by-elections in Cross River and some states other in Nigeria on December 5, 2020, and we’re counting down to the elections. We have written about everything you need to know about the by-elections and all the candidates in the Bayelsa West and Central Senatorial by-election. In Cross River state, the death of […]

bayelsa by-election
November 26, 2020

A few weeks, ago we wrote about the by-elections that will be taking place on December 5, 2020, including the most important things you need to know. In addition to that, we will be writing about the candidates in the Bayelsa West and Bayelsa Central senatorial by-elections. This is because it is important for you […]

UK Sanctions Nigeria
November 24, 2020

Yesterday, November 24th 2020, the UK parliament, at the Westminister Hall debated e-petition 554150, relating to Nigeria and the sanctions regime. The debate was led by Theresa Villiers MP, and it suggested sanctions for members of the Nigerian Government and police officers who have been involved in human rights abuses. The parliamentary debate has generated […]

Nigeria recession
November 23, 2020

Recession, palliative, ad-hoc committee, ultra-modern, bistro — you can’t claim to be a Nigerian if you’ve never heard these words. They are so popular, we wrote about them. Speaking of recession, on Saturday, November 22nd, 2020, the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics reported that Nigeria’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) reduced by 3.62% from September to October […]

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

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.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.
February 6, 2020
Who doesn't want to find love? In our bid to help, we paired up a bunch of single Nigerians, sending them on an all-expense paid date, and interviewing them before and after they met.

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