The Nigerian universities’ god of thunder, ASUU, went on a labour strike from the 14th of February 2022, and the everyday lives of Nigerian students came to a stop. What is customarily a 4 or 5-year programme now has a “plus x” clause to it, where x is the number of years ASUU decides to go on strike during your time in school.

In addition to being unplugged from the academic life, students’ social lives relationships are also being affected. We’ve previously discussed what Nigerian students really do during strikes. But what does it feel like to have your social life upended because of strikes? 

These five Nigerian students told us how the ASUU strike has affected their relationships.

Asake, 22

I wouldn’t say that it has affected it so much. Most of my friends are introverts so it’s not like we used to go out to see each other or anything. We were all very comfortable being online and talking. But even now, that has reduced a lot. It just feels like I’m unplugged from the kind of life I used to have.

Debola, 19

The strike hasn’t affected my personal relationships in a bad way at all. Maybe it’s because I’m introverted. I have a closed group online where I keep up with friends and it feels like we never left. But if I have to think about whether or not I’ve met new people, then it gets worrying. 

Tola, 21

My relationships have taken a hit. I used to have a lot of friends, and we’d play football and basketball every week. I also talked with my boyfriend every day. Now I’m just a couch potato who just wants to eat and watch movies all day. It’s like I’m slipping deeper into aloneness and there’s simply nothing I can do to stop it.

Chioma, 24

I think my personal relationships are in a coma right now. It’s not even from my side alone. No one is talking to me and I’m not talking to anyone. It’s as if we’re all totally cut off from each other. It feels like COVID-19 all over again.

John, 21

Being home for this long feels like a prison sentence. I haven’t gone to a party in months. I can’t get drunk and have fun with my friends like I used to do. Even with WhatsApp and all that, it’s still quite boring. I was a “hoe” back in school. But here, all I do is go to church and talk to old people. I’m trying to convince myself that it’s not all that bad. At least, I still have Call of Duty: Mobile that I play with my friends every day.

NEXT READ: What Do Nigerian Students Really Do During ASUU Strikes?


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