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Love in japa: Love Stories from Long Distance Relationship Warriors – Part TwoBy Ahmad-Tijani Agbaje on March 8, 2024

We love a good love story.

And unless you’re a witch (or the grinch), chances are, you do too.

Recently, we are all about exploring the intersection between The Japa Wave and romantic relationships; how are they making it work? What does the future look like for them? How do they stay connected?

According to the African Polling Institute, 69% of Nigerians would relocate out of the country with their families if given the chance, and according to The UK’s Office for National Statistics, the number of people that stated Nigeria as their country of birth in the 2021 Census was 270,768 – that is 0.5% of the population of England and Wales.

Statistics Canada data also shows a serious rise in Nigerian immigration to Canada. Nigeria climbed eight positions in just five years to become the fifth-largest source country for Canadian immigrants in 2021.

Japa japa…

These plans are also often secret, until one day you’re scrolling Twitter and see that your mutual, who has been suspiciously silent for a couple of months, posted that “Welcome to a new dispensation” meme or a picture of them in front of one seriously blue sky (the kind of sky you can never see in Nigeria), and you’ll just know that, ah, this one has left us.

As much as we’d love a perfect world (and a perfect Nigeria), we have to come to grips with the fact that this is our reality – families, friendships and lovers are being broken because both parties want better, but money and tightening immigration requirements mean only a few can make it out.

So, we’ve made it our divinely ordained duty to speak to lovers who have been split by japa, as a way of amplifying the struggles of both parties and maybe inspiring some hope in other long-distance couples.

The fact that we get gist in the process is only a happy coincidence, we promise.

In our last Love in Japa article, we spoke with Fidel, who reminded us that at the end of the day, honesty and money are really what makes love a worthwhile endeavour, and Zainab, who revealed to us how stealing her boyfriend’s number and being intentional about loving him was what was keeping their relationship high and (mostly) dry.

If you haven’t read it, drop everything right now and be on your way to the first Love in Japa.

For those of you that have, oyel dey una head.

For part two, we spoke to three people instead of two, so we will be accepting thanks in the form of loving comments when you finish listening.

You’re welcome (in advance).

Now, let’s get to what you came here for…


Meet our Long Distance Relationship Warriors (LDRWs)

Muna - A Lagos chef who found themselves in a long-distance relationship with their London lover after having to unceremoniously move back to Nigeria a year ago.

Olamide - A lover girl who left for Canada but is determined to make it to the finish line with her Lagos man (she’s planning the wedding as we speak).

Debbie - A fun and feisty Bini babe (Bini no dey carry last) in a relationship with her university sweetheart who left Nigeria for greener pastures in Canada.

Interview question bank

Where are you currently, and where is your partner?
How and where did you meet?
How long has it been since you left each other?
Did you know the move was coming or was it sudden?
If you knew it was, how did you prepare for it? If you didn’t, what was the experience like?
Do you think you’ll ever go back?/do you think you’ll move to where they are?
What has been the hardest part of living so far away from your partner?
Why do you think your relationship has lasted through this?
How are you keeping the romance alive over distance?
How do you celebrate occasions – birthdays, christmas, eid, valentines etc – apart?
Are you thinking about what the future holds for you guys? Or is it as the future leads?
What advice would you give to other lovers that have been struck by japa?

Muna’s responses

IN3K8 Media · Muna’s responses

Olamide’s responses

IN3K8 Media · Olamide’s responses

Debbie’s responses

IN3K8 Media · Debbie’s responses

So, if you’re also a LDRW, we salute you specially, because obviously it’s not easy, but with intentionality, self-awareness, and – according to Debbie – “plenty money”, it’s not so bad.

We’re also crossing our fingers that this has given you some hope – and maybe even some ideas – for your battle against distance.

As always, we support you, dears, and you know our primary love language is acts of service, so, from us to you, here is our Long Distance Relationship Warrior Index – pt. 2 (It’s a mouthful, we know).


The Long Distance Relationship Warrior pt. 2 Index

Mental health/couples therapy

Ibi Ayo 
Stream Health
Elite Life Mental Health services

Send them money

Send by Flutterwave

Things to get them

Shop Frugal
Mint organic care
The Shoeblocc
Arami essentials
Ginan Scents
Mint eyewear
The case hut
Darok ready to wear

Food/open a tab

Salt Bakery 
Ki restaurant
Hans and Rene
La Taverna
UIN Confectionaries
Mega Chicken
Eke Collective 


Fight in The Hive
Mama Atingi 
Village War; The Battle of 4 Villages

Books and Reading

A Feel Good book
African Writer
Kenga Mag
Agbowo art
ModaCulture Mag

Things to watch

Morenikeji’s vlogs
Iroko TV
Amy Okoli
Eniola Olajide
Kamsi Nnamani
King Asalu
Tomiwa Rodia
Prime Video


Before we graciously bow out, what did you think of our respondents? Did the love in Muna’s voice melt the ice chamber that is your heart? Did you resonate with Debbie’s perspective on celebrations? Or are you just here for amebo?

Tell us in the comments!


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