It is no longer news that Nigerians are relocating abroad in droves given the slightest opportunity. Some say the reason for the mass exodus is due to the hardship faced in the country. Others state insecurity, scarcity of jobs, high price of goods, and epileptic power supply as some reasons they would rather relocate. For a few, they are simply in search of a greener pasture.
What may come as a surprise is the fact that some celebrities have also caught the ‘japa’ syndrome despite their fame and success. ‘Japa’ is a Nigerian parlance which is used to describe the act of escaping, fleeing, or disappearing quickly from a situation, often in a hasty and urgent manner, in this context from Nigeria to another country.
Daily Trust highlights nine popular Nigerian stars in the entertainment industry who have found refuge in other countries.
Real name Lanre Dabiri, the rap artiste was born on May 23, 1977. eLDee was part of the early generation of Nigerian rappers alongside his crew, Trybesmen.
Born in Kaduna, he was the honcho of the band Trybesmen, which started in 1998 with rappers KB and Freestyle. He has made five solo albums. However, he has retired from music. In 2019, he said he does not regret quitting music as his career path would not give him time for his family.
Despite that, sometimes he drops some freestyles on social media for his fans. The retired music artiste has since relocated to the United States of America. He has hit songs like; Big Boy, and Is It Your Money, to his credit.
Born William Orioha on 3 March 1981, the rapper is fondly known as 2Shotz. He began his music career while in secondary school and decided to pursue a career in music prior to enrolling at Lagos State University.
He is known to be one of the early rappers to mix the English language, pidgin English and Igbo in his lyrics. 2Shotz was also known to be witty with his rhymes.
Birthed in Surulere, Lagos State, Nigeria, to a family of three the native of Umuahia, Abia State has also relocated to the United States of America where he has chosen to become a photographer and filmmaker. Some of his works include; Carry Am Go, Odeshi and Delicious.
48-year-old rapper, Babatunde Olusegun Adewale aka Modenine is unarguably one of the legends in the Nigerian rap industry. Born in London on June 14, 1975. He is the third child of his parents who are from Osun State.
Before he relocated abroad, he worked with Rhythm 84.7fm in Abuja, Nigeria as a radio presenter. As a rap artiste, he complained that Nigerians did not appreciate his craft. Modenine has also since left the shores of Nigeria. Some of his hit records include; Cry and Show Me Love.
Bukola Folayan was born on18 February 1979). However, she is professionally known as Bouqui or B.O.U.Q.U.I. The Nigerian rap artiste reigned supreme in the music industry around 2007. The award-winning rapper bagged two Headies plaques during its 2007 edition as Revelation of the Year and Best Rap Album. Also, in the same year, she got the award for Best Female Act at the 2007 Award for Music Excellence in Nigeria (AMEN).
Moreso, her video for the single Take You Away, won the award for Best Mainstream Video at the 2010 Nigerian Music Video Awards (NMVA). Right now, Bouqui is an American citizen and a preacher.
Veteran Nollywood actress, Bukky Wright is also among the list of Nigerian celebrities to catch the ‘Japa’ syndrome. The 56-year-old actress born Oluwabukola Sekinat Ajoke Wright on 31 March 1967, is also a businesswoman and politician.
A graduate of the University of Lagos with a bachelor’s degree in Economics, the mother of two began her acting career in 1996. She has featured in several Nollywood movies both in the Yoruba and English-speaking sectors of the industry. She is famed for her role in Wale Adenuga’s hit television series, Super Story. Meanwhile, there have been reports that the Nigerian screen diva is now an Information Security Auditor in the US.
The proud mother of three boys, Omoni Oboli has several feathers on her cap. She is a film director, producer and digital filmmaker who studied at the New York Film Academy and has written several blockbuster screenplays like; The Figurine (2009); Anchor Baby (2010); Fatal Imagination; Being Mrs Elliott; The First Lady; and Wives on Strike (2016). In 2018 she starred in and directed the comedy film, Moms at War.
The thespian and her family have relocated to Canada. However, she is still very relevant in the Nigerian film industry as she shuttles between the two countries when she has a project.
Famous Nigerian comedienne, Helen Paul is also one of the nation’s stars who has relocated to the United States of America. However, she still makes the country proud as she hosts shows both abroad and in Nigeria while representing the country. Moreso, whenever she has a project, she is always in Nigeria.
Helen Paul is a Nigerian comedian, singer, and actress. She is also a stand-up comedian, known as Tatafo which is characterized by a voice range that makes her sound like a child.
She graduated with a doctorate in Theatre Arts from the University of Lagos, the funny lady is also a professor at a university in the United States of America. In 2022, she was announced as the HOD of the Arts, Music, and Entertainment department at Heart International University in the United States.
Regina Askia-Williams was born on 16 December 1967. The delectable Nigerian movie star is also a model and beauty queen. Now based in the US, she is a certified nurse who has received her certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). She practices in New York City.
Also, she writes and speaks publicly advocating for African outreach in children’s health, education, and economic development.
Adekunle Gold and Simi
Nigerian music power couple, Adekunle Gold and his lovely wife, Simi, are among those who have left the shores of Nigeria, shortly after they gave birth to their daughter, Adejare. Despite being based abroad, the singers have not let their fans down as they keep serving them hit songs back to back.