Every young person in Nigeria wants to Japa. And rightly so because Nigeria does not provide an enabling environment for these youths to thrive.

Let’s hear the views of an upcoming tech bro about why he wants to japa.

Who is Ishaku Yunana?

You already know my name – Ishaku Yunana.

I am currently based in Shagamu, Ogun state.

I am a 21st-century technology-driven teacher and educator.

I teach science in Bethany schools here in Shagamu.

Also, I am into tech. I am a graphics designer and an upcoming web designer and developer. I just started recently; I’m learning web design using WordPress and Emulator.

I enjoy designing. 

I enjoy creativity, anything that has to do with creativity or design. When talking about art, I’m talking about music, design, and anything that involves creativity; I enjoy it. If I’m not listening to music, I’m designing. If I’m not designing, I’m checking out recent designs and artworks that professionals have done to get inspiration.

I watch movies. I like movies that widen my imagination to increase my curiosity and creativity, not for fun. I like movies that have an engaging storyline.

Also, I enjoy reaching out to people and impacting people in any way I can. So, whenever I see someone need something, I help them as much as possible.  And that has pushed me to try as much as possible to be versatile, even in things I have little interest in, to help people who need help in that area.

Is that not trying to be a jack of all trades?

I’m not trying to be a jack of all trades. I have my focus. I have where I am going. I know where I am going, but I try as much as possible to touch as many skills I can so that when I see somebody having an interest in such area, for example, content writing, I’ll be able to help them improve and push that skill to make something out of it. That has pushed me to attend webinars that may not necessarily be in my field just to get the knowledge.

I am an advocate of youth skill-up. The situation of the country is not encouraging, and one cannot depend on a government job. That’s why I encourage everybody to get skills.

That’s a bit about who I am.

Wow! That’s an earful.Given the current state of Nigeria, what are your career prospects? And are they attainable in Nigeria?

Well, the truth is that there’s not so much that the country can offer – I’m talking about opportunities and enabling environment for growth.

I have this philosophy of not worrying about things I can change and things I cannot change.

Yes, people are complaining about the state of things in the country. People are leaving the country, but I try as much as possible to have various options.

I want to become a professional graphics designer, and I have been looking for a way to make that happen in the country, despite the country’s situation.

As a graphics designer, I need a constant power supply and data; these things are not readily available right now. But, I have taken it upon myself to ensure that lack of these requirements does not pose a limitation for me.

Also, I try to be in an environment that supports my career growth; that’s why I left northern Nigeria and came to the South-West. I researched my career as a graphics designer and realised that South West is where those businesses thrive more because people patronise such services.

Aside from that, the internet has made things quite easy for us. As a graphics designer, I can render my services remotely to people outside Nigeria, like the US. Because of that, I try as much as possible to gain mastery in my skill so I’ll be able to attract international clients. I believe good work speaks for itself, notwithstanding nationality. People will not bother about your nationality when you do a good job. The world is now a global village, meaning you can make transactions anywhere. People from Thailand, the USA, and France can pay for your services.

I choose to see beyond my country and its limiting factors; The national grid has blown eleven times, and data is expensive. But I cannot keep complaining about things I cannot change; I’d rather change what I can and leave the ones I can’t change.

That’s a nice way to put it. It’s like the saying, ‘make lemonade out of your lemons.’Okay. So, I’ve heard your philosophy and everything. But, if you are given an opportunity to Japa, will you take it?

I will take it.



Because of the career, I am pursuing.

However, if Nigeria provides me with the enabling environment to develop myself professionally or if I can be in Nigeria and not be affected by the Nigerian economy, Japa will not be an option again.

For example, now, $1 is N710 on the black market. Some people are not affected by that because they transact in dollars, have dollar accounts, and their business is in dollars. So, even if they are affected, it’s usually by a small margin, unlike the poor masses. If I can be in that position, Japa will only be a vacation option. I can just travel out for the weekend or spend some months on vacation and return home, especially given that my career is something I can do remotely. 

But as it is right now, if I’m in another country, it will be faster for me to achieve these things than in Nigeria because there they have stable electricity, cheap data, scholarships and other facilities that can help me achieve mastery in my skill within two years. 

So, if I have the opportunity to Japa, I will go because it will help me achieve my goal earlier and faster than in Nigeria.

Okay.What are the things that you think if they are in place, you will not japa?

Well, the number one thing is light, stable power. If this country can have stable power, we are good to go.

Another thing is the issue of insecurity. 

I know you may sound like wetin concern graphics designer with insecurity. 

Yes, we are always online, but bad news gives negative vibes, and when you read too much bad news, it affects your creativity as a person and your thinking. 

So, if we can fix the insecurity of this country, if we can have light, and if the government should be deliberate about investing in the youth, especially in the tech ecosystem. 

I am yet to see a viable policy that helps youths in Nigeria to develop all these tech skills – they are not there. Many youths want to venture into tech careers, and we need good laptops. If the economy is bad, like the value of $1 is N710, and you want to buy a good laptop for graphic design, you’ll have to save up to seven hundred to eight hundred thousand naira. 

The NCC responsible for regulating network in Nigeria are not helping matters. Network providers in this country give us data; at any rate, they see fit; there is no regulation.

As an individual that just finished school, finished NYSC, where they are paying you N33,000 only, where will you get the money to buy a good laptop and data? I know some corps members who have to borrow money or call home before they can travel back home after NYSC because you can’t save anything from N33k.

The government should look into data, light, insecurity issues and better allwaee for corps members. If these things can be solved, the economy will be better, and if one can get a good laptop between N100 – N200K, we are good to go.

Most people that Japa, didn’t go because of leisure or because they want to go. Some of them are not in the best condition, but that’s their last option. If things are working, many people will not leave this country.

You said your own is to make the best of any situation you find yourself in Nigeria.What is your advice to young people who want to Japa but don’t have the resources or the financial capacity to do that or are tied down in one way or the other in Nigeria? How can they make the best of their situation?

No matter how bad Nigeria is, there are still opportunities around. Find a problem and then provide a solution. By creating solutions to problems in society, you will generate income. Also, youths should not be too haste to make it because one of the things driving our youths crazy is that everyone wants to make it sharp. People are not patient enough to learn and master a skill that will earn them money. Everybody is just looking for ways to make money fast.

My advice to youths that want to Japa, calm down. Look around your community and find a problem. No community doesn’t have a problem. Find a problem and provide a solution to that problem through your services or goods, and you’ll be able to generate income.

Also, find a skill, especially a tech skill. For beginners, I’ll advise that you just don’t learn a skill and fold your hands. You are not yet a pro and cannot get contracts that will give you enough money. You have to find a job. While doing the job, you’ll be able to support yourself and invest in your skills and career till you become a professional.

That is what I am doing right now. 

I am teaching right now. I love teaching because I read chemistry education in school, but I want to port to tech. 

I can’t just say because I am a graphics designer doing a 5k job; I will just sit at home and survive on a 5k job. I know I have not reached the level where people can pay me N100k for a job. I know that. I can’t lie to myself. I have told myself the truth. That’s why I took the teaching job. So, I’m teaching, earning a salary that is not that big, but from there, I can save 5k to pay for online courses to boost my career. Also, from my salary, I can buy data to take my classes online and watch youtube videos. So, as I am doing my teaching job, I am also growing in my career. The time will come when I’ll reach the mastery that a client can pay me like 200k for a job. I will then resign from my teaching job and concentrate on my tech skills. 

But many of our youths are in a hurry to blow. Someone just started content writing; because you are earning 2k, you’ll just sit at home, waiting for clients. You can spend one month, and nobody will even reach out to you because you don’t have a clientele, you don’t have networks. These things are all about networking. Once you can break into the circle, whether you advertise or not, clients will come because you are in that circle. 

And you can only enter such a circle when you become a master in your skill; that’s when you’ll be able to sit with the big guns of your industry. Then, contracts will come to you naturally to the extent that you can even reject a job because you are busy.

So, be real with yourself. Tell yourself the truth and know your reality. If you don’t have money to Japa, and you don’t have anyone to sponsor your Japa, then start something. It could be little, it could be selling stuff, but just start something that will give you a continuous stream of income, no matter how little. With that money, you’ll be able to boost your career, develop your skill to mastery and become a professional.

That’s my advice to youths like me.

Thank you Ishaku for your time.