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How Migration Affects Those Left Behind

The economic, demographic and political factors of migration are everyday conversations, but not enough attention is given to how migration affects human emotions. I was ignorant about this until sometime last year.

My first brother, who was my go-to person, packed his bags and moved to a country about 4,000 km away from home. In the past, I have had friends and relatives leave but I had never felt the impact. On the first night after my brother migrated, I got little sleep and stayed awake to ensure my brother made it safely to England – his first time outside of Nigeria. 

On social media apps like X, formerly known as Twitter, there are a good number of posts about people leaving their home country, especially in Africa, for better opportunities abroad. At the same time, a search of the keywords “effects of japa” will lead you to several posts on migration's emotional and psychological effects, especially on Nigerians. ‘Japa’ is a Yoruba word that means ‘to flee’. There are several tips on TikTok on how to japa and this has found a way to make migration the new normal for Africans and people the world over.