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Why 'Japa' Syndrome is So Embarrassing - Wale Ojo

Wale speaks his mind

By Jide OkonjoPublished 27 days ago 3 min read

Nollywood actor Wale Ojo and most recent winner of the Best Lead Actor award at the recently concluded AMVCAs is opening up in a new interview with This Day about his feelings on the raging 'japa' syndrome flooding the nation. During the interview, Wale Ojo called the whole thing "embarrassing" and "unfortunate", and explains why. Here's what he said.

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Speaking about his passion and hope for Nigeria, and why he finds the japa syndrome embarrassing, Wale Ojo said:

WALE OJO: [I have] a lot of aspirations [for Nigeria]. Over the years it would have been extremely easy for me not to come to Nigeria at all. I could easily have stayed in United States, or United Kingdom, or Germany or even Russia. And I know I would have been okay doing what I do there. But I love Nigeria, and I will always love Nigeria no matter what. And I have a lot of vision for Nigeria. And that vision is one that encompasses a country where everybody doesn’t want to ‘Japa’.

The ‘Japa’ mentality I think is embarrassing. I think it’s unfortunate, you know where doctors think they go and do their stuff in elsewhere and whereas when I go to the United States or go anywhere, Nigerians are applauded for their ingenuity. And you will come home there are many problems. I want to be a part of the solution; I don’t want to be talking about the problem I want to be a part of the solution. And I put a lot of things in place to bear the solution if the government wants to engage with the creative industry they need to come and talk to people like us because we have a vision for the country; we don’t do ‘follow-follow.’ Ronald Regan was an actor before he became a president; Donald Trump was an actor who became a president, Polish President, Lech Walesa was a playwright who became a president. And of course, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine who was a popular comedian. Creative people, ultimately passionate people and I am passionate about Nigeria.

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About the Creator

Jide Okonjo

I have ONE account and MANY interests. My page is a creative hodgepodge of:

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