StoriesRooky: On Leaving Nigeria and Making Music in Canada

Rooky: On Leaving Nigeria and Making Music in Canada

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So, most of you might not know this but before he moved to Canada, Rooky was featured on OkadaBooks as one of the authors and poets to look out for in the coming years. He has 3 books on the platform and participated in OkadaBooks’ #CampusChallenge 2018.

I think we met while he was in 400 level at the University of Benin. And before you know it, 3 books, Canada and thousands of listeners.

I met up with Rooky recently and we talked about why he left Nigeria. He also gave some advice to anyone looking to Japa from Nigeria.

Magnus: Why did you Japa?

Rooky: Bro, I japa’ed because there were no opportunities for me any longer in Nigeria at the time. I wanted to pursue my creative endeavours, and after I finished university I discovered that it’ll be tough for me to survive in Nigeria, so I decided to travel out to basically have more options in life for me. I am in a better environment and a functioning government. I can tap into better opportunities here in Canada.

Magnus: How hard or easy was it to leave Nigeria?

Rooky: It was very hard for me to leave Nigeria. I left Nigeria when I was 22 or 23. And it was like… gaddem man, leaving your family, leaving all your friends, all the contacts that you have built. Leaving Nigeria and going to start from a country all over again is one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever made in my life. So yeah, it was really hard. It wasn’t that easy at all.

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Magnus: What are the things you feel most people should know before leaving Nigeria?

Rooky: See ehn, If you want to leave Nigeria, you have to make up your mind and honestly, you have to plan a minimum of 2 years ahead. That’s If I were you sha, because one thing people don’t tell you about leaving Nigeria is the source of Income. The new place you’re going to, what source of income is available for you at that place? How fast do you think you’ll need to adapt to this new environment? The culture shock, the weather… you know? All these things need to be considered when you are leaving Nigeria because everything you’ve ever known is about to change. So you might wanna really do your research and be prepared before leaving.

Magnus: Would you consider returning to Nigeria and why?

Rooky: Haha, I mean, I feel like I will return to Nigeria someday. But I don’t think it will happen in the nearest future, maybe someday I’ll be able to move back fully.

Actually, if I get a delightful opportunity. Let’s say in the nearest future, I get a really, really good opportunity that would take me back to Nigeria, then fine I would come back. In truth, we are all looking for a better life. If Nigeria is going to afford me a better life than I am living in Canada then, for sure, amma move!

Magnus: What do you love about where you are currently?

Rooky: What I love about this place is, you can do whatever you want to do. You can be a musician. You can be a carpenter, a Doctor… Whatever you’re doing, as long as you’re functioning in society, you can earn a living and survive. And I feel like that’s really an underrated thing. Somewhere like Nigeria, by what you do, you are already classified as strata in society. Here in Canada, anybody can do whatever they want as a job, as long as they’re dedicated to what they’re doing, they can earn a living and survive.

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Magnus: You make amazing music. How can other artists and fans reach you?

Rooky: Thank you so much. You can reach me at:
Twitter – https://twitter.com/RookyJegede
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/rookyjegede/
Website – iamrooky.com
Listen on Spotify: click here

Sign up for opportunities for free: Click here
Join our Lagos Tour/Hangout: Click here
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