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Would You be Offended if Your Friend ‘Japa’ Without Informing You?

How will you react if your friend travels far away without informing you?

Ever sat in your house scrolling through social media and then you see your very good friend – who you still spoke to a couple of days ago and didn’t tell you anything about travelling abroad – in winter jackets with the caption, “Mehn, this abroad life sweet o?” Or in an airplane with the caption, “Bye Naija, e go be.” How did you feel?

In this part of the world, relocating to another country without letting many people know is a common practice. In fact, there’s a common Yoruba proverb, when loosely translated, that says “when your yam is getting done, you have to cover it with your hands.” This proverb is simply telling you to hush when you are ‘prospering’ in certain areas so that evil people will not pour sand into your garri. But do proverbs like this have a place in friendships? Do rules like this apply to your friends?

From the ‘traveller’s’ point of view, nothing is assured and you never can tell who doesn’t wish you well. What if you tell all your family and friends that you have gotten that scholarship or job abroad, and then something happens, your relocation doesn’t go through anymore and you are ‘stuck’ in Nigeria?

From the friend’s perspective, it is simple: if you consider me as a friend, you should be able to tell me you are relocating to another country. Your inability to share your wins with me is you indirectly telling me you do not trust me enough as your friend. Many people have broken up their friendship with someone because of this.

This doesn’t apply to relocating abroad alone. Many people have had friends who got married and they didn’t know until they saw wedding photos circulating on social media. Worse still, they’d been communicating all the time and the friend never mentioned any wedding preparations. Some have had friends who they didn’t know were pregnant until they saw baby photos on social media.

Come to think about it, if you are friends with someone, why can’t you share your major wins or next step with the person – a promotion at work, a scholarship, a new job, when you’re relocating, and so on? If you can run to your friends in times of trouble or call them when you need their help or a shoulder to cry on, what’s then the big deal about telling them when you are winning?

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Sometimes, it comes from a place of fear, a “what if I tell them and it doesn’t push through” situation. But isn’t that why they are your friends? To understand and stand by you even when your plans don’t go through?

Sometimes, people take it from the spiritual angle. Like people you tell deliberately sabotaging your win-in-view, so it doesn’t come into fruition. Still, if you suspect your friend will sabotage your win, why then are you friends with someone like that?

On the other hand, is your friend not telling you about his/her win enough reason to break up your friendship with him/her? What if they had genuine reasons and were indeed planning to let you know in the nearest future?

Over to you, guys, is your friend not telling you about his/her relocation (or any major win) a deal-breaker for you? How will you react to it?

This article was originally published on BellaNaija

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