Daniels James and I have been friends on social media for several years, one thing I admire about him, his consistent push for his dreams even if it meant late night hours working on them. And early morning cleaning to free up time to continue on his dream projects.
Just as his social media presence, I learnt he is also one of the calm and warmest people you will ever meet and will attend to you nicely and interactively.
Daniels relocated to Rwanda some months in 2022 and Gisterz Media recently caught up to talk about his relocation to Rwanda and experience in his new country.
Gisterz: We know you have always wish to Leave Nigeria. Why Rwanda?
DJ: I was set to relocate to Dubai. I was already traveling from Nigeria to Dubai… I was already concluding things about my visa. The faithful day I started processing my visa was the day in effect Dubai placed that ban on Nigerians coming over to their country. It messed up my plans already and was very tiring because I was very tired of Abuja already and wanted to leave Nigeria.
Gisterz: Oh sorry to hear that. Why were you exhausted in Nigeria?
I had ugly incidents that kept distracting me most times, one time like that I recalled police officers illegally arrested the next-door neighbor and another time I had issues with Police earlier that same year that cost me money. Even though, I recovered the money and the officers involved were detained. I constantly will hear about tech guys who also had issues with the police and I got tired and didn’t want all that.
The electricity issues too were affecting my work, I was already spending much on my rent, in consistent electricity supply and internet subscription in Nigeria. So thinking about it all…
Instead of spending this much money in the state capital without the quality service delivery, why don’t I go to another city with better resources to help my work since I work remotely? I have started a Social Media Marketing agency.
At the time when the Dubai ban happened, my friend suggested I relocate to Rwanda. I equally recalled researching Rwanda some years ago and it seems a beautiful place. Was one of the calm places in Africa and the 9th safest country in the world. Considering I was exhausted and really wanted to leave Nigeria badly, I decided to relocate to Rwanda.
That’s how I arrived here and to be candid, I love it here already.
Gisterz: What would make you relocate back to Nigeria?
DJ: There are 3 things that will make me want to come back to Nigeria, in fact I have said it before that once am wealthy and I know that I can be safe from the issues of government and police, am surely coming back to Abuja. To be specific, three things that can make me relocate back to Nigeria right now are:
1.Electricity issue is resolved.
- Police harassment and most importantly, profiling young tech guys because of dreadlocks are reformed.
Good access to unlimited internet, I learnt about the Starlink company that one can pre order, coming to Nigeria. That one will be good.
The police harassing people because of dreadlocks and limited electricity supply is the two main factor why I left Abuja. If police will stop harassing young tech guys because of their looks and there are 24 hours’ electricity supply in Abuja believe me I will run back to Nigeria. Honestly I love Abuja as a city. It’s often quiet and really beautiful place. So I left because of those three things, electricity, police harassment and internet.
Gisterz: For Young Tech guys in Nigeria or anyone who wants to Japa from Nigeria, what advice do you have?
DJ: Anyone trying to relocate from Nigeria, be sure you already have work or something doing or be sure that wherever you’re going to already has provision that is going to take care of your needs. Because without adequate preparations for this, it is going to be very tough on you.
For example, the rent here is not like same system in Nigeria where you pay annually and it’s affordable for us. Equivalent to dollars, you pay up to one thousand to two thousand rent annually back in Nigeria. But here, you would have to pay your rent monthly and pay an average of five hundred dollars monthly for rent, electricity and internet. Here the internet is unlimited.
To even find something more affordable here is possible but then you really need to have something that would generate steady income.
If out of Job, be sure you are going to get a job wherever you are relocating to. Frankly speaking it’s going to be frustrating when you are in a foreign country and you don’t have enough money to support you. You can imagine that. Also the change in food and all that, for example if you like Nigerian food and want to maintain eating Nigerian food, it is very expensive outside of the county.
Gisterz: Earlier you mentioned owing a Marketing Agency. I didn’t want to interrupt you; can you tell us more about your Agency?
DJ: Grow Viral is a Social Media Marketing Agency. We assist brands create, edit and grow their social media contents. Directly Instagram and Tiktok. We are currently trying to build a startup at the moment but I can’t go into that details at the moment. The new startup is different from the Agency.
We are also developing an office here in Rwanda for the Agency (Grow Viral) which will assist businesses in Africa, starting with SA, Rwanda, Nigeria, also Ghana. Grow Viral will help these businesses grow their Social Media, creating quality content for their social media and also we will be developing affordable courses. Low-budget course for people in Africa who can’t be able to purchase the major social media marketing courses we have at the moment. We dedicate to help small businesses grow their social Media.
Gisterz: What’s your biggest dream at the moment?
DJ: Currently working on so many things, including the new startup I earlier mentioned but my biggest dream at the moment is relocating my mum from Benue State to Abuja and afford for her a nice duplex apartment worth up to one hundred million naira. I really want to achieve this in this 2023
Gisterz: Wow! Such a beautiful thing to hear. Does she know about this?
DJ: Yes, we have lived in Abuja before
Gisterz: I Know people easily recognize you offline, how do you feel about being famous?
DJ: Although will not say am famous. I do get recognized in public, even in Rwanda. Someone here recently saw me and said he’s been following me on Facebook for years and knows about my TikTok. I have mixed feelings about it, because am a reserved person and I keep to myself offline.
I like doing so many things offline and I don’t want people in my private business, when am out and someone runs into me, I do feel somehow about it but then it’s Okay I still don’t mind most of the time.
Gisterz: Rwanda Jollof Vs Nigerian Jollof: Which do you prefer?
DJ: Forever I will pick Nigerian Jollof but then Rwanda doesn’t have their own Jollof. Here they have what is called Pilau and funny they are also dragging it with Kenya, the same way there is an ongoing dragging of Nigerian and Ghanaian Jollof.
I always pick Nigerian Jollof, even here in Rwanda. It’s delicious. A Yoruba man here owns a restaurant here in the tech industry, they sell Nigerian Jollof rice and pilau as well. I always eat the Jollof, I think it’s what finishing my money here because am too lazy to buy groceries and cook. I order from the restaurant every day since they are affordable. And it’s the only cheap Nigerian food here in Rwanda, the company is called one Menu.
Thank you so much for your time. Wishing you a successful time in Rwanda and hope you do not post where you are cleaning your house 2am in Rwanda like you did back here, smiles.