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Life on the Streets of Cyprus – The Jay Wahk­er Sto­ry, Dias­po­ra Con­nect

Jay Wahk­er

In a beau­ti­ful city like Cyprus where you find attrac­tive loca­tions like the casi­no, hotels, beach­es and lots more, the thoughts of going broke should nev­er be con­ceived, if you go broke on the streets of Cyprus, it could get so ugly with lit­tle or no hopes of get­ting assis­tance from locals. Nev­er­the­less, Cyprus offers many oppor­tu­ni­ties even to stu­dents, per­haps the rea­son why this des­ti­na­tion attracts a large num­ber of tourists from dif­fer­ent parts of the world. In terms of edu­ca­tion, Cyprus is blessed with bril­liant and con­ducive envi­ron­ment for learn­ing.

One very beau­ti­ful aspect about Cyprus is its excep­tion­al loca­tion, though not an anglo­phone coun­try, yet offers edu­ca­tion in Eng­lish with ade­quate pro­vi­sion for lab­o­ra­to­ries and tech­no­log­i­cal infra­struc­tures. Cyprus have three sea­son win­ter, spring and sum­mer. This could be chal­leng­ing at first to new stu­dents espe­cial­ly dur­ing the win­ter sea­son.

Cyprus have more veg­e­tar­i­ans and a pop­u­lar Pas­try called “Durum” which every­one loved. It is inter­est­ing to know that some shops in city cen­ters sold only Africa food.

The edu­ca­tion­al sys­tem and the econ­o­my in Cyprus is orga­nized and strate­gi­cal­ly struc­tured with high qual­i­ty infra­struc­ture even though it is a small coun­try.

Dias­po­ra con­nect (DC) have played a vital role in the uni­ty of African stu­dents com­ing from dif­fer­ent parts of the world, espe­cial­ly help­ing them con­nect with one anoth­er and shar­ing expe­ri­ences. The tes­ti­mo­ni­als got­ten from the idea of Dias­po­ra Con­nect (DC) have obvi­ous­ly shown that lives of stu­dents study­ing abroad are being impact­ed immense­ly.

Frank Ikechuk­wu Ugbana pop­u­lar­ly called Jay Wahk­er was born on 14th Novem­ber 1988, a native of Delta State, born and brought up in Jos Plateau State of Nige­ria.  He acquired his first school leav­ing cer­tifi­cate in Dadin Kowa pri­vate school Jos and dur­ing his junior sec­ondary lev­el, he attend­ed Saint Joseph’s col­lege and lat­er pro­ceed­ed to Fed­er­al Gov­ern­ment Col­lege Enugu.

Jay Wahk­er (Right)

In 2006 he start­ed his uni­ver­si­ty degree at the Abubakar Tafawa Bale­wa Uni­ver­si­ty, Bauchi and obtained his Bach­e­lor of Tech­nol­o­gy cer­tifi­cate. Lat­er on in 2015, Jay Wahk­er pro­ceed­ed for his mas­ters in Cyprus and final­ly grad­u­at­ed in 2017.

Jay Wahk­er was an out­stand­ing stu­dent with excep­tion­al per­for­mance in school activ­i­ties. Jay Wahk­er sur­prised every­one with his unique style of music which was great­ly accept­ed back then at the Uni­ver­si­ty in Cyprus. Jay Wahk­er is a very tal­ent­ed song writer with a great taste for good music.

It’s impor­tant to inform you that in 2017 Jay Wahk­er was award­ed the best artist dur­ing Africa Stu­dents Grand Awards (ASGA), at Cyprus and was also nom­i­nat­ed in the same event for the best song of the year after sur­pris­ing fans with his smash hit titled “Snapchat Love”.

Jay Wahk­er joins the train of dias­po­ra stu­dents across the globe as he shares his expe­ri­ence in a chat with Toktok9ja Exclu­sive on Dias­po­ra Con­nect (DC).

Jay Wahk­er (Mid­dle)

My music ambi­tion has always been that dri­ven force which gave birth to new ideas. I love music so much and start­ed play­ing with musi­cal toys and books at a very ten­der age “thanks to Mum and Dad for the great sup­port”, which makes me aspire to be the great­est of my time.

The road to suc­cess is not a straight for­ward one, find­ing it hard and chal­leng­ing boost my ide­ol­o­gy on music and enables me think out­side the box. With catchy tunes and new con­cept in my music I want to reach out to the world. My dream is to African­ize my music to the world.

Let’s spice it up with my expe­ri­ence on the street of Cyprus, I will try to elab­o­rate as I can recall. Though Cyprus is a great place to pur­sue aca­d­e­mics, yet there are chal­lenges stu­dents faces which I will address as I pro­ceed.

Jay Wahk­er

Jay wahker’s sto­ry is an expe­ri­ence you would sure want to read about. My sto­ry in a nut­shell all start­ed when I land­ed the air­port to board a flight to Cyprus. Per­mit me to make this state­ment because ever since I heard about Cyprus it has always been paint­ed in my mem­o­ry as a col­or­ful island with a lot of recre­ation­al activ­i­ties and tourist attrac­tions. This is exact­ly as I thought, but to be frank with you, there is more to be told.

Cyprus has both the Cypri­ots and the Turk­ish peo­ple, the two sets of peo­ple appear to be in secret accu­mu­lat­ing hatred with each oth­er. This real­ly affects Cyprus in terms of job oppor­tu­ni­ties and expo­sure.

Truth be told, the secret hate among the Cypri­ots and the Turk­ish peo­ple affect­ed me so bad­ly that it got to a point I for­got I was an artist.  Fun­ny enough this hap­pened to me dur­ing my first year when I was still a novice, life was so chal­leng­ing at that time.

I could recall the day I attend­ed a freestyle show orga­nized in the bas­ket­ball court around my neigh­bor­hood. The plan was to actu­al­ly gen­er­ate funds from the freestyle show, but rather, funds were extract­ing from me at the end of the day. Yet I nev­er let that dis­cour­age me, instead it inspired me.

The sur­vival mode in Cyprus is some­thing I wouldn’t want to expe­ri­ence again, being broke in Cyprus was a real bad expe­ri­ence. There are no pro­vi­sions for soft loan and the locals won’t lend you mon­ey when you go broke. I hope the schools author­i­ties will make pro­vi­sion for stu­dents to access soft loans which they could pay back with lit­tle or no inter­est as a way of solv­ing this predica­ment, because most stu­dent resolve to all man­ner of things just to pro­vide for their needs.

Dur­ing my stay at Cyprus, I was loved by many prob­a­bly because of my humor­ous activ­i­ties; this made me always put-on a smil­ing face even at hard times. In Cyprus there are all man­ner of oppres­sion and it affects peo­ple who aren’t con­tempt with what they have or could afford. This was nev­er the case with me, I knew my focus and where I was head­ing to. I always hear­ken to the words of my father, “the way you make your bed is the way you lay on it” I made this my watch word.

In 2017 things began to change, I start­ed devel­op­ing a fan base for myself, espe­cial­ly from Cyprus Inter­na­tion­al Uni­ver­si­ty where I schooled. I began to par­tic­i­pate in the school events. This was the begin­ning of my strug­gle for fame, I blew the minds of both African and inter­na­tion­al stu­dents and got a strong ground. My song got fea­tured in all the enter­tain­ment activ­i­ties around Cyprus.

This con­nect­ed me to numer­ous music pro­duc­ers from oth­er coun­tries, it was a remark­able expe­ri­ence. On one occa­sion, I intro­duced a dif­fer­ence ball game of music genre in Cyprus cam­pus­es by releas­ing a hit track titled “Snap Chat love”, to my great­est sur­prise this song was loved by many and the song was always request­ed each time I was per­form­ing in a show.

Jay Wahk­er

This was an attes­ta­tion to the fact that I could do even more, that same year my new­ly released song “Snap Chat love”, was nom­i­nat­ed for the best song of the year, and I was also nom­i­nat­ed for the best artist of all times at Africa Stu­dents Grand Awards. The loca­tion of the event was at ‘Near East Uni­ver­si­ty’, which I got the award for best artist of the year.

That same year I per­formed at “The Niger­ian Night Fes­ti­val” at my school ‘Cyprus Inter­na­tion­al Uni­ver­si­ty’. I also per­formed at the Miss CIU Beau­ty Par­get, trilling fans.

Love life in Cyprus sucked, noth­ing was real, emo­tions where tem­pered with and most girls fell into traps, they were not enlight­ened enough. Girls were all over the place to my dis­pos­al but I chose to live a smart and wise life not falling for com­mon traps around.

Land­lords charge very high amount of mon­ey for rent in Cyprus and this was a major issue for African stu­dents which forced so many girls to indulge in immoral activ­i­ties to meet up.

This bor­dered me when I under­stood the sys­tem in Cyprus where we pay our rents in pounds, pay school fees in euros and get paid in Turk­ish lira if you ever got a job. To sur­prise you, do you know that the Turk­ish lira does not have any val­ue com­pared to pounds and euros? I feel it is just a strat­e­gy to extort mon­ey from inno­cent stu­dents.

As blacks it was almost impos­si­ble to get a prop­er job oth­er than restau­rant jobs, con­struc­tion jobs and clean­ing jobs, which was bad.  I also noticed that there was a form of seg­re­ga­tion where Turk­ish stu­dents pay their school fees very cheap in Turk­ish lira and for­eign stu­dents paid very high amount in euros.

My advice to the youths, you have no oth­er choice but to believe in your­selves because every­one has a hid­den trea­sure, so hav­ing that abil­i­ty to dis­cov­er these hid­den tal­ents the sky will always be the start­ing point.  As for the gov­ern­ment of Nige­ria, please sup­port the youths for they are the future lead­ers of tomor­row, also focus on those areas lack­ing main­te­nance so that Nige­ria will be made a bet­ter place and we won’t have to trav­el over­seas to study.

I have always want­ed to be an excep­tion­al star and a great song­writer so full of unique­ness and out­stand­ing qual­i­ties. I see myself tour­ing round the world and impact­ing lives through the music that I preach.

To round it up I sur­vived in Cyprus as one who nev­er gives up and who is ready for any sort of chal­lenge in life.       

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