July 15, 2024

Janine Udogu, affectionately known as Nwanyiocha, has become a beloved figure in Isuofia, Aguata, Anambra, and across Nigeria. Married to Ezenwa Udogu, she holds the traditional title of ‘Lolo Anyanwu Ututu I,’ bestowed upon her by the people of Isuofia, signifying a rising morning sun that inspires and radiates warmth.

In a candid conversation, Janine shared her remarkable journey from Switzerland to Nigeria, a decision that continues to amaze many Nigerians. Her story began in 2008 when she met Ezenwa at a club in Switzerland. Despite initial reservations and insisting on divine intervention for their paths to cross again, their relationship blossomed, leading to marriage in 2012 in Switzerland and a traditional ceremony in Isuofia in 2014.

Initially hesitant about celebrating Nigeria, Janine’s firsthand experience of the country dispelled the negative perceptions she had encountered. Determined to change the narrative, she embraced her role as an ambassador of Nigerian culture, particularly the Igbo way of life.

In 2023, Janine and Ezenwa made the bold decision to relocate to Nigeria to ensure their children, who are of mixed heritage, would know their roots and language. Despite concerns from her Swiss compatriots about security and healthcare, Janine remained resolute. She wanted her children to experience both cultures and be proud of their identities.

Janine highlighted the strong love and support she receives from Ezenwa, which played a significant role in her decision. She also appreciates the community’s embrace, symbolized by a mango tree she planted in Ezenwa’s compound, now bearing fruit for the family and neighbors.

Janine’s dedication to preserving the Igbo language and culture for her children serves as an inspiration for many Nigerians. Her story is a testament to the power of love, cultural pride, and the ability to bridge worlds.

5 thoughts on “Nigerians Surprised I Chose to Live Here While They Leave — Swiss Married to Igbo

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