- 90 Day Fiancé -A Deep, Deep Dive Into Whether Or Not Nicole Nafziger Is In Morocco
For devoted fans of 90 Day Fiancé, there is one question that seems to linger from season to season. You try to ignore it. You try to focus instead on an adult man applying mayonnaise to his hair or showering with his future father-in-law, but still, the same, nagging thought remains: Why can’t I stop thinking and caring about Nicole Nafziger?
Despite the fact that 25-year-old Florida-native Nicole and her Moroccan fiancé Azan Tefou, 29, haven’t been filmed for the show since early 2019 (they were on Season 4 in 2016, Season 5 in 2017, and Happily Ever After in 2019), fans’ fascination with the couple — and whether or not they’re even a couple at all — has stood the test of time.
For those who need a quick reminder, Nicole and Azan’s story is the making of 90 Day gold: American girl meets Moroccan boy online. Girl travels to Morocco. Boy repeatedly refuses to show physical affection and constantly criticizes girl’s weight and eating habits. Girl berates boy for cultural and religious differences and ignores literally everyone in her life who says boy is using her for a Green Card. Boy and girl get engaged anyway.
Despite the widely held fan opinion that Nicole is, indeed, being taken advantage of, Nicole has maintained for years that she and Azan are still engaged. They haven’t seen each other in person since 2017... until now?
The latest in the Nicole and Azan saga is her supposed March, 2020 trip from Florida to Morocco. Just over one year after the couple last appeared on TLC, you can find dozens of posts on any 90 Day-focused Facebook group or Subreddit talking about it. And so too, shall we. (I reached out to Nicole herself for comment on the speculation around her trip, but didn’t hear back before publication.)
To be clear, the fascination with Nicole’s trip doesn’t exist to explore why, exactly, she chose to travel internationally in the middle of a global pandemic — it exists because many people don’t believe she ever really traveled there at all.
Is Nicole in Morocco with Azan? Is she in Morocco, without Azan? Is she in Florida, pretending to be in Morocco? Is Nicole a figment of our collective cabin-fever, fever-dream? Let’s explore.
Theory #1: Nicole Is In Morocco With Azan
If we take Nicole’s Instagram posts at face value and assume that everything we see is honest and in real-time, then Nicole arrived in Morocco on March 11 after weeks of teasing her mysterious upcoming vacation.
Between March 11 and March 23, Nicole posted five photos; four were selfies with Azan with captions like, “These days with you have been so amazing.” (There was also one Azan-free photo that made the grid — an ad for a subscription box — and Nicole made sure to note in the caption that it was taken before her trip.)
In addition to the in-feed Instagrams, Nicole also spent time between March 11 and March 23 — ostensibly in Morocco — posting Instagram Stories of vaguely Moroccan things, such as a video of her making Moroccan mint tea, and a clip of a TV show with two Moroccan actors (some Reddit sleuths figured that one out). In her tea video, there is a box of Rennie on the table, which is an indigestion medicine sold in Morocco, but not sold in the United States. It's the red box, seen here:
In both IG Story videos, Nicole appears to be completely alone aside from one giant, slightly terrifying teddy bear and a box of antacid medication. She did not upload and share any real-time videos of her and Azan, but more on that later.
It’s been about a month and a half since Nicole supposedly landed in Morocco and she’s presumably still there because it’s possible she’d be unable to leave due to travel restrictions.
According to the LA Times, as of March 18, 3,000 Americans were stuck and unable to get flights back to the States because Morocco had shut down all incoming and outgoing flights to control the spread of COVID-19. Morocco arranged 100 “exceptional flights” in order to repatriate people to their countries. However, according to CBS, as of March 31 there were still more than 1,000 Americans stranded in the country. Nicole could be one of them, willingly or unwillingly.
Plus, Nicole’s March 20 Instagram Story said, “[It] sucks everything is closed … But I’m fine. We’re good. I’m still in Morocco for everyone that wants to know. Not going home just yet.”
Ok. So, this all seems to add up that Nicole is in Morocco... but where is evidence that she’s with Azan in Morocco? I asked 90 Day-expert Katrina to weigh in. Katrina is the person who gets her hands on most of the juiciest 90 Day news first, like Michael’s green card getting denied last year, and if you haven't listened to her 90 Day podcast called The Fraudcast, please enjoy.
Katrina and her team compared some of Azan’s household items that appeared in the background on TV in past seasons with the images of household items seen in the background of Nicole’s Instagrams from this March, 2020 visit. The screenshots of the episodes and of Nicole's Instagram Stories were sent to her from a follower in Agadir, Morocco (which is where Azan lives) and we thank them for their invaluable service.
“There are things that match up," Katrina says. "There's this one picture where it shows some of the similar tables.” See Exhibit A, below. “And the TV stand is the same that's been in previous seasons.” Katrina goes on to explain that there’s a Playstation in the background of Nicole’s Insta Stories from this March, which is significant because in an episode of 90 Day, we saw Nicole pack a Playstation for her trip. See Exhibit B.
Last, but certainly not least, according to InTouch Weekly, Nicole’s mom Robbalee Nafziger has confirmed that Nicole is in Morocco. And on April 19, a follower asked Robbalee on Instagram if Nicole was doing all right, and Robbalee responded: “Yes, she is doing well. She calls every day. Internet is spotty in Morocco but she will video chat and stay on as long as internet will allow. Azan is taking good care of her.”
Putting aside speculation that Robbalee could be covering for Nicole, these comments would seem to confirm that Nicole is indeed with Azan, in Morocco.
But what if these selfies and Instagram Story pics are reused photos from past trips? And why, if she’s in Morocco with Azan, have we not seen Azan?
Theory #2: Nicole Is In Morocco, But Not With Azan
Robbalee’s response presents another question worth considering: How, exactly, did Nicole and Azan manage to maintain a long-distance relationship for nearly half a decade if Azan has such a poor internet connection?
And! Since March 23, Nicole hasn’t posted anything featuring Azan aside from one selfie that she claimed was taken on March 14 (remember, she supposedly landed in Morocco on March 11). Yes, she’s posted some of the Instagram Story stuff mentioned above — Moroccan actors, the Moroccan tea with Rennie in the background, etc — but we haven’t seen Azan once. Not once!
While it’s possible that, as Robbalee mentioned, terrible WiFi is to blame for Nicole’s lack of updated social media activity, Nicole didn’t seem to have too many problems uploading content during the first two weeks of her trip, now did she.
But enough about WiFi. Is there a world in which Nicole is in Morocco, but not with Azan? The short answer is: yes. The long answer is: yes, indeed. Enter: The quarantine theory. This theory would mean that Nicole’s social media posts are real and in real-time, and it explains why we haven’t seen her fiancé in any of her content.
Currently, Morocco is on a total and complete lockdown. The country has taken COVID-19 very seriously; they have arrested people spread false information about the virus. Needless to say: There is nothing to do and nowhere to go in Morocco right now. If Nicole is there with Azan, they’d be stuck in the house together. So then, we must ask ourselves, why, then, have we not seen Azan.
It’s possible — because any and everything is possible in the 90 Day Fiancé universe — that Nicole flew to Morocco and then had to self-quarantine. Maybe Azan and/or his family insisted that she do so, or maybe Nicole herself thought it was a good idea because, like I said, literally anything is possible.
Is Nicole in an AirBNB, or is she self-isolated in a room in Azan’s house? The latter scenario would confirm Katrina’s hypothesis that Nicole is in a space with Azan’s household items, and either scenario would explain the Moroccan Instagrams (tea! actors! indigestion medicine!), Robbalee’s confirmation that Nicole is in Morocco, and the fact that we haven’t seen Azan. Simply put, we haven’t seen him because she’s not with him.
And Robbalee’s comment that “Azan is taking good care of her'' could mean in-person care, or, it could mean that food is being slipped under Nicole’s door three times a day. Who’s to say.
Yes, Nicole’s choice to visit her fiancé — for the first time in three years — in the middle of a worldwide pandemic was ill-advised. And OK, yes, the idea that Azan would be making her quarantine (for close to 6 weeks!) without him is a little strange, too. But none of these theories even touch the weirdness of the final, most popular Nicole Nafziger conspiracy theory of all.
Theory #3: Nicole Never Went To Morocco In March
The gist of this theory is simple: Nicole never went to Morocco and instead posted a series of images in-feed on Instagram and on Stories that made people think she was, first of all, planning to go to Morocco and second of all, is there now.
“If Nicole was in Morocco with Azan, she would be posting live videos with him showing it off like a banshee. Right? That's her M.O. So why aren't we getting those?” Katrina tells me over the phone. “Why are we getting cryptic photographs?”
As most fans know, Nicole is known for posting photos of her and Azan fairly regularly (take this screenshot of a Facetime call between the two that she posted in August), as well as her habit of posting a truly endless stream of links in Instagram Stories to articles about their relationship.
Plus, as we discussed in Theory #1, Nicole took the time to clarify that one of the Instagrams she posted between March 11 and March 23 was taken before her trip. Does this, perhaps, defensive caption mean that she’s aware that many people, including those who comment on her posts, don’t believe she’s in Morocco?
When all is said and done, Nicole’s silence is the biggest piece of evidence that she isn’t in Morocco. All it would take to clear up this rumor (and it could be just a silly rumor!) is a quick, casual Instagram Story that shows her with Azan in Morocco (she’s never been shy about posting Stories like that before) or, on the other hand, a quick, casual Story that explains that she’s in Morocco but has self-quarantined and hasn’t seen Azan yet. Such proof-positive content is nowhere to be seen.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about the theories surrounding The Morocco Trip is that they exist at all. A common criticism of Nicole is that she seems to make decisions (on social media and in life) that aren’t very smart, but the fact remains that she still has over a half a million followers that are tracking her every move — and she’s not even on television anymore.
Nicole has managed to create substantial buzz and speculation around herself, her relationship, and her whereabouts. Love her or hate her, isn't this exactly the type of buzz that generates more followers, more money, and you guessed it, maybe even future television appearances?
On April 11, Morocco and the U.S. authorized another flight out of Casablanca to return stranded American citizens back to the States. As far as anyone knows, Nicole is still in Morocco, if she was ever there at all.
Nicole currently has 576,000 Instagram followers, which is no more, and no less than she had on Friday, April 17.
Feature image: TLC