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Atoke’s Monday Morning Banter: That’s What Friends Are For

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This time last year, I  was completely consumed by thoughts of Cancer. My 34 year old friend was dying and there was nothing I could do about it. On days when he did speak, I’d spend as long as I could talking to him and saying the most random stuff. Anything but this disease that was slowly taking him away from me. My prevalent prayer point was “Heal my friend, please ” I negotiated and calculated – if he’d lived for 2 years post diagnosis, surely he could make it through to the next year.

When he passed away in February, I was completely distraught. A few months after that, someone saw me sitting in the car outside the office with tears streaming down my face. Showing concern for my apparent distress, she enquired as to what the matter was. After several attempts to say I was just having a moment so I could be left alone, I finally broke and said I was mourning the loss of my friend.

“That your friend that passed 3 months ago?” I nodded in acquiescence. “Were you guys dating or something? Was he more than just a friend?”

That conversation has stayed with me because it was a jarring reminder that there are indeed several levels of friendships. There are ‘friends’ and there are ‘friends’. There are some friends that are there for having lunch at the office – “Who wants to order Yamarita from TFC? Let’s send John together so we can share the Okada fare“. There are some friends you’ve known from secondary school but you have gone your different ways. However, because of the length of time you’ve known them, they expect to be in charge of selling Aso-ebi at your wedding to your new friends from the gym.

There is also the friend that you can’t exist around without having your mutual friend to act as a buffer. You can’t exactly call the person your friend; but because both of you share a ‘besto,’ you find that you’re having cocktails every other week at Metisse on Etim Inyang – slowly building memories together.

Then, you have the friend who is your go-to-guy for how to get to some of Ikotun, and Alaba International. This friend is a walking map of the metropolis and is always up to discover new places. If you’re nice, he/she might even take you to that corner of Osapa London that you’re trying to reach.

You also have the friend that you can share the less-than-savoury- details of your life with. That boy who didn’t have a car but you went on a date with? The one your other ‘cool’ friends must not know you’ve been exchanging WhatsApp messages with. Yeap, that friend is the one you can share certain truths with.

There’s also the friend who is not afraid to tell you that although Ruby Woo is a shade of lipstick that is flying off the MAC shelves, it is not one that suits your skin tone. He/she is that friend who jokingly hides the play suit you have bought because he/she knows that your thighs are going to be ALL over the place if you wear them.

Then you have that friend who gets you. The one who calls every other day to ask if you’ve heard back from the scholarship board because she knows it’s the one thing that’s been giving you sleepless nights.

As we draw the curtain on 2013, think about your friends and the categories they fall into. Think about the friend that you are and the value your friends place on you. Are you that friend that can be called if there’s a flat tyre on 3rd mainland bridge after a long day at the office? You know that friend who has no qualms paying for your lunch because you’re who you are to him/her?

Call that friend today and let him/her know how much he/she means to you. Oh and please share some other categories of friends that I have missed out. Let’s have some fun this morning.

Have a lovely week ahead and see you in 2014.

Peace, love & cupcakes!
Toodles!

Photo Credit: accessalexwomenleaders.com

You probably wanna read a fancy bio? But first things first! Atoke published a book titled, +234 - An Awkward Guide to Being Nigerian. It's available on Amazon. ;)  Also available at Roving Heights bookstore. Okay, let's go on to the bio: With a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Swansea University, Atoke hopes to be known as more than just a retired foodie and a FitFam adherent. She can be reached for speechwriting, copywriting, letter writing, script writing, ghost writing  and book reviews by email – [email protected]. She tweets with the handle @atoke_ | Check out her Instagram page @atoke_ and visit her website atoke.com for more information.

92 Comments

  1. z!

    December 30, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Then you have that friend who is a tout but only to you! Says everything but I miss you. The tell it all friend, the pause lemme call u bk the guy is calling already. The im wearing ur dress tomorrow n all. I love my boos like that. So glad God let us choose our friends.

  2. Sols

    December 30, 2013 at 9:59 am

    This article is so awesome! For those who are blessed to have a wonderful family, having a besto or group of bestos is just a bonus!!!! Let’s not forget the friends who will happily come along on that ridiculous blind date and watch in the corner waiting for the olodo to just try and say or do something silly…or the ones who will house you in the middle of a crisis…the one who always takes panadol for your headache and my personal favourite, a friend who just gets you, whose eyes communicate more than words! Happy New Year dear Atoke…you’re a pretty awesome person!!!!!

    • TA

      December 30, 2013 at 2:34 pm

      Yeah,wonderful friends are a big bonus in addition to an Amazing family. Some of us are blessed like that.

  3. some hater

    December 30, 2013 at 10:08 am

    wow! deep! now I’m teary eyed cuz all my friends and I are slowly growing apart. the real world is cold yo. diff activities and all.

    • ms lala

      December 30, 2013 at 11:38 am

      yes it is my dear….my friends and i grew apart…trust me its called moving on, you didnt change they did….i know am a good friend, am the one who is likely to knock your man out for laying his hands on you or the chick who will fly out of state to be with you when you loose your job and find out your boyfriend of 3 years has been banging your cousin..yep thats me….but what this article doesnt hint on is the fact that we all have that bad friend that makes u wanna yell shout and just befriend bingo the dog instead of another female. you grew apart but sweety the one true friend who will make u happy and be there no matter what will come along.

    • Que

      December 30, 2013 at 3:49 pm

      Your quote: ‘…you didnt change they did…’ .. Do you think its possible those your friends would believe the same to be true about you…. #justasking.

      My own experience with close friends have shown me dat we can become totally dependent on a mere mortals n begin to expect so much without even realising it, thus when any of the ‘blame worthy scenarios crop up’, we feel bashed n betrayed n all what not… forgetting that in d real big picture of life, events will continue to happen that will make d friendship beef seem like child’s play…. if we only knew d end frm d beginning…

      A few times dis yr, my main girl and I drifted, I found dat I was always tryin to reach out n make peace, n eventually she opened up bout things I supposedly did n how I changed, and I finally had an opportunity to express my greivances too, n told her sha had a choice to be in or out, but my choice had been made long ago to be in whenever she cared for d friendship… she had been blaming me for things solely cos I’m not big on moaning bout my challenges n, she felt silly afterhearing frm me..

      I’ve come to understand dat life works by seasons, and only a very minute no of people will be constants in ur life in every season, and that is normal. No matter how close they are, how ride-or-die, and despite their best intentions, every season will necessitate some key players n by default create some back benchers, whilst also bringing in new ones, n kicking out some. If you fully appreciate this fact, friendships will be much easier. #lessblame, moreunderstanding. Happy 2014 …

    • Miss tee

      December 30, 2013 at 11:51 am

      Was just about to type the exact same thing! It saddens me a lot, ESP when I know I can’t build such friendships anymore, cos everyone is just soooo fake nowadays!!……… I Miss my friends *crying hysterically*

    • Yaw

      December 30, 2013 at 1:16 pm

      God bless you, miss tee. Everyone is just so fake nowadays!!! Smh.

    • memoi

      December 31, 2013 at 4:04 pm

      totally agree, work and distance is keeping us apart. I miss them and those times shared so much

  4. alice

    December 30, 2013 at 10:12 am

    yea! where’s ma phone at…some pple just make the world a better palce

  5. Audrey

    December 30, 2013 at 10:21 am

    I had quite a number of friends but Right now I have 2 very good friends, one is my bestie.As the years go by though the numbers keep reducing, I’m told its normal with age.I appreciate the few I have left though.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      December 30, 2013 at 11:25 am

      And you absolutely should. It’s not about the number of people you can call friends, it’s about the conviction you have that those people will rise up when they’re needed for whatever reason in your life. Of course, it’s without question that you don’t hesistate to return the favor when they need you as well.

      My staunch and select group of gals (plus 1 guy besto) are the ones who know where all the bodies are buried, mehnnnn! We’ve vexed, quarrelled, laughed, cried, worried, prayed, rejoiced… you name it and we’ve done it all together over the years. And there are times when we’ve not been in touch for months (blame it on the busy interference of families, work, life in general, etc) but when we get back to talking, the connection continues like we just spoke yesterday…. Na my other family be that.

  6. 'leye

    December 30, 2013 at 10:33 am

    My best friend from secondary school days got married last sat,even though am so happy for her its as if a part of me has been taking away,I miSs her so much that have bin told I kept mentioning her name in my sleep.some friends are more than sister to you.

  7. DAMMY

    December 30, 2013 at 10:34 am

    and there are some who call themselves ur friends but still beef, envy and even backbite behind u….ave personally made decision to stay away from all my female friends in d coming year cos dey cant help *enemy of progress thats what they are…..male friends are the best

    • ms lala

      December 30, 2013 at 11:41 am

      gbam!!! they act like the big brother even when they are one year less in age…they treat u well and help look out for the phonie guys who wanna jump in ur jeep and ride it. less drama more gisting…less backstabbing more caring….well unless he’s gay…my bff peaches …love him but damn peaches is damn well a woman in a rock and republic jeans.

    • SOS

      December 30, 2013 at 12:47 pm

      Please telll me u are not d dammy am finking in my head……cos dat wld be opposite of what you just typed…..sorry am been paranoid but v got dis exgirlfy called dammy n dat is exactly her traits u jx mentioned……

    • Que

      December 30, 2013 at 3:18 pm

      Sweeryyyyy male bestos haven’t dealt with you thats why u’re talking like dis…pls take it from a childhood tomboy, turn lady, with a gud count of close male pals….honey they not beta than ur female pals. I’m talking male friend I’ve shared gossip, dreams, food, possession n life with…, d friend dat rocks wit u frm aboki’s corner shop to d poshest places n back witout judgement, the kind of friendship dat makes family members become friends n adopted sibblings …. den he leaves u stark cold out on life’s rainy streets- figuratively n literally- n cruises by, with u looking on…. n life goes on.. after d anger n cutting off n me feelin sorry for my naivety n total trust, I realise I cant hold a lifelong -though well deserved- grudge, …they show remorse I forgive, n we friends again, except that now I fully understand he’s just anoda damn human being (sex be dammed) whom it served well to toss me aside for a long while. Do u think such a thing will happen twice….mba nu! But I can honestly say all is forgiven n life as I said keeps going on.

    • ms lala

      December 30, 2013 at 6:48 pm

      Que or Donde..please dont go around throwing your two cents and debunking people’s theories based on your own experience…I did’nt change they did..i wanted the life of college grad school marriage and child..they wanted party coke and blow …tell me if that aint change what else is…we agreed on reading hard and getting the goods in life not smoking crack…and yes male friends are the best of friends..

    • Que

      December 30, 2013 at 9:08 pm

      If u read my comments well, debunking wouldn’t be d word you’d use… in d first one I merely askd a question dat poppd in my head as I read dat line., n den moved on to make my own comment in a different paragraph as I didnt care to go n start typin in a different space. My second comment here was based on d closing claim by dammy bout male friends being better, .I merely told a different true story, which doesn’t make her a liar, but shows that alternative experiences exist even wit d male folk… I fail to see the point of ur grudge…

    • favoured girl

      December 31, 2013 at 12:00 pm

      My dear u attract the kind of person you are so take out the log in your eyes before finding the speck in another

  8. Thelma

    December 30, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Thanks Atoke. I have that friend and I call her EVERYDAY! And I sing how much I love her into her ears like a song that I’m sure her husband would soon begin to get mad at me.
    Happy new year in advance people!

    thelmathinks.blogspot.com

  9. Thelma

    December 30, 2013 at 10:50 am

    @’leye, your relationship won’t be the same as it used to be, she has other priorities now. But that doesn’t mean you guys have to drift apart, or let your relationship go. Friends like that are for life, they’re irreplaceable! Just understand when she can’t be there for you like she used to be. When she finds a balance she’ll get back to her bestie, you.
    @ Dammy, those ones are NOT friends.
    @ ‘Leye how can ALL your girlfriends be like that. You have to check yourself.

    http://www.thelmathinks.blogspot.com

  10. Thelma

    December 30, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Oops, the last one was to Dammy as well… Sorry.

  11. Mz Socially Awkward...

    December 30, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Atoke, you forgot to add “work friends” – i.e. that group of gals (or guys) you share 7.5 hours of your working day with, 5 days a week, so you all bond over cups of tea in the canteen and plan evening outings every couple of months, leading you to exchange phone numbers with them and accept their Facebook invites (although, you shouldn’t hesistate to deny friend requests from work colleagues… boundaries are very important). Unless you form a genuine bond with people in this category, you’ll forget these friends once you move to a new job and meet new work friends….

    Then, there are also “church friends”, who come into your life because you’re all worshippers in the same congregation and for whatever reason (maybe they’ve keenly observed your collection of Manolo Blahniks and identify with you as a fellow bigz gal or you both take your kids to the same sunday school class before service starts… it could be any one or combination of reasons) you both start to say a tentative hello which blossoms into some after-service gisting from Sunday to Sunday. Then they also send you a Facebook friend request, which is harder to ignore because we’re all brethren and you don’t want to come off as being unfriendly… however, you have no real depth of knowledge about this person (e.g. where they grew up, the kind of family background they’re from, what they do for fun, etc) aside from snippets like how long they’ve been coming to the church for, how both your kids play with each other during school and what department they work in…

    And of course! How could we forget or neglect the all important category of “Facebook Friends”???? That one sub-species of modern day “friends” just deserves a whole analytical thesis of its own…

    And that’s all the additional categories I’ve got for now 🙂

    • lila

      December 30, 2013 at 12:03 pm

      WORD…just realised that my category of friends are these sub categories..thus, they know nothing about me or vice versa.
      i had an issue some days back and not one of my “friends” had my back.then it dawned on me, maybe i havent been a good friend as i thought i was(a sad pill to swallow i must admit)
      i have resolved now to be a better friend- call more often,listen more, drink panodol or alabukun for the person’s headache…
      but a serious question….is being a good friend really hard?

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      December 30, 2013 at 6:10 pm

      @lila, it’s interesting that you ask because I was just tossing this around in my head early this morning – “It’s much easier to make enemies than it is to make friends”. And y’all BN readers better not be tweeting my new catchphrase 🙂

      I’ve felt the same guilt about not being a good friend, especially to the newer category of people that’ve come into my life more recently. See, there are things already understood between older friends and I, about how girlfriends conduct our friendships. We never had trust issues because so many webs connect us and it’ll be unthinkable for any of us to break that trust. We may quarrel but no issue is too big to destroy the bond. But nowadays, eeeish, people just have too much drama, mehnnn and I’m often tempted to just abandon any effort to work on the relationships with the excuse that “abeg, friendship shouldn’t be this hard after all no be for old age wey person wan find new bestos”.

      However, I’ve begun to realize that it shouldn’t always be about the role that people should play as my friends – the more crucial thing is, what role do I play in their lives? Let me satisfy all righteousness and if the friendship doesn’t work, no problem. But show yourself as a good friend with selfless motives and even if the ones you do it for don’t appreciate you, you just may find that there are others who’re drawn to the person that you are that so new, unexpected friendships may still come your way.

      Sorry for the lengthy response, I think I was advising you as well as myself… 🙂

    • Ekwitosi

      December 30, 2013 at 8:17 pm

      @MSA the key is knowing when to step back because some friendships if you allow them become very toxic more toxic than man wahala! You cannot stay together yet you cannot be apart. That one that can never take advice and yet makes the same mistake all the time. That one that tells you after the fact! All you do is damage control and the fact that you just met this person yesterday makes it more annoying. This does not mean old friends do not become this because circumstances don change you know

  12. felicia

    December 30, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    and you have that friend who is soooooo damn closer to you than ur sis, you might not talk evryday lyk ur office pal, buh you jus reslise dat no matter the time you share it lyk …….

  13. Odogwu

    December 30, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    People like you make reading so much fun. Well done! There’s also that friend you just enjoy being with. Even when there isn’t much to say, just seating around them makes you feel so good and safe. That friend you just can’t wait to tell about your latest ‘jackpot.’ Not because there are no other people around to tell, but because you love to see the spark in their eyes as they listen to you with genuine interest, and ask for the little details. That friend that when a situation seems so bad, looks you in the eye and tells you that everything will be fine….
    odogwusblog.com

  14. Rynyx

    December 30, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    i don’t mean to come across as cocky but I can confidently say that I am that friend that can burst her comfort for her friends. I can put my neck on the line for my girls. but lately, it seems like everyone has gotten so used to me taking all the inconveniences. I am always alone when I need some one to be there for me. how come I am always there but always alone when I need someone to be there for me. I decided to slow down a bit and guess what, I cant find anymore friends around me. its so painful because with some of these people, I share memories that I will always cherish. it was so bad that I had a baby and didn’t know who to call. I have just decided to lean on my family, that’s one support system I will always have. I just wish it didn’t turn out like this. everybody needs friends they can trust. but its all good, growing up is so hard.

    • ms lala

      December 30, 2013 at 2:07 pm

      same here!!!!!!!!!! its okay sweets…your not alone…just tone it down and observe first and figure who deserves to have u as that friend u just described or as someone who just says aww sorry and moves on…but it dawned on me today that am the only one in my click who really is a good friend..have been friend jacked by loosers who ended up breaking friendships of years just because shes a yes maam and we will party at diddy’s mansion even tho we got finals tomorrow kinda of girl…maturity too makes friendship decay and rot…its not ur fault sweety..breathe in sip slow and move on…i did and guess what am heading to grad school and leaving these bishes behind with no job no future and did i mention no money

  15. Tea

    December 30, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    And there are the ones who you haven’t known for years,but it feels like you ve.it’s the sincerity that counts and the fact that you know they ve got ur back come what may.thank God for wonderful friendships.and then the ones you ve known for ever n eva,wu behave like you are all in their business and they cnt wait to get rid of u.God help us all to be better friends in the coming year.

  16. T

    December 30, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    There are the friends that even if you guys dnt communicate in a year, u still pick up from where u left off,
    The friends your father must never catch in your house.
    That friend that is the closest thing to a lagos runs girl but you still dont know why you guys are friends
    The friend your other friends do not like.
    The friend you’ve never met
    The instagram friends
    The shy friend
    That friend that you dont like to take out bcos of some reason
    The sly friend
    The list is endless…
    Thank God for friends 🙂

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      December 30, 2013 at 6:14 pm

      Hahaha!! “The friend your father must never catch in your house” & “the friend who’s the closest illustration of a runs gal and yet you know why you’re friends”. Yup!!

    • Que

      December 30, 2013 at 9:13 pm

      Lmao @ friend ur father must never catch….. who knew!!! Hahahahahaaa……

  17. mia

    December 30, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    How about those who have always loved u but u felt nuffin for and they sent u just a line on your wedding day. Or those who only talk to u once in a month but u start from where u left off.

  18. Chee

    December 30, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Nice write up Atoke,my bestie remains my spouse cos my secondary school friends hv all gone their seperate ways,looking forward to a write up on ‘Facebook friends’ hmm!

  19. TA

    December 30, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Ah! Atoke,your head is very there. *muah for this topic: -)
    There are so many categories of friends that we
    couldn’t possibly name all,the generous one who will give of all her time n resources,then there is the fashion diva who you can consult for wardrobe and beauty related issues she is the one that can style your hair better and fix eyelashes better than the overpriced guy at Ikoyi…I have a cookaholic friend that we talk for hours on end about food,cooking,the best places to dine anywhere in the world,then there is the bookworm,we speak books,intellectual subjects,this one is studying something related to Nuclear physics so I guess that explains it :-),then there is the crazy one,the one that has absolutely no qualms about being the first to hit the dancefloor at a very crowded party and is the last to leave,she is the one that will park right in front of Fela’s Africa
    shrine at Ikeja and when the ‘Igbo smokers’threaten to deflate her tyres,she walks up to their gang leader ,thrusts her face very close to his and stares deeply into his eyes and says ‘wetin you dey smoke? ordinary Igbo,hissed loudly and says ‘you never see person wey smoke wetin pass your N100 Igbo? Less my tyre first,’ the guys all start hailing her with cheers of ‘mama,make you do your boys well o,if you come back,and she did them well when she came back,she dashed them 3k…Lol!
    There are different friends for different occassions but there is that one the friend thst becomes a sister whose parents are now friends with yours because of your friendship,the one that is as constant as the northern star,that is so wise beyond her years that has absolutely spot on advice on everything from what to say to your pesky landlady,man issues, and when she has nothing to say listens and listens some more. Shallat to all my girls you all rock.;-)
    PS: How about the ‘BN (social media) friends’the ones that you just know will be cool in real life.

    • TA

      December 30, 2013 at 2:26 pm

      Sorry for the long post guys!
      @ Atoke,thanks a zillion. 😉

  20. Joan85

    December 30, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Growing up is difficult. People get married, have babies, change careers, move half way across the world, re-arrange their priorities. I have a group of friends that I’ve known for a few years. But my closest friend? He’s a guy lol and that is the one that will never go away. He is the person who knows what I will say even before I say it. We can voltron for each other like say na the same mama born us. He has been there through every stage of my life in the years that I’ve known him and I couldn’t have wished for anyone better.
    Someone asked me why my besto is a guy. My reply? Because the last time my best friend was a girl, she stole my man without blinking, gbam!!! + Chics get drama abeg lol 🙂

    • hot mama

      December 30, 2013 at 3:44 pm

      loool…na real girls and their drama!!! had a few dramas with my very close friends and I can say those dramas are the reason I know they are genuine friends, we fight we squash…we speak our minds, exactly how we feel about anything and everything…no man theft tho, lool.

  21. Dolapo

    December 30, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    That friend you don’t stay in touch with often, but once you catch up, it’s like you’ve been talking constantly. That friend that never says anything nice to your face and you’re not sure if those hurtful words she blurts out, she means them. That friend whose idea of crazy matches yours like a puzzle/jigsaw. That friend that inspires you to be a better person.

  22. Shona

    December 30, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Hmmmm…recently I decided to stay away from my friends and enjoy my own company for a while.This year taught me a whole lot.I realised I was crossing oceans for friends who would’nt jump a gutter for me.It’s all good though,learnt my lessons and pray 2014 would be a very good year.Lest I forget,what about the social media friends(facebook,twitter,instagram and lastly blogs).The list is endless…Happy new year in advance to my bella naija sisters..Its been an amazing year with all your comments.muahhhhh.

    • nana

      December 30, 2013 at 5:37 pm

      Loool @ friends that cant jump gutter for you. Girl, everybody needs “me” time at certains points in life. So you deserve it. At the end, a friend is still human and is liable to jealousy, envy and snitching. Wisdom is key.

      thediaryofayoungblackwoman.blogspot.com

  23. Endo

    December 30, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    I thank God for my sister friends; some l’ve known for over 20 years.! We have laughed, cried , fought and married together . Sadly , about 2 are now separated from their spouses but it hasn’t hindered our friendship. Alas, l’m the only one without children (apart from a couple of my single friends) but l love their kids to bits!

    Pls share your endometriosis stories @ endochallenges.wordpress.com. Let’s beat endo together!

  24. frances

    December 30, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Thank God for friends yeah? I have done an assessment on myself and yes,I am that friend that will rush out in the middle of the night to help you when you call, thankfully,I also have friends that will do this for me,friends that I know that even thought we don’t talk for 3months,whenever we do,we’ll pick up where we left off.
    The other category of friends I have are those I have never met physically but they are just like family ah swear!
    The connection is just there! Plus some av known for 3years plus,no eye contact per say but friendship still strong…seems like I have more of those than real life friends sef.

    http://imperfectlyperfect92.wordpress.com

  25. jcsgrl

    December 30, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Hmmnn me and friends…*long epistle alert! I am that chic that HAD lots and lots of friends, then life happened and we grew apart. People make friends with me easily but I rarely initiate them. Friends just come to me and we flow. But my problem is (still not sure if its a problem), I don’t stay in contact with them. I don’t do cliques. I’m just not that loyal. Its like friends come in and out of my life. The friends I had in primary school are not the ones I had in secondary school. The ones I made in Uni are now different from the ones I have now. At the moment, I feel like I’ve grown apart from the ones I’ve managed to keep chalking it up to life (between relocations from country to country, infertility issues, etc), the only people I’m close to now are hubby and my siblings. At my wedding, I had close to 800 guests but now I don’t think I can count the number of people that I can invite to any function I could have in the future on both hands. Most of my friends are married with kids so keeping up with them has been difficult. Infact, now I’m looking for couples who dont have kids to befriend sef. Anyway, I still dont feel close again to the few that I can call my friends and sisters…maybe we are growing apart. Well, the good thing (and I’m not sure if its a good thing) is I have since loved to enjoy my own company and don’t really miss anybody that much per se. I’ve gotten really introverted and I really love it. My family have raised it as a concern because of the bubbly child that had battalions of friends they used to know. They are still trying to get used to this keeping-to-herself person they see now. Me, I’m actually enjoying it! Is it a bad thing? I only get a bit sad sometimes when I see girls who still have loads of friends they are tight with and then I miss mine. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a few and we hang from time to time but I can tell there’s now a distance in our relationships. I’ve accepted it as maybe how my life is and moved on. When we see, we see. sighs life and growing up sometimes suck.
    Abeg my people no vex for this shrink session this morning. I was just reflecting about my life with girlfriends. BTW, I dont even know how women have guy friends. It has never worked for me. They always wanna get with me. If I was still single, I will ask una to teacher me.

    • Ekwitosi

      December 30, 2013 at 3:58 pm

      @jcsgrl it is ok to pull back and reflect then relaunch in a smarter way! When you get to know you, you will be a better person.

    • jcsgrl

      December 30, 2013 at 6:13 pm

      @ekwitosi yes you are correct. I’ve actually pulled back and reflecting its just that I’ve been reflecting for a looong time lol. Oh well…I’m good either way

    • zsa zsa

      December 30, 2013 at 6:14 pm

      @jcsgrl….you just gave me something to think about. I have very few “friends” and a lot of acquaintances. Like you, my friends from primary school are different from my friends from secondary school, university and Grad school. I have 2 very dear friends from university but thats it. ! of them is a better friend than i am cos she is excellent at keeping in touch…i just enjoy my own company too much. Part of the problem might be that i changed primary and secondary schools a lot, then after university i left nigeria. I made some work friends then i changed jobs and moved to the east coast. AHHHHH now I’m confused lol.
      Anyway i have 2 very good friends, a few good friends and a bunch of acquaintances.
      Damn i might need a shrink too!

  26. S!

    December 30, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    Atoke. This article! I’ve passed through most of the stages besides the aso-ebi part. Lol :). I have 5 amazing friends who I now call sisters as they are just that. Just this morning during our usual morning rants/banter I was just expressing the gold mine we had hit with our bond. I wish I could write all about it but it might just seem too unreal. I always thought female friendships came with a lot of drama and well fakeness but for these friends all I can say is they make friendship seem easy and worth it. To my YSKG ladies I love you all with everything I’ve got. And Atoke darling, I love you plenty too 🙂

    • FJ

      December 30, 2013 at 7:10 pm

      Awww Crystal darl, i love you more.

  27. Ekwitosi

    December 30, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Atoke you forgot to add if you want a friend be a friend. I will quote Maya Angelou again that says people will forget what you did, people will forget what you said but people will never forget how you made them feel.
    That person that knows the true situation of home front because we are all big girls in the city but very few will know the true situation of daddy, mummy and up bringing not to say you are ashamed of who you are or where you are coming from but then very few can get to that place.
    Not the friend that will just say it is well and will continue talking about other stuff and leave the elephant in the room. But that friend that will let you cry, pour out your heart, console, chastise, lecture, scold, encourage, celebrate, hold their breath for you and take your panadol for you.
    What about that professional friend of yours? The one that knows everything about moving forward, the one that knows who is hiring and is willing to connect you to anyone that can help.
    Then that other one that never judges you and nothing is too sordid to share. They always have a kind word to say no matter how bad the situation is.
    For some each time you speak it’s as if time and distance never happened in their own silent way they are rooting for you!
    Sometimes people out grow each other, interests change but all the same it is ok. Just know when to step back because sometimes you no longer need each other.
    Thank you Atoke for writing this there are too many acquaintances but very few friends, there are too many people but very few individuals and I try to be an individual everyday.

    • AREA CODE

      December 30, 2013 at 6:22 pm

      you couldn’t have said it better, if you want a friend be 1 and also make it clear where you loyalty lies. my friend and I knew where we are coming from and we encourage each other to be the best,laugh cry tell each other about new opportunities,talk about our siblings and I also have some big uncles like that too over here while growing up I couldn’t sit and gist with them but,over the years they’ve become uncle/friends and I realize 3-9yrs age difference were just numbers they’ve gone through a lot and are there to listen ,help and joke with me,cause dem sabi home front wella!

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      December 30, 2013 at 6:33 pm

      “… Too many people but not enough individuals and I’m trying to be an individual everyday”

      Very nicely put.

    • Ekwitosi

      December 30, 2013 at 8:53 pm

      I forgot to add when you are calling someone a friend make sure they are also calling you their friend! So that two of you are on the same level!

  28. AREA CODE

    December 30, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Atoke happy new year in advance! you just described my best friend/childhood friend, from trekking under the sun in naija and outside naija together all in the name of doing business to trekking after a very expensive meal hahahaha. she is just the best #boooflife! we talk about guys, other friends we have that just have silly attitude but we still keep them for keep sake,when we are together we do and go everywhere together,we encourage each other like, we are each others cheer leader though we live in different states outside naija we know just about everything that happens in each others life day in and out.

    Then I have some friends who think am in some sort of race with them…#childish so they call once in a while to know how far have gone with my career,they don’t like to encourage but some times want you to encourage them, the friends that I go out to drink with #lifeoftheparty call them friends cause they are plain and always say what is on their mind, the once that are plain nasty to everyone #richdaddysyndrome days of alternate in their mood is the best you might get a good gift from them :-):-):-). aside my childhood friend who has my 100% loyalty, others I go out of my way for them but I just really don’t feel its a must but they are my friends. the thing is they are all special and unique in their own ways and there are days you just miss them for no good reason.

  29. Kiki

    December 30, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    That friend yoy call and cry your heart out cos thar dude or chic is messing you, that friend that tells you the truth and tells you to move on and know it’s not worth crying over spilt milk. I’ve one like that.

  30. laide

    December 30, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    This article just made me sad. Lord, how is it that I dont really have friends. I have so many acquaintances, but we never really make it to the friend stage. All my ‘friends’ are under the sub groups atoke talked about. Please how do people do this? or I am just special and not meant to experience real friendship.

    • her

      December 30, 2013 at 7:32 pm

      you and me both o… 🙁

    • Ekwitosi

      December 30, 2013 at 8:07 pm

      @Laide no there is nothing wrong with you. The question you have to ask yourself is what type of a friend have I been so far? When you know better you do better. You cannot give what you don’t have. If you have peace you give peace, If you have love you give love……..
      Just pay attention and you will see that person that has extended a hand of friendship. There may also be another one that is also waiting for you to extend that hand of friendship too. It takes an action to make or mar a friendship. It can start as easy as two people that share common interest or just two random people that enjoy spending time together. After a certain level even female relationships become like boy/girl relationship because you want to invest in it, water and grow it because you don’t know that person that may rescue you. Sometimes the person that may have the biggest impact in your life is not related to you.

  31. Tea

    December 30, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    And then there are the friends you haven’t known for years,but it feels lk u ve.All that matters is their sincerity and the fact that you no they’,ve got your back come what may.Thank God for wonderful friends.And then there are the ones one has known forever and ever,loll!that do as though you are all up in their business and they can’t wait to get rid of you….hmmmn.God help us all to be better friends in the coming year

  32. Product of public Education

    December 30, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    Friends with benefits category nko?

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      December 30, 2013 at 6:38 pm

      Boy, you’re a mess….

    • Ekwitosi

      December 30, 2013 at 8:21 pm

      @Product of public Education please explain what benefits are you referring to?

    • Grace E

      December 31, 2013 at 12:19 am

      what kind of benefits?is he/she giving you health insurance?

  33. Pade

    December 30, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Not fortunate to have had this cant sleep without you friends. There are friends who smile and eat with you and then go behind you to gossip or slander you they are called office friends who want to trample upon you to get to the top. In my opinion,secondary school friends seem to be the most sincere,cos they know you when you did not have your own cash.

  34. natty

    December 30, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    i have a handful of friends, but as we enter 2014, I am dropping one. Mehn!! she is the definition of a hater, wharrahell!! you must not progress in life because she hasn’t reached you level, you get a job, she looks for a way to tell you that the job role is demeaning, meanwhile she is applying for that same job role, relationship wise she is looking for reasons why you boyfriend is a bad boy, when she can’t find she settles on looking for flaws in his family, after all her wahala she’ll come and ask why men aren’t interested in her.

    • Purpleicious Babe

      January 3, 2014 at 2:21 am

      lol…
      Friends come and go.
      The ones that are meant to stay will stay.
      I am grateful for the little friends I have in my life including my Mum and Sis.

      I have learnt its important to be your own best friend and learn to love, do and respect you.

      Friendships: some just do you a favour by distancing themselves away. lol. x

      lifeinstagesdoz.blogspot.co.uk

  35. Product of public Education

    December 30, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    [email protected] SA.

    Happy New Year. Xxxx

  36. shenugs

    December 30, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Haaayyyyy….i envy all of u o. I dont have friends. Been that way for as long as i can remember. I just dont know how to keep people so close to me. Once i notice we are becoming close, i withdraw. The other person withdraws too and i’m back to square one. Some people even still talk to secondary school friends. Mehn!!!!! I make sure i cut ties with people i meet at every stage in my life as soon as i move on to another. I just dunno how to have friends biko. I’m not complaining though. Its who i am now 🙂

  37. Angel

    December 30, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Thanks Atoke, this article got me thinking, don’t really have much friends cos am an introvert naturally. The few friends I have I think I take them for granted, I don’t really let them into my life that much. My best friend right now is God cos I tell him everything, but I ll love to bond more with friends. Am also good at dropping friends as I move along in life, growing up indeed is not easy, lot of things change, people change,I think am gonna turn a new leaf come 2014. I think this my first time commenting on this blog and I just wanna say you all re cool, happy new year everybody.

  38. Que

    December 30, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    After reading some comments bout pple with only acquaintances around em, I am even more grateful for d ones I have cos I assumed dat everyone has at least 1 or 2 close true friends.. I can count my die hard friends in 2 hands- 4girls, 2guys… but time has tested n revealed our strengths n weaknesses, one or 2 thru break ups n make ups n we’re standing n going strong… we’ve changed schools, cities, rship status, jobs, cities again n so on n anytime we meet -if we’re in a room, we just take over without trying, we just know how to bring d life out of each other n it sooo rocks…d benefits faaaaaarrrr outweigh any drama we’ve faced (and o boy there have been a few) or will face. I say, even when the drama comes, resolve in ur mind to wait it out (by dis I mean how u handle any disagreements, howeva major it seems, d only person who’ll hear what one friend did to me will be our mutual close friend who can take a fair stand n whose intention is peace/resolution)-thats d loyalty test…. if indeed u’re friends, d make up will always take u higher, dan any brk up could ‘ve kept u down.

    Speaking of category of friends, those ‘area friends’…I.e. the face u recognise cos u meet at certain busstops, cinemas, or streets where ur favorite fast food joint is… n u begin to smile n say hello after one tooo many run ins…

    • ms lala

      December 31, 2013 at 7:32 am

      awwww. u have 2 hand friends three toes homies and an arm full of acquaintances..*rolling eyes*

  39. Zayt

    December 30, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    Lovely write-up Atoke 😀 U just made my day

  40. nonijaz

    December 31, 2013 at 1:21 am

    Wow! So true.
    A good friend is priceless. Love love this piece

  41. X- Factor

    December 31, 2013 at 11:00 am

    My papa once told me that some friends come into your life for a REASON, some for a SEASON and some for a LIFE TIME……
    …and again you need to be able to stream line your friendship in to:
    1. Acquaintances
    2. Associates (Casual friends e.g professional friends)
    3. Good friends( Those who know your story and have shared some of your ups and downs
    4. Brothers/Sisters ( Intimate friends-Your inner circle; those guardian angels who stick closer than your blood)

  42. favoured girl

    December 31, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Funny I have a few close friends but they are not even friends with each other! I can’t do the whole clique thing at the age of 28! They all know each other from afar but each one is precious to me in their own way! But my hubby is definitly my best friend! Chai I love that man he truly can die for me…Lord I do not know what I ever did to deserve such an incredible child of yours but I’m eternally grateful *sorry for my proclamation of love * hehe

  43. Zayt

    December 31, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Just reflecting about d different categories of friends I have. Like the friend that only remembers you when they have man problems, the friend you suspect is a lesbian, the friend you love to rant about your boss to lol, the friend you can’t trust your partner with, the friend your mum doesn’t like, the friend everyone doesn’t like but you understand….

  44. Sunshine

    December 31, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    I have been searching for friend for over 20 years. Please does anyone know where Ogechi is? I can’t remember her surname. We attended St. Annes primary school kaduna together. She was very fair, pretty and had a dark elder sister. Back then she stuttered/ stammered don’t know about now. I recall her mum passed away and she had to go through a lot of changes at her young age. She was my daily ray of sunshine and would wait at the school gate each morning, even if i was running late, for us to trot off to class together. Facebook has not been helpful in locating her. Anybody please !!!!!

  45. Sommie

    December 31, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    Awww…sunshine,you just reminded me.Been looking for a friend since primary school days.Hmmmm,my friendship journey has been crazy. I could cry right now sef.Hurts when u realise you have been jumping oceans for people who would’nt jump gutters for you like @Shona said.Friends have failed me.They really have.

  46. Ugo

    January 1, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    This write up just made me sad. I lost my BEST FRIEND 7 months ago. I still cry like it happened yesterday. One of my closest friends said that I shouldn’t forget that I have friends still living nd that was two days after I lost my bestfriend. How can someone make such a callous statement? Regardless of everything, I’m so grateful for my circle of friends.

  47. iRen

    January 1, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    Atokeeeeee!! Found you!!

  48. FunkyW

    January 2, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    I think my main friends are my mum and my sister because I can’t claim to really like, want or need anyone like I need them, although at some point in my life especially secondary school and university days I made good friends but right now we’re not so close and I think we’ll be farther apart in the years to come.

    The different stages of our lifes define the people we meet and when there’s a transition we change and they change too, but its important to enjoy relationships/ friendship as it comes and move on if it has to end.

  49. Haddy

    January 3, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Hmm… This post just gave me a mixture of sweet and bitter feelings. I had two very awesome friends right from our first year in the university when we became friends. Actually, the other two became friends cos I was friends with them both so they had no choice, really. We had the most wonderful time together, though I was constantly being put in between them both. We were good friends and it extended to our families. Sadly, I’ve lost them both- one in 2007 and the other in 2011. It’s been difficult to make friends since then. I have a few that we grew up together and we still keep in touch once in a while, but no one quite like any of those two. There are these other two who are trying their best to be close to me, to draw me out of my shell, and I’m trying real hard to reciprocate cos they’re really proving to be loyal friends, but I just don’t have it in me to start all over again. Typing this, I keep remembering them both, how naughty and full of life they both were and it makes me realise how much I really miss them both. It hurts. It hurts bad. But God knows best. Anyway, as it is, my sister is my best friend and confidante. Always has and always will be.

  50. Brightonlad

    January 4, 2014 at 1:13 am

    My brothers and sister are my best friends.Everybody else is just an ordinary friend

  51. Aura

    January 6, 2014 at 12:25 am

    Not to forget the friends that don’t have a mouth filter,the say every and anything in front of u but are besties for life.

  52. Laface

    January 9, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    The friend that holds your hand and prays with you when you are going through a rough patch.. The best type of friend.

  53. done it, lived it and done with it

    January 10, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    The friends we made in secondary school, the ones who knew before we lost our innocence………

  54. uju

    January 16, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    oh Lord…Atoke thanks soo much…this article made me smile through tears. i thought of the friends ive lost these past years and it still hurts. But the realization that not every friend will walk out the lengthy path of life with you just helps me handle it better. we all arent going to the same place. i thank God for making me a good friend and i trust Him to make me better in 2014…but best of all are the friends you can sit with and discuss the beauties of God with,hold hands and cry together,not be ashamed to borrow money from without the risk of being disrespected. i sincerely thank God for the few that i have that fall into this category,i’m even tempted to scream their names…lol. God bless you Atoke…we should be friends naa…watcha think??….hehehehe

  55. joy sotunde

    January 29, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    its so sad when young people die of cancer but can we question God? in all honesty i have never had any good loyal loving friend all my life the only one i had fibroid took her away oh dearest clementina i still miss u this one friend that had my back come rain come shine she would always protect me whenever theres trouble although she scolds and hug me at the same time. i can never forget u my dear BFF … dearest i have been searching for someone like you i av been sooo unlucky instead iav frenemies and backbiters all around me i cant even share my fantasies or fears with them they will anly laugh at me………………… its been so hard calling someone a friend these days its soooooooo expensive i just cant afford it………. Rest on my dearest friend…

  56. joy sotunde

    January 29, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    thank u atoke God bless u

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