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Isio Knows Better: The Professional Passover

Isio De-laVega



Isio-Knows-Better-May-2014-Bellanaija1-562x600“To wait patiently for a person to become of different character is completely futile- you will waste your life hoping the lion will take up piano so you can dance. WAKE UP. Free the lion to find a lioness, and go find yourself a musician.” –Unknown.

So, Kuki was upset.

I could tell from her furrowed brows and tightened lips. Plus, I had been going on and on about how difficult it was for a single girl-entrepreneur in Lagos, a topic that both interested us, as she was also self-employed, but asides from a few well-placed grunts, I could almost swear I was talking to a sculpture.

We were both in my kitchen, where I was making us some lunch. I took off the pot of soup I had been reheating and took a moment to study my friend. She was staring far into space, and was idly drumming her forefinger against her lips.

This was very unlike her. Something was troubling her.

ME: Ahan, Kuki, it is obvious your mind is not here, what’s wrong? Did something happen?

(Yep, I was ready to give her my full attention. The egusi soup could wait).

KUKI: Isio, I don’t even know how to process what happened to me earlier today sha… Do you remember Subomi?

ME: Subomi? Isn’t she that your friend from way back when? Since before Unilag days? The pastor’s wife?

KUKI: Yes o. That Subomi…

ME: Ehen, so what happened? I know she is one of your closest friends, so it can’t have been that bad.

KUKI: Do you know that Subomi and I were together, eating, gisting and laughing, and then we started talking. In fact, this very thing you are talking about is very similar to what we were discussing… being self-employed in this city and the wahala involved in keeping your head above water. Subomi knows how difficult it has been for me as a wedding planner lately, and was even counselling me to keep pushing and have faith, that the big jobs will come again.

My sister, hmmmn… in my presence- In front of my koro-koro eyes, Subomi received a call… it must have been from a friend of hers or something. I don’t know what that one said to her, but from Subomi’s answers, they were obviously talking about an upcoming wedding. Do you know that Subomi recommended another wedding planner for the job? Told her friend not to worry, that that one would do a fantastic job. She finished the call and then turned to me and continued our gist like nothing had just happened.

ME: Ha! (At this point my mouth was agape).

KUKI: My dear, I was just as flabbergasted as you are now. Who does that? Subomi and I have been tight since we were kids. I was the wedding planner for her wedding, and I did it without charging her a dime. She and her Pastor husband said they didn’t have much money so I even used my money to pay for the caterer, the drinks and waiters. Luckily at the time, I had more money than I have now, so I could afford to do that for my dearest friend without feeling the pinch. Now, two years later, the tables are turned. I don’t know why, but this 2014 has just been exceptionally hard. I don’t have as much as I used to and I am in need of work, while Subomi has the money and the contacts.

I can’t lie, but it stung me deeply. I still don’t understand it. Is it that I don’t deserve Subomi’s recommendation that she would Passover me like that and worse- in my presence? Does she not think I am good enough? Wow.

ME: So what did you do afterwards?

KUKI: Fortunately she received another call almost immediately and I just politely excused myself. She blew me air kisses and signalled to me that she would call me later. My dear, I carried my two legs out of there, and now I am here at yours. I was so upset, I could have cried. Am I wrong to be upset? What are we friends for if my friend has no faith in me, and would rather recommend somebody else for a job that she and I know I could do exceptionally well, and one she knows I desperately need? She, her husband and our friends praised the work I did at her wedding, so I know it’s not a case of “Kuki not doing a good job”. Am I over-reacting? Isn’t it weird? Should I have confronted her about it? And again I ask, “Do I not have a right to be upset?”

ME: Wow. Listen sweetie, it is understandable that you are upset, and in answers to your questions; YES, you do have the right to be upset but you cannot control what other people say or do.

Over-reacting? Maybe. But yes, it is weird that your friend would pass you over you in such an uncouth manner. On whether you should have confronted her, it goes both ways. On one hand, you could confront her where she would simply apologise and tell you what you need to hear- that she didn’t mean it that way. On the other hand, you may choose to not confront her by understanding the fact that you could very well NOT have been with her today, and she still would have gotten the phone call and would still have recommended someone else for that which you are good at.

Most importantly- this may be difficult to hear- but you cannot force the ones you love, the ones you have faith in and have sacrificed for to return the courtesy and consideration you give to them so freely. You need to see people for who they are WHILE they are in your life, and decide for yourself if the part of themselves they are offering you in return for your love and consideration is good enough for you. The silver lining in this is that now you KNOW. The choice to confront her or let it go remains yours and yours alone.

(I smiled at her sadly and gave her a bear-hug)

ME: Oya nowww. Stop pouting okay?Grab the bowl of fufu, make we go wack beta food under AC, biko.

She smiled, and we went thus into the living room, where we sat on the couch, washed our hands in the big bowl of water and commenced devouring the fufu and egusi like true African women.

What if it was you? Would you confront your “friend” on the Professional Passover?     

Isio De-laVega Wanogho is a Nigerian supermodel, a multi-award winning media personality and an interior architect who is a creative-expressionist at her core. She uses words, wit and her paintings to tell stories that entertain, yet convey a deeper meaning. Follow her on Instagram @isiodelavega and visit her website: to see her professional body of work.


  1. I'mMeBaby!

    July 29, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Nice one Isio. You always deliver.

    Awww, your friend will get more jobs IJN.

    I would ask my friend about it cos if I have such a good relationship with her, I’ll want to know so I can arrange myself accordingly. If I don’t ask her, I’ll overthink the whole thing and become passive aggressive; so best to confront and know where I really stand.

    Who knows, there might be a valid explanation for it; the friend should have said something to her though seeing she took the call in front of her.

  2. Ferrari

    July 29, 2014 at 10:34 am

    If they were such good friends she should have confronted her on the spot. Then she could have had a good explanation if there was a good reason her friend passed her over for the job. Kuki is not a better friend for walking away and complaining to someone else. It is true that Subomi may be a not so good friend but there may have been a logical explanation for her behaviour. But Kuki will never know if she doesn’t ask and she could just have saved herself from all this drama had she just asked why! My two cents…

    • mimi

      July 29, 2014 at 12:03 pm

      It might actually have been for the better that she walked away without confronting Subomi – at least at that point. Obviously she was very hurt and maybe angry. Immediate confrontation may have escalated the whole issue. Now that she has had time to think and talk about it, then I will advice she returns to confront SUbomi- with a clear head.

    • Fashionista

      July 30, 2014 at 2:05 pm

      I agree, I would have definitely wanted to know why. I may not have asked on the spot, but I will want to know. And you know, its also VERY possible that Subomi didn’t intend to hurt her or put her down? it may have just completely evaded her mind, its possible. Which is why I would most certainly ask at some point, so at least I can be very clear about your intentions. I feel her pain sha.

  3. Akwanwa

    July 29, 2014 at 10:41 am

    I will confront her life and direct bcos wat she did is really heartbreaking, and our friendship will also take a new shape, I possibly can’t be friends with someone who doesn’t hav my interest at heart, she’s not worth my friendship at all at all.


    July 29, 2014 at 10:43 am

    I think I will confront her, telling her I was kinda hurt that she did not recommend me because If I don’t smooth things out….I will give room to having resentments towards her.

  5. Tee

    July 29, 2014 at 10:44 am

    I personally would not confront her but will leave her and just reduce my friendship with her as she does not regard me as important. Do on to others as you would be done by. So if i get ill treated by a friend I just move on. I don’t have time for questions and answers.

  6. Ni Ne

    July 29, 2014 at 10:45 am

    That stings deeply! Chai!!! and to think that it happened whilst they were conversing as well. I would confront my friend but in a gentle way and ask her to be honest with me: is it that I am not worth recommending or she doesn’t think I am serious about my business enough to recommend me to a friend? Real friends should be able to talk it out really

  7. Irene

    July 29, 2014 at 10:54 am

    I wouldn’t confront her right away,but ll probably tell her about how I felt much more later

  8. signature

    July 29, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Dat is jst sad, but i guess i wudnt expect nythng in return fr favors i did a friend, even though offering d job seems lyk d honourable thing to do, its not an obligation fr her to do so. I think wat wud sting d most is d fact dat she had that conversation in front of d planner friend, so insensitve, especially after she had told u abt her current situation.

  9. neon

    July 29, 2014 at 11:03 am

    if you as my friend wont recommend me to potential clients then what is the purpose of said friendship? you do not trust my abilities? and you havent told me hey friend you arent doing a great job, this is how i think you should improve, then really we arent friends, so bye! at the end of the day, if im only good enough for free services and hugely discounted ones that u r NOT a friend. Kuki just happened to find out she didnt have a friend like she thought. i say confront her anyway and tell her how you feell. get it out of your system and move on.

    • J

      July 29, 2014 at 11:35 am

      I Second your thought

  10. slice

    July 29, 2014 at 11:07 am

    I would absolutely mention it to my frd. It wouldn’t even be a confrontation. I’d say abeg no be wedding planner those pple dey find why u no send them to me? There cld be a reason. Maybe she thinks their wahala wld be too much for you, or that they won’t pay or the worst, she sent someone to you before and didn’t like the report she got abt u. Either way, I’ll ask instead of letting it fester. In my own experience when frds have nt referred a client to me it has been mostly cause they think the person won’t pay well. Other times the frds simply lacked a full understanding of all the services I can provide and I then take the time to explain so they know nt to give that kind out another times. Other times I’ve been able to still catch that fish o. Like I say oya call em back and say u have another frd

  11. gu

    July 29, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Haaa, it’s very sad bůh if it were me, i would av asked ooo, at least to clear my mind… Like jokingly, “u didn’t even recommend me 2 ur friend” and den i will sit back and listen to her response. it’s really really sad.

  12. Thatgidigirl

    July 29, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Some friends would only remain good friends with you as long as you’re broke or not as successful as them. Subomi probably feels threatened by your friend’s potential success. I wouldn’t ask her anything, would learn from the experience and limit the amount of information i give to her concerning my business and life…..seeing that she doesn’t do anything useful with it.

  13. bimbo

    July 29, 2014 at 11:30 am

    This exact situation happened to me sometimes ago,I didn’t say a word to her on the matter but gave her a distance of life,lol…what are friends for if we can’t help each other?

  14. Jo!

    July 29, 2014 at 11:34 am

    Confront na, How will I not ask her?
    I will ask on the spot sef

  15. J

    July 29, 2014 at 11:40 am

    this article could not come at a great time. God answers in mysterious ways. I am done with Betrayal. Bye Bye Felicia………………!!! to your so called “friend”
    you have a choice. For her to do that in front of you and not care for your feelings… ehm to me sounds like it’s not the first time she has disrespected you and taken advantage of you. Besides their wedding might have been a coy of takx advantage of your kindness.

  16. pipi

    July 29, 2014 at 11:49 am

    Sometimes is great to find out who people are in such shocking manner! I help u not make excuses for the person, so watch how she treats ur other friends.. I went through sometin similar with my best frd, it hurts deeper than my worst heart break.

  17. Fountain of Paper

    July 29, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Assumption, they say, is the mother of all failure. She heard one side of a conversation and she Usain Bolted to her conclusion.
    How about Subomi’s friend was looking for an events planner in Kutuwenji or someone with specific needs that Kuki didn’t have? Again… jumping to conclusions never helped nobody, It happens between couples and see it happening with two girl friends. Why are you even bringing ear and spreading it all over her phone call and causing yourself undue pain?
    That’s one side of this. W

    Number two… let’s now assume that what Kuki heard and concluded is true… has Kuki stopped to think that she might not have done such a fantastic job as she thinks she did? What if she’s not such an awesome planner as she fancies herself? She might be a great friend and the sweetest person on earth but she might actually be such a tardy Barbie! So, in that case Subomi might be really wary of recommending her. It’s probably Subomi’s way of preserving both friendships. “If I go and refer Kuki to Friend X now na so she no go pay water vendors on time and event go flop.”.

    In conclusion, if this happened between one of my Alobams and I… best believe I am not leaving that place till I ask. “Ngwa, bia Shemmy, why are you not recommending me for that job na?” Right there and then I mustoh collect my answer. I dey fear her? She go beat me?

    Me I don’t know the kind of people some people are breaking bread with oh… but by the time I’m close enough to be eating in your house and planning your wedding I am sure I can ask you a question if it borders on the sanctity of the future of our relationship.

    Peace out!

    • Jane Public

      July 29, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      While you may be correct, it says A LOT about the value that Subomi is to Kuku. if my friend is not so good, I would have told her since, and not sit on it knowing I won’t recommend her to someone else. I am that open and honest with my friends. If, the opportunity hasn’t arisen to discuss the not so good facts about her business, and I don’t want to recommend her to someone else, so it doesn’t come back to bite me, I DEFINITELY will not pass her over in her presence. Never, ever, ever. There is something to be said of protecting someone’s feelings, especially a friend. You don’t do that at all, what was Kuki thinking? I have been faced with such before, and rather than blatantly recommend someone else, I gave them a list of people, and deliberately mentioned that one of the people on that list is a friend, and I gave a personal reference. Now, it is left to the person, to decide who to pick, but I have done a friendly duty, and who knows, the person that was not so good before, could have improved greatly, while you were not paying attention. If Subomi didn’t do a fantastic job as she thought she did for Kuki’s wedding. It is 2 years now, wouldn’t she have been better by now, or how many weddings has Kuki or would you @fountain of paper observed to conclude that Subomi or your friend in question, isn’t as great as she thinks she is. Yoruba people call it “aroni kpin”, english for judging people and thinking they are not better than what you have estimated for them. As for confronting her, I would have done so right there and then. No need to stew over it.

    • Larz

      July 29, 2014 at 8:14 pm

      Thank you so much. Best comment I read so far. Slices comment was pretty awwesome too

    • jennietobbie

      July 30, 2014 at 12:06 am

      Riding along with you!!!!!. I would have asked my friend there before I step out. Assumption is your worst enemy.

      Don’t invite flies to your parties!! Handle your business full frontal!

  18. JoanOfArc

    July 29, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    I want to believe Subomi didn’t recommend her because maybe she knows those people are rude or are debtors who will be bad clients. The only way to know for sure is to ask rather than jumping to conclusions and blabbing to a third party. Now this is on BN won’t Subomi recognize herself and in turn go to her own third party to complain? Women and our issues.

  19. mrs chidukane

    July 29, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    First of all this 2014 has been something else especially for government workers cos Governors have decided to hold on to salaries, heartless people. This always happens with one of my friends. She’ll want me to do free work for her and when I demand a small fee she’ll go to someone who’ll charge her more than what I charged her. Like someone said above, there are some friends that never want you to be at their level, they always want you to kowtow to them and so will never contribute to your success. Its best to avoid them or keep them at arms length

  20. Tru

    July 29, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Saying that Subomi did not recommend Kuki to her friend because said friend is problematic, is really not a reason. If your friend/sibling/colleague/someone in your network is capable and the opportunities arise, they should be recommended. I recommended a friend for a project. The client turned out to be problematic and demanding but my friend was grateful because it has helped her business. That said, Kuki should have said something, maybe jokingly. Subomi’s response would then confirm if they truly are friends or not.
    Friends these days sef…

    • slice

      July 29, 2014 at 2:55 pm

      it depends on the kind of “problematic” if history tells you the client never pays, always sues her service provider, has an abusive mate that will come with guns to my office because he thinks we are having an affair while working, abeg keep that kin referral

  21. Memx

    July 29, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    I would confront her and severe the friendship. Honestly, i have never been one to suck up to people who don’t appreciate me or wish me well. I clearly define friendship and go out of my way to make my friends happy…now if theres no reciprocity…..then why hang on to a thread. Its sad that people like this exist ….and are even around other humans. They should be left alone in dark rooms…

  22. the generous economist

    July 29, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    I totally agree with @fountain of paper…. women can like to jump into conclusions unnecessarily.. causes so much issues for us in our friendships nd relationships.. why did Kuki not ask subunmi there what d convo was about and get the real facts… and from all d comments here, it seems many people will jst act like Kuki and be dying in pain silently.. whether or not you cut someone off because you think they will still hurt.. please ensure you get all d facts before assuming people are out to hurt you… soon you will have no friend..

    • pipi

      July 29, 2014 at 3:22 pm

      What are u pple saying jor? After the call, she wud have had the decency to explain to her friend; oremi don’t mind this lady her wahala is too much wrong client for you”. Even b4 her friend opens her mouth to ask. We are no longer emotionally sensitive

    • keep calm

      July 29, 2014 at 9:05 pm

      thank you. if friend subomi was innocent, she should have explained the call esp since she took the call in Kiku’s presence. that being said, if i were friend Kiku, i would have said something like; who was that, what is happening, why didnt u recommend me etc. they claim to have been friends for so long, so why can you not communicate and confront her about a perceived wrong? its better that feeling bad and all this second guessing herself, her skills and the friendship.

    • Owelle

      July 30, 2014 at 7:06 pm

      Exactly what I’ve been thinking

  23. Gorgeous

    July 29, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Well, she simply does not believe in her friend’s ability. Maybe she thought telling the friend will hurt her feelings. So she found indirect ways to tell her. Friend, move on with your life jare.

  24. Que

    July 29, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    Subomi lacks wisdom! #Pere!

    In said scenario where you have VALID reasons for not wanting match friend with potential opportunities….like some mentioned above- if the friend isnt up to d scale of d task, or if d potential client is as troublesome as u believe…… first things first, get off the damn phone quickly, Tell d client u need to get your phone book and will be back with the necessary contact details in a few mins. Thats enough time to lay scenario to friend, guage her interest, offer any necessary insight and possible options like collaborating with capable hands if you think she cant go it alone…. If indeed the friend is as bad as u think (and you have expressed this as friends should), then its also enuf time to give her reasons for not wanting that client…. You’ll be better equipped with a satisfactory response when u call back in said minutes.

    A few mins to think never killed anyone.

    That said, in Kuki’s shoes I’d ask why immediately…’s happened to me b4, I askd said friend who made a case about local vs international costs…. it wasn’t good enuf for me, but I moved on, same friend refered someone else to me. So for me on things like this, -let it out, hear them out and know where u stand. In my case sef, fastforward a few months later, same friend needs me to invest in a huge international expense for her benefit, of course I’m not exactly convinced why I should, going by her same local vs international cost arguements! It doesnt mean I won’t do something for her tomorrow… but it means I’m less likely to feel obligated as I did before. #simples!

  25. Uche

    July 29, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    I love Isio’s advice on the matter jare. I would have asked my friend then and there though calmly why she referred someonelse for the job right infront of me. I would get it out rather than nurse anger in my heart cause it’s not worrit at all oh! I have learned that if you do good for someone and expect the same in return you will just be disappointed.

  26. Endowed

    July 30, 2014 at 4:34 am

    good write up Isio and to think I only caught up to this last we. Mehn!!! have I been missing out on some good advise.

  27. Dee one

    July 30, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Isio, you dont need all those intro about who she is, who she is married to, how she was helped…..

    What i deduce from here is that she expected help because she helped someone in time past.

    It wouldn’t have gotten to your friend so much if not cos of what she has done for her in time past. Don’t do things because you expect same in return. simple

  28. adelegirl

    July 30, 2014 at 11:22 am

    Hmmm… This “you cannot force the ones you love, the ones you have faith in and have sacrificed for to return the courtesy and consideration you give to them so freely” is the truth and nothing but the truth. If I were Kuki, I would probably confront Subomi about it another time but not in a confrontational manner. Just honestly letting her know what I think she did wrong and how it hurt me. Subomi’s response will now determine whether that is a friend I want to hold on to or make sacrifices for or one I would know to keep at arms length in future. It is always heartbreaking when you find out that people you think so highly of don’t value your friendship in a similar way and treat you with disdain or distrust. If indeed Subomi was recommending another wedding planner in the presence of her wedding planner friend, that’s just too bad and insensitive really. She didn’t have to give the caller a referral there and then. If she valued Kuki’s friendship really and wanted her to succeed apart from encouraging her like she was doing, she should also have told her friend a few truths about why she thinks she is not top notch.

  29. Funmicristy

    July 30, 2014 at 11:52 am

    there is dis proverb dat says na talk bring out matter,KUKI does not mean to say d past help she has done 2 her frnd pls get dis correctly,

  30. Bobosteke & Lara Bian

    July 30, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    I would have calmly waited for her to finish her call, no matter how long it took and asked her bluntly why she did not recommend me. I have to decide fast if it is a friendship that has been worth the emotional, psychological and financial investments.


    July 30, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Like Kuki I won’t be able to say a word. I will just re-evaluate our friendship from there.

  32. nwanyi na aga aga

    July 30, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    People always learn to ask, If you are close enough to someone to sponsor her wedding planing, then why cant you ask her ‘babe why na?’ I have the same scenario where I decided to spare a friend the heart attack of working for someone whom I knew would never pay, but the babe went behind me and solicited for the job got it spent her whole cash and didn’t receive any dime back till today. This is someone I always refer clients to. I decided not to give her the job cos the client in question is a family member and I didn’t want to air family laundry for all to see. Nwa rushed to do fast babe.. When I heard from another friend that my aunt was owing her I laughed well. Assumption… makes an ass of anyone. If a friend passes you over for something ask ask ask. don’t assume she hates you and start to breed unfounded hate in your heart. From the answer you get, you can evaluate the issue. I have another case where a friend’s boss during half year appraisal gave her the worst appraisal ever, the babe cried reported to her former boss, cried and came to my house. I asked her one question ‘Have you asked this man what you did to deserve such appraisal since you guys are in good terms?’ she said the guy did it purposely, that he even came to ask her if she had accepted the appraisal. I told her to go to work and ask him point blank ‘Oga what and what do I do in this team that made me deserve such score?’ Fast forward to her asking the man, the man was shocked, he didn’t know that he was clicking 1, 1, 1, instead of 5,5,5 as he wanted to, the man personally went to ask their directorate head to reject the appraisal so that he could re evaluate. Sometimes you can not tell what is in someone’s mind, Ask point blank, at that age no one will flog or kill you at least you will be armed with enough evidence to re evaluate your future with the person.

    • Sister Anjie

      July 31, 2014 at 5:33 am


  33. Nnekky

    July 31, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Nwanyi na aga aga iji ya.

  34. Dr. N

    August 19, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Not only am I confronting you there n then, the friendship is over if u can’t convince me u had a valid excuse. The cheek of it!

  35. bbz

    March 6, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    KUKI should have deff asked especially from her explanation and it seems like herself n SUBOMI are friends.
    Her not asking has deff put her in a worst situation because i am sure she starting assuming the worst and negative things about SUBOMI which might not even be true.

    I have learnt that assuming any situation puts your mind and thought in a very negative state and that could lead to other negative situations for her and SUBOMI in the future.

    So my fellow people try and always give others benefit of doubt in any situation because you never know!

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