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Glory Edozien: Golden Girls

Glory Edozien

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Glory and WanaRose tells endless pointless stories. Blanche is carefree and flirtatious. Dorothy is sensible and sarcastic. And Sophia, well Sophia is just plain crazy. These are the main characters of the old but popular sitcom Golden Girls which chronicles the life of 4 mature women living together in Miami. I spent my Saturday watching the entire first season without taking a bathroom break.

Growing up, my mother was particular about my friends. As a teenager I equated belonging to the ‘in clique’ with being cool. Friendship was about being with the right kind of people – people who said the right kind of things and looked the right kind of way. My phone never stopped ringing. My friends piled into my sitting room and my fathers’ official car served as a mini bus for my friends and I.

But my mother’s words never stopped ringing in my ears. It is impossible to have so many female friends, Glory. Time will teach you what friendship is about. It wasn’t until I left secondary school that I realized the porousness of my friendships. 16 years after secondary school I no longer see the need to keep in touch with the friend who made a move on my school boyfriend; the friend who told people I had a fungus growing on my scalp; the one who exchanged my family secret for a cup of Milo; or the friend who told me one thing and said another behind my back.

The truth is female friendships can be fickle, and only few people are lucky to find genuine connections which remain tightly bound through the life’s ups and downs. Maybe it has something to do with the female psyche with its judgmental and competitive undertones. But as with all things my mother was right after all. Time and many failed friendships have taught me that asides from honesty, encouragement and love, friendship is fundamentally about acceptance.

Acceptance is the foundation of timeless friendship because no one can truly be a friend unless they first understand and accept the person you are. Acceptance means I know you are crazy, you get moody for no reason and get a kick out of being the centre of attention but you are special to me. It means I know you you’ll be late to every party and will continuously ask me if you look fat in these jeans but I love you anyway. It means I know you overreact and keep falling for the wrong guy but I will let you cry on my shoulder without telling you I told you so.G & W
This is what I tell anyone that asks me why Wana Udobang is my friend. Wana isn’t just the Gale to my Oprah. She is in many ways my golden girl because no matter how many endless pointless stories I tell she still calls me her Glory. No matter how many times I act out, turn up late, or forget to do something she has reminded me to do repeatedly, all she says is you are not a serious person and the matter ends. But Wana’s acceptance of my flaws and shortcomings is not about excusing my bad behaviour, because by just being herself, Wana inspires me to be a better form of me.

It was Wana that made me realise I didn’t have to be skinny to start the Inspire Series. It was Wana who made me understand that it was okay to be this eccentric creature with multiple ideas and forms of expression. It was her that turned up in my house with ori and moisturing oils when she saw found out about my skin condition. It was her who told me to stay consistent when I thought my ideas would amount to nothing.and it was her who cleaned my room from top to bottom when i was stressed out of my mind with work

In reality Wana is a cacophony of amazing things. I tell people that everyone needs a friend like Wana (not necessarily Wana as she is already taken!!! Find your own) because she embodies what friendship really is. Acceptance. Understanding. Support. Patience. Inspiration.

Today is Wana’s birthday and there are many varieties of good wishes I have sent her way but asides from the prayers and wishes of wellness I want to celebrate her. I want everyone to know the genuine spirit that is Wana not just because she is my friend but because true friendship is always worth celebrating. And incase you are wondering why I have chosen to celebrate her on Bellanaija?

Well, it’s only fitting that the platform which gave us our friendship should be the same platform I use to celebrate it.

Glory is the host and executive producer of Inspire Series, the web talk show which uses the collective stories of everyday women to inspire others. She believes women are more than hand bags, hair, make-up and other externalities and is passionate about about pursuing purpose and living above societal conformities. She is also a day dreamer, and romantic at heart who loves TV, food and family. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @inspiredbyglory and read more from her on www.inspiredbyglory.com

46 Comments

  1. Jeremy,s mum

    September 24, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Happy birthday Miss Wana Wana

  2. Noms

    September 24, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Lets say I’m one of the lucky ones who have got great friends . I call my clique “friends like sisters”. We won the best clique in school. Some of us are married with kids while some like me are yet to get married*winks* but the spirit is still one.
    We are no longer in the same cities but weddings bring us together physically and its sooooo much fun when ever the crew is complete.
    Thank God for social media who helps us keep in touch.
    HBD Ms WanaWana. Love you!

  3. TANTRA

    September 24, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    This is very touching and inspiring. I laughed at the Milo girl story. Things we do for hunger eh! Happy birthday, Wana.

  4. [email protected]

    September 24, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.
    Wana u rock!
    And Glory you rock even more for celebrating a true friend.
    This is to true friendship

  5. Nwanyi Itukpa

    September 24, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Hmmm, you are one lucky girl Glory. I wish I have a friend like Wana. I really yearn for a true friend. I’ve always found myself surrounded by fake friends. Those who will look for the slightest opportunity to judge you. Those who will never be there when you really need them. I have learnt to distance myself from such kind of people. Life will trully be more beautiful if we have true friends like Wana.

    • Emma

      September 25, 2014 at 8:49 am

      eyaa. same here o.
      i can be your Wana, if you would be my Glory.lol
      am being serious though..

    • nikky

      September 25, 2014 at 11:01 am

      me nko? i want a wana as well… or i’ll be your wana if you want to be my glory… omg! i’m “friend begging” this is embarrassing *covers eye and walks away silently hoping she gets her wana*

  6. bree

    September 24, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    so sweet…. may your friendship last forever.

  7. FERAN

    September 24, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    Awww! This is so sweet. I want a friend like Wana……or rather, i want to be a friend like Wana. God bless you both.

  8. Lorna

    September 24, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    Aaaaawww…sooo touching n emotional. for me, this is what is called, ‘more than a friend’. you guys rock! may it last 4ever.

  9. Adebola

    September 24, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    Happy Birthday Miss Wana Wana.

  10. Sylvia

    September 24, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    Now, that’s friendship. Happy Birthday Wana.

  11. Lolita

    September 24, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Aww how sweet! As someone with a lot of female friends I can relate to the tribute. Indeed as someone with 6 sisters, I can triple relate.

    But I strongly disagree with the “It is impossible to have so many female friends” and “female friendship can be fickle”. It makes this sound like too much of an exception and as such this article is perpetuating that negative notion.

    In life, ALL relationships can be fickle. Boyfriend and girlfriend. Co-workers. Boss and employee. Favour giver and favour receiver.

    Because a relationship is about the 2 people in it and what they make of it. For example, in the quest of belonging in cliques and being cool, you were too open (too trusting, not guarded enough, didn’t use discretion) to friends that could give away your family secrets for Milo.

    Not blaming you for the past but if we keep perpetuating the female friends are not reliable thing, that’s how it’ll continue. What makes female friendships inherently doomed to fail? Nothing! After all, we understand each other better because we face so many physical changes men don’t have access to. So many societal pressures etc.

    At the same time nothing makes a friendship inherently succeed. Like with every relationship, there’s that initial spark/bonding based on common interests but it requires observation, patience and compromise.

    BUT another thing I’ve noticed is if the common interest 2 people share is shallow, their friendship can never succeed. For example, this is why many ‘runs girls’ fight and expose each other’s secrets or steal their sugar daddies from each other. Or why internet fraud criminals rat each other out when given a deal.

    The basis of friendship matters, the 2 people involved and their maturity.

    Peace out! … and happy birthday Wana!

    • Iya Ologbon

      September 24, 2014 at 7:28 pm

      Ehn, with all due respect, coming from an older person, Glory is right..female friendships are fickle, perhaps you are younger than 34?, look around you at women above 40 and check how many have more than 2 true for life friends…women are usually too competitive too hold together..my experience…

    • peculiar Okafor

      September 25, 2014 at 3:33 pm

      Just had to comment on this by saying ‘all relationships are fickle’. Women are not worse than men, all human beings have the propensity to do wrong.

      The first thing that makes a great friendship is a good foundation based on trust and acceptance. I know someone who pinged me when she realised I was doing well. I responded but I keep this individual at a distance

      The other is wisdom in dealing with situations. e.g I know two classmates in school who quarreled because one exposed the others secret, my initial reaction was to ask why the one who exposed the secret was told the secret in the 1st place seeing she’s talkative. It is wickedness to trust a talkative person, friend or not with a secret. It’s like keeping a Goat near Yam. No matter how the talkative person loves you, keeping a secret might just not be in the other person’s character.

      A willingness to forgive is also important

      It is also important that we are good people. If you are dealing with insecurities, egoistic and all, you will have your challenges making or keeping friends.

      A clear distinction has to be made between acquaintances, group of fine girls, room mates, neighbor’s, Fraternity wives, ‘We all just back association’ ‘ we wear the right clothes’ etc. and true friends. No human being can have too many friends in the real sense of the word if we make this distinction

      Finally, friendship is a two-way street, we need to ask ourselves if that our ‘friend’ considers us one too. I knew someone way back who always referred to another cool chick as her friend when that one dissed her like mad. I pitied her then.

      PS: Men do have issues with friendships too, major wars and cult clashes, assassinations were done by men who were bad friends. When Ceaser said ‘Et tu Brutus?, he wasn’t referring to a woman’.

      Pheew, that was loong!

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      September 25, 2014 at 5:32 pm

      @Iya Ologbon, allow me to disagree. My mother is in her 60s and I’ll use her decades-long relationships with her many female friends as my argument to counter your own.

      Her closest friend has been in her life since they were covent students together in the 1960s. Many of her other friends entered her life either in Uni or shortly after and I can pick up old photo albums belonging to my parents and still recognize my mum’s present day “besties” in those black and white photographs from 20-30 years ago.

      And it’s from her that I’ve learnt how to manage female friendships as I became a more mature woman myself. I love how they formed their friendships with depth and have stayed close to each others over the years. Their own is even at the point where I feel closer (and in some cases, more genuinely cared for) by my mum’s friends than by my own aunties related to me by blood. These women stick together in ways that are amazing and I’m so impressed by how much their generation seems to value true relationships over the fickle foundations we in this generation prefer to build ours on.

  12. creamy

    September 24, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    HBD OluwaWana omo desparadoooooooo!!!

  13. Que

    September 24, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Anyone wondering why u chose BN to celebrate Wana seriously needs friends! Pls let me famz and join in the celebration….she’s such a joyful character! Wish her many decades more….God bless u plenty Wana, xoxoxo!

  14. random

    September 24, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Happy Birthday Wana! Glory is hardly the first to go on about how amazing you are, so I’m sure they must be right. Have a wonderful year ahead!
    Glory, I kinda disagree with the part about the “competitiveness and judgmental undertones of the female psyche.” There are mean women and there are mean men. Mean people will be mean people. Whether they are man or woman, they will sha still be mean.
    We need to stop with this narrative of the “spiteful woman” because it really does nobody any good. Just as there are doomed female friendships, there are doomed male friendships. A friendship is like any relationship; it needs two people who complement each other. That’s all. Has little to do with sex of the people involved.
    Men have male friends who they simply cut off when the friendship has run its course, but you don’t see them generalizing and calling all men petty. I have way too many solid female friends to agree that most women are bad friends.

    • BC

      September 24, 2014 at 6:04 pm

      @ Random, am in agreement that female friendships are often laced with “competitiveness and judgmental undertones” and that that is the make-up of the female psyche to a degree. There are mean women and there are mean men, yes, however women are more prone to fall-outs stemming from petty misunderstandings with each other. Its the frequency of such fall-outs that makes true friendship with women difficult most times. Glory is also looking at friendship through the lens of someone who has been affected by a chronic, severe skin condition. So her experiences with women in the last decade with that fact in mind is probably tangentially different from ours. People especially women become unmasked; you will see their true colors in all its shades and hues, starting from facial and body language when they have to associate even briefly with a person suffering from such a condition. Overtime, you really get to know who deserves that label “friend.” I agree with her sha. In my opinion, some women can be Lucifer’s little sister, incarnate. Fine writing again Glory.

  15. UZOAMAKA

    September 24, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    I celebrate Wana!
    “the truth is that SOME female friendships can be fickle. Maybe it has something to do with the CONVOLUTED AND MISUNDERSTOOD PERCEPTION of the female psyche with its judgmental and competitive undertones”
    Once again, I celebrate Wana!!!

  16. Mz Socially Awkward...

    September 24, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Cute… Happy Birthday, Ms. Udobang! Another year, another chance to keep working on those dreams… I pray you’ll look back this time next year and have many reasons to be thankful.

    (Also, whenever you have a moment, please feel free to come and sort my room out. I’m not being cheeky, seriously need a cold-hearted approach to organizing the blackhole of debris which I call my wardrobe. My sister was the only one who came close and kept getting bombarded with my pleas of “You can’t get rid of that!! No, not that one either, I’m still rocking it!!” so she just gave up). 🙁

    Glo-Glo (hehehehe), you must have wandered into my thoughts from last night. For whatever reason, while I was driving home, I had cause to recall an eventful incident in my much younger adult life when both my folks were away from the country and left their house and possessions to their children to temporarily manage. And I decided 3 days before my dad’s return that I would cruise his highly valued BMW with my “gals” and of course as fate would have it, I had an accident (collided with a bike man who landed on the windscreen). So imagine the “gbese” I incurred on the spot, a young girl who had no income whatsoever to call on in such times of distress, having to not only pay for the bike man’s medical fees but also repair the damaged car.

    Panic, tears, regret, fear of being killed by my parents – you name the emotion, I ran the gamut of them all. However, the reason I was reflecting on this episode last night had to do with my rememberance of the amazing support I received from my friends and even my elder sister’s friends. You see, they all clubbed together and contributed what little they had into bailing me out of a bad situation. Bear in mind as well that they were Uni students like me also relying on pocket money as their only income and I really don’t know what it was that evoked such solidarity in those young women back then but I remember how they overwhelmed me with their generous support. My father, until this day, never knew what happened to that car (maybe I’ll come clean one day, just for laughs… hopefully, he’ll also be laughing).

    And are we still close, these amazing women who had my back those many years ago? No. Can’t say I’ve continued an intimate friendship with anyone of them and a lot of that has to do with the fact of me changing from that person they knew, as well. Working on friendships is a mutual commitment and speaking for myself, I can say that there’ve been many times when I’ve taken more than I’ve given. And I realise that even with the friends who may have also done me wrong, they still contributed something tangible in my life as well during that temporary period of closeness.

    My long story is simply to say that you shouldn’t write off the various experiences of female friendships you’ve had. It’s a lesson I’m recently learning from as well and it’s really helping my process of mining the gold that may be hidden in some of those past experiences. 🙂

  17. peyton

    September 24, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    This brought tears to my eyes friendship is beautiful with the right friends. I miss my friends no lets sit and tell each other stories but i agree with Glory acceptance is the foundation of any good friendship my friends love me with all my craziness, weirdness, and sudden mood swings, probably that is why i find it difficult making new friends not everyone can deal with my cray cray, so I like to keep to myself and when my friends come around we catch up and laugh when they go I am a bit down. Happy bday Wana GOD bless you always and may you find favour with GOD and men amen. And to my besties my gals I love you all and thanks for loving me inspite of it all.

  18. Myne Whitman

    September 24, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    Happy Birthday Wana, loved meeting you. And you Glory, hope to have that opportunity soon tooo 🙂 May you both be golden for the longest time.

  19. jcsgrl

    September 24, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Aww Happy Baiday Wana Wana. Here’s a candle, make a wish and blow it but don’t forget to use it and light up your world.
    You sistas rock! Cheers to good female friends. Make I go call my own. I’ve been slacking in that department

  20. x-factor

    September 24, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    Happy Birthday Wana Wana!

  21. Victor Amanze Emeana

    September 24, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    I write from a male perspective. First. I thought that Glory’s piece for Wana was a beautifully-crafted prose , so smooth and readable. Beyond that her comment on the peculiar challenge of women being friends with one another for a long haul is true. Of course there will always be exception to every rule. But it will appear that’s the way women are wired and remarkably different from men in that respect.. Of course men expierence friendship that is fickle but the reasons for break-up typically would include business deals gone awry but for the woman it would be matters of the heart such as boy friend, husband or fashion/ beauty issues. Even in sexual matters, experts confirm that the average male is turned on more by what he sees than what he hears whilst the converse is the case for women etc. So You see we are wired naturally differently. Therefore in areas of sustaining friendship with like gender we are also different. To think otherwise is to leave in denial in the same waY for instance it is for a man to deny that men are more likely to cheat in an amorus relationship than women. The challenge for both gender is to work to correct these seeming natural tendencies and not to play the Ostrich.
    Happy birthday Wana .

    • Anonymous

      September 25, 2014 at 3:40 pm

      Victor, men do not even form friendships in the 1st place. Research has proven that men don’t open themselves emotionally hence most r/ships are for business purposes which is why most of the fights are for biz.

      As per the more likely to cheat, that due to years of negative socialization that forces women to suppress their sexuality. don’t forget that in ancient England it was said that real ladies don’t enjoy sex but that has changed.

      Oga bone matter, I rolled in a male clique in my Uni days and y’all are worse that ladies, you’re just not as expressive.

  22. titi

    September 24, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    Happy birthday Wanachukwu *winks*,wish u all d best and may ur friendship last long,God bless.

  23. nene

    September 24, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    This!! “Acceptance is the foundation of timeless friendship”. Glory, i want to be friends with you and Wana *crying*. Happy Birthday Beautiful Wana!!

  24. Yemi

    September 24, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    Happy Birthday Oluwawana. God bless you abundantly.
    Thanks for mentioning this writing on your birthday show today, now i know of inspiredbyglory.com…

  25. Daisy

    September 24, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    How very sweet Glory. I watched your documentary with Wana (Sensitive Skin) and most of what I could see was your friendship. I was laughing when you two were laughing, like I was there with you, haha

    Happy Birthday Wana! Hope you got all your gifts 😉

  26. Ayo

    September 24, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    Happy b- day Wana, may God continue to uphold, provide, protect and bless you today and always… May you soar higher than your expectations. Wishing you a year filled with all your favorite things.. Keep up the good work!

  27. Bukola

    September 24, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    HBD Miss Wana! Have a wonderful year.
    I am so grateful I have the best friend any one could ever wish for(my mum), I call her “bestie”. We talked about everything and anything; I am so happy God created such a unique woman.

  28. Temilola

    September 24, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    Wana ‘Ore e wa’ hehehe……..you are indeed a beautiful soul. God bless you! Happy Birthday dear. Cheers! Lovely piece Glory.

  29. jennietobbie

    September 25, 2014 at 2:04 am

    Happy birthday Wanawana. Ahh, too much love for this woman!!! I saw a video of you, for the first time, last night after my “gidi up” marathon. It’s a breathe of fresh air when I see women love and support each other fiercely!! In my own little circle, I’m blessed to have your kind of friendship. I choose to marinate in the quality of a relationship over the duration of time. God bless you xo

  30. nyinyes

    September 25, 2014 at 3:40 am

    Glory n Wana, u both both inspire me. Aftr watchin sensitive skin 1 n 2. I shed tears as I saw true friendship, which iv hardly experienced altho I have tons of gf, but I lack such true friends, I saw btw u guys so much luv n support, it was a special moment for me bcos it’s indeed rare! Happy bdy Wana. Luv u guys

  31. CarliforniaBawler

    September 25, 2014 at 6:40 am

    Happy birthday Wana!!
    This somehow turned into a convo about gender-based friendship, IMHO The only difference is that women express their distrust for one another in words more openly than guys do….as a person who has 5x as many male friends as I do females, I know for a fact that most guys have issues with their guy friends as well, deep-seated ones sef!! On the other hand I cherish my female friendship 50x over than the male ones. A guy friend might not come with as much drama, but he will turn on you (a long-time female friend) in favor of a random guy friend of his faster than you can say jack robinson. Truth is guys don’t see females as true counterparts yes, we might be a good listening ear ’cause their guy friends don’t have time for that or we might be more nurturing but to them we are fickle, so they couldn’t be bothered if we got hurt while they are keeping “Bro codes of conduct”. Summary?? Pray for God to bless you with a (female) friend who would stick closer than a brother (sister).

  32. DesireAyo

    September 25, 2014 at 9:27 am

    Wana Wana ..OluwaWana, jolly always smiling and go happy lady that inspires me…Happy awesome birthday…U rock lady… OluwaWana, wa live long ju Olumo Rock. And to Glory,u are a true appreciating buddy. still learning to know you…I wont mind be a friend cos i yearn for true inspired friendship. if u are reading this comment and wont mind tagging me along to inspire me,u can mail me on [email protected]

  33. odiase Christabelle

    September 25, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    What an inspiration!I honestly need my own TRUE WANA;too many fake friends around me,I have decided to stay away from friends…

  34. peculiar Okafor

    September 25, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    I have been blessed with some great females in my life:

    Amarachi Alisiobi ( my bestie of life) we’ve been together since we were 12 and now we’re kinda old, we’re still close. She remembers every birthday, stands by me, is accepting etc.

    Ebele Moghalu from UNN with her warmth and maturity.

    Stella Manyike in my office has also been a blessing. In her own way she has softened my tough personality.

    The rest of my great pals have been guys ( my friends in UNN and CDSSO). I was a tomboy then.

    But I guess from my childhood, I’d always been someone who made friends based on values and acceptance. I was pretty and all but if I couldn’t tell you the truth and trust you with my secrets, I couldn’t be bothered with you.

    I’ve been blessed with great friends, I wish I’d had that same blessing with boyfriends sha.

    • amara

      September 26, 2014 at 8:09 am

      Yup girl….. If i were to write a similar piece, it would definitely be about you……..

      and hehe ‘Also wish I’d had that same blessing with boyfriends sha’

  35. peace

    September 25, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Beautiful piece! Happy Birthday Wana!!! Many beautiful years ahead. CHEERS!!!

  36. Frances Okoro

    September 25, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    This is soo sweet..
    Happy Birthday in arrears Wana Wana

  37. Just me

    September 26, 2014 at 3:32 am

    So nice. Happy birthday Wana!
    I have succeeded in weeding out fake friends. I’m down to just one who sees me for who I am. When you have true friendship, hold on to it.

  38. amara

    September 26, 2014 at 8:20 am

    Happy birthday in arrears Wana Wana.
    I have been blessed with great friends. I don’t know how to make friends or keep them so when we become friends and you stay and put up with me, I know you are a friend indeed. I am the kind of friend who keeps in touch once in three months, yet these people are always there, never judging and when i think about them i realise how blessed i am.

    To the girlfriends who love the imperfect me and who i know have my back any day, and who i see still sticking up for me after putting up with my bitchiness at times……This is to you:
    Chinemerem Alisiobi – (my dear sister) – we love to pretend we don’t give a **** about each other, but deep down we are best friends………
    Peculiar Okafor
    Amaka Osadebay
    Yoma Ogidiama
    Bimpe Adeoye
    Adeola Idowu
    Dunni kufoniyi
    Toyin Tamakloe …….. and a whole lot of you i’m not putting down to reserve space for others to drop comments……….. You’re like sisters, I love you guys

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