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Yetunde Olasiyan: Friendship Without Benefit



I saw a Twitter thread asking men to state if they had received any help from their gender, and I read a lot of heartwarming stories of men assisting men.

In the spirit of Xmas and Thanksgiving and just to appreciate women who stand up for women too, I recall a very touching incident of help I received from a female friend.

Bisi is my friend from secondary school. We dreamt of going to the same university, but it never worked that way. We kept in touch here and there. Later she moved to the US, got married and had her kids.

Each time we lost touch, we always reconnected. It beats me how this friendship never died, unlike others who drifted away when everyone evolved or outgrew each other.

As common with some abroadians, who would like to create a false air of ‘ I am better than you’, it has never been like that with her.

I am that girl who has not made any new friend in five years of living in the north except for work colleagues who liked me and approached me for friendship themselves(females). Not that I wasn’t looking for friendship, but I just never saw anyone I could jell with.  I am also more of a recluse, which really explains why.

So, the only friendship I cherish has always been my past friendships.

Life happened and made me a mother of four(younger siblings). So when the siblings have kids, I will become a grandmother right? Coupled with some extra demands and the paraphernalia associated with the office of the first born, my finances were tight. I had to channel my meager resources into some compulsory family charitable responsibilities/activities? which were very important. I believe anyone in a typical Nigerian family can relate with this.

My phone had issues at the same time. I was practically not using any phone again, except for the one I inherited from my late dad.

Bisi called me one cool Sunday evening when the sun had just gone down. I was at the salon and she asked how I was doing. I responded with ‘not fine’.

I told her I was okay amidst laughter but that I didn’t have a phone any longer and we might not be able to chat on Whatsapp for a long while.

What she said after touched me…”okay, wait until I receive my salary. They should pay us next week. Feel free to remind me if I forget. When I get my paycheck I will send you money for a phone. How much phone do you want to buy?”
” Between 35-40k”.
“If I give you $100, can you add to it and get the phone?”
“Most definitely. Thank you soo much. You just saved me a lot of stress, worry and money”.

Now, I haven’t met anyone who would deliberately give me part of their salary. Only my dad ever did that. And in this Nigeria and even abroad, it’s hard for anyone to include you in their expected income, not just for a life threatening situation… but to buy a phone?

The salary is kind of sacred in a funny way-the reward(even if meager) of your work. You calculate all the sleepless nights, traffic and stress you went through before the next 30 days and except for close-knit people like your parents or siblings, it’s hard for anyone living in this economy to be charitable with any money at all.

It’s even very rare and strange for a female friend to do this. Why? Because when I was sharing with my other friend that a certain ‘someone’ got me a phone, she had said, ” Really? What’s his name?”
She had assumed it was a guy. Because we have believed that only guys buy phones for their women. She was probably shocked when I told her it was a female friend.

For my friend Bisi, ain’t I glad that I have her in my life? Surely…I can’t even repay her. I am grateful for good friendship, for friends who stick closer than siblings, who ease your stress and make your struggles their business. If you have a friend like this in your life, male or female, hold them tight.

Has any friend been good to you lately? Let’s appreciate them in the spirit Xmas. I will be reading the beautiful comments.

Happy Holidays.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

M.Sc International Affairs&Diplomacy, ABU, Zaria|| B.Tech Environmental Biology, LAUTECH, Ogbomoso|| 1st Prize Winner, SouthWest Nigeria-CLO Essay Competition on Child Labour in Nigeria|| 5th Prize Winner, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation Essay Competition|| Certificate of Participation, World Bank Essay Competition|| Author of A Gift of Dreams|| [email protected]|| Former Content Editor,|| Ghostwriter, Editor, Profile Writer|| Nike|| Olasiyan|| For writing enquires email [email protected]


  1. Ajala & Foodie

    December 28, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    My favorite Christmas gift this year came from an expected source. Nothing serious, but I felt heard. I had just mentioned in passing that I really wanted to read a particular book but could not bring myself to shell out that kind of $$$ on a book. The book “Becoming” by Michelle Obama was in my opinion, a “eye popping” $32+ for the print at the time. I think it is cheaper now. (19 or $20). Well, an acquaintance that I had mentioned that to in passing got me the book for Christmas. Not a big deal but I was touched and deeply so. Yes, she is a lady.

    • Yetunde Olasiyan

      December 30, 2018 at 9:26 pm

      Yaaay!!! I want! I want! That’s kind of the most popular book on the shelf now.

  2. Torch

    December 29, 2018 at 12:34 am

    I have plenty friends that I have done a lot for and they’d do anything for me too.

    I even have a WhatsApp group and we are 12 in there with just a lady who is the Admin. All you have to do is say you are broke and everyone will contribute for you. No shakara, no story, no famzing! Even the lady will contribute when someone needs help. We paid the school fee for someone in our group who had issues with completing the fee for his masters program. We paid hospital bills for someone else when he was low on cash.

    Funny thing is that all we discuss on the group is SEX SEX SEX.

    • Yetunde Olasiyan

      December 30, 2018 at 9:26 pm

      This is wow!!!!!

    • Curious

      December 31, 2018 at 5:11 pm

      Bross can I drop my what’s app number!!!! Pls

  3. Marix

    December 29, 2018 at 2:05 am

    Writing because you said you will read. I am a fresh graduate from uniben, I am indeed grateful for the gift of a female friend Juliet, when I was leaving for school, she gifted me with a lot of things and while in school, she always send me money and even came to visit me. I just pray God to bless me to pay her back. I use to call her my guy friend because before any female can be that nice to another female. She stick close than a sister.

    • Yetunde Olasiyan

      December 30, 2018 at 9:21 pm

      Thank you Marix. God bless your friend Juliet. This has also touched me.

  4. Caroline

    December 29, 2018 at 10:46 am

    Tricia transferred money for me to buy a new TV because the old one was smaller and she knew I didn’t have the cash to change it.
    Marachi donated for my charity outreach from her little salary just to encourage me to follow up.
    Queen, my flatmate wanted to split her last cash because I told her my fridge was empty and I was broke but I stopped her.
    Jemmy promised to send money to book my first flight ticket because I told her I’ve never flown on an aeroplane before (I’m 25 years, lol)
    I have friends that show up for me without waiting for an invitation.
    All female, my best gifts have been from my female friends who go out of their way to help me.
    I like to think that I have the best tribe in the world and I never take them for granted.

    • Yetunde Olasiyan

      December 30, 2018 at 9:23 pm

      Aww Caroline, I’m so happy for you. It’s great to have a really good tribe around you. Folks who make your struggles their business. May your circle remain close knit

  5. ifymcqueens

    December 29, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Nice read dear

  6. Sarah

    December 29, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    Beautiful read, one time I was in school and so broke, my pocket money was 1k every month, even to this moment I have no idea how I survived with that in 2009. I had this friend who was always feeding me, sharing money and food with me. One night I was lying down on her bed up bunk, pretending to be asleep, another friend of hers came into her room and went straight to her locker to pick up bread, this friend of mine quickly stopped her and told her that, that bread belonged to me, and when I woke up that was what I would eat. It made me feel so good, till this day I still smile when I remember that day. Thank you Henrietta

  7. Adeyemi Oluwatosin

    December 31, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    God bless my mum always and forever

  8. Curious

    December 31, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    For me Wale would be that friend. We we’re course mates back in school…but even though we haven’t seen much since then… except for what’s app chats….once in a while…(like every month…the Happy New month)….Wale has always come through..
    I inbox him and he responds promptly. God bless Wale and all the beautiful friends out there!!!! Who are just there when u need them

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