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Are Your Friends Your Money Bag? 



The first time I heard “If you need (insert any amount) urgently, and you cannot get your friends to clear it for you, then change your circle, I rolled my eyes and went about my duties. All these tweets sef. I must have seen it the tenth time before I really paid attention to that tweet. Some people agreed. Their argument was that “your network is your net worth,” “birds of a feather flock together,” and you need to “let go of friends who have no substance” and, of course, there were many anecdotes that followed.

Those who had opposing views insisted it is parasitic to make friends with certain kinds of people to increase your social currency or boost your net worth. If you want to make friends, why not make them simply because they… align with your value or have a good heart, or insert any reason you make friends. Why are networking and social currency such a big deal in today’s world?


A friend and I were taking a stroll one night when he complained about his inability to build genuine friendships since he made it. ‘People reach out to me and ask to be my friend and then along the line, I realise they wanted to be my friend simply because they felt I had attained a certain status they’d love to be associated with or because they feel ‘oh this guy looks cool and comfortable, I’d love to be close to him.” He said it made him feel used. ‘Like why? I don’t care about who people are if I want to be friends with them.’ I asked him what was so wrong about wanting to be friends with him because of who he is and what he has. They probably thought, ‘Oh, this guy is a successful entrepreneur and I’d like to have him in my circle.’

Sometimes, I think about what’s so wrong with seeing someone on social media, thinking ‘na dis kain person I wan dey waka with now,’ and trying to get close to that person because of their career level, social status, intelligence and/or wealth. I get that social media buzz around it has made it look so transactional and pretentious, but if you think deeply about it, is selective friendship really that bad, or is it you simply realising that at this point in your life, you want a certain type of people in your life and let go of ones you believe are not at your level?

Sounds harsh? I know. But harsh doesn’t make this particular thought or actions bad. Does it? Everyone has a plan for themselves and if gathering social currency or having friends that can rescue you when you need urgent 2k or 2m – as the case may be – is in alignment with this life plan of yours, what’s the big deal?

On the flip side, what happens when you worm your way into the lives of these supposedly prestigious people and realise it was all a facade, the friendship isn’t what you envisaged, or the relationship is toxic? Will you discard them and move on to the next? What if you eventually get this social currency and have friends at your own level but they are not there on days you fall, emotionally, financially or any other ly, what do you do? Beyond the money and prestige, are there friends you can turn to when things get dirty or sour in your life? Friends who genuinely love and understand you?

It’s not like the two are mutually exclusive. You can have both. We’ve seen friendships between successful people blossom and bloom beyond the funds and careers. We’ve seen successful people stick with each other through thick and thin, and we’ve seen friends serve as financial cushions when things go south for the other. So it is not one or the other.

Still, I cannot help but wonder – because there seems to be too much emphasis being placed on one’s network being one’s net worth; because there are too many tweets asking if your friends can raise money when you’re down and if they cannot, now is the time to change your circle of friends – in the course of one’s life, do you work towards having one over the other? Do you sieve your friends and decide which one makes the cut-off mark? If they don’t, what next? Is that parasitic or are you simply deliberate about friendships and your inner circle? This is not a for or against, so feel free to let your mind wander.



Feature Image: Antoni Shkraba Production for Pexels

Editor at BellaNaija Features. And writing beautiful stories of places, things, and people like you. Reach out to me, I don't bite: [email protected] | Instagram @oluwadunsin___ | Twitter @duunsin.

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