The Book of Friends

I got a lot of friends to come up off the strip for me/The same ones that’ll come up off the hip for me – Drake (Crew Love)

I see lots of posts about fake friends and whatsoever and sometimes I’m pressed about what most of you really mean.

I think I’ve had some of the best friends anyone could ask for.

The classic hymn says, “Count your blessings, name them one by one. And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”

It’s never always about money or financial opportunities. It’s never always about favours or free lunch or partying. The ambit of friendship can never be defined by these things. It’s sometimes much more.

Other times, it’s so very subtle.

If it wasn’t for my YBNL brothers, I’ll probably be a dropout. No disrespect to all the billionaire dropouts, graduating just meant so much to my mother’s blood pressure.

Smooth gave me my first job after graduation. Had me through the first semester of final year.

Somto gave me my first job after NYSC. It came on the day I passed out.

Somto and Smooth came for my father’s burial. That meant so much to me. Still does.

The kind of confidence Charles, Mbelede and Nonso have in me scares me sometimes. Sometimes when I lose faith, that is my guiding light.

Chinex will probably be the best man at my wedding if he doesn’t misbehave. But since he’s a scumbag, that is entirely possible.

Odera is something else. That’s it.

I write a mean CV nowadays but the first CV I swiped was Christian’s. He also gave me my first side gig.

I probably won’t have gotten that bank job if it wasn’t for him and Vincent’s guidance. He made it possible for me to swim in this Lagos.

Vincent is my brother for life. So many ups and downs, but here we are.

In another life, Ebuka would probably be my father. So much wisdom in one body.

Agbor has been a great friend to me and my family. Ziko, Malachi, Agba. Wonderful guys! Held me down at very uncertain times in my life.

God bless you, Prime!

I and Sequence ran a failed business together. Learnt so much from that adventure.

Kcee is still my sounding board for the most awkward ideas. Our phone calls are therapy sessions.

You can’t spell Ibadan without D in it. D is for Destiny.

I don’t know how I got to NYSC camp by 3am, but if it wasn’t so, I probably wouldn’t have met Frank.

My guy Ay gives me so much hope. Hypeman fi life.

Even though I and Sammy don’t talk nowadays. Knowing him was a very special time of my life.

I wouldn’t get in so much trouble if I didn’t know Agha. I’m sure he’ll say the same thing about me too. That man is my brother.

Joel had me during that rough 21 day patch in January 2020. The time I chose nonconformity over normalcy. He didn’t have any reason to, but he did.

ChuChu and Emma gave me somewhere to crash and get my shit together. I’m eternally grateful.

Icebergz always calls me to hang out whenever we are back home. Probably the coolest guy ever.

I’ve known some of these guys since nursery and primary school or secondary school or university. I met some less than 2 years ago. I don’t even talk to some of them nowadays. But one way or another, my story would be largely incomplete without them.

Maybe you don’t really have fake friends. Maybe you are just ungrateful. Or maybe you don’t give your friends reasons to believe in you.

Or maybe you are just the problem.

Uche Okoro

Writer. Sales & Marketing. Business & Investing Afficionado.

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