Sisterhood and friendship are golden finds in this life of ours. There’s nothing like having a supportive and loving community of women who are in your corner, caring for and catering to you. Friendship is a gift, and women do it best.
As a woman, the kind of companionship that friendship with other women can bring is essential. Platonic relationships are as important and can be as fulfilling as familial or romantic relationships and should be taken as seriously.
Five women share stories of how their friends have gone above and beyond for them, what they expect out of friendship and what friendship means to them.
Back when I was in university, I needed money to get a laptop badly, but at that time, my salary from part-time work was just 20k. My friend and I went to Banex to fix her laptop and we saw a small laptop. She was like you need to take it, and I told her I didn’t have 40k to pay on the spot. My friend literally loaned me 40k from her brother’s money that was with her, and I paid it back within the space of 2 months. I was filled with lots of emotions at that point; I realised my friend was one of the best things that had happened to me. I was glad I met her during my first year in university; she’s a friend through and through.
Friendship means going all out for the ones you call friends, and if I can go all out for you, I don’t regard you as a friend but more like a family. I expect all my friendships to last a lifetime for real, which sometimes doesn’t happen, but I also expect relationships with my friends to be healthy and also a safe space for us to be ourselves and keep rooting for each other to grow in whatever aspect of our lives.
I’m suicidal, and existing is something I don’t enjoy. My friend understands this and researched how to deal with depression and ways to stop self-harming. I’m not completely there, but I can say for sure that there have been improvements in my mental health, and it wouldn’t have been possible without Olamide. She’s the universe’s special gift to me.
I felt loved, seen and understood. Most people never understood why I self-harm, and to see someone care enough to learn without judging is such a blessing. Friendship to me is your chosen family. It is where you can be your true self without any fear of judgement. It’s being a haven to your friend. I expect kindness and empathy from friends.
Three women have been so very kind to me. The first was during the pandemic. We had just heard the abrupt lockdown announcement, and I was panicking because I was away from my family. My friend Zee, said I could follow her home. I was there for many months, and she never once made me feel left out or treated me unkindly.
The second was my cousin Dee. I was in an abusive situation, and she had just gotten married. I’ve never seen anyone take action on my safety that quickly in my life. She let me live with her just a week after her wedding and more than eight months after.
Third is my friend Im. She was my body double for three weeks during revision week and exam week. She slept beside me and made sure I was okay and focused. She made sure I was studying and she was just so supportive, especially when I felt demotivated (which is a lot with ADHD).
I felt blessed and safe; like someone much bigger than me had my back. Friendship to me is like being in a relationship and feeling like you’re in love. I love my friends so much and would do anything for them. Friendship is endless romance and maximum support no matter the distance or if you’re not as close as before. I expect 100% commitment. Basically, “support me and love me to where your power reaches”. I’ll always do the same.
My best friend in high school told her dad about my unpaid fees that were stopping me from sitting for mock in an exam class and he cleared the bill. No one has ever gone all out like she did for me, and I will always value our friendship. It made me feel like I had found my soul sister; like we were more than friends and practically family now. Friendship means a lot to me and I expect to receive the same energy I give to them.
For me, I doubt there is something called the “kindest thing”, because how do I start to rate my friends showing up for me during trying times?? They were there while I was experiencing heartbreak and they kept checking up on me until I was in a better space. They also came to the hospital daily when I was hospitalised and when I was most vulnerable after my surgery, my friend took care of me.
After being robbed, I had so much love and support it was overwhelming. They went as far as contributing to get some of my stolen stuff back for me. Let’s not even get into the random friendship dates here and there, or the random friendship benefit alerts I get, or the amazing birthday gifts or the random, “Oh I saw this and I thought you’d love it” gifts. There are so many ‘kindest things’ that I can’t mention all, nor can I pick the overall ‘kindest’ of them all. I feel very loved.
Friendship means everything and more. I believe friends are the family you get to choose. What I expect from friendship is showing up, giving and receiving unconditional love, knowing you have a safe space, and being able to be one’s most vulnerable without the fear of being judged.
My soul mate, Abolade, wrote a love letter to me and sent it to Zikoko to post. It was beautiful, thoughtful and brilliant. The fact that she could have just said those words in my dm, but instead, she sent it to Zikoko to show the world how much she loves me. I love her so much.
One of my favourite people, Anwuli, wrote about 50 words of affirmation on a small piece of paper. It was so wonderful, I was teary reading them.
Bedford, my twin sister, sent me something big because she wanted me to get my first bone straight hair. Heather, my pure and kind-hearted friend, fed me so much one time; she has my heart forever. I’m sorry I couldn’t just stop at mentioning “a” friend.
It makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I feel blessed. I feel treasured. Friendship is like my shoulder; without it, I can’t be complete. I don’t expect anything more from my friendships, they give me more than I expect. They are awesome and deserving of the greatest things in life.
I had never had a birthday cake before and I really wanted one. Even though I told no one this, my friends at the time (in our brokest sapa period in school) came together and got me two birthday cakes and a few drinks to celebrate. Some may tag it as a small gesture, but it is the best and kindest thing a friend has done for me to date.
To say that I was happy is an understatement. They saw a different side of me that they had never seen before. I was beyond elated enough to start crying and kissing everyone on the cheek.
Friendship to me is family and the only things expected are kindness, love, and understanding. We’re humans, and we grow in different ways, and friendships are what help make the storm calm. The assurance that as you navigate the world and journey we take, we have our friends to help navigate these murky waters and still be there even when we drift apart.
A friend gave me a place to stay, and it made me feel safe. Friendship is having people you can trust and emotionally rely on.