Thoughts on Friendship

When I first came to America, I found Americans to be rather shallow. Smiling at you one minute, and then recoiling if you tried to get closer. I find relationships with most Americans to be superficial, and I suppose Americans would see me as a cold person because I do not automatically smile when I see them, etc.

I came across a post on Quora about international friendships that underscored this point of how the definition of friendship and close friendship varies from culture to culture, and from country to country.

To quote a commenter on the post,

In France, your friend is whom you went to school with.

In Brazil, your friend is whomever is welcome to go into your house when you’re not home, and raid your refrigerator.

In China, your friend is whomever you can ask to sell you merchandise at a loss, to help your business through a tough time.

For me, gaining and losing some of my foreign and Nigerian friends over the past few years has got me thinking about what denotes true friendship to me as a person, and whether my Nigerian-ness can sometimes be an obstacle to me making new friends, or whether this is simply due to my social awkwardness alone.

I think that in Nigeria / to Nigerians, a friend is a combination of whom you went to school with and whom your family visited often as a child, and a close friend is whom you can bathe or shower with, when in a hurry.

What do you think?

Who is a friend in Nigeria?

As a Nigerian, who is a friend to you?

What does friendship mean to you?

There are 24 comments

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  1. Djinn

    A friend, I find is the kind of person who you can talk to about the kind of things others will judge you by i.e. Your fears, prejudices and silliness.

    Things I find that are more you than the shallow stuff you are allowed to talk about with everyone else, and need that outlet to keep you true to yourself.

    That’s what I find friends do for me —

  2. Ife.O

    I remember seeing that post on Quora, and thinking who exactly are my friends? As a Nigerian in America I have found Americans to be passive aggressive for the same reasons you mentioned. For me though, my friends are those I never fight with. I have never had a fight with my best friends. But I think as we grow older, the further apart we are becoming. I am also very socially awkward and it’s hurting my chances of making friends. But I’m no longer bothered, which also worries me haha. In the end, a friend is simply someone you can count on.

  3. Doch

    Haba. Bathe with friend ko?? I ain’t trying to see all that lmao. Maybe if we were nine years old but there is no reason why two grown women should be taking a shower together all in the name of rush. If it’s rush somebody must not bathe and it wouldn’t be me lmao. I shower with my significant other though. That’s my best friend anyway

  4. FRED

    I like this one by aristotle
    not for what u get out of it

  5. Demilade

    My friend is someone we share similar perspectives about life, someone who’ll look me in the eyes and critique the best of my works and someone I can do exactly the same for

  6. Kay Biteh

    A friend is a person who is almost like family to you. They can live in your house for ‘x’ amount of years (no questions asked on when they intend on leaving), raid your fridge, sell your merchandise at a loss and treat your immediate family like theirs (and vice versa).

  7. Kay Biteh

    Also, I think friendship in Nigeria is much deeper than what I have seen in the west, well except France. French people do not smile at you unless you both are friends and they can trust you. But for the UK, people are quite superficial in their approach towards friendship.

    In Nigeria, a friend is someone that is with you and there for you no matter what and even if you both have not communicated in years, the day you meet, its like you never missed a day in each others’ lives. I think we treat friendship, almost like we treat a marriage in Nigeria.

      • Iremide

        I hope you are making loads of money from your art, it takes so much time and you are so very good at it! I cant draw to save my childs life!!
        My friends are those who i can be totally honest with, cry with, laugh with, share life experiences and let behind my mask. So far, i have been fortunate in that regard.

  8. Almond

    I like your blog…. or should I say you writings…… don’t stop writing and don’t stop asking the real questions…. please don’t. …

  9. Localchic

    Hey! Just discovered your blog, unfortunately not due to good old word of mouth but through all the media attention you got recently by speaking your truth (never let the negativity of ignorant people get you down). Love your style of writing (though shocking at times) it’s refreshing.
    Anyway I agree with Kay Biteh on what friendship and also the difference betwee friendship in the UK and Naija (don’t know about the French sha).

    Good luck I hope you pull yourself up and hold you head high and keep going, your 20s if the time you explore and live life. I got married at 24, love hubby and the kids but if I were to do it over I’ll do it 10yrs later. Xx

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