This post is dedicated to my friend/honorary big sister/ gist partner Tosin aka sisto.
March 7 2011, I stood on the queue alongside hundreds of my fellow freshly minted corps members in Lagos state camp. The sun was exceptionally hot that day and the NYSC staff were taking their sweet time to pay us attention and appoint rooms to our tired selves. I didn’t serve with my original batch, so I literally knew no one in camp and I just stood by myself on the queue, my box behind me and my red bucket beside me. It was so so noisy and I wished fervently that I had my ipod with me but alas I left it in my mum’s car when she dropped me off.
Out of all the noise and clatter, I could make out a distinctive voice with some sort of accent and it inexplicably made me so mad, I found myself rolling my eyes and wondering what was wrong with her and her posse of friends. I finally turned back to look at her and there she was, in her navy blue top, black pants and oversized sun glasses. Well, her Ghana weaving is fine sha…I thought to myself. The NYSC officials deigned to attend to us and they started assigning rooms, and as the queue moved along and I noticed the random pattern of the assignment, I prayed fervently that she would not be in my room. I didn’t come to camp to make friends biko, and I honestly didn’t want to deal with her. I just wanted the compulsory three weeks to fly by so I could resume my job at the bank.
The queue got crazy and I lost sight of her so I concentrated on looking for my room, the epic room 11 and I found it. I walked in and found my bunk, and as I was trying to focus on something else to drown out the voice of my bunk mate who was already talking my ear off, I saw her! Ahhhh why me? I thought to myself. I was determined to stay out of her way and mind my own business and besides I was trying to wrap my mind around how filthy the hostel was and how I was going to survive for three whole weeks here. That night, my red bucket, my bottle of dettol, my soap dish, my sponge and my towel mysteriously disappeared when I left the bathroom line briefly to charge my phone. I had to buy a whole new bathing paraphernalia the next day and I didn’t find it funny!
I managed to avoid Ms. Thing and her crew until one fateful morning on the parade ground. It must have been around 8am and as we stood waiting for the soldiers to tell us what to do, this girl walked by, fully made up! Powder, concealer, foundation, eye shadow, red lipstick, and false lashes to boot. I couldn’t comprehend why anyone in their right mind would wear all that make up for morning exercise. I looked around to see if I was the only one that found this situation amusing when my eyes met with hers and we simultaneously burst into laughter and we laughed till we almost cried. I walked up to her platoon and she said Hi, my name is Tosin and that was it! PS: we nicknamed the girl makeup chick and for the life of me I never knew her real name. From that moment, I forgot that I didn’t like her before and we spent almost every waking moment together in camp and frankly she made my camp experience bearable. I met some of the most amazing human beings I have ever known in that camp: Yemisi, Cee, Mide, Dr. Efosa, Jesse, Yetty, Tosin(boy), Cheekway, Skar and most importantly Ajay! These people were literally the best thing that happened to me, and they made my birthday celebration in camp the best one I have had till date! Thanks guys…
Tosin and I have been through so much together and sometimes when I think about I her I honestly can’t imagine my life without her and it occurs to me how I would have missed out on knowing such an amazing soul, so this is a heartfelt shout out to make up chick! My sisto is beautiful, smart, kind, a talented singer and event planner, and she makes my life brighter with her presence, I am super grateful for her and to my camp crew who I am still friends with till date, love you guys!
When I think about it, some of my closest friends were met in unexpected places, I met my loving friend Kemi on a BRT bus from Lekki, I met Sheila at Lekki bustop, My darling friend Emmanuel I met on the bus as well, and how can I forget Achalugo and Mfon whom I met from blogging? they have all been so good to me and it never ceases to amaze me how we just meet random people and they come into your life and just stay. I am truly blessed, and I hope this post made you smile, reach out to your friends today and tell them how grateful you are to have them in your life, I am deeply grateful for mine…
“There are no strangers here; only friends you haven’t yet met.” –William Butler Yeats