Friday, October 5, 2012

How Time Flies

On this day eight years ago, I was a freshman in Uni. We had enrolled the previous day, got assigned to dorms (Deborah Hall, Room F407) and my room mates were Ebun Awodapo, Omonye Ogun, Anita Bright. We seemed to settle in well and the next few days would be orientation and registration. Hmmm, I remember some of my first friends, Seun Olaniyan and how we got talking about previously taking the same course at different NIIT locations during the summer. I liked him instantly, with that his clear, confident bass voice and his bad boy looks and it was good to know we had the same major :)

Ladun Olatunde, I would later meet when lectures had just about kicked off. I was late to class one day and needed to sit somewhere quietly without calling the lecturer's attention to myself. Ladun's pew looked like it could take one more person and she made room for me to sit between her and the next person. "Can I sit by the edge pleeeeease?" I had asked and she nicely gave up her edge seat.
Soon enough, she was in a similar situation one day and I was seated during a lecture. She asked if she could  share my pew and when I made for her to seat in, she said "One good turn deserves another" with a broad smile. I gave up my edge seat. Weeks and years later, everybody would know us and refer to us as "Rice and Beans." LMAO! We stuck like glue, Siamese twins till the end of Uni ... and still haven't been unglued eight years later.

Jolaade Alao was someone I would see from a distance and never imagine we would ever have common interests. She was so 'madamy' in her gait and her dressing too. While the rest of us wore costume jewelry to class, Jolie could be seen spotting matching pieces of gold carats. She was always dressed so neatly and sharp too and her gait was very mature. Weeks into the first semester, I was carrying out my class rep duties, and on this fateful day, I was worn out with going back and forth the college building, sorting out assignment sheets for my classmates at the close of day and I was working on something in the lecture hall. Jolaade came to me saying she had not submitted her assignment and wanted to turn it in since I was still around. Explanations turned to heated arguments and before I knew what was going on, Jolaade and I were crying. LMAO! We sat quietly, cooled off and apologised to each other. Eight years later and today, the trans-atlantic US/Congo barrier is non-existent for us as I am presently Skyping with her :) She's one I let in on my every decision, major or otherwise.

Tobi Ogundolapo was in the same department as I was, had a slightly different major from mine (Computer Engineering) which meant we took the same classes up until fourth year. Tobi and I joined the school's Ushering unit and then, realised we were almost neighbours back home, and had attended the same primary school. But there's no telling a Tobi story without an Adeolu Owokade. Weirdly, I don't remember first encounters for either one but I remember tutorial classes, ushering meetings, study groups, working and hanging out during SIWES, going home for the holidays, and the Agony Aunt sessions. 'Deolu and I have similar dimensions but with a different route. Eight years later, we are on the (long) road to grad school. Earlier this year, I became a resident at "GhostHouse" to reduce my commute hours to/fro work. My boy still looks out for me every time. He taught me how to drive (although I still put in my hours in driving school and started all over). Geez, he is that selfless friend that fixes his plans to accommodate mine, accompanies me to events where I need a plus-one, and makes my mum start asking me questions I have answered a million and one times.

Lotanna Egwuatu was the embodiment of a Barbie doll the first day I set eyes on her. She was freaking wearing pink trousers! Pink! And then she screamed in the middle of a lecture when she saw a lizard on the wall. I couldn't believe it. I couldn't stand the girl. Semester results came out and I found out the nonsense girl had brains. I managed to avoid her until sophomore year came and we were assigned to the same room for SWEP. I almost collapsed when I realised. It would be me, Lotanna, Ladun and Emilomo Longe in one room. Looking back, that was one of the best things that could have happened to my Uni life. During that period, I found out the girl was not half bad, she was smart, fun, godly, and introduced me to Praye's "Shordy." We embarked on some crazy adventures and escapades during SWEP, and I can say that I have successfully figured out the method to her madness. We got pretty close in third year, and by fourth year, I made my first trip to Abuja just to go visit the nonsense girl during the holidays. During my visit, her mum got me a summer job and that saw me relocating from my Lagos home to work in Abuja. Eight years later and today, Lolo and I have become female engineering enthusiasts, co-founders of Citewire, and we barely missed a shot at becoming sisters-in-law.

It was a windy Tuesday evening in June and the year was 2005. It was also a few days to my birthday and I was on the basketball court with the rest of the student body for some outdoor Tech Week activity. After much cheering, I started feeling funny - all of a sudden the wind felt painful against my skin and in a matter of seconds, I was shivering visibly. Laju Awani spotted me, took off his shirt and put it on me while another one of my mates (Festus Adibe) walked with me to my dorm to make sure I was okay. Who forgets such little acts of kindness? Eight years later, ... um, Laj, should we tell them?

Amidst some remarkably weird first meetings, some friendships were formed along the way, some lost mid-way, some kicked off after graduation, and there are those ones where we catch up when we catch up. To Mark Akpaibor, Jide Ayeni, Ifeanyi Egbe, Seyi Feyisitan, Tolu Ogunsina, Chris Ikeliani, Emi Longe, Toyin Agbebi, Patrick Akhamie. I take a piece of all of you everywhere I go. Cheers!


Madame Jolie said...

Spotting one in this picture too.
I love you, Vicki.

Gadget freak said...

Touching stories of forming friendships. I like the expressiveness in your writing. My story is missing...look for somewhere to fix it in -_- I can't even remember how we got talking lol

Adeolu Owokade said...

How I'm just seeing this beats me. I agree, Tobi is really selfless. Cheers to our boy!

Lotanna said...

How am I just seeing this??! Me? Nonsense girl???... If I catch you. Plus I still get that whole barbie doll thing and I still don't know why. Oh well barbie s hot soooo...hehe :D. Nice post..touchy touchy. Takes me back to Uni days...miss my people...sigh. And yes, I remember Jolaades madam looks.. haha! :)