My Grandma, My Best Friend

September 11, 2022

Today is International Grandparents Day, and as a child, I always celebrated this day with my grandmother in church. In the morning, we would go to her church, Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos. While I went off to Sunday school, she’d go to the adults’ church. 

During the service, I’d join the kids to go to the main church for a presentation. It would either be a song or a play about grandparents. Later, the grandparents would stand, and they’d be given presents. It was a special day for me because I loved the opportunity to celebrate my grandma. It pains me that we’ll never get to celebrate together on this day again. 

My paternal grandma raised me for nine years of my life, from age nine to 18, while I lived with her and my dad’s younger sister. As much as I loved my aunt, I was always more fond of my grandma. She knew it. Everybody knew it. I spent more time with her. My grandma was the one who dropped me off and picked me up from school on most days. She was at every open day and school event; she never missed any until I graduated. I would go with her everywhere she went: church, owambes, charity events, her friend’s house, the market, etc. People knew me as her handbag. As long as you knew Ayodele Eneli, you knew Damilola Eneli and vice versa. 

I was her precious only grandchild, and she always showed me how special I was to her. She ensured I never lacked anything and always tried to give me whatever I wanted and needed. I remember once asking her to buy me this diary that could only be unlocked with voice recognition. It came with an invisible ink pen. She mentioned it was expensive, but the next time we went to that store, she told me I could have the diary. I was so elated. 

She’d tell me I deserved the best of the best in everything, and that’s why instead of enjoying retirement, she worked hard so I could go to the best primary and secondary schools. She always put me first, no matter what. In everything I wanted to do, my grandma always told me to go for it, even if I wanted to fly to the moon. She never discouraged me or made any of my dreams seem unachievable. 

I admired my grandmother for many reasons. One of which I realised as an adult, was that she was a 60-something-year-old woman taking care of a child entering her teenage years. It definitely wasn’t easy for her. I constantly stressed her by coming back late. I’d tell her I was going to my friend’s house down the street, she’d tell me to be back by 7 p.m. and I’d come back by 9 p.m. She’d get so worried and upset. I’m who I am today majorly because of my grandmother. I speak the way I speak because of her. I’m ambitious and career-oriented because of her. I’m independent because I saw how independent she was, and it was badass.  

ALSO READ: How To Give Your Nigerian Grandparents Headache

She was my role model. I admired every bit of her; her fashion, the way she spoke, the way everybody loved her and the friends she had. I think I’m social because of my grandma. Everybody knew her and liked her. I remember when she was voted as the president of her church association, Ladies League. Everyone wanted it to be her; it was a unanimous vote. I also remember times when she’d walk into an event and be greeted by many people. They’d greet her with so much joy, and shout, “Sisi Ayo”. It was amazing to see as a child. 

———————————————————————————————————————————–

I don’t think I’ve ever talked about my grandma extensively without crying. So I’m not surprised I’m writing this article in tears.  

———————————————————————————————————————————–

My grandma’s death broke me. The world took my best friend away from me. I call her my best friend because I bonded with her more than I could with most people. I spoke to my grandma about a lot of things. As a child, especially, I would gist with her and ask her a million questions. And she was always willing to answer. 

ALSO READ: These Women Are Not Your Typical African Grandmas

Her death wasn’t the “sleep and not wake up” kind. She had a brain tumour, and I had to watch her health deteriorate over the span of about two years. She went from a happy, strong woman to one who struggled to utter simple words. I had to helplessly watch her be in pain. 

I was in uni for most of her sickness, so my aunt was the one who took care of her. But there was a summer when I stayed with her at my grand-uncle’s house. At that point, she couldn’t move by herself, couldn’t speak, and she had a live-in nurse. My heart broke seeing her like that.

She couldn’t even speak to me, her grandchild. I would speak to her, but she couldn’t reply. I honestly prayed to God for a miracle to happen, and she’d get better. But she died after a major surgery. She was 76 years old. I lost my grandma at 18, and my entire world crumbled. To date, I haven’t been able to set foot in the hospital where she died. 

It’s been seven years since. And every September 1 is a sad day for me because it’s the day she was taken away. It reminds me of my amazing memories with her. Like when we both watched “Deal or No Deal” at home, and tried to guess what amount of money was in the boxes; it was our favourite show to watch together. I was so blessed to have such an angel on earth.  

For the longest time, I said my first-ever tattoo would be her name. And the day I got it, I felt like a special part of her had become part of me. Her name was her identity; having it on my arm constantly reminds me that she’s with me.  

Grandma, I really do hope I’m making you proud. I hope you’re proud of the woman I’ve become. 

Sun re o, Ayodele. I’ll always love you.


ALSO READ: 12 Extremely Specific Things Every Nigerian Grandma Owns

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

Watch

Now on Zikoko

Recommended Quizzes

December 5, 2019

We already tried to guess how much you have in your account and your current net worth, and we think we did a pretty great job (keep any complaints to yourself). Now, we’re going to try and guess your monthly salary based on your relationship with money. Oya, take the quiz: 11 Timed Quizzes For […]

October 30, 2019

2010 was a game-changing one for Nollywood, with our movies making serious cash and getting international acclaim. So, which of these hits released between 2010 and 2019 — from the pace-setting The Wedding Party to the divisive Trip To Jamaica — best suits your personality? Well, that’s what this quiz is here to answer:

November 19, 2019

Regardless of what society has tried to tell us, enjoying sex is not something to be ashamed of. So, in a bid to celebrate our generation’s sexual agency, we’ve created a quiz that will accurately (again, keep your complaints to yourself) infer how many people you’ve spelt with. Try it out: 11 Quizzes For The […]

April 9, 2020

At some point in life, we all learnt that someone can be very intelligent and still lack common sense. That’s the difference between being book smart and being street smart. If you’re not sure where on the spectrum you fall, well, that’s what this quiz is here to tell you. Take it:

April 1, 2020

Everyone has a Nigerian bank that matches their personality. You could either be as likeable as GTB, as efficient as Access or as mature as First Bank. Either way, all you have to do is take this quiz and we’ll let you know with almost 100% certainty. So, go ahead:

January 2, 2020

Do you have even a single romantic bone in your body? Well, if you’re not sure about just how sweet and thoughtful you can be to someone you love, that’s what this quiz is here to answer. 11 Quizzes For Nigerians Who Are Ready To Marry  Are you ready to marry? Take these quizzes.

More from Her

September 25, 2022

Simi and Taofeeqat became best friends in SS2. Before adulthood came between them, they gave each other cheesy love letters and long hugs. In this #LettertoHER, Simi wants Taofeeqat to know she misses her.

September 20, 2022

If your partner spent so much time in your home that it felt like they lived there, moving on can be tougher. So what happens when you can’t afford to move out to move on from the memories of your partner? 7 Nigerians who’ve been heartbroken shared their experience.

What She Said: I’ll Run For Office in 2027
September 14, 2022

Nafisa Atiku-Adejuwon talks about experiencing politics in secondary school, choosing public service over a legal career and finding purpose in helping young women enter politics through “Girls Just Want to Run”.

September 11, 2022

“In everything I wanted to do, my grandma always told me to go for it, even if I wanted to fly to the moon. She never made any of my dreams seem unachievable.”

In this personal essay, Dammy talks about her grandmother, who was also her best friend. #GrandparentsDay

What She Said: Feminism Led Me to Atheism
August 31, 2022

This week’s #ZikokoWhatSheSaid subject is a 23-year-old Nigerian woman. She tells us about discovering her feminism, pansexuality and atheism through books while living with her close-knit conservative family.

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

September 13, 2022
Vs The World is a Zikoko original video series that follows best friends Astor and Hassan as they take on the world.
August 23, 2022
Zikoko Ships is a Zikoko Original series where we invite two people who share a relationship to play the Zikoko card games
December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X