International Day of Friendship 2023 was on Sunday, July 30, but there was barely any buzz around it on social media, and we understand why. Nigerians are dealing with a lot at the moment.

We asked some people how they celebrated the special day and responses ranged from having no idea to watching “Barbie” with friends.

“We hung out but no one was aware” Deji*

There’s a World Friendship Day? I wasn’t even aware, so it didn’t cross my mind to celebrate it. Although I did hang out with my friends on Sunday, but I don’t think anyone of us was aware. We all just carried on as usual. We have this tradition where we try to hang out every last Sunday of the month, so I guess we still celebrated each other.

“We had drinks, ate and went to see Barbie Tunji*

I had a great day. I had no idea there was a celebration, but I got this sweet message from my friend around noon — throwback pictures from when we were in uni. She also sent a short text telling me how much she loved and valued our friendship. That was really sweet, so I showed up at her place in the evening, we had drinks, ate and went to see “Barbie”. Now, I want to commit the date to memory because I have other friends I also should’ve celebrated.

“I don’t have deep friendships”  Bisi*

World Friendship Day isn’t as popular as other celebrations. I didn’t see anything on social media until much later in the day when my husband mentioned it in passing, so I didn’t do anything to celebrate. Even if I was aware, I don’t think it would’ve been different. I don’t have deep friendships; it’s mostly surface connections.

“It was sweet to express our love for each other” Demola*

only got the memo when my friend sent a message to our WhatsApp group in the afternoon. There are four of us in the group, and that’s where we gist, plan movie dates, trips, vacations and just catch up. The message was a sweet one, and we all took turns sending something short and sweet to each other. That was about it, but I spent the rest of the day grinning. It was really sweet to celebrate our friendship and express love for each other.

“I wasn’t aware and wouldn’t have celebrated even if I knew” Halimah*

I didn’t know there was a World Friendship Day celebration, and even if I did, I doubt I’d have celebrated. There’s a lot of shege in Nigeria at the moment, and I and my friends are surviving on “It is well”. Maybe I’ll catch on to it in 2024. Hopefully, things will be stable then.

“All my friends have relocated” Dotun*

I started celebrating this about two years ago, but this year, it was just there. I’m the only one in my group that hasn’t relocated. We’re all scattered across different parts and even my friends who used to be in Lagos have moved to Abuja. Adulthood is really kicking our asses right now, and I wish it could be different but it’s what it is. Maybe I’ll send a message to our WhatsApp group later in the week. I could use a physical hangout with all my friends right now. I miss them so much.

“I’ll give my bestie a gift later” Yeside*

I was with my bestie throughout the day, but neither of us was aware of any friendship celebration day. Sometimes, it’s hard to keep track of these international celebrations, and you don’t even know which one is relevant to Nigeria. But now that you’ve mentioned it, maybe I’ll go extra with what I plan to do for her birthday later in the week. I planned to buy her a cake but I’m inspired to also get a gift to celebrate our friendship. She’d be so surprised. Lol.


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