My Bro is a bi-weekly Zikoko series that explores and celebrates male friendships of different forms.

Nine and Mudi’s friendship started in 2019 with a similar taste for certain types of music. With over three years of friendship, they talk to #ZikokoMyBro about ditching classes for their interests in crypto and tech, which has improved their standard of living.

Nine and Mudi

How long have you been friends?

Mudi: Four years. That was probably around 2019.

Nine: June, 2019 actually.

How did you meet?

Mudi: It was in uni. We stayed on the same hostel block.

Nine: And we’re both engineering students. We’ve seen each other in class and hostel.

What was the first connection?

Nine: It was our matric day. Both of us stayed back in the hostel (laughs).

Mudi: Yeah, I didn’t want to go for the matric. I woke up late and I saw somebody who also didn’t feel like going. I approached him and asked, “how far, you no go matric?” He said he’d go most likely later. Did he go? Find out next year.

Nine: (Laughs) Bro, that was like our first interaction. The whole matric vibe was dead. So we stayed back.

That was the only connection?

Mudi: When Post Malone’s Hollywood’s Bleeding album came out, I didn’t have a music player to jam it. But someone constantly played the music out loud on my hostel floor. I always wondered who it was because I really fuck with Posty’s music, then I went to check who the DJ was and turned out it was Nine.

Nine: So from there, we started talking about music and school.

Mudi: We skipped classes a lot too (laughs).

Nine: Sometimes I’d be in class, he’d be nowhere to be found. When I wake up sometimes, I often discover I’m not the only one sitting back in the hostel, Mudi is around too. We began spending time together.

Mudi: One time, a math test was coming up, so we went to the class. We didn’t understand a single thing the lecturer taught. We eventually left and did our first night class together to read for the course. That made us closer. My fellow unserious nigga.

Nine: We didn’t want to fail. We knew who sent us to school. Even though we’ve never liked school, we still wanted to try our best with it. And that’s how it has been until now. I think that’s a bond for us too.

Mudi: Thankfully we’re almost done. Just a year left.

What was your first impression of each other?

Mudi: He seemed cool, but I wasn’t sure until he interacted during the matric. He was a calm guy and he minded his business. The music too, no one was listening to Post Malone on the hostel floor that time. 

Nine: Other guys would bash our taste.

Mudi: Na Naira Marley boys dey play for speaker. I’ve nothing against that, but I was happy immediately when I heard Post Malone from him. I was happy I wasn’t alone; like thank God o, make e no go be like na me be the only foreigner for this entire place.

Nine: It was just cool. The vibes were just right. Having someone that likes the same things as you, almost the same way you do, I couldn’t ask for more.

Apart from stabbing classes?

Mudi: We actually went through sapa together too.

Nine: Ah. Fuck. We don suffer before we begin soft. Now, things are better than good.

Mudi: We don dey soft small, I’ll not lie. ‘Cause previously, it was sick man. We’d be cooking spaghetti when it’s past 12 a.m because that was when we had money. Just two of us. It wasn’t funny, man.

Nine: It’s plenty o, but there was another mad phase in 100 level. We stayed away from parties because we couldn’t afford tickets. Other guys were there, not us.

Mudi: We no get 1k for ticket, even though we always dress nice. But there was no money. We’d tell each other about parties that were happening but we’d discourage each other from going.

Nine: We’d decide not to go. When people asked we just told them it’d be a boring party and kept it moving.

Mudi: When we stroll past the party venues, we’d just shake our heads. Because of 1k. The only parties we went to happened because I was part of the organisers and I quickly pocketed some tickets. Looking back at it now, it’s crazy. Now, we’re the ones hosting parties and running things.

What was your situation after 100 level?

Nine: Things got a bit better. We began staying together from 200 level till now. We went from hostel floormates to flatmates off campus. I moved out and he moved in with me.

Mudi: Aside from the music and truancy, we decided to grow together. It was like, this is what I’m doing at this point, what are you doing? Let’s make each other’s lives better. It was still rough, but way better than how we used to be.

How did you guys go from being broke to renting out an apartment off campus?

Mudi: Na bull run o. It saved our lives. That period, the prices of tokens were generally rising. There was more inflow of cash to the crypto market and that in turn yielded more profits on investments.

Nine: It was the bull run, man. We thank God.

Mudi: Nine actually introduced me to crypto. In fact, he had been eating good from it before I got into it. It was around the lockdown period. There was distance between us. I was in Lagos but we got talking and he gradually introduced me to it. And we started working hand-in-hand. Little money here and there served us.

Nine: We did stuff together to make money. We’re like the real life crypto bros. There’s also tech stuff. Mudi is a game developer. Got into tech before me. He taught me basic things I needed at that time. Supplied me tutorial materials and made sure I didn’t miss anything. I do UI/UX now.

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And how has it been?

Mudi: Omo, let me not lie, it’s hard sometimes. Trading coins, buying and selling NFTs, creating and running crypto projects, etc. Dem dey chop our eyes, we dey chop their eyes too sha. It’s wins and losses; steady wins, major losses. I remember how hard it was starting from the ground up a couple times. Same as getting back up from a couple of bad investments. The space is very unkind to whoever gives up and we just pull through with knowledge and experience.

Nine: It’s what has kept us not only afloat but majorly above what we should be running at this level. Nobody wants to hire an undergraduate for doing something they don’t know entirely and man has to feed, look good and still chest billings. I think we’ve been trying sha; learning, working and taking care of self. It’s been better.

How do you hold yourselves accountable?

Mudi: Hmm.. by being vocal. I don’t mind if disagreements probably come from it (we’d settle in few hours). Long as I let you know you’re know when you fuck up and need to do better. He knows me.

Nine: You know I’m the same way too, bro. In doing that and getting things off our chests, we also make sure no one has any pent up resentments or anger. Air out the grievances and make the other party knows how we can do better moving forward.

Mudi: Also, it’s harder than it seems most times because we regularly have to show up for both aspects of our lives (school and our individual career paths). The solution I put forward for us is to regularly have checks about school work outside our friendship. It helps us know what’s happening regarding school. For each other, we develop a reading schedule close to exams and tests and we get stuff done at least.

What holds your friendship together?

Mudi: We always stay in contact, whether we’re in the same area or not. We like to know what’s going on with each other, so there’s no information that’s lost between us at any point.

Nine: We don’t have major friends outside of each other. We’re secluded from school right now. Another thing, we don’t hide anything from each other. Nobody does something without telling the other person what they are up to. Just like the crypto and the tech thing. That’s how it is.

Mudi: I also think the drive for our friendship is fueled by our ability to be there for each other at any point; heartbreaks, finances, even school (laughs). As long as I know I have his back and he has mine, I’m good to go.

Any particular time the other person came through for you?

Mudi: There are countless times, but after we moved from the hostel to an apartment outside school, things were a bit slow for me because I’d just started getting into the crypto space. Nine helped me with funds, taking me through the baby steps, ensuring I was always in the know about what was happening, and helped me even when I needed help with cash.

Nine: There’s been a lot but there was a time I was sick and had to go home. We had a test in school, he took my test for me and submitted.

Mudi: Other things done for each other probably includes being wingmen for each other when it comes to getting women (laughs). Also basic house stuff like cooking and making sure the other person has something to eat when they get back from somewhere.

What would you change about each other and your friendship?

Nine: It’s the money sha. If we were richer, we’d be doing crazy things together.

Mudi: There are many things we’ve been dreaming of doing together. We’ve banging ideas but funds are necessary. Nothing happens when the money is low. I just hope we’ll work harder than we’re now, so that we can get to where we want to be.

Nine: There was a time we got supplies for clothing and made these custom lightning pants but we couldn’t continue with the mass production even though the final product was really nice. It’s little things like this that spark our desire to upgrade to better positions.

So it’s not just crypto and tech?

Mudi: No. We’ve a small fashion startup.

I create custom made fits and I also paint on clothes. The lightning pants were for my fashion brand. Nine handles the creative direction for the brand and also in general. It launched during the lockdown. I made a couple of products, particularly painted trousers for a few people and demos and we got good reviews. 

Where do you see yourselves together in five years?

Mudi: Personally, I see myself managing Nine’s music career. Honestly I’d be content with that. He should blow up and I’ll manage his music. Funny thing, I didn’t even know he made music until later I heard some songs he did. I listened and loved them. Since then I’ve been telling him we’ve to push his music.

Nine: I see us making more money together, travelling the world and just achieving.

Music is just what I do when I am alone, tbh. It’s not really a major thing for me. That was why I hardly say anything about it. Most people still don’t know I make music. But I’ll work on being more visible.

What have you always wanted to tell each other?

Nine: Hmmm, it’s the usual sweet stuff we’ve always said na (laughs). Mudi is awesome, nice, cool and great. He knows I have his back anytime, though.

Mudi: Na macho man, he no dey do emotions.

As for me, what I always wanted to let him know is that I like how he works hard towards everything he gets his hands on. His attitude towards life is what I admire too. Although we can change and switch things up, for now this is it. Also, I want to thank him particularly for stuff he’s done for me in the past. I wouldn’t be here without him.

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