My Bro is a weekly Zikoko series that interrogates and celebrates male friendships of different forms.
What I noticed less than 10 minutes into my conversation with Boyett and Alpha are the subtle differences between them. Boyett says it as it is, while Alpha is more likely to accompany his sentences with a joke. But in the end, both of them are almost always on the same page — except for the part about who almost crippled Boyett in secondary school.
In this episode of My Bro, they talk about their secondary school love triangles, successful creative partnership and maintaining friendship in adulthood.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane
Alpha: I met you on my first day of secondary school in 2006. My family had just moved from Lagos to Abuja in the middle of the school year, so finding a new school was hard. But I remember walking into class late that day and seeing you so tiny and fair, sitting in the front of the class. I immediately recognised you from the school’s prospectus.
Even though I was new, you asked me if I wanted to play football with you that same day.
Boyett: It wasn’t football. My criteria for making friends at the time were video games.
Alpha: I can’t forget. It must’ve been football. I’m so sure, Boyett.
Boyett: My memory of this story is the same, minus the football part, and I’m sticking by it.
Alpha: I thought you were smart in class that day. I also thought you’d be full of yourself because you were on the damn school prospectus, but you were just aloof.
Boyett: I’ve heard worse. LOL. My teacher in primary four described me as nonchalant.
Meeting you, my impression was, “Why is this guy so angry?” You were in JSS 1; you didn’t have problems in life yet. Relax, it’s enough.
Alpha: That’s so true, mehn. I was always boning, up until SS 1 when I finally loosened up. It took me a while to adjust to the fact that we’d moved from Lagos. I was giving off the brooding rock-loving guy from those teen movies.
Boyett: I didn’t care sha. I still spoke to you because I knew last last, you couldn’t beat me.
Finding out our families are connected
Alpha: Moving to a new school in the middle of a school year was hard for me because all the other students already knew each other. Talking and hanging out with you made it easier. We both had the same interests in football, consoles and rap music. But the moment I knew it was real for us was still in JSS 1 when our mothers met each other and lost it.
Boyett: Guy, I remember that day. I think it was what solidified our friendship for me too.
Alpha: It was during visiting day. Apparently, our mums had known each other in university, so it was like a mini-reunion for both of them. At some point, they just started shouting, and I kept looking at you like, “Guy, what’s going on?”
That’s when I knew it was meant to be for us.
Boyett: That history sealed it, but for me, you were always my guy. During football, I’d just send the ball your way, and you’d run for me. I didn’t have to stress myself.
Alpha: WTF? This guy. LOL.
Our surprising connection
Boyett: One of the most random shits that happened was when you told me at some random party that you were trying your hands at writing scripts. It was so weird because I was doing the same thing. I’d known you for a while, but we’d never spoken about writing films. So, again, meant to be.
Alpha: Yeah, I remember just asking you if you’d like to read through a script I’d written, and it became this thing of, “You secretly write scripts too?”
We’ve been working on scripts for a while, and I think we have our rhythm now. It may be hard for friends to collaborate, but there are no egos. I trust you enough to know you not liking my idea isn’t to make me look or feel bad. It’s more of what’s best for the story at that moment.
Boyett: Our first project was a mix of How I Met Your Mother and Atlanta. Two very different shows. LOL. And that’s reflective of how we’re able to create something together despite having different visions and tones in our individual work. Our different perspectives actually make our work better. If I send something to you, and you don’t like it, you do what you can to make it better.
I don’t think we’ve ever had issues.
Alpha: Ermmm… are you sure?
Alpha: The one time I remember being pissed and arguing with you was when you pulled an asshole move in JSS 3. Someone had given me a book, and because you were being sly, you tried to get them to collect it from me and give it to you. But our fight didn’t last long sha.
Boyett: I was an asshole a lot, so I don’t remember this story.
But one thing that could’ve caused fights for us, but didn’t, was girls. For some reason, most of the girls you liked, liked me instead. I don’t know if it’s because I was a nerd who didn’t have any interest in them—
Alpha: Nah, mehn. You were cute. Shut up!
Boyett: We bless God. But really, man, I respect you for not letting it cause friction between us. Another guy would’ve made it into some type of beef, but you were just chill about it.
It would’ve upset me if you’d gotten angry because it wasn’t as if I was doing it intentionally. I didn’t even like the girls.
Alpha: The first time it happened was in JSS 3, and people expected me to be angry, but the girl made her choice. You even tried to be my wingman and hook me up, but they didn’t care.
There was nothing I could do about it. But we have different tastes, so we never like the same person.
Boyett: That’s because you’re a bumbum man and I’d rather have a girl with a pretty face.
You came through for me
Boyett: You were there for me during one of the most challenging moments of my life, even though it was your fault I was there in the first place. We were playing football one night in secondary school, and you hit my knee. That accident caused a chain reaction that ended with me in clutches for a term.
Navigating boarding school with clutches was hard. I couldn’t do things I love, like playing football. The situation got so bad I couldn’t feed myself or write in class because using the clutches every time cut off blood supply to my hands.
You really stepped up during this period when I felt other friends pull away. You helped me carry my bag and kept me company when I couldn’t do regular activities with the other kids. It was also tough for me psychologically, and I don’t think I’d have survived it without you and my other friend, Adaora.
Alpha: I mean, what would I have done? I did my best to make the period easier for you whichever way I could. If they were like, “Boyett can’t do this,” that automatically meant I’d have to sit it out too because I didn’t want you to be alone. It was a “we” thing for me.
But, guy, I wasn’t the one that caused it o!
Boyett: I’m 80% sure it was you, and 20% think it’s some big ass Benin guy.
Alpha: Okay, maybe I contributed to it small. LOL.
I mean, you’ve come through for me in different ways. A major moment would be after I quit my job in 2019 and was floating around. I didn’t have money or anything for about six months, but you helped me get another job that got me back on my feet. Even this year, I got another job through you. You constantly recommend me for something to other people.
Maintaining friendships as adults in these Buhari times
Boyett: I’ve made my house a safe space for you, so whenever you’re stressed, you can come over, lose at FIFA, drink some and just relax.
Alpha: Lose? But, yeah, life gets in the way a lot. It’s harder to make time to see each other as we’ve gotten older, but we try. We hung out today, and this took about a week of scheduling. If we can’t see physically, we always chat. I feel like I’m talking with you on every app in the world, from Whatsapp to Snapchat. Even though it takes you forever to respond to your messages.
The longest period we didn’t talk was when I was phoneless at Covenant University from 2011 to 2014. But when I got back home, I always pinged you on my BlackBerry. LOL.
What would you change about your friendship?
Alpha: Mehn, I wish this friendship was abroad. I wish we were just doing our thing, but sha, not in Nigeria.
Boyett: That’s valid. LOL. We’ve been talking about getting a place, so I wish we had ₦2.5M for that sexy apartment we saw. Deep sigh.
I want you to know
Boyett: I appreciate you for being there for me when I was on clutches back in school. That was truly the hardest period of my life. I also appreciate that you never let women affect our friendship because I was really worried. The final thing is something I wish you’d done. There was this babe I had a crush on in secondary school and you knew about it. I wish you had pushed me to make a move on her. Maybe now, we’d have been married.
Alpha: LOL. I didn’t know it was that serious.
I see you as my brother, not just my friend. I remember when I was in Covenant and couldn’t talk to you. I just kept thinking, “Mehn, what if this guy just moves on and forgets about me?” I’d have anxiety messaging you when I came back, but you were always there every time, like nothing had changed.
Knowing that I don’t have to worry about this friendship is comforting. You’re always there for me, and it’s a pleasure.
Boyett: Aww. I’m pumping my fist like that guy from The Breakfast Club. LOL.
Do you have an interesting bro story you’d like to share? Fill this form and we’ll get back to you.