My Bro is a biweekly Zikoko series that interrogates and celebrates male friendships of different forms.

Michael and Faith’s friendship started with a not-so-random DM on Facebook in 2016. With over five years in this friendship thing, they talk to #ZikokoMyBro about surviving health challenges together, maintaining transparency when helping each other financially, and how they deal with Michael’s tendency to disappear without telling his friend. 

Let’s start from the very beginning. How did you guys meet? 

Michael: I met Faith on Facebook in 2016 when the app was still popping. We both wrote poems and were part of the same writing community. Our interactions were limited to the comment section until Faith DM’ed me one day. 

Faith: Ah, I remember. I’d been reading your work and sent a DM saying, “Baba, you dey write gan.” 

Michael: I’m reading that message now and cringing because I replied, “Good evening, sir.” You asked me how to publish your poem somewhere, and I kept adding “sir” to all my messages. I don’t even know why I was being so extra. 

What was your first impression of the other person? 

Faith: I thought he was very intelligent. I’d read this thought-provoking essay he wrote about LAUTECH being on strike and how no one was doing anything about it. He had his way with words that allowed him to express even the most complex thoughts with a sense of clarity. I also liked that one minute, he could be writing something like that, and the next, he’s writing something about all power belongs to your bumbum with the same passion. 

Michael: What do you mean by that? I thought you were noisy. You were everywhere, and your comments were on everybody’s posts. Let’s not even get into your Facebook name; “Emmanuel GodHonoursMe Faith”. Bro, are you the only one God is honouring? LOL. 

Another thing that stuck out to me was the way you used words. You used to blow big grammar like Wole Soyinka in the most random conversations. I thought that was really cool. 

When did your relationship move from admiring each other’s writing to an actual friendship? 

Michael: We met for the first time and started getting close when I got admission to his university. Faith was in his second year, and I was in my first. We attended the same campus fellowship, and over time I started hanging out in his room since I had 20 roommates. Plus, he used to cook a lot. We became close during the period I was eating free food and hanging out in his room. 

So basically, you were like an Abuja man hanging out for food and shelter? 

Michael: You know what? That’s understandable. I started hanging out with him for basic human needs. LOL 

Faith: No, let me defend you small. I made food for almost everyone because I was a fellowship big bro. Remember you used to call me “Sir”? 

My turning point in our relationship was when I fell sick that day in school. I never fall sick, but my village people caught me this time, and I broke down. Michael was the first person on my mind to call. He came over, took me to the health centre and stayed with me through everything. He also checked up on me and cooked during that whole period. He took care of me. That ordeal unlocked something for me, and I knew this guy had become my friend. 

Michael: So I’ve saved you from untimely death? I’ve tried for you, sha. 

Michael, outside of food, can you remember when Faith really came through for you? 

Michael: When I first moved to Lagos after university, me and being broke were like five and six. Faith was more shocked when I didn’t come to borrow money than when I showed up to beg. But the money wasn’t really the moment for me. My favourite come-through moment was when I fell sick. 

You too? 

Michael: Yes, o! In 2021 I was really sick and needed to undergo a severe procedure. It was a terrifying moment in my life when I was like, “Maybe I’ll see God in a few seconds”, and Faith was right there by my side. I fall sick often, so I’m used to hospitals. On the other hand, Faith rarely falls sick, so hospitals make him very uncomfortable. He didn’t want to be in a hospital but was there for me. I was sick, but I was pitying him. Lol

Faith: I followed you to the hospital because I know you, and you have a habit of just putting your phone on do not disturb while everyone else is worried about you. I’m always concerned about you, so I felt it’d be better to go with you and be updated in real-time. Nothing prepared me for all the medical equipment and terms I heard during that period sha. Plus, I was the only one your mum could reach. It was worth it when you got better. 

Regarding coming through for me, I’m grateful to Michael for always telling me the truth. I’ve gotten to a point where I feel like I’m doing well and I’m one of the baddest when it comes to what I do, so it’s important to have someone who can pull me aside and keep me in check. Michael will explain a situation to me, and I’ll realise I was the one that messed up. He’ll still call me out today even if I sent him money yesterday.

I also feel comfortable talking to Michael about everything. Most people don’t have that in their friendship. 

Money has come up a couple of times now, and how as to how it might affect your friendship? 


: First of all, Faith has a lot more money than me, so money can’t even be a problem for us. LOL. But seriously, it all boils down to transparency and being honest with one another. Faith knows how much I make, and I know how much he makes. I can’t ask him for anything that’ll inconvenience him, and he also knows when I’ll be able to pay back based on how much I make. We’ve refused to allow money to become a big deal in our friendship. 

Faith: The transparency part is important. If Michael asks me for money twice a month, I’ll know there’s a serious problem and follow up before he tells me, “Oh, he had to send money home” or something like that. But another thing is knowing our financial capacities because we only make big financial decisions with the other person knowing. Michael keeps me in check when it comes to spending. This guy once spent N5k from Monday to Friday. I don’t know how he did it. 

Michael: I’m not even trying to be frugal. I don’t know what I’m spending money on if I have food and water at home. You’re always going out, while I’m usually in my house, so it makes sense that you spend more money than me. 

Outside of knowing each other’s finances down to the last penny, what’s another unconventional part of your friendship? 

Faith: We’re very open about how much we love each other and unafraid to say it anywhere from the middle of Ikeja City Mall (ICM) to bus parks and emails. 

Michael: Not you listing some of the places I’ve told you “I love you.” 

Faith: The one at ICM is funny because you said it loudly in a restaurant after I bought you rice. Everyone was staring at us. It was embarrassing but beautiful. 

Another unconventional thing about our friendship is that we write to each other a lot. Not texting, but writing via email to catch up and share how much we mean to each other. This guy can ghost everyone for a long time, but every time I write, he responds. 

Ghosting in friendship again? Michael, please explain

Michael: I’ve ruined a lot of potential friendships because I suck at responding to messages and social media. Instant messaging doesn’t make sense because I can’t keep up with talking to multiple people at once about different things. Many people don’t get it and assume I just don’t rate them. That whole thing on Twitter about “People make time for people they care about”. It’s not about time; messaging is just not my thing. 

What I love about my relationship with Faith is that he gets it. We don’t always text, but we talk via long emails. I can send a mail on Monday and not get a response until the following Monday, but that’s totally fine. I know he’s still there for me. Constantly talking doesn’t validate our friendship. 

Faith, how did you get comfortable with this communication style since it’s not the most conventional in friendships? 

Faith: It was a bit challenging initially, but I had to learn that not everyone will be like me. Not everyone has the energy to fill up a room or talk on the phone for 30 minutes straight. It doesn’t make them any less amazing. 

I know Michael trusts and feels safe with me, so he’ll come around on his own terms. Just because he’s nowhere to be found doesn’t mean he’s not thinking of me. He’s disappeared so many times only to send a bottle of wine or the hardcover of a book he thinks I’d like. People are different. 

Michael: I’m a great friend if you manage your communication expectations. Faith gets it, and that’s why we work well.

Faith: We’re on the same wavelength. He can disappear today, but when he returns, he can take up  six hours of my time. 

Six hours, doing what? 

Faith: We’ve watched a TV show virtually before, episode by episode. We also read together virtually at the same time. I’ll ask what page he’s on, and we’ll read together. If we poured this energy into dating, we wouldn’t be single. LOL. 

Would you consider changing something about your friendship or the other person? 

Michael: I wish we saw each other more, but that’s on me. Faith is always available while I’m usually in my house, hiding or working. Then, for Faith, I’d like you to please calm down more often because it’s not everything or everyone that deserves the amount of emotional strength you put into them. Don’t you like peace, joy and happiness? These are things you could imbibe. Your gragra is too much. 

Faith: I totally agree with the second one. My emotions are always all over the place. For our friendship, I’d like us to have more money so Michael can spoil me with trips to Abuja— 

Michael: Abuja? That’s your holiday destination? I need to unfriend you after this. 

Faith: Oya, let’s do Venice or Bali. Regarding what I’d like to change about you, I’ll say it’s the ghosting thing, but not for me, for our other friends. I’m already used to you disappearing, but most of our mutual friends don’t get it, so they become worried, and I have to reassure them that you’re good. Drop a message for them that says, “Hi guys. I’ll be disappearing for three days. Cheers.” 

Michael: I don’t plan it. But I’m trying to be better. 

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What’s something you’ve always wanted to tell the other person? 

Michael: I want us to write more. Our emails are some of my most treasured possessions in the world. I love how we write each other those long emails, and I want more of that. 

Faith: I’m so proud of how you’ve hacked capitalism. You used to hate it, but now you’re killing it. I love seeing that growth. I’m so so proud of you. 

Michael: That’s so sweet. Look at you being a sweet person. 



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