Love Life is a Zikoko weekly series about love, relationships, situationships, entanglements and everything in between.

It started here:

And now we’re here:

Let’s begin.

Fola* and Jane*, Married

Jane: We met when I moved to Lagos in 2006. My family friend was showing me around town. He took me to his office at MTN and, there, introduced me to a lot of people, including Fola.

Fola: We went out for drinks after that introduction — me, Jane and her friend. Then found out we knew each other as kids.

Jane: We had grown up in the same neighbourhood in Port Harcourt, and we had a few mutual friends and similar childhood experiences.

Fola: A friendship developed between us, but she was involved with someone else, and they were very engaged. I found out four months later when I let her know I was interested. Our friendship had really blossomed, and I was falling in love with her, but she chose to stay with her fiancé.

Jane: Fortunately or unfortunately, I and my fiancé found out our genotype wasn’t compatible. We were both AS, so we couldn’t get married. At first, we wanted to gamble it, but family and friends seriously discouraged us. It was a difficult time for me, but Fola was there, always showing up as a good friend. 

Fola: When they broke up a year later, I was still there. At some point, I told her I was still interested in her, but she was still not interested in me.

Jane: He didn’t give up. He just kept trying and showing up, but he didn’t force me. Two months after he asked me out the second time, he said, “Hey, ma. I love you, and I really want to do this thing with you. I’d love for us to get married, to be a couple, to date, all that.” 

Fola: This woman told me to write a letter. 

Jane: And he did. I don’t think chivalry was dead at that time. He wrote me a love letter, and I still have it somewhere. 

Long story short, we got married in 2008.

Sharon, Single

I’ve heard about “friendship love” for a long time, but I had to experience it myself to fully understand how deep it could get.

Sometime in 2019, I was in a dark place. I was late on school fees payment, and it was close to graduation week. The school issued a letter stating anyone who didn’t complete their fees wouldn’t graduate with their set. That was very damning news to hear. Isn’t the whole point of going to school to graduate? And it wasn’t like I failed.

I confided in my friends — not exactly so they could help me, I was just giving them my regular life update. Then one day, I randomly received a huge sum of money. I was shocked. Where did it come from? I opened the alert notification and saw that it was from a friend. I wish I could relive how that felt. I just sat there and stared at the alert for a long time. I was crying; my heart was full of gratitude and happiness.

When I called, she was like, “It’s nothing much. I just wanted to see how far it could go. I want to join in your faith that you’ll pay your fees in time to graduate.” I asked how she did it, and she said she’d been saving for it. She also took out of her personal savings to create this fund for me.

I thought, where did she even get my account number? She went out of her way to find my details and quietly sent me money. This was someone who’d just graduated from school, so she wasn’t exactly on her feet like that.

At the end of the day, that’s love.

Fatima, Married

I dated my first boyfriend in university, and we were together even after we graduated. Then he went to do his master’s abroad, and I saved up to go see him once. He’d proposed before he left, and we wanted to do a formal introduction, but my mother insisted I wasn’t running away, and he should come back first.

He eventually stayed abroad after his master’s and found love with somebody else. I felt like our eight years of relationship waka were wasted, and it really broke me. Then I met my current husband, and we didn’t even date for up to eight months. He assured me I was the one he wanted to marry.

We’re happily married with two kids now.

If you want to share your own Love Life story, fill out this form.

Peju, Single

On Valentine’s Day 2023, my friends and I gathered at Bature to share gifts and reassure ourselves that we’d always be there to support and roast each other.

One of us had just gotten out of a two-year situationship, another guy who was always forming hard guy had finally fallen in love with somebody we didn’t expect him to fall for, and another one had chopped serious breakfast though he was single. 

We shared these stories among ourselves, and it was just a beautiful moment of pure friendship filled with love.

Bobby, Single

My older brother has shown me love in amazing ways and shaped me into the person I am today, in terms of how I treat people.

In 2015, when he was still serving under NYSC, I told him I wanted a bike. I’ve always been more comfortable telling him stuff than my older sister or parents. He said he’d get back to me. Out of excitement and trust, I went and took my friend’s bike on credit. When he saw me using it, he asked where I got it from. I told him, and he was furious. He asked, “Have I paid? Why did you take the bike?”

I was sad because I thought he’d return it the next day when he was scheduled to return to his post in Osun State. I cried throughout the night, but when he was ready to travel, he actually gave me the money for the bike. This meant a lot to me because he showed me that I can always rely on him.

Olla and Diazno, Married

Olla: We met in 2014 and immediately hated each other because we were arguing about something. A few weeks later, he texted me, saying, “Hey, I don’t think we got off on the right foot. Can we actually get to know each other now?” Then, we started talking.

Diazno: I was supposed to be her guitar teacher. But we never actually got around to the lessons until after we started dating. We became friends towards the end of 2014, got closer early in 2015, talked for months and became official in October 2015.

Olla: We were really young when we started dating. I was 18, and he was 20. But then, we got married five years later. 

In our first year, we would argue about weird stuff — mostly playful arguments because we didn’t want bitter fights. But when we sat down and talked about it, he’d do the things we talked about, sometimes even quicker than me. It’s been three years, and he’s still the same person, trying to always be better.

Diazno: All I can do is try.

I’m also her producer. She makes beautiful music, and I play the guitar for her on stage.

Olla: He’s always there to guide me. And in the darkest moments of my life, he’s been the most supportive person, doing his best to make my life better.

In 2022, I had a terrible illness, and this man took several loans to take care of the bills. It was draining us both and really eating into our finances. I knew he was overwhelmed, but he kept saying, “Babe, just get better. That’s all I want. I can always make this money back, but I can’t trade you for anything in this world.”

I know for sure he’ll do anything for me. He was shuffling between Germany and Nigeria until I moved to Germany to be with him in May 2021. I started school, and he got me this pretty Macbook. I felt it was too much. I honestly didn’t need a laptop that serious. Also, where did you get the money, oh boy?

Diazno: You deserve the finest things in life, and I plan to work hard to make that possible. 

Olla: The only sound in my head right now is “Ojigbi jigbi jigbi” because e pass butterflies.

Diazno: I’m just looking forward to several more years together with us living our best, healthiest life.

Check back every Thursday by 9 AM for new Love Life stories here. The stories will also be a part of the Ships newsletter, so sign up here.

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