Sunday Dec 04, 2022


There are those people who you will never recover from.


People who are silently so effective that they will creep into every corner of your life and take such a powerful hold that you’d wonder if somebody sent them. People that will show up at the oddest times and sort out some problem in your life and you’d wonder “how did you know?” People whose consistency and discipline will remind you that even though perfection is technically impossible as human beings, you can get very close with effort.


Mercy Sarah Nneoma Azubuike.


Let me rewind this story to 2009.


I was in third year. We had a flood of new students. They sprang up everywhere like weeds. For real. They filled the classrooms, filled the hostels, filled our fellowship, swelled our choir- you could NOT turn somewhere without meeting one. And these guys seemed to always agree with each other. They moved like a military unit. They were called class 2012, probably the most popular graduating class in the last 10 years. I would know 🙂


I became frienemies (because she was rude to me and I have decided to hold a permanent grudge against her, lol) with Blessing Attah, A.k.a Magic, A.k.a B-Wizzle, a.k.a Soul Bliss. And Blessing was friends with Mercy. And Mercy was friends with Henry. If we added up our ages we would have been 70 years old at the time J But we did hang out. Though we were in the same choir (and saw each other like 6 times a week) we still met up during the day. I had my guitar. They had their beautiful voices. We still had these little “picnics”, we still celebrated birthdays like someone won a grammy.


It was heartbreaking when the faculty of Arts got moved to the permanent site and they had to move. It got us far less face time. The same year, Henry graduated and so the friendship dynamic changed. I now felt like I had to do the work of two guys 😀 But I think we grew stronger because we had to. Now I didn’t tell them this- but I tried to make sure I called them both every other day. And when any girl asked me if I had a girlfriend, I’d say “nah, I have two” 🙂


Mercy was extra sensitive. She could walk into a room and pick up like everybody’s moods. There was one time me and Blessing had a fight but we didn’t tell anyone and we just kept a straight face. She walked into the room, sat between us and jumped up. “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!!!” We wondered what she was talking about and then she said “YOU GUYS ARE FIGHTING. AND IT’S SO STRONG I CAN FEEL IT JUST SITTING BETWEEN THE TWO OF YOU”. She was like that 🙂


Mercy was a comforter. She knew how to know when I was in a bad mood and she knew how to know what to say to make me feel better. Maybe there’s a gift of the Holy Spirit that they didn’t write about in the Bible. Oh well, there’s Discernment, and the Word of Wisdom. Probably explains the girl’s extra-ordinary gift of perception. There was this time I was stupidly in love with this girl and she was just doing me shakara all over the place- Mercy was one of the people that didn’t judge or criticize my approach but just explained a few things that eventually helped to clear my eyes.


Through the years- even when I graduated and had to go to law school and I started falling behind on the calls, she was patient. It’s why I made sure I visited her when I came to Abuja to see a doctor (I was terribly sick with pounding headaches and ear pains). Thanks to her wonderful, cooperative sister I found my way without giving her a clue I was coming. Now that day didn’t start nicely (I lost my wallet on the way there and only discovered when I wanted to buy her Uncle Sam’s Ice cream from a truck as a joke) but we ended with a laugh.


Even when I left the country and didn’t call for like 3 months, if she was mad at me she didn’t show it because she is an angel like that J. The last time I saw her was in January of 2014 at a friend’s wedding. She was so pretty I was proud of her as her schoolfather 🙂

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Mercy didn’t talk very much in the early days. She just observed. And if she said anything then it would be an accurate assessment and extrapolation. She was that smart. She refused to tell me her GPA but my sources from her faculty say that her CPA was constantly above 4.0. She instead expressed herself in art. That girl had an incredibly steady hand. If people needed calligraphy done for certificates, she was a reliable bet. Although she spelt my name wrong once 😛


Now don’t begin to imagine that she was one quiet mouse oh. Issalie oh!!! She was a fast runner and if she chased you she would definitely catch you. And she had these loooong fingers. Now Imagine if someone chases you down and decides to use those long fingers on your back. God help you. And I remember- just when I graduated, she actually started the destruction of my lovely shirt. The shirt my mum bought me. This girl took a paint brush and started on it. I almost cried begging her but she did not hear word. She used RED paint on a lilac pinstriped shirt. And on my Jeans. People that did not have the mind to try it now rushed on me with markers.


And she made noodles for me once. Once oh, only once. God is watching you Mercy Azubuike.


Happy Birthday.

Sorry I didn’t call yesterday. I had a loooooooooooooooooong weekend and I was just catatonic until 11pm.

And I’m going to re-write this. This first edition is a peace offering.

Oya sorry nowww

Answer your phone!!



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