GbengUzo: Because I Can.

Gbenga Ogunbowale

Gbenga Ogunbowale

Uzo Azuonye

Uzo Azuonye


There’s a feeling I get whenever this month begins. It’s something of a mix of nostalgia and joy. Nostalgia; because I get to remember all of my special friends (and there are so many of them) who were born in this very month, and Joy: because there’ll be rice and stew very plenty. Yes, including imaginary rice. And cake. And sharwarma. And ermm…

Every single day of September gives me a different feeling. It’s like a Chinese restaurant with varying sorts of meats and spices. The 8th is no different.

I think about Uzo and I want to burst out laughing. Care-freedom oozes out of him like smoke, and he’s just that kind of person you wanna have a chat with to brighten your day. When I met Uzo, we had no mutual friends. Strange yeah? Now that I think of it, how did we even meet?
Oh, I remember. It was last year, when I did the seven-day gratitude challenge. On one of those days, someone just sent me a DM, saying he stumbled upon one of my gratitude write-ups  and knew he had to be friends with this person. And because I’m a cautious person, I went on his wall and did my investigation. And immediately, the feeling was mutual.

In a space of about one year, Uzo has done designs for me for free, even at the very ridiculous deadlines I sometimes give him. He has sent me songs, great songs, including his own. (The guy is a polymath; there’s hardly a thing he doesn’t know how to do. He raps too. And writes. Sigh.) He has helped me review stuff. I have learnt so much from him, laughed a lot because of him, and made quite a lot of progress with his presence in my life. Uzee is that kind of friend you never wanna lose.

Then there’s Gbenga. It’s funny how sometimes we called him Gbenguze back then, as though we knew there was an Uzee somewhere who shared birth dates with him. I have known Gbenga since my first year at Uni., and he has been a lot of things to me over the years, ranging from great friend to teacher, to confidant, to motivation, to inspiration. He has been there for me up close and far off.

Gbenga is very driven, very focused and very disciplined. He’s that one person to watch out for, ’cause there’s so much greatness wrapped up in his mind and he unfolds it layer by layer, dazzling everyone each time. He currently is the Nigerian Orator of the year (Hope that’s properly written). He loves God, and is passionate about his dreams. Walking with him, you can’t but catch the spirit too. One remarkable thing about him is his attitude. He is teachable, humble, and very polite. Plus, dude is brainy to a fault.

When people like these share birthdays, you just can’t but get jealous. You almost wanna ask why dem no born you for September 8th. Then you remember the peculiarity of March 21 and then you smile and heave a relieved sigh. Me sef try.

But you guys rock! I’m writing this in appreciation of you both because you rock.  Because I’ll refer to it when you guys become the men you dream of becoming.  Because I can.

I wish you your best year yet. Happy birthday, darlings.