In Memory of Moyo Solarin

In January 2019, Adetoro challenged me to write a personal piece before the end of the year. I wanted to but I couldn’t because I’m either writing one corporate piece for one company or occupied with many other things.

So I’m doing this today — for Moyo.

Moyo is or as I’m struggling to accept, was my friend. We met in our previous work place in 2017 and went through a toxic work culture together. We’d drive to work together. On days when we were just happy, we’d car karaoke together and days when we’re sad because we didn’t like our workplace, we’ll cry and bitch about it together till we felt ‘better.’ Then she left and months later, I did too.

Even though we were no longer working together, we remained friends and became closer. No matter how busy we got, we always made time to see and be there for each other.

2017 to early 2019 was the worst period of my life — from my dad having one health crisis to another, me being faced with unemployment, to having relationship issues, Moyo was always there. On my worst days, she’d make sure I was with her and always took care of me.

One thing I’ll never forget about Moyo is her sleeping through J.Cole’s concert. We looked forward to it for weeks, we got there and all Moyo did sleep in the car 😂 I teased her about it a lot and also told her how I was going to tell it to her kids.

2019, everything fell into place for Moyo. She was in a good job and got a better one — we called it her dream job and were both happy because it was what she wanted. I used to talk about her to my colleagues a lot because I was proud.

Last December, Moyo said to me ‘Efe, I just want to party this Christmas. I want to go to every party, concert. I want to have fun.’ This wasn’t really Moyo because half the time, she’s a homebody but hey, I was her person for it made sure it happened. So we started with CardiB’s concert and a few others, till she got tired and went back to her homebody self.

At the beginning of this year, we made plans for our 30th. She wanted to celebrate hers at her wedding, I wanted to travel and we were going to do it together.

I’d never been on any wedding train and when Moyo asked me to be on hers, I said yes, without hesitation. She’d also put me in charge of her wedding after-party with one wish — do not let the DJ play any Naira Marley song. As much as I wanted everyone to ‘gbese’, I agreed.

When I was searching for an apartment last year, I found one very close to Moyo and it was one of the reasons I rented it. She had no idea till I paid and I texted her — ‘I’m about to be your neighbour.’ She loved it. We had Netflix dates, sleepovers and whenever I was going through it, I’d go to hers to cry and she’ll make me feel better.

Our last sleepover was in March when she was my quaran-thing for a bit.

Then a few days later, she called me to let me know she was ill. I thought malaria, she’ll be fine and come back to me. We spoke a few days later, planned to meet for asoebi — then we couldn’t because she got really sick.

Everything went south from there, and on June 9, 2020, less than 3 weeks to her 30th, my friend and my star left me. It still doesn’t make sense. I saw her the day before and I told her — it’s almost over, please hang in there for me a little bit more. She couldn’t, she was fighting to, but she just couldn’t.

We had plans, but heaven had other plans. Our last conversations were around our plans for the next five years — grad school, career, and travel.

It’s been 17 days since Moyo left and I think about her every minute. Today, she would have been 30, her wedding would have been this Saturday and we would have found a way to celebrate in these coronatimes.

I’m struggling to accept what has happened and not sure I’d ever get over this. Moyo’s memories are all I have now, and I’ll cherish them forever.



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