5 Nigerians On Being The ‘Broke Friend’

January 26, 2021

Times are tough for everyone. But for people whose friends earn more or have a higher purchasing power, social anxiety is always a thing. This is definitely not fun. In this article, 5 Nigerians talk about what it means to be the ‘broke friend’ and everything that comes with it.

Dayo, 26

My friend buys me expensive gifts all the time. When it’s my turn, I can’t match his gifts. He swears it’s the thought that counts, but that hardly makes me feel better about myself.

Not being able to afford the spontaneity that comes with having money sucks. Recently, a friend hit me up to ask why I haven’t bought the bone straight wig, and I was like “Sis, I’m broke.” Later, she asked me to buy her a pair of shoes for Christmas, and I was lost again.

My friends are probably tired of my “I’m broke” song. We have conversations about it sometimes, but those things make me sad, and I hate that they have to happen in the first place. I’m currently trying to skill and level up. Hopefully, it happens soon. 

XI, 27

After graduating from university, I was the first person in my friend group to get a job, although it was a dead job. Some months later, others got better jobs that paid twice or thrice of what I earned. Not long after, I quit my job and went for my masters. When I was done, I got another dead job. That was when I first noticed that there’s been a shift in our friendship. It was the subtle things at first — I was the one making an effort to catch up. After that, I found out that my friends had started leaving me out of stuff.

One night, I went to a joint close to where I lived and met my friends hanging out without me. The spot was only 5 minutes away from my house. Also, none of them attended my wedding — they all had convenient excuses. I knew we were over when someone in the group unwittingly told me that they had been talking about me when I wasn’t there.

Sylvia, 23

I started a business 5 months ago, and I’m still trying to find my feet. My friends, on the other hand, have good jobs or nice businesses. Of course, there’s a disparity between our incomes. What this means for me is that I have to think like a million times before I do anything with them.

We haven’t seen each other in a while, even though we live in the same town. There was a time we were trying to catch up and planning a staycation at a fancy place. We didn’t conclude on the details, so I figured that we’d suspended our plans. Then I saw pictures of them online at the location. I was very hurt because I didn’t tell them I couldn’t afford it. At the same time, I can’t blame them. Nobody wants a party pooper. 

Leila, 22

 I have a lot of rich friends because of the school I attended. But I’m not rich. It’s a struggle hanging out with them because I can’t do the things they do. Or even bring my phone out to take pictures. The one that bothers me the most is that I can’t invite them over to my house. I sleep in the same room as my mum with pots and pans and everything we own in one corner of the room. They’ve asked to visit me many times, but I always find a way to get myself out of the situation. I live in perpetual fear that one of them will show up one day.

I love them, but they can be mean sometimes. During the peak of the “Don’t rush” challenge, they passed videos of people around, mocking their houses and everything. And these locations are much glamorous than mine. It was an eye-opening experience for me. Moving out of the house and getting my own place will help my anxiety. And I hope it happens soon.

SG, 25

I work at a low-paying job, and it seems my friends are doing better than me. I still remember the day my best friend told me about her salary and how it made me feel. She was in the middle of negotiating for a raise, and it was about 5x what I was earning. Being the broke friend means that I have to be flaky and not show up for stuff my friends invite to. I’m the queen of excuses, but I don’t think the bulk of them understand why. Only one of them knows the full gist. I don’t talk about my finances with the others because I struggle with sharing my problems with people. I prefer not to be anyone’s charity case.


Zikoko Donation Banner

Help Zikoko keep making the content you love

More than ever, people are turning to Zikoko for stories that matter and content they love. But still, we, like many media organisations, are feeling the financial heat of these times. If you find us valuable, please make a contribution to help keep Zikoko zikoko-ing.

Thank you for your support.

We are also cool with Crypto.

Donation Close
Zikoko Logo

Complete Your Commitment

Donation confirm

Your Contribution is confirmed! Amount

Toheeb Lanlehin

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

June 26, 2020

This is based on a true-life story and a bit of paranoia. Recently, I’ve had to share a couple of Google doc links with my colleagues at work, and I couldn’t help but notice many opportunities to be passive-aggressive and annoying. So, here I am with tea on how to intentionally do it to your […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

March 5, 2021

Most people think a strip club is a place for only men, but women go there to have fun too. These ten Nigerian women share their experience at the strip club. Deborah, 28 I am a bisexual woman who has never actually been sexual with another woman, but I am utterly in love with the […]

Recommended Quizzes

June 14, 2020

Have you ever been with someone so horrible that you swore to never date again? Yes? Well, do you know that one or more of your exes probably feels the same way about you? You never thought about that, huh? Thankfully, this quiz is here to let you know just how much of a hassle […]

November 19, 2019

Regardless of what society has tried to tell us, enjoying sex is not something to be ashamed of. So, in a bid to celebrate our generation’s sexual agency, we’ve created a quiz that will accurately (again, keep your complaints to yourself) infer how many people you’ve spelt with. Try it out: 11 Quizzes For The […]

January 2, 2020

Do you have even a single romantic bone in your body? Well, if you’re not sure about just how sweet and thoughtful you can be to someone you love, that’s what this quiz is here to answer. 11 Quizzes For Nigerians Who Are Ready To Marry  Are you ready to marry? Take these quizzes.

What are you like in a relationship?
February 7, 2020

Your taste in music can say a lot about you, and this time, it’s going to reveal what you are like in a relationship. So, pick a few of your favourite Nigerian love songs, and we’ll let you know if you’re typically a distant, passionate or unbothered partner. Here you go:

More from Money

March 1, 2021

The subject of this story works with small businesses. But before this, he tried to build two businesses from the ground up. The first one landed him in debt. The second one ended with some more dire consequences: legal troubles and debt. What’s your oldest memory of money? When I was about to finish secondary […]

February 22, 2021

The guy in this story has two things going on for him: developing new skills and taking a leap of faith. The ultimate gamechanger for him, though, is a tech hub he joined at uni and a DM he got in 2020. What is your oldest memory of money? My dad always did this thing […]

February 18, 2021

A lot of people swear that Abuja has a lot of things going for it. I mean, it should — it’s the nation’s capital. That’s a decent claim to fame too. I was curious about how money moves in the city, so I asked 7 people living there to talk about their expenses. 1. Patrick, […]

February 16, 2021

Nigeria has an unemployment problem. According to a report published by the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria’s unemployment rate was 27% in Q2 2020. This is the perfect situation for the rise of job scams, which a lot of people have actually fallen victim to. I thought it might be good to find some Nigerians […]

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X