Farewell to Joy

A map of Nigeria
By Donu Kogbara

THE  last time I spoke to my dear, precious, brilliant friend Joy Okoye, I promised to see her when I next visited London. I flew into London from Abuja last Saturday, just before Easter Sunday. Joy died the same day, so our reunion never happened.

Nearly 40 years ago, when we were both in our early 20s and fresh out of the British universities we’d attended, I met Joy in Lagos. She was at the Law School in Victoria Island. I was doing my national youth service, NYSC, at Shell Petroleum’s headquarters on Marina. We bonded immediately and deeply for all sorts of reasons, including the fact that we were both feisty, both thoroughly enjoyed Life and both smoked and drank like Oyinbo girls at a time when such habits were regarded as inappropriate for Nigerian ladies from good homes.

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