Our friendship grew pregnant when Eyi and her family bid farewell to the burnt orange hues of Benin City, for serene Sunyani, Ghana.

We often spent our youthful evenings running through the greens and blues, with the

unwavering sun melting into our skin.

The Mangoes in Aunty Abena’s basket which balanced awkwardly on the makeshift counter beside the roadside, became our agreed go to snack.

Our echoes of laughter enveloped by the sounds of Tro Tro drivers and honking cars.

Then something changed. Sunyani served us humid weather accompanied with droplets of rain in the afternoon, the afternoon Eyi’s father received the news of his job offer, in London.

At first, melancholy and I quickly became acquainted as I watched Eyi’s father and mother

leap for joy, but it was the fierceness of our promises that soothed the aching and fuelled our belief that our friendship was indeed destined to bleed into eternity.

But something happened.

It first showed itself in our routine video calls, when her skin no longer bruised brown, but

echoed the insides of the yams we usually ate on Fridays. Creamy milky ivory.

Aunty Nana Yaa says Eyi is bleaching.

Her skin was wealthy in melanin.

The sun once bowed in her presence, now it shrivels in confusion.

Eyi no longer sounded like the Eyi I knew, but like a character from a British show we often watched. It was almost as if her words were rehearsed, every word placed meticulously in front of the other.

Ma says the only constant thing in life is change.

She says I should give her time.

She says she’ll come around.

Six months ago, Eyi informed me of her name change.


She said it in her usual matter of fact tone.

A tone I had once loved, but now resented.

Pa says this is an important lesson for me to learn.

He says some friendships last for a lifetime, whilst some are for a season.

But last week, something happened.

Her voice strained when we spoke on the phone, almost as if her eyes were filled with water.

She says she misses home.

She says her identity now sits in an uncertainty that feels foreign.

I told her to come home.

Come home to the skin that bruises deep brown.

 Come home to Eyi Osazuwa.

Come home Eyi.


 Jessica Aike


Jessica Aike is a British Nigerian Writer. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Aike moved to England as a child where she was raised and currently resides. A treasured recollection of her childhood is rooted in the numerous short stories and plays she often spent her time creating. As her desire matured, she recognised the conviction within directing her toward becoming a Writer. As a teen, Aike began utilising her social media platforms to start the often uncomfortable, but necessary conversations. Over the course of eight years, she has actively spoken out against a plethora of issues, with the culture of silence surrounding sexual, physical and verbal abuse in the Black and Nigerian community taking the limelight. Her published writing can be found on Afritondo and The Eyes of African Women, where she explores identity complexes amongst a range of other themes. 

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