"Bro, we must to paint this community red o" these were the first lines I heard from Nedu. I knew that I was up to another exciting moment in the coming months as I was posted to Degema for my NYSC. I exchanged pleasantries with him; it was a matter of Lagos versus Aba in the battle of the street as we were bent on showing ourselves amongst the corps members. Our friendship began that day with a grand entry with a chilled crate of '33 export lager beer' out of the freezer where it has been imprisoned. Nedu grabbed the brownish ’33 export’ bottle with his long phalanges while I sipped as if my life depended on it. We were two characters that kept the corps member’s lodge lively. My friend has a way of stunning people with his big vocabularies while I’m a hell of humor monger.

During one of our CDS meetings, Nedu let loose after someone accused him falsely. He said ‘’What you’ve done is character assassination; image laundering; calumny at its peak.’’
He surely deserves a seat in the red chambers of our National Assembly. I immediately thought about what could cool Nedu down and concluded on the beer of friendship - ’33 export’.

There was a point in time we had to store ’33 export lager beer’ in our rooms since we couldn’t make it to the bar due to rites performed in the community. We surely had our plan B with the ’33 export’ can. We never stopped to play pranks on our colleagues until one day we met our waterloo. I declined to give Nedu an extra can of ’33 export lager beer’ in a Truth or Dare game. I head-butted a 6ft3 gangling Nedu who had dragged me like a police officer. The matter was settled in the next CDS meeting. 

We reconciled and reignited our friendship with a beer brewed for friendship - ’33 export’. Our friendship continued as usual until another day when he bought my gold chain. It has been on his wish-list but he finally got his hands on my priced belonging the night before he travelled out of the country. He paid me handsomely with a sum of fifty thousand naira. It was until the next day when I was about to celebrate my friend’s journey with ’33 export lager beer’ and barbecue that I realized he gave me counterfeit currencies.  Oh! My guy finally knocked me down with an uppercut that kept me off balance. Losing my priced asset wasn’t the issue but losing a friend whom I trusted hit my bone marrow. It was a horrible day as my colleagues mocked me. ‘’Aba boy has finally sold you to the task masters’’. I never heard from Nedu until two years after the youth service. 

‘Hello buddy, it is almost 4 years. It’s your bosom friend, Nedu’. I parked my car to avoid unforeseen circumstances as I read the message on my whatsapp. I had forgotten the deed of the past years as I laughed while reading his messages. ‘See you again tomorrow at your favorite lounge in Victoria Island. I can’t wait to grab a bottle of 33 export again’. The texts lifted my soul after a very hectic day at work. I couldn’t wait to take crates of ’33 export lager beer’ in exchange for my gold chain. The meeting with Nedu set a tone for a good life inspired by '33 export lager'. This has led me to always chorus ‘What a friend I have in 33 export, in him I have a story to tell’.
                                                              ~ TOLULOPE FASUYI

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