February, the month of love, is often limited to romantic relationships. The most overlooked fact is that it is about celebrating love in all forms and shapes. It is a time to show love to every special person in your life, including family and friends. This year, our Divas Inc valentine theme is ‘love & friendship,’ because not even the most loving and caring partner can take the place of a best friend.

Up-close with lifetime friends Patience Musa and Mary Maisiri
‘There are friendships imprinted on our hearts that will never be diminished by time and distance’
– Dodinsky
Such is the friendship shared between Patience and Mary. Although in different ends of the continent, they have managed to keep the spark in their friendship alive. We got in touch with them to discover the secret behind their lifetime union.

Introduce yourself?
P: My name is Patience Musa. I am a singer, writer, radio presenter/producer and TV presenter.…… Apparently my life begins this year, which makes me 40 years old. I am a Christian mother to a thirteen year old son.
M: The name is Mary Maisiri, a 39 year old seasoned banker. I am married with 3 kids aged 10, 8 and 3.

What are you passionate about?
P: I am passionate about raising my son into the best human being he can be. I am also passionate about radio, music – art in general, words – books, life… people.
M: I am all about family and with age have grown passionately in love with God and His Kingdom.

If you could have dinner with anyone from history, who would it be?
P: I would choose to dine with Michael Jackson because he is one of the most phenomenal artists the world has ever seen.
M: I would love to dine with Solomon, the 3rd King of Israel.

What’s your favourite ’90s jam?
P: My favourite 90’s jam has got to be Extreme – ‘More than words’ from their 1990 album Pornograffitti. I’m in love with the simplicity of the guitar work as well as the lyrics.
M: Ask of you – Raphael Sadiq, All cried out – Allure, Maxwell – This woman’s work and a thousand more.

Tell us your lifelong-friendship story.
P: I met my best friend in church. I was introduced to her by a mutual friend because we stayed close to each other and she could pick me up for church. The first thing I probably said to her is ‘hello’…Down the line I hit rock bottom and had to move from my flat; she reached out a helping hand, took me and my son in for nothing. Her name is Mary Maisiri, when we met she was Mary Lucio. We didn’t instantly become friends…she is super friendly and I am not. Generally I’m cautious because I continue to get a bit guarded. It took some time. I didn’t dislike her…I just have a difficult time trusting people and its worse for females. I’ve always worked with guys so I weirdly find it hard to relate with females. I just didn’t think we would ever be friends.
M: My lifelong bestie is Patience Musa and we’ve been friends for 10 years. When we first met we didn’t instantly connect, rather we grew into our friendship. I remember the first thing I did was to ask her out for a friendly dinner. We certainly connected and enjoyed each other’s company….. We talked about our interests.

What do you love the most about your friendship?
P: I love that our friendship isn’t based on material things we can get from each other, how we don’t have to speak all the time, and we think the same thing…so that’s fun. We also have the same values and beliefs. When I need her she will drop everything to get to me…and I do the same.
M: I don’t have to call her or see her every time. I know she is always there and have the confidence to call her anytime. She is my family.

How often do you make time for each other? What are your favourite shared bonding activities?
P: We actually don’t spend a lot of time together, but we are cool like that. She is based in Washington DC so we only chat on the phone. We both love the movie ‘Phantom of the Opera’ and the sequel ‘Love never dies’ so that’s our thing. Even when she’s around we have a respect for each other’s space and family. We are good! We can just sit around and chill…fall asleep while watching TV or shop.

M: We app, we are now miles away from each other.

How have you managed to make your bond last for a long time?
P: I think we have managed to be friends for so long because we’ve seen each other through a lot and we understand each other. Also, everything we discuss in confidence stays just between the two of us… and her husband (wink wink).
M: No effort really. We used to talk almost every day but now that we live in different time zones, we app whenever we can. We also hung out on every occasion when we were in the same country. And though we maybe miles apart, we always know everything special going on in each other’s lives plus we share life notes and advise each other accordingly when necessary.

In your experience, what is the toughest challenge for pregnant women and new mothers when it comes to maintaining friendships? Any suggested solutions?
P: Being a parent changes everything in a friendship…even getting married changes things. First of all, one has a lot more responsibilities. You have a life in your care and that changes everything. Less sleep means you can’t be up and about as before, and having the kids tag along everywhere isn’t always a good thing. So much has to be coordinated to make time for each other. The best thing to do is to adjust. Hang at home with the kids…help each other out, know when to step away and pray for wisdom so that you say the right things at the right time. Even when Mary calls on me for advice, I actually pray for wisdom so that I may say the right things at the right time.
M: We are both moms and therefore both understand the needs of other’s family members. We also make exclusive time for our relationship. These are key factors in maintaining friendships especially once you become a mommy.

Does time and distance make friendship bonds stronger?
P: Time and distance does make any relationship better. You’re wiser and these days with social media distance isn’t too bad. The down side is one might end up in doors most times. To a lesser extent, distance does make it difficult because sometimes all you need is your best friend’s hug.
M: In a way, yes. I miss her more and always wish I had spent more time with her. There are things that are limited by distance.

Why do you think some people grow out of friendships?
P: I think people grow out of friendships when they change and grow, and discover that they don’t have the same goals anymore.
M: Some grow out of friendships because people evolve and if that doesn’t happen in the same direction it messes the friendship.

How do you handle conflict/disagreements between each other?
P: Mary and I have never had a disagreement…or conflict of any sort…never ever!
M: We rebuke, correct each other with love and we both know we have each other’s best interests at heart. We even come up with the same solution to a problem many a time. However, in many instances we agree with each other.

What makes a good friend?
P: Three qualities that make a good friend are: Patience, Honesty and Love.
M: Love, loyalty and genuineness.

We finish the interview and you step outside the office and find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
P: I would buy a house for my mum and dad….. Refurbish my primary and high school, buy a house or stands for each of my siblings, open a helping home for homeless women or those who have been abused, invest some and then pay for a three week trip for me and Mary in France.
M: I will use it for good.


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