For Margaret Mary Oluwatoyin “Zara Gretti” Joseph



…Or “Margaret”, “Toyin”, “Margey Pargey”, and “Hem Hem Jay (MMJ)” depending on my mood and how I saw it fit to address her. On Friday, March 28, 2014 I learned that my longtime friend of many years was gone. Poof. No more. And maybe I’m in denial because it still hasn’t sunk in. I feel like I’m in this bad dream that won’t free me to wake up. I’ve spent the last few days stalking her YouTube channel, watching videos, looking through her pictures, listening to her voice and trying to grab onto every essence of her. I truly can’t believe that my Margey Pargey is gone and I will never again get to experience the exuberance and positive energy that she came with.

I first encountered Margaret many years ago on some Nigerian Yahoo group when she was just a wee 15 year old. I used to tease her like “see this smallie, what are you doing in this group?” and even though we had not physically met at that point, I grew very fond of her. The very first time that we met in person, she screamed my name, and then ran and jumped on me…that was my introduction to her craze. And crazy girl she was! But it was a really good kind of crazy. Margey was so energetic, bubbly, unassuming, and the guaranteed life of any party. She radiated a really good kind of energy and I always had a blast every time that we were together. Over the years we remained friends and in my eyes, Margaret went from “see this smallie” to “dang girl, you’re getting old o”. Through it all, she remained the positive, energetic, fun-loving friend that I met many years ago. I loved a lot of things about her. I loved her positive energy and her generous spirit. I loved how she always tried to cheer me up in her own way when I ranted to her about something. I loved how she was always down for some good ol’ fun. If you needed to waka somewhere on the spur of the moment, Margey made a great rolldawg with minimal questions asked. I loved how low maintenance she was in our friendship, and her non-judgmental, accepting, open-mindedness. I loved that with her, what you saw was what you go with very minimal forks given. I loved her strength despite a lot of the hardships that life had dealt her and how she didn’t stay down for too long…she knew how to bounce back from situations and literally dust them shoulders off. I loved that she didn’t have a bitter bone in that fluid and flexible body of hers. I simply loved Margey.

Speaking of fluid and flexible bodies, I cannot forget her title as a dancing queen! Every time we went to a party, I always wished that I had at least half of her coordination and dancing skills while I would just jejely shift to the corner with my boring ass two step and allow her take over the dance floor. And take over the dance floor she did. As in ehn, when Margey hit that dance floor, she pretty much shut the game down. One of my favorite memories of her on the dance floor was back in 2006 or so when we went to a party in Baltimore. This girl danced so hard, performing some crazy acrobatics on that dance floor  that she fell and chipped her front tooth and best believe that undeterred, she got back up and continued right where she left off. Couldn’t no chipped tooth mishap hold her down and stop her shine….and that was the same approach that she had to Multiple Sclerosis. Even while battling the disease, Margey was still talking about how she couldn’t wait to get better, return to Nigeria and really take her music full force. She wanted to re-brand her image, take her record label to greater heights and show the world her untapped talent. Margey had dreams and she wasn’t trying to let MS stop her shine. She truly fought till the very end.

Over the past year, our communication became sporadic…ya know, life, the so-called hustle and bustle, and procrastination. We would go for like 2 months without speaking and then have those crazy marathon 3 hour Skype sessions where at 12:30am, I would be like “girl, I gotta go to bed but this one last thing” and then come 2am, we would still be there yammering away about everything and nothing. During the last Skype session that we had, she gisted me about her new boyfriend and I said “How are you in the 4 walls of your house all the time and you have all these men sniffing around you? I go out and still, nothing for a sister”. That’s just the kind of magnet that Margaret was. Just be pulling dudes anyhow whether she was in the 4 walls of her house or out and about. She had a lot of game and appeal and we always used to tease her that if she ever quit the music industry, she should consider another career as a phone sex operator because that her voice was enough game in itself. The girl had mad Zwagger!

The last time that I spoke to Margaret was in December. I was getting ready to head out on vacation and said that I would holla at her when I got back. I got back in January and thanks again to life and this forming busy thing that we do, I never got a chance to speak to Margaret this year, and I cannot believe that I will never get a chance to speak to her again. The ironic thing was that in the last 2 weeks, I had discussed her with 2 of my friends and made a mental note to try and catch her on Skype soonest. Sadly, my good intentions were a day late and a dollar short. I will never catch her on Skype again and that is so unreal to me. Like I said, I am in denial over here ‘cos I refuse to believe that Margaret Mary Oluwatoyin Joseph is gone just like that. Nah men!

Margey, I wish you could see how much love everybody has for you and how much sorrow your departure from this earth has caused. Your Facebook wall is absolutely buzzing with messages and because I was honored to have met and experienced your awesomeness, I know that every word that your friends speak is legit and genuine. I’m so sorry that I let life get in the way and I let 3 months go without talking to you this time. I’m so sorry that I took your illness for granted and assumed that you would always be around…that you weren’t going anywhere. I’m so so sorry. But in everything, please know that I loved you very much and you were a huge part of my life. I will miss you so much. Everybody tries to comfort me by saying that you are in a better place, but girllll which better place did you run off to? You had dreams, hopes, and ambitions. It is way too soon for you to be leaving all of that behind and dashing off to better places. But I don’t know man… like they say, God knows best. My teeny bit of comfort amidst all of this is that I know without a doubt that you lived your life to the very fullest!

Rest in perfect peace Margey. I was honored to have known you and I will truly miss you my dear friend.