I’m not even sure how far back into history I should go to provide a rich background of my story on how I met Mr. Dark and Handsome (whom we shall from here refer to as Mr. DH), our relationship and eventual marriage. But since I’m only going to be writing about my journey down the aisle and life afterwards, I’ll be doing flash backs where necessary.
Written by – Oggie
Let me briefly introduce myself. I was born and raised somewhere in the Central Northern Nigeria along with four siblings. I am the fourth of five children made up of one brother and three sisters. Growing up, I was always above average academically and was your typical “good” girl. Most of the parents in the area wanted their daughters to be like me….have good grades, not like going to parties, ignore the boys, be courteous….you know the “goody” list.
I grew up with certain mentalities…. which, like most young girls I picked up from my mother. I had (still have) a vibrant relationship with my mother and out of the honesty of her heart, she was regularly giving me “words of wisdom” that she felt would help me become a better woman, wife and mother than she is. One of the prominent ones was “Don’t ever let any man make you stay at home instead of working and earning your own money” (as I type this, I can hear her voice repeating it). As far as my dear mother was concerned, it was pure foolishness for a woman to choose to be a housewife or choose to stay at home just because she wanted to raise her kids. She believed that life was too uncertain to “put your future and your children’s future in the hands of a man that could choose to walk away tomorrow”.
Allow me to add that it is important the kind if information we feed our kids with. As much as we want them to be better people and live better lives, we need to be careful that we do not open them to information based on the kind of experiences we’ve had as eventually, these information become “strong-holds” on the child’s mind as they grow up into adults. Imagine a single mother constantly telling her daughter “all men are the same” or “never let a man know that you love him” etc. I had a Muslim friend whose mother was the first of four wives. My friend’s mother made her promise to be either a third or fourth wife (she believed that the younger wives were the ones that enjoyed their husband’s wealth the most).
By the time I gained admission into the University, I had dreams of becoming a powerful woman who would rock whatever industry she found herself. I did not think much about who my husband would be or how my life would fit into his own and vice versa (I remember one of my early dreams of being married, I must have been about 8years or so. I imagined my husband would have a motorcycle or “okada” and I would romantically cling to him whenever we had to ride anywhere. That dream existed till I shared it with my mother who made me repeat after her all the exotic cars my husband-to-be would have). I just wanted to be a powerful woman and be able to control everything around me. With that mentality, I really was not ready to date or get myself involved in guys.
Enter Mr. DH
So here I was, a young undergraduate in a reputable Nigerian University (Yes! It is one of the best…..go figure!) with enough energy and passion to have straight As’ irrespective of the course, so busy trying to make sure that I got off to a good start that I did not even take any special notice when this particular young man was introduced to me by my friend. I neither took note of his fine dark features nor of his very slender (almost fragile) frame nor of how calming and soothing his voice sounded. No, I was not interested in dating and could not have taken note of anything “boyish” or “manish”. However, we became friends, then close friends, and then really close friends (please don’t ask me what became of my resolve, even I do not know).
Meeting his family must have been one of the scariest thoughts. Oh, I forgot to mention that we are from different geographical zones in Nigeria, which means differences in language and culture. Where I come from, kneeling down or prostrating is not necessary in showing respect and so I had to learn it without making it so obvious that I was a “newbie”. I made up my mind to learn as much of the language as I could, understand the culture enough to blend in and generally be open to new ways.
If you are in a relationship with someone who is from a culturally different background as you, be sure to learn as much as you can about the language and culture of the people. It’s better to make effort than to say to yourself “after all I’m not married to his/her family”. It should be done out of love (it’s easier actually) and not because you want to score points or show eye-service.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading…..please be back for more, I’ll be sharing on my journey before the aisle….
Written by: Oggie – A daughter, sister, wife and friend who enjoys writing and listening to music. She is passionate about child development and impacting lives positively. She also works a regular 8-5 job in the Human Resource Function of a popular multinational company in Lagos where she lives with Mr. DH and plans to go back to blogging soon.
Image of Yoruba bride: Genesis Paparazzi
Share this post, someone you know needs it. Use the buttons below.