46 years after marriage, Mrs. Olabisi’s bride price was paid by her husband, Pastor Olusola Ojo.
When Mrs. Olabisi met her husband, he was poor while she came from a comfortable family, so, her family was against their relationship.
“I knew I could take care of him. I concluded so because my parents were financially buoyant – my mother was a produce buyer while my father was a commercial farmer. But to my people, he was poor beyond redemption, they called him ‘one-man-one-jacket.’…..” she told Tribune.
Moreover, her uncle, who was the bread-winner of the family, wanted her to marry his colleague, a senior railway driver at the Nigeria \Railway Corporation, but Mrs. Olusola’s heart was made up about her husband.
For refusing to do his bidding, Mrs. Olabisi was often treated harshly.
“On many occasions, her uncle will beat her into coma so that she could denounce me. Because of Bisi’s determination to marry me, she would not change her mind even when her uncle took her to Kafanchan in the northern part of Nigeria, with the belief that distance will remove my love from her heart. One day, after serial persecutions, Bisi returned to me and assured me that even if I had married five wives, she is ready to become the sixth,” Pastor Olusola Ojo said.
After much pacification, Mrs. Olabisi was allowed to marry her husband but her family decided not to accept her bride price, however, the couple went ahead with their marriage.
“When all persuasions to make my in-laws accept their daughter’s bride price from me failed, the General Superintendent of the Christ Apostolic Church, Nigeria, advised us to go by statutory marriage through which we were certified as husband and wife in 1972,” Pastor Olusola Ojo explained.
Few years into their marriage, Mrs. Olabisi’s father fell sick and he was taken to her home where he was nursed back to good health. That marked the beginning of a good relationship between Olabisi’s family and her husband.
“In fact, the relationship with all my in-laws had been so cordial such that nobody was asking for bride price anymore but because of my belief as a Christian, bride price is a must in God’s view; so I must pay it, at least if it is just to show how much I value my dear wife – Olabisi,” Pastor Olusola Ojo said.
On the 12th of September, this year, 70-year-old Mrs. Olabisi had her bride price paid by her 84-year-old husband.
Reminiscing on their marital life, Mrs. Olabisi said she never had any cause to regret marrying her husband.
“Most especially, I am grateful to God that I am also among those women who were married traditionally; appreciating me before my people by paying my dowry. I am indeed happy that it happened to me.”
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