Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Real Love Story - A Romantic Liaison Mediated By Her Uncle

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Chinwe: One day in May 2010, an uncle - my maternal aunt’s husband - called to say he had a surprise for me. Expectedly I was excited although I didn’t have a clue what the surprise could be. He then said something like, “There’s a handsome, nice, God-fearing etc etc young man here that I think you’d love to meet. He’ll make a great husband.” What??? I couldn’t believe he said that! He didn’t even ask if I was in a relationship or something. I believe in meeting guys myself (especially Mr Right!) and I totally detest third party-mediated romantic liaisons.

I don’t know whether anger is the right word for what I felt then, but I was so mad at him I didn’t know when I said “Uncle, I’m disappointed in you!”  Unfortunately for my uncle, he had put the phone on speaker mode for Ifeanyi’s benefit and so had to find a way to end the call quickly without further outbursts from me, lol. He still teases me about that outburst till today.

I was to later learn that Ifeanyi had gone to say “hi” to him when my uncle started asking when he was going to get married and stuff. It was my final year in school and marriage was the last thing on my mind. Thankfully, Ifeanyi was also not thinking of marriage at that time and in fact only called me after being repeatedly asked to do so by my uncle. The first time he called, we struck a deal: if my uncle asked, we would say we were in regular communication just so he would leave us alone, we won’t be pressured to do anything we didn’t want to do and we would be just friends. Perfect deal , only we didn’t count on the unusual, mysterious way in which love just happens.

Ifeanyi: Although my family has known hers for about 40 years, I only got to know Chinwe in 2010 when I visited Nigeria. Like she said, I had just gone to visit her uncle, a senior friend whom I have great admiration for. The first time I called her, I did so because I had run out of excuses to give whenever the uncle called and asked. However, that first call was to lead to numerous others and the rest, as they say, is history.

Although we didn’t start making marriage plans until early 2013, I knew I had met a special person. She was exciting and refreshing. She was not just captivating, there’s something about her that totally captured my imagination. However, despite all that, I didn’t want to be in a long distance relationship and certainly not as long distance as between Nigeria and Germany. So, getting too close was not what we wanted to do at that time but friendship seemed Ok and harmless so we became good friends. Then, suddenly cupid’s arrow struck!


Ifeanyi: Well, I can’t remember the first time I “proposed” to her or how many times I actually did as that happened quite a number of times long before the wedding and they were all what I’d call “informally serious” proposals. Interestingly, it happened that we even proposed to each other at a time (when we were certain of what the response would be). I’ll focus on the “formal proposal” which happened just before the church wedding. I didn’t go down on a knee-although I’d toyed with the idea a few times.

We’d known for a while that we were going to get married and we had talked a bit about ring types and sizes. We started making plans for the church wedding, traditional and court wedding a few months before I returned to Nigeria for the marriage ceremonies and being very realistic/unpretentious people, we knew the proposal wasn’t going to be the usual surprise. In fact if anything, the formal proposal/engagement was a mere formality.

I can’t remember what I was saying while I slipped the ring onto her middle finger but it was not, “Will you marry me?” We already knew that was going to happen. Whatever I said was probably funny because she was laughing all through the time I was putting the ring on her finger. So, no, it wasn’t your usual, romantic, tension-packed, surprise proposal.


Chinwe: I had the good fortune of being asked to choose from an assortment of wedding dresses but that made making a choice quite overwhelming. However, I’ve always wanted a Cinderella wedding dress (because of how they flare out from the hips, lol). It was also important not to reveal (or even conceal, lol) too much so one with a one-shoulder strap was just perfect. Finding a gown with a glittering net-themed bodice did it for me as it meant I could have it draped over the tulle ballgown during the church service and then remove it during the reception which was planned for the much warmer afternoon.


Chinwe and Ifeanyi: The church service was simply beautiful! It helped that the pastor was not a man of many words plus the choir presented an amazing rendition of our wedding toast in song. We should have given the band that played for us at the wedding reception a selection of songs we really find special and think our guests would love as well. Actually, we planned to do that and had a ready playlist but somehow forgot as often happens in events of this nature. Nevertheless, the guests seemed to love the music and were particularly excited when the band played Flavour’s “Adanma;” we suspect they didn’t expect a band like that (from the Band Unit of the 82nd Division of the Nigerian Army) to play Igbo Highlife/Afrobeat songs.


Chinwe and Ifeanyi: Quite simply, love. However, you’d take that as a given in any marriage, won’t you? We have found that being able to keep promises made to each other, being consistent and dependable, being sincere and open are things that have proven critical in deepening our trust-and by extension- love for each other.


  1. They are pretty and look so cute together. HML!

  2. Lovely..........

  3. Identity! At least 50years of marital bliss is all I can afford to wish you at this moment. Please accept my meagre offering.

  4. Aww too cute! As much as the usual romantic love story is fantastic, the once-in-a-while atypical courtship and proposals intrigue me.

    She married her friend! Happy married life to them


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