Tag: Relationships

Once Upon a Time in Ife

Once Upon a Time in Ife

“When I found you, I found somebody who cares”

Bebe Winans (I Found Love)

Where do we start from to tell the story of two persons who would have never imagined they’ll end up together? The story begins with a certain Jonah delivered from the fishes of the Atlantic Ocean and sent five hundred kilometres away to a land warmly called Great Ife. Two years later, a certain Anuoluwapo made a similar journey howbeit from a bubbling convergence point north of the Niger. These two persons would go on existing in the land of Oduduwa blissfully unaware of each other.

At this point, the only connection between these two were their commitment to activities within their respective campus fellowships. Then in 2013, Anuoluwapo was nominated by the Redeemed Christian Fellowship (RCF) to serve as Media Head of the University Joint Christian Mission (UJCM), plunging her into public viewership. Jonah, as former Technical Director of the Anglican Students’ Fellowship (ASF), was tasked by the UJCM Organising Secretary to head the power team while also liaising with the media unit. Before your mind goes on a misdirected journey, be assured both of them did not notice each other beyond collaborating on UJCM services. In retrospect, one picture they took together at this time seems to suggest that the future was pregnant with smiles.


2014: A veil?

Thanks to WhatsApp, they remained in touch, intermittently checking on each other after Jonah graduated in 2014. Then in 2015, Anu bowed out of the Obafemi Awolowo University. One day in August 2015, Jonah decided to check up on Anu via WhatsApp—a purely innocuous move. Her first reply was “How is your girlfriend?” This showed the kind of person Anu is—a lady respecting boundaries, who was unwillingly to come in-between others. Jonah then told her about his recent breakup and they just asked about each other and that was it. This day marked the start of what has metamorphosed into a wedding.

From that day in August 2015, during Jonah’s service year, the frequency of their chats began increasing. By 2016, they had started chatting almost every other day. In June 2016, Jonah worried they were getting too close. He had begun developing feelings for Anu but was not sure he was ready for a relationship, especially “so soon” after his 2015 breakup. Being a very unserious guy, he tried clarifying his stance by asking Anu what was going on. Her puzzled reply made him sense the feelings were one-sided. To avoid any citations of deception, he clarified the status of their friendship (aka “ordinary friends”). Since he was planning to travel to the UK for his master’s degree, he ran away from any visions or allusions to anything resembling a relationship.

Can a man run away from his shadow?

Unknown Wise Man

In September 2016, Jonah headed to the UK for his master’s programme. Anu had helped with some visa processing in Abuja, and he felt he had to take her out on her birthday. Was his intention innocuous? Only God can tell. On a visit to Anu’s office in Abuja, one of her colleagues asked her if Jonah was “her guy”. Her reply seemed to make any future together a forever impossibility. Her birthday outing turned out to be quite awkward. On one hand was a guy unsure of his feelings and maintaining a veneer of robotic masculinity. On the other hand was a lady totally sure of her lack of feelings but willing to spend time with a good friend about to leave the country.


2016: First date?

All through Jonah’s stay in the UK, both of them stayed in close communication and the lady’s mind began to reconsider its hitherto absolutism. When he showed her two results in which he scored 82%, she asked him to score 100% for her. He was shocked at her impossible request and protested at the impracticability of having a perfect score in any of his exams. However, something within him wanted to impress her, so he did it, attaining a perfect score in his last exam.

On 31 May 2017, he finally realised he had been foolish all along and summoned the courage to ask Anuoluwapo, five thousand kilometres away, to be his girlfriend. For a guy seemingly predisposed to needless displays of masculinity, asking Anu to date him seemed more difficult than punching a big bully. Two days later, on 2 June 2017, Anu gave him the response he feared he would never get. It was official. Anu gladly accepted Jonah’s request. However, it would take him another three months to finally open his mouth to tell his lady how much he loved her. That was part of her birthday gifts.

Like the biblical Zechariah, the day he attested his love for her unlocked the gates to a season of proclaimed love. Both of them could not wait for him to return to Nigeria. The night he returned, she stayed awake tracking his flight, unwilling to sleep while her man returned to a land without constant light. His return powered a series of dates in Abuja. After attending their first wedding event together in February 2018, Jonah had to leave for Lagos where he was to resume at a new job. Their next date would be in June, after four months that seemed too long. They just couldn’t wait for time to fly away.

On 2 June 2018, the anniversary of their kick-off, they went to Silverbird Cinemas in Abuja to mark the day. Whereas Anu was blissfully enjoying the movie, Jonah’s mind wondered how he would deliver the ring in his pocket. By a stroke of luck, or maybe celestial setup, they were alone in that cinema hall on that Saturday afternoon. Anu had always hinted she wanted a private but classy proposal and was lost for words when Jonah went down, not on a knee, but on both knees, to present a ring to his lady.

2 June 2018 | The Proposal
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The Societal Imperative

The Societal Imperative

While reading The Real Warren Buffet by James O’Loughlin, I encountered the concept of the “institutional imperative” as espoused by Warren Buffet. Contained in one of Buffet’s shareholders’ letter, he defined the concept as “the tendency of executives to mindlessly imitate the behaviour of their peers, no matter how foolish it may be to do so”. Months after reading that particular section, I encountered a scene that made me recall Buffet’s words.  Continue reading “The Societal Imperative”

Three Weddings and a Town

Three Weddings and a Town

What do you do when three friends send you invitations to attend their wedding ceremonies holding on the same day? Decide on one to attend, right? What if the three ceremonies are holding in the same town? Would you still play favourites? What if one person was a leader at your undergraduate fellowship (marrying another former fellowship executive), one was your undergraduate classmate (marrying a “classmate” from civil engineering), and the other was a work colleague that served at the same organisation during your national service year? You now see my conundrum when three friends invited me to Ile-Ife, home of my undergraduate alma mater.  Continue reading “Three Weddings and a Town”

Death and the Anger Thereof

Death and the Anger Thereof

For almost a month, I have stayed away from writing any articles, trying so hard to stay in the shadows. If you read my somewhat philosophical New Year’s Day article, you may have looked into the mind of a person considering the possibility of a new operating principle. However, some things have the zest to fall even the best-arranged stack of cards. 

Continue reading “Death and the Anger Thereof”

Biafra and the Knifing Calls

Biafra and the Knifing Calls

In recent times, the Nigerian polity has been flooded with secession calls by Nnamdi Kanu’s organisation, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). Kanu’s request has been quite clear: take a knife, carve out Nigeria’s “Biafra region” and let it become an independent nation. In the midst of debates on what areas constitute the requested Biafra, secession calls have also come from other parts of the country. Apparently, many persons are tired of Nigeria’s present composition and feel a divorce is the best way forward.  Continue reading “Biafra and the Knifing Calls”

Another Lateness-triggered Rant

Another Lateness-triggered Rant

A quote attributed to Shakespeare says “Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.” If Shakespeare had lived in contemporary times, I may have been inclined to believe this quote may have been inspired by an encounter with chronic latecomers. Google “African time” and the results would show a shameful habit that has become accepted by many Africans, especially those from the country called Nigeria. 

Continue reading “Another Lateness-triggered Rant”

To My Dad, For the Thanks I Fail to Say

To My Dad, For the Thanks I Fail to Say

Today, 18 June 2017 is recognised in several countries as “Father’s Day”. In a world where a substantial number of children now grow up with their mothers as single parents, the role of fathers has never been more critical. There are people with the natural ability to deliver semen and whose semen have found a way to fertilise a female’s egg, and there are others who have not just delivered semen but have helped to nurture the resulting new life. However, while demonising the former, society has failed to recognise the sacrifices of the latter group. Continue reading “To My Dad, For the Thanks I Fail to Say”