A lot was happening all at once. 2007 turned out to be quite a year. Could it be because I wrote out all those interesting items on my list of things to accomplish in 2007? Could it be that in addition to dreaming and planning, I was praying for those wonderful things to happen? Could it be that heaven actually paid attention and dispatched resources to grease the wheels of fortune and make those dreams come true?
Well there’s more. Sometime before our moves to Lagos, Kingsley came to Abuja to visit his parents. Then he made our engagement official by informing them that ‘Annie’, the young lady they knew very well, was the one he wanted to marry. It wasn’t a shock to any of them. We were both part of a group of friends from school who were connected mainly by music. Some were instrumentalists, and some were singers. We were all in the choir and we all lived in Abuja. So we would troop to each person’s house on their birthdays if it fell during the holidays, make a lot of noise, eat whatever was available and just make sure the celebrant felt valuable, loved and appreciated. Our parents knew our friends, so Kingsley’s parents knew me.
Funny enough, whenever we had debates in the group, Kingsley always supported the opposition… and on one occasion, Daniel said ‘Hmn… Annie & Kingsley… I wonder where you people’s ‘continued rivalry’ will lead’. He had a good laugh when he eventually heard we were planning to get married. I, for one, was impressed with Kingsley’s engaging and sometimes superior argument. It made for good conversation.
His dad sat down and questioned him in my presence. Is this what you want? Are you sure you are ready for this? To all these he replied in the affirmative. You see, his dad used to say concerning men, ‘If you don’t want any trouble in life, don’t get married. If you feel you are man enough to handle some trouble, marry just one wife; but if you want more trouble than you can handle, marry more than one wife’. His opinion was that one woman has all the joy, wisdom, love, encouragement, and trouble a man needs to become all that he should be.
I provided the contact details for necessary engagements with my family and we let the elders handle the rest of the discussion. The introduction took place before we moved to Lagos and November 24 was set for the traditional marriage. This was going to be barely a month from our resumption dates. My ever so warm and loving cousins welcomed me into home for that period while Kingsley lived in his family’s Lagos abode.
As was expected, we didn’t get any time off work to plan for or finalize the traditional marriage arrangements. We relied on our family members to help us with that. Our bosses were kind enough to let us work half the day on Friday, November 23. At 12noon, we both set out from our offices, met at the airport, boarded the plane to Calabar, and then got on a bus which left for Uyo at about 4pm. Unfortunately, a trailer had fallen along the way and caused a serious road block. The traffic was so bad, we got to Uyo at midnight, six hours later than we should have.
My brothers picked us up, dropped me at my Uncle’s house and took Kingsley with them to another cousin’s home where they spent the night. The next day, all required members from both families and guests convened at my father’s village home for the traditional marriage. Everything went well, and as our custom is, my people sent me off that same night. I joined my husband, his family, and their team of friends and well wishers on a road trip to their base. Early Sunday morning, we left for Lagos by bus, and on Monday we were back at our desks as if nothing had happened over the weekend. What a rush!
Now we had one major event left before year end – The Church Wedding. The date was set – December 22, 2007.
To be continued…