Journey to Marriage 11 - Much ado about tribe

I had decided that I was going to tell my mum about BH during the last week in March, and I wasn’t looking forward to it at all.

The thing about BH is that his tribe wasn’t straightforward, and I did not know what tribe to tell my mum he was.

I am Yoruba, and I have never been with a non-Yoruba person. I have never thought of being with a non-Yoruba person, or even conceptualised the idea. Ever since we were young, even before the age of 15, we knew we were supposed to marry Yorubas only. So there was no way my mum would start telling me at my age who to marry, cos we already knew.

Because of this, I wasn’t sure how my mum would react. If I were 24, I’m sure she would have spun her head around, and never agreed with the idea, but at this moment, I just didn’t know… not because I was older, but of past heartbreaks.

More importantly, I had told God, myself, and my friends that if truly God was involved in the relationship between BH and I, the most damning evidence would be total acceptance of us by every stakeholder, especially mum. Our least worry would be parental approval.

BH is a mix of delta and igbo. His roots are in delta, his father’s roots are in delta, but he’s of igbo lineage... just the Obama being from Kenya situation. Whenever anyone asks me, I just say he’s from delta, cos even though he has an igbo name and of that lineage, he’s never been raised as one.

So one day, I was lying on my bed, and I just felt a nudge to go and inform my mum even though it wasn’t yet the time I set for myself. I went upstairs to my sister’s room, and asked her to follow me to my mum’s room. The reason was that just in case my mum starts to object, my sister can join mouth in convincing her.

I said “Mum, I’m getting married o.”

It started with shock on her face, and I said “I met someone and we are getting married this year.”
Then it followed with excitement. And I was like

Oh, oh, I’m about to break this woman’s heart. 

Believe it or not, my mum was about to get on the floor, and kneel or roll.

My sister and I were like “No no mummy. Don’t be happy yet. Don’t get excited. There’s something we need to tell you. There’s something you need to know.”

Then she looked at us, and said “What is wrong?”

I said “Guess.”

She said “What is wrong? He’s not Yoruba?”

I said “Yes… but you will love him when you meet him.”

“Where’s he from?” I replied “Delta.”

And then the miracle happened.

She said “Who am I to stop you if that’s what you want?”

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaatttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt? Adonbilivit.

What the f?

This is my same mum who even gave us the configuration of Yoruba you could bring home, cos not all of them were acceptable for marriage.

“Where in Delta?” I told her.

I kept saying “Mummy, don’t worry, you will love him. He’s such a great guy. Once you see him, you will fall in love with him.” And that was the song I was singing into her ears all through cos to me, I felt it was important to elevate the person over the tribe, after all, people from all tribes have good character and bad character.

The next day she called me, and asked if I was sure I was doing the right thing, and not going with this guy because I was desperate. I told her that if it were desperation, I would have been with someone else cos he’s not the only person dancing around me.  That was the last time the issue of tribe came up.

A week later, I told my brother. He kept saying I’m not serious. I tried to play the same you-will-love-him-when-you-meet-him card, but it did not work.

He just kept saying “you are not serious”. I kept smiling and saying “I’m serious.”

He wasn’t happy about it at all… the tribal difference, short courtship and all. According to my brother, he was Igbo, no matter the explanation. When I told him that he’s a great guy, he said all guys are great to the women in their lives. No matter the defence, he wasn’t buying it. But he ended with the fact that I can do what I want since I’ve made up my mind, and not exactly seeking his approval.

BH and my brother are cool now, so I’m believing his first reaction was due to the shock that came with that kind of unexpected information.

After this, we set dates to physically meet all the powers that be.

First my pastor… who basically gave his approval cos BH is cool like that, lol.

Then his pastor… who believe I’m very good for BH, and we are good together

Then his mum: We travelled all the way to Asaba for this. She wasn’t happy about the fact that I was smallish (she’s not so tall herself). She’s so funny, and was really good to me. She made banga soup for me.

And lastly, my mum… whom BH was so eager to meet that he crashed my house just when we got back from Asaba, just to see her, before returning during the weekend for the official meeting.

Right now, everyone is family, and all hurdles have been scaled. The same friends who were sceptical cos they felt he rushed me, and rushed me to his mum are all very cool with us now. Cos even though we made the decision to get married very early, we intentionally pushed the date far. So it is not exactly a short courtship.

Now that we have all the required systemic support, we can now move into less important and juicier details of things like proposal.

Question: What do your parents think about intertribal marriage? Close or opened to it?

34 comments

  1. Today's episode is the best and I really enjoyed it. My parents are against it but the God that did it for you will touch mine too if he's the right guy. And thanks for putting up those posts again.

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    1. Aww, you think so? Thanks.

      As for the tribe thing, it depends on your conviction? My yoruba friend waitied 8 years to marry her igbo boyfriend, cos her family won't allow, but their conviction was very strong. This may be just a trial for you, and it may also be God saying no. Really seek God's will in the matter.

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  2. Awwwwww!!. I keep saying taht Ultimately, parents will come around, if you're sure and that's what you want and the person is a good person. My dad may have been sceptical initially but literally came around in a second. I think they even prefer my Hubs to me now!. Lol. Just kidding. Or maybe not.

    www.KacheeTee.com || Follow me on Bloglovin'!
    East Meets West || My experience on the Yoruba Kneeling Culture

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    1. Yeah, if it's God's will, they always come around, no matter how long.

      Your husband must be really sweet. Yoruba angel for life.

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  3. Yay. Delta..my town my town.

    And ahe made banga soup for you..ohhhh..making me miss home.lol.

    Faithful God. Too faithful

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    1. Lol. Will you make banga soup for me???

      Yes God is faithful o.

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  4. Halleluyahhhhhhh!!!!!!! I am literally shouting for this great miracle God has done.

    I am so excited than you the bride sef, lol! It was clearly God at work here.God bless your new home!

    Regards to BH for obeying God and not delaying.

    Please, don't bring down the posts. We ( ghost readers) are much more than active readers o, lol!

    My parents might have objected too but they never mentioned any tribe except a Yoruba State but I'm married already so no worries.* I am a Yoruba, so you can just imagine.

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  5. Just a wawu!!! I can imagine. It was drummed in our ears too the non-yoruba rule. `but I guess with God they can accept because at the end of the day once they know God he has the their hearts in his hands.

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    1. Exactly! This God ehnnnn... when he wants to do something, man's sentiments doesn't matter o. You will just see yourself bending to His will.

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  6. Your fear of your Mum and her tribal spec is so real o. See me being afraid on your behalf as I read this. Yes, my Mum wishes for her daughters to marry close to our home town. Her reason being that we will be close to her per country home levels. But that's all it is, a wish.

    The thing is that I did not have much opportunities of meeting even one guy from another tribe. I grew up in and had all my education in the East. But now that you ask about it, I'm sure I would have given a Yoruba angel a chance without fear. ;)

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    1. Yes o, Yorubas are real angels. I don't know who broke someone's heart and started calling them demons, lol.

      I wasn't really scared of my mum, but I know that parental approval issues can be very traumatic, and it wasn't supposed to be part of my 2016 testimony, so I had to tread with caution.

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  7. Halleluyahhhhhhh!!!!!!! I am literally shouting for this great miracle God has done.

    I am so excited than you the bride sef, lol! It was clearly God at work here.God bless your new home!

    Regards to BH for obeying God and not delaying.

    Please, don't bring down the posts. We ( ghost readers) are much more than active readers o, lol!

    My parents might have objected too but they never mentioned any tribe except a Yoruba State but I'm married already so no worries.* I am a Yoruba, so you can just imagine.

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    1. Aww thanks. I already put the posts back up. For your parents to have mentioned a particular yoruba state, they probably would have had issues with a different tribe. Parents sha.

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  8. I'm so happy for you, had a completely different reaction in my case. They had never mentioned tribe before and suddenly when they were told he was igbo, they refused their blessings, refused to meet him. Incidentally he is also a mixture of delta and igbo.
    I'm in the state of coming to grips that my relationship is over. He doesn't want to let go, but from the reaction I got, I know there is no future for us. But all will be well in the end.

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    1. Hmm, it must have been a shock for you. Maybe they expected that you'd have know automatically.

      What is your stance about this thing? You don't seem very convicted about your guy, cos ideally your conviction won't be shaken so easily. It all depends on you. If you feel your guy is worth the fight, worth the wait, and worth standing by through thick and thin, go with it (only if you are fully convicted), or else, the wahala may not be worth the battle you are going to have to embark on.

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  9. Oh wow! I honestly got emotional when I read your mum's response to the news!! Wow!! What an AWESOME God we serve!! Like the ease with which He even did it, it was like she already saw a vision or had a dream/premonition about it!
    Thank You Jesus..
    For anonymous above, let me encourage you by saying that if it is God's will, it may seem impossble right now, but hold on, God is able to bring to completion what He has started and it will be beautiful!
    Atilols, thank you for sharing this. It's been a huge blessing xxxx

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    1. Yes o. It was like she was already expecting something like that.

      Glad the post has blessed and encouraged you.

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  10. It is very surprising that in this day and age African parents, irrespective of their education or exposure, still insist that their daughter or son should not marry from a certain tribe. I guess this will change with time. Inter-tribal marriage help to facilitate national cohesion or understanding. It will be very hard for President Obama, although president of USA, to take actions that will directly harm Africa. If we want to achieve a homogenous country and to forster inter tribe understanding inter-marriages is the way forward. May God bless your union and make it a model for others to follow.

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    1. I agree with you totally. It is changing over time, cos our generation is already inter marrying a lot. Soon, tribal differences won't make sense cos we would be too mixed for lines to be drawn.

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  11. Lovely story. Thanks for sharing

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  12. Congratulations hun! Our parents and this non-yoruba ish. I remember going for nysc in anambra a few years back and the only thing my grand aunt said to me was "don't bring back an okoro husband o".

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    1. Now that I know better, I say statements like this do more harm than good in the minds of the kids, cos it just makes you sentimental before even metting people from other tribes

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  13. Mine is more of inter-religious marriage, my dad is totally against it and keeps drumming it in my end. But my mum does not mind, so far na marriage all works for her.

    Congratulations once again and glad everything worked out for good.

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    1. Wow. So you shouldn't even toe that line at all then. Or do you plan to risk it?

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  14. My mum never had an issue with tribe,but she's not really fond of igbos. As for my dad, he's so tribalistic that i often wonder how a very well read man would have such a small mind. He didn't approve of my wife because she's of a different tribe (he's accepted her now tho maybe because he's seen how stubborn his son is or maybe God just touched his heart.Either way i'm grateful).I also often wonder if he'd have been present at my wedding had he been in the country.Congrats on your jumping this particular hurdle,it's been the end of many courtships/relationships.

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    1. Wow, your dad wasn't present at your wedding? So so sad. We thank God your perseverance worked out well for you in the end.

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  15. My parents were also not in support of inter-tribal marriage, but they accepted, since Yoruba and Edo history share a link.

    SO HE IS DELTA-IGBO? Shockingly wonderful. IGBOS are known to pamper and take care of their wives wella!
    Eku palemo oo.

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    1. Hmm... I really hope he 'pampers' me o. I be serious hard core, lol.

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  16. My state is already a mini Nigeria on its own with over 10 ethnic groups, so marrying from my state alone can pose some challenge..not to talk of from outside the state.
    Well my parents do have reservation about some tribes, but would first ask about the person's personality first. And immediate family background.

    Tamie.

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    1. Loooolll. But there's nothing impossible... especially if it's God's will

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  17. Awwwwwwwww. Forces that be finally bowed to the greater force. God works out everything for our good.
    I see you did your part well too.

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    1. Yes o. Like the waters of the river....

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  18. I'm amazed that your mum just agreed like that, Wawu!

    Tuke's Quest

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What's your opinion on this? Let's learn from one another.