Journey to Marriage 3 - It was not Love at First Sight

Berry told me outrightly that our outing wasn't a date. It was just an opportunity for me to meet the someone. Even if I wanted to get excited, her constant warning wouldn't allow me. She asked me to pick the movie, and all was settled.

Berry did not give me a single information about this person. Not his  name or what he does.
Time and time again, I wanted to ask her for the tribe of this someone but held back. I was going to tell her that if he's not Yoruba, she shouldn't bother cos my mum would not endorse intertribal marriage. I didn't think cakes would have Yoruba friends knowing he didn't grow up in Lagos. What prevented me from asking Berry were the following

1. I didn't want Berry to see me as backward and tribalistic (I'm not. I just wasn't ready to start arguing with my mum because of a man, especially when we were told as kids that we could only marry Yoruba)

2. If I asked and he wasn't Yoruba, I would miss my first date for the year and might not meet my monthly goals

3. I assumed Berry should know that I was a Yoruba girl and therefore would be with only Yoruba guys.

4. Something kept telling me not to ask everytime the thought came to my mind.

Of all these reasons, number 2 was the strongest. I just needed to meet my goals

I went straight from vigil to a meeting. I felt my hair wasn't neat enough so my pastor's wife helped me tie a scarf I assumed was stylish. From my meeting, I went to the cinema in the evening, where Berry and cakes were already waiting, as the movie had started.

Cakes took me in, and the someone wasn't there. I expected him to be there cos I was already late. My heart sank but I couldn't bring myself to ask Berry why he didn't come cos I wasn't ready for her scolding. Cakes went to get my popcorn and later he was on the phone with the someone. I peeped at his screen and saw his name.

My heart sank. I don't know what he was, but he definitely wasn't Yoruba. What a waste of time. Right there and then, I decided to just concentrate on the movie and go home. The 'date' that wasn't a date was over before it even had the chance to start.

About 15 minutes later, someone walked towards us and sat near me. Berry and cakes did the proper introductions. He had hair, loads and loads of it. He was a fine boy and had a great speaking voice. But all that didn't matter anyway.

He was not Yoruba!

I offered him my popcorn which he declined. And that basically was it. I watched the remainder of the movie in silence, not saying a word. I wanted everything to end so I could go back to my father's house, never repeating such stupidity again. Thankfully, the movie was very engaging so it took my mind of my worries

He was one of those guys who joke loudly with their friends in the cinema hall, who you just want to tell "shut up." I roll my eyes internally at their kind.

When the movie was over, we all walked to my car so Berry could get her hair products. Berry kept talking and talking about me and my spoken word, how I have traveled all over the world, when next I'm traveling, just making unnecessary small talk that I wasn't down with. Cakes made me take off my high sandals to finally settle the beef between Berry and I about who was taller.

How Berry bullies me whenever we are together.

After Berry and cakes were tired of small talk, they left us together. He collected my number (just to fulfill all righteousness). I drove home without any hopes. About 30 minutes after I got home, he called me when he got home (to fulfill all righteousness). The call lasted for 20 seconds

I did the strangest thing. I got down on my knees and said "lord I met someone today and he's not Yoruba. Lord let your will be done."

Right at that very moment was the last time I ever put it in mind that he wasn't Yoruba. Almost 20 years of sentiments went up in smoke that very moment.

What do you think about intertribal marriage in Nigeria? Even though you might not be tribalistic, is it something you can engage in?

Journey to marriage 2 - How it all started

Inasmuch as I wanted to get married, I had grown complacent over the years. I had become so comfortable in my singleness and the beehive of things I had to deal with kept me constantly occupied that I hardly remembered I was single.

I was terrible at networking and meeting new people. I hardly went out. I worked from home all week, and was in church all weekend. If I was in church with full blooded male adults, it would have been better but I worked with teenagers and they definitely wouldn't marry me.

When I went for performances, I went straight from my house to the stage, and when I was done, I went straight home, not even taking time to network.

The only way African Naturalistas survived networking with other brands was purely because of one person, Berry Dakara. It was a win win for me. She networked, I worked. Everyone was happy.

I was lazy about meeting people. So I remained happily single

Another thing is that I am one of those people who does not see anything wrong in matchmaking. Two reasons: I believe there's no prescribed way of meeting one's spouse. I also believe a matchmade couple already have a primary support system in the person who matchmade them. The only downside to matchmaking is that one or both of the parties might feel pressured to please the one who matchmade them if things are not working out. And that's where maturity comes in.

So if you put these two factors together i.e. I was lazy at meeting people, and I believed in matchmaking, it is not rocket science to know what I did.

I told one or two very close friends who knew my values to hook me up with a serious God-fearing person who wants to settle down. These didn't amount to anything.

So I told Berry, the networking expert to hook me up... again and again

Again and again, Berry turned me down

She asked me to start going out more, networking more, going to the adult church more, and attending my singles fellowship. For everything Berry told me, I had a perfect reply as to why I couldn't do it, so she dismissed me as an unserious person.

As at December 31st, I had an encounter while writing my vision board for 2016. The summary was "Lord, I'm actually ready this time for real. I'm getting married this year."

I knew in my heart then that my single life was over whether I liked it or not. It was like I heard something say move to the next phase. Your time here is up. So I moved but I didn't even have a boyfriend.

So in the step details of my vision board, I wrote that I would start going out to events at least once a month in order to network and meet new people.

Look at my vision board above I prepared on 31st December 2015. I had two of them, one for business, influence, finance, etc, and this one above, for marriage, rhyme and reason, and two other things. The yellow post-it notes on the left have the scriptures attached to the visionary pictures, while the ones at the bottom right have the steps I would take to actualise the vision, based on scriptures. The direct writings on the cardboard were the desires of my heart, such as the kind of friendship I want between my husband and I, the kind of man he will be, statements like "I am getting married this year." "My husband is a visionary, knows where he is going in life, etc."

By the grace of God, almost everything on my vision board for the year has come to pass, even up to the kind of proposal ring I got, and even the inscription on my proposal cake (which were not things I specifically prayed for, but were written on the board). As you can see, the theme for my vision board this year was "A lot can happen in a year." I will talk more about the vision board, the power behind it, and how it helped me later in this marriage series. Though I need to reiterate that my vision board had other things on it, apart from marriage desires.

To be honest, once a month was a very lazy goal, since I perform at events. All I needed to do was to stay back at one of the events, and I'm settled for that month.

In the first week of the year, Berry and I got chatting. She recounted how lazy I am at meeting people and told me about her neighbour who said she was getting married this year but had no boyfriend. I told her it was possible because I was getting married this year (I had started saying it to everyone who came my way with so much conviction). Berry basically laughed at me. I told her about my decision to go out once a month, and asked her to be my first date for the year, so I could tick January as completed.

And next thing she said was, I'm going to introduce you to someone. Let's all go out together, i,e. Berry, cakes, me and this someone.

I was beyond excited. Right there, Berry told cakes. They told this someone, and he agreed.

And that... was how it all started... right from first week in January.

What are your opinions about matchmaking? Is it something you can consider?

Journey to marriage 1 - One Year Marriage Miracle?

Hello everyone. How's everything? I feel like I have so much to say, but hesitant to say them. Over the past few years of my life, I've been extremely cautious about what I put in this blog about my personal life, knowing I'm not an anonymous blogger. I guess I stopped being bold like Berry Dakara and Sisi Yemmie, somewhere along the way.

The truth is that this blog will be changing sometime soon. It's about to get personal. The way my life used to be is coming to an end very soon. There are some changes happening that I might not necessarily like and welcome, but are necessary, so I guess I have no choice but to accept the change. One thing is sure, by the time this year is over, things would be completely different from how I started this year.

This brings me to my muse

Have you heard of the one year marriage miracle?

It means you meet someone, start dating, make the decision to marry, and then marry the person, all in one year.

The first time I heard about someone marrying a person he/she never knew under a year, I was sceptical. I mean my ideal time for courtship was 2 years. I was young, with lesser responsibilities, enough time, starry eyed, believed more in man's strategy than God's plan, and so on and on and on.

But a year or two ago, when 1 + the one blogged about it from one of those Christian relationship blogs, featuring a couple, I began to see it in a different light. Maybe it was because I was older this time with a great wilderness experience in my portfolio. I wished it would happen to me, but it never did. Such things are not forced. It is pure divine arrangement.

If there's someone who enjoyed singleness, that person is me, which is strange, as my plan was to get married at 24. But as it stands, I rocked the life out of singleness. I ran businesses, organised events, travelled the world without a care, and I'm still doing these things. In fact, I became so comfortable in my singleness that my only worry was how I would be able to adjust when I'm getting married, since I have become so set in my ways.

Enjoying the single life without a care
I was enjoying my single life, and the only way I was going to give it up was if the person was really worth it. No one is chasing me from my father's house. I have my office, my room, food, house helps, everything to make my life comfortable, so I would not even lend an ear to the pressure to get married, talk less of succumbing to it. It didn't help the case for singleness that I kept looking younger by the day. Some of the things I alwatys say to myself, even till now is.

It was obvious. I would rather die in my singleness, that get married to the wrong person out of pressure.

I wanted to get married alright, but my eventual choice had to be worth the wait, so I enjoyed my life in peace, and kept running businesses, organising events, and travelling the world without a care.

But now...

All that has changed

I am getting married... All in a year.

To be honest, I am sceptical about sharing this journey here, especially because of monitoring spirits on social media, but I will brave it and do so.

What changed? How did we meet? How did my status change in just one year? The journey of courtship. Doubts and Struggles. Becoming a wife.

Let's keep it a date here every Monday. What do you guys think? Do you look forward to reading about this new phase of my life? Talk o, before I become a hermit again. Lol.

Sights and Views of The Gambia: Streets and Roads + Problem with Gambian Military

This week is going to be my last on my Gambian trip series, and it is just basically bringing to you the pictures of the normal Gambia.

It seems to be a very peaceful country, with heavy military presence. I was stopped twice by military men, when they saw me snapping, and they checked my phone to make sure I wasn't taking anything incriminating.

Asides that, they are very friendly to foreigners, and always willing to help, which is not a surprise since the country is positioned for tourism anyway.

Remember I said it is a coastal country. The sad part is that some of their beach front is already suffering from erosion. Some of the pictures below reveal that fact. Unfortunately, I was too tired and in a hurry to walk to the beach front for pictures

GTBank: You find them everywhere.

The billboard below shows their president, whose picture is virtually everywhere. His name is Yahya Jammeh. You can research more about him. When I took this picture, there was a police man and military man there. They took my phone, searched me, questioned me, and released me. I left, and continued taking pictures.

 The picture is the entrance to the town called Senegambia. The town is just one street in Banjul. Yes o, a whole town. You cam literally drive around a town in two minutes, and the distance between to towns can be like one minute. It's such a small country.

The street of Senegambia, and other parts of Banjul is filled with sleeping dogs everywhere.

Gambian Mall  below

Yes, that's a donkey below. They still use donkeys to transport things in the market. In this case, it was being used to transport waste.

This is the police station and bus park below. I was following Olamide around, so we entered bus. I can't remember when last I boarded these kind of buses in Nigeria. It was an experience, and also jampacked like Lagos buses. Moving around in The Gambia is pretty cheap and easy. No bikes and keke marwa, thank God.

 Our conductor below, lol. Gambia is very big on preventing child trafficking, female genital mutiliation, modern day slavery, and all those things, so you find billboards like this everywhere. If they catch you ehn...

I took many of these pictures on our way to the Nigerian High Commision, because Olamide wanted to see the Consular General. I took pictures of the buldings, and police people stopped me again, and started questioning me. I told them it was for my blog, and after all, these pictures are online, so it's not a secret how the building looks.They deleted all the pictures after so much talk on terrorism and boko haram.  I was just too tired of their wahala, that I stopped taking pictures of Gambian streets and roads.

I don't know why our problem is just so much, especially with authority and law enforcement. I had a completely different experience at White House in DC, where everyone was welcomed, and that's where Obama lives o. Upon all, they sniff out terrorism faster and better than we do.

Sights and Views of The Gambia: Hotels and Resorts

So in the last two editions, I wrote about my experience going to The Gambia, mostly negative and stressful, majorly due to my fault, and had nothing to do with the country itself.

I stayed in The Gambia for three days and two nights, instead of two days and one night, thanks to Arik who are experts are ruining people's plans.

If you have heard any stories about The Gambia, it is that it is a very beautiful country, and a very good vacation spot.

Well, here is the truth. Gambia is a very good tourist destination. In fact, in the hotels, you see loads and loads of white people, but the country itself is not a beautiful. It's not even as beautiful as Nigeria, it is just like a typical northern state, and they are not as developed as Nigeria (just like many other African countries).

The Gambia, which is the smallest country in Africa (about the size of Victoria Island + Lekki phase 1) is a coastal country, i.e. it is along the beach front. The country is very sparse in population so you won't find loads and loads of people on the road, like you would in Lagos.

But... The Gambia is marketed and built to be a tourist destination, so there are loads of beach front hotels and resorts, and that's exactly where the beauty lies. That's why you find loads of foreigners there, ready to spend their money.

Anyway, too much talk for now. Let's move on to pictures. I will make them as few as I can so I don't overload you. This week, I will show you the hotels and resorts, and next weekm you would see the streets. You yourself can make a comparison

My first day there took me to Coco Ocean Beach Front Hotel, where they have a mostly white administrative staff.

 And then to Coconut Residence, which is stronger in rooms, than in environment.

After this, I went to Senegambia Beach Front Hotel, and I was blown away. It's very tropical, even more then Coco Ocean. It's the busiest hotel in The Gambia, and I wasn't surprised that it was dominated by whites

My tour guide is below.

 The food I had at Senegambia. I told them I wanted it very spicy, and believe it or not, what they did was cut rodo pepper (scotch bonnet) in halves, and put it by the rice.

By this time, I was tired. I just stayed at the reception of Senegambia Hotel, and worked on my iPad before heading back to my own hotel. The next day, I set out on another day's waka. I started by taking pictures of the regular streets.

But for now, let's go to The Kairaba before we call it a wrap this week.

The Kairaba is also very tropical like Senegambia Beach hotel, but more carved, and looks more official.

I wonder what they do to the foreigners who disobey the rule below.

They are very big on pools and green areas in Gambian hotels

 And their resorts have birds, butterflies, cats, and many beautiful animals

I hope you enjoyed seeing these pictures. To be concluded next week