THE “NAIJA BRIDE” SERIES – PART 1

A DOZEN DOS AND DONTS OF NIGERIAN WEDDING PLANNING

By Joy Edoriagba

1. Do try not to expect anything from anyone- that way you’re not disappointed. If you make plans based on money you’re expecting from family and friends, you may sadly find that some are unable to give you as much as you expected, and others unable to give you anything at all. Cut your coat according to your fabric; anything else that comes in is a nice bonus 

2. Don’t start planning your wedding until you both have agreed on a budget based on thorough research. Recently married friends are especially helpful here.

3. Do paint a clear picture of your wedding before you start planning. Will it be a big affair with lots of pomp or a simple blessing ceremony in the pastor’s office? Will you have a reception or give out take-away packs of food and drinks instead? Will you have a big Traditional Wedding and a quiet Church Wedding, or vice-versa? Will it be a one-day, two-day or three-day affair? Will you have a bridal train or just your maid of honour and best man? Will you include children in your bridal train? If you will, who should be in charge of coordinating them? And so on…

4. Don’t leave out pre-marital counselling, whether you are wedding in a church or not. Even if you’ve read a trillion books and believe you know everything, the importance of pre-marital counselling cannot be overemphasised. This isn’t Jand or Yankee. This is Naija. Trust me; you’ll learn things you never knew you never knew.

5. Do identify the key players in both families (actually, the four families- maternal and paternal relatives on both sides), and ensure that you carry them along and seek their opinion regularly. It’s no use pretending that they are not that important or that the wedding is/should be about both of you and your immediate families. We are Africans, and that kind of stubborn independence will only see your wedding date, wedding colours and seating arrangements changed 20 times.

6. Don’t do anything because people are doing it; do what gives you joy. My colleague Bukola is getting married on the same day as I am. She’s giddy with happiness just looking forward to seeing her guests wearing her wedding aso-ebi (uniform). Yours truly, on the other hand, would hate nothing more than to look around and see guests at my wedding looking so identical. Bukola told me herself that I am lucky to be free from the aso-ebi buying and selling stress; even so she wouldn’t give it up for anything! You get the point?

7. Do make sure that your Church is licensed, if you’re getting married in a church. Otherwise, (I’m sure your pastors will inform you) make sure you do your registry wedding and then the Blessing of Marriage Ceremony afterwards. There is nothing like “Church Wedding”; there’s the Traditional Marriage which is under Customary Law, and there’s Marriage under The Act which is done in a government registry or a licensed place of worship. If your church isn’t licensed and you “wed” there, you’re not legally married, and that pretty paper they give you is just that- pretty paper.

8. Don’t forget about your friends. Regardless of whether they are married or single, true friends can help you remember what’s truly important when you’re feeling overwhelmed, and their counsel is invaluable. They can help you plan, raise funds, shop, and all the other nice things friends do for friends. They also help to make sure your life isn’t on hold just because you’re getting married (have you typed those notes your boss wanted? Have you called up the guest speaker for the next Youth Fellowship meeting? Have you even eaten today? Aha.) I’m assuming of course, that you can differentiate real friendship from growing up together, meeting and playing on Facebook, being old school mates, or things like that.

9. Do make sure that your maid of honour knows exactly what you need her to do. Even on your Traditional Wedding day, she is your personal assistant. Write notes/lists for her so she knows what to keep an eye on. Having someone who knows you well supervising things will help ensure that there are no photos of you craning your neck and frowning.

10. Don’t despair if you find that you’re no longer excited about your wedding. Sometimes this happens because you realise it’s not your wedding anymore (even though you and/or your fiancé may be paying for it all), and you just want to be married to the man of your dreams and get on with your life together. At times like this, throwing a “wedding” for other people may seem like an obligatory, albeit irritating, waste of time and money, but be encouraged; you are not alone, and this too shall pass.

11. Do watch out for the “I’m already married” feeling that settles over you after your Introduction. Standing before your parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, cousins, friends and in-laws to be and publicly declaring “Yes, I accept this man, I will marry him” is a deeply moving, and binding experience that will make you vulnerable to the most intense sexual temptations you may have had to face. If you do not look at his handsome face and repeat, “He is not yet my husband; he is not yet my husband” as many times as possible, you may end up ruining all your hard work over the years (or months) by stealing from your wedding night, or starring in your very own Nollywood movie- The Pregnant Bride.

12. Don’t let anything weigh you down! Have you sinned? Repent and get back on your feet. Have you grown too fat for your dress? There are solutions; Google can help you find them. Does the whole planning thing seem overwhelming? It won’t last forever. Are your new in-laws annoying you? Pray, smile and bear it; this is part of reverencing your husband, which the Bible instructs us to do (thinking of his “darlingness” at such annoying times really, really helps.) There’s grace enough for you!

Hope this helps. Congratulations!

Naija Brides! What did I leave out?

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WHY EMEKA IKE CONSIDERS HIMSELF SEXY

@KevinWithanL posted on Twitter, #WriteAnEssayOn why Emeka Ike considers himself sexy and win a 3 month subscription to GQ or Cosmo magazine.

I had a stressful day and I needed the release so I decided to write the essay…no offence to Mr. Emeka Ike.

WHY EMEKA IKE CONSIDERS HIMSELF SEXY
Did Emeka Ike become Nollywood’s leading man because he was sexy, or did he become sexy because he was Nollywood’s leading man? This kind of question is what is known as “chicken and egg question” or “JAMB question.” However, for the purpose of this article, we must blame it on Nollywood.

There is the general, albeit erroneous assumption that TDH- “Tall, Dark and Handsome” is what all women desire. Furthermore, when an older woman gets her hands on this kind of man, she won’t give him up without a fight. This is the kind of sexy young man the producers of the English subtitled Igbo movie, Deadly Affair, wanted for the role of Ikechukwu- the sexy, handsome young man on whom the cougar Isabella (Dolly Unachukwu) would cast her lustful gaze and lay her claws. For reasons we may never get to find out, Emeka Ike was chosen for this role, which of course implied, at least to him, that he was sexy.

Emeka Ike is relatively tall, and he’s also dark skinned. In his heyday, his teeming female fans formed the habit of swooning and fawning over him; my aunt never failed to comment excessively on his lovely eyes (don’t ask me), and this kind of behaviour, kept up for an amazing period of time, cemented Mr Ike’s status as “handsome”. The movie roles were rolling in.

Every movie producer wanted Emeka Ike as their leading man. To further inflate his already large ego, they kept on pairing him with beautiful, sexy women. He’s starred beside Omotola Jalade, Rita Dominic, Chioma Chukwuka and of course, Genevieve Nnaji, with whom he acted in almost 10 movies. In fact at that time, it seemed as if Emeka and Genevieve were the only actors in Nollywood. Understandably, the more Emeka looked at and starred beside these sexy women, the more he thought himself sexy. And in the eyes of his fans he became sexy by association, a sorry phenomenon which only served to perpetuate the myth.

We must remember that with all these movie roles came some good money; at his peak Emeka Ike was reputed to be Nollywood’s highest paid actor. Money, as we know, creates a certain brand of pseudo-sexiness to which Naija babes are particularly susceptible. And the effect this has on someone who has come to be considered “sexy” is so astounding that it can only be observed not imagined or reported. As such, the Emeka Ike we knew when he debuted in Deadly Affair was not the same Emeka Ike playing rich guy disguised as poor guy with Chioma Chukwuka (Disguise) and Rita Dominic (Sweet Love).

To make an already bad situation worse, women responded to this “sexiness” or at least pretended to. They hailed and applauded Emeka’s sex appeal even if only in his own ears, so much so that when a HINTS Magazine writer asked Emeka in an interview if he thought he was romantic, our dear actor not only responded along the lines of “of course I am”, he proceeded to tell the writer that if he kissed a tree, the tree would tremble. The relationship between being romantic and eliciting sexual response from a tree still beats me, and the cockiness floating up out of the pages of that interview left me convinced that nothing was going to rob Emeka Ike of his Mr. Sexy status.

Apparently, sexiness and sex appeal were all Emeka could think of, so much so that romance and sex appeal had become one and the same to him. The more he thought himself sexy, the more producers and fans considered him sexy. Soon enough, the situation had spiralled out of control. Emeka Ike was sexy and there was nothing anyone could do about it. Unfortunately, the worst was yet to come.

Friends don’t let friends talk to ugly boys (unless said ugly boy is rich, and even then, some friends won’t be moved). Mrs Ike’s friends allowed Emeka Ike to not only talk to their friend, but date her and make her his for life, and as far as we know she was pleased to go with him. To Emeka’s way of thinking, it’s very difficult for an ugly, unsexy man to get a beautiful lady to fall for him, much less marry him. If she’s fair skinned, it’s much more difficult. If this beautiful woman is actually half-caste, then you have to be a hot, sexy guy to get her as your wife. Emeka Ike married “oyinbo”. By achieving this feat, he has proven to all his detractors that he IS sexy. And that, as they say, is that.