#Blogfest 2:0, Day 06 – #30dayscountdownto2016
If anybody has any objection to this union,…
…speak now or forever hold your peace, yeah?
I thought this line was a thing of the past at weddings until recently when I became the best Best Man Ever Liveth at a friend’s wedding and it was asked by the minister. I also asked a friend “When was the last time you heard that ‘speak or forever hold your peace’ line at a wedding”? Her response – “Every time!”. I find this quite funny. I will tell you why.
Last night, someone told me a story of a family that objected to their son’s choice of a wife. A girl he had been with since his University days, a girl who had been at every family function for over 5 years, a girl with whom, according to the story, they seemed to be well pleased. Their reason? Tribe.
Now, if you ask me, that’s complete hogwash, but that’s not the point.
My point is, the said dude can not in all good conscience tell the world that he did not know how his family felt about the tribe of the said girl in the context of marriage. It could even be argued with lots of merit that the girl, herself, had an inkling about how his family would react to her becoming a wife to their son.
As Nigerians, we can not deny these things. As liberal as the present generation has become, we can still tell with a certain percentage of accuracy how our folks would react to the subject of a marriage between us and folks of some other tribe(s). Its often so clear that its a sure way to rile up some mothers for laughs or to upset her. You simply say “Oh! I’m going to marry this babe/dude from this certain tribe”. You likely will get a resounding “God forbid!” or “Over my dead body!” or “You and who?” or some other variant of these.
An example that quickly comes to mind is the warning many Yoruba mums to their children. They would often say “ma mu yibo wa’le fun mi o”, meaning “You dare not bring home an Ibo lady or man”. Its not even sugar-coated, its not subtle, its not a suggestion. It is what to is. It is the law. Flaunt at your own risk.
The Naija Street Dictionary* defines the word ‘Yibo’ as the tribes on the southern half of Nigeria, from just after Ore all the way down to our borders with Cameroon.
Boy! Isn’t that a big chunk? The Ibo speaking tribes are used to this, simply ask anyone of them. Those rolled up along with them, I mean folks who are not Igbo by tribe but happen to come from tribes that fall into the definition of yibo are often collateral damage in this ancestral divisive war.
But all of that is neither here nor there, so, I’ll let it be.
Back to the matter, why wait till the minister asks if anyone has an objection to your union? In most cases no one speaks. Does that mean absolutely no one that matters has an objection? Or even an atom of reservation? I dare say even the couple are many times scared shitless, considering how many are railroaded into matrimony. Yet another gist for another time.
Here’s what. Do your in-depth investigations into how your people feel about the notion, (start with just the notion) of you “bringing home” your present lover. Be very detailed and thorough. The tribe, religion, age (age difference), any thing else that might be an issue. You know your folks well, you know what’s sacred or important to them. Some even would say no if any member of your lover’s family has any form of mental illness. Do you blame them?
Now, if you have what it takes to cross the tribal divides, like many of us will, please prepare and arm your partner for the possibility of stormy weather ahead. Do not sugar-coat things, let them know how things stand, the more he or she knows, the better prepared you both are to handle it. “Knowledge is power” was not coined by drunken retards.
Gentlemen, after preparing your women for what lie ahead, also make adequate elaborate preparations – legal and financial, for the inevitable – your death. Make sure they will be well catered to. There are a million stories of parents and/or siblings who have immediately taken over their son’s/brother’s property and wealth, kicking out his wife and kids upon his death.
A man shared a near-death experience – a robbery attack. While the robbers beat the crap out of him, his one worry was for his wife and kids. According to him, if he had died that day, his wife and kids were in big trouble. He had not made fail-safe preparations for them in the event of his death. He knows how his family feels about his wife. Sad stuff, but this is the reality in many cases.
Ladies, be smart. “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” Don Corleone said. But in this matter, you can’t tell them apart, so keep them all close. Do not be caught unawares. Show your in-laws love. Also, very importantly, pray – a lot. Earn and own on your own, secure your future and those of your kids.
As a couple, unite. Bind together. Your spouse is now first! Not your folks. Team up and stay winning. AFTER you both have worked out the possible ‘objections’.
May your love never be tested.
*The Naija Street Dictionary is not a thing. At least not to my knowledge
Written by Greg Emuze, he blogs at Isleofcupid