Love is !Jucy in Nigeria

Ever wondered what love is?
What exactly is “true love”?
Is there a fake?

There is no clear definition of what love is and this plagued me for years until I discovered that just like different factions of Christianity, which is a different kind of religion in itself, there are different kinds of love.

Disclaimer: I don’t mean to demean any culture(s) or race(s) and I honestly don’t know how love is run in other African countries but I have experienced “Nigerian Love” and maybe I’ve simply had bad luck with my choice/taste but this is simply my opinion of it.

Nigerian Love

Firstly, Love in Nigeria is very weird in that, in Nigeria, we fall in love with the person along with his religion and tribe. I’ve seen situations where Igbo parents will tell their children to desist from even liking Yoruba men and threatening not to bless any of such marriages. You will scarcely see any Igbo-Hausa weddings and we appear to like it like that (Cardi B).

Even within the same tribe, some tribes have factions that you should never “fall in love” from. Take the Mbaise tribe in Imo state for example. There is an adage that says that if you see a Mbaise person and you see a snake, you should kill the Mbaise person first because he is more dangerous than the snake. This stigma has successfully left many ladies and men from Mbaise single with little hope of finding love.

Secondly, Nigerian love is very heavily defined by money, in other words, the more money a man has, the greater his chances of being accepted by the lady and her family, irrespective of how he gets this money. This is why no one questions a politician with ill-gotten money or a ritual killer. In fact, such men are sometimes considered jackpots by the intended bride’s family. Bottom line, once he can sweep the family off their feet, the deal is done.
I know a lady who chose a “Yahoo” boy over me. For those who are new to the terminology, Yahoo boys are fraudsters that swindle people for money. I was a very hot prospect but no one cares about such in today’s Nigeria and you can’t blame them as we are still not yet the leaders of tomorrow (since the 1980s). After this experience, I actually asked a different girl to leave me because one of her other options was a football player and evidently had more wealth than me (God knows I should’ve played football or something…).

Another perspective

I had long stopped believing in love from my experiences in Nigeria but a friend was getting wedded in Philadelphia so the explorer in me compelled me to at least attend the wedding and surprisingly, my mind was blown away.
Firstly, I was stunned by how racially diverse the audience was. Granted, the bride was Cambodian and the groom was Caucasian (how their parents agreed to the marriage, I really don’t know) but there were Cambodians, Chinese, African Americans, Caucasians and other races I could not recognize.

It was also fascinating to note that the officiator of the wedding was not a pastor (as would normally be the case in 🇳🇬) but was a close friend of the groom who could speak both English and Mandarin. He gave a recap of their love story as he had known the couple since the beginning and this made the wedding proceedings even more alluring. The couple met in China, at a time when the bride was studying. The groom offered to help tutor her but in truth, he wasn’t the best tutor and just wanted some more time with the girl of his dreams. From there, their sessions became longer and then they started having brunches, game nights and started dating. There were trying times for the relationship though as life often took them to different continents but somehow, they persevered and the rest as we were now witnessing, is history…

The wedding reception was as extravagant as an expensive Nigerian wedding which, as I was told, was not the norm in the USA. There were well over 500 people in attendance and excess food to go around. The reception hall was very large and beautiful with plenty of fun activities outside for the guests to occupy themselves with. It was almost as though the venue was asking you to fall in love with the next person you see.

I believe in love (again)

The entire wedding weekend was too good to be true. Comparing the couple’s love story with how it could easily have turned out if they were Nigerians made me laugh. One of the families could have objected strongly to the whole interracial ordeal and that would have been that about that, their time apart could easily have messed things up, financial pressure could easily have swayed the lady away, even their religious commitments would have capitulated the wedding plans and that would have been the end of the beautiful relationship. I’m not saying they didn’t have struggles or didn’t face any problems but in the words of the bride and groom, they persevered together.

I’m glad I attended the wedding. It helped me realize that the unbelievable love stories we see in the movies still happen and unlike the norm in Nigeria, not every lady is interested in you for financial security and not every man is only interested in getting laid.

I can beat my chest now and say I believe in Love again because of this wedding and that I’m now open to dating. However, this time, I’m aware that love means different things to different people and that you may have to change locations to find the kind of love you relate with.

Love is a beautiful thing (D’Banj).
I pray that you find love.
The kind of love that works well for you.
If it doesn’t come to you then go look for it.

Thanks to Sakanel Suos and Olaide Agboola for helping edit this article.

Impossible is nothing

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