Our court wedding took place quietly. Amaka had four of her friends in attendance and as witnesses while I had Ayo the Barber to sign as my witness and three other classmates as attendees, after the registry we all went to Den’s cook for refreshment.
In July, all roads led to Awka to meet my prospective in-law.
Baba Dayo and Mama came with friends; the friends hired a sixteen Seats Toyota Hiace bus to convey them while others joined Baba Dayo in his new silver coloured Toyota Path finder and mama’s ox blood coloured Toyota Carina E with full options was driven by Oga Luke Umahi. We stormed Awka and from Awka we were directed to go to Amaka’s home town in Unubi as her father had gone home to receive us with his kinsmen. What I thought would be a brief affair turned the opposite.
My parents were more prepared than I had thought. Baba Dayo told Amaka’s Kinsmen that he wants to break protocols and go home with his wife same day. Every item that was written on the traditional marriage list was paid for in cash! The bride price was not negotiated as they expected from us but was paid in cash!
The news went viral that some Yoruba people were doing wonders at Barrister Dike’s compound and before we knew it, the compound was full. Some Yoruba youth Corp members serving at Unubi community got to know that we were Yorubas, they organized all other Corp members from Ekwulumini, Osumenyi and Uga Villages close to Unubi, they all came in their Uniforms to support me, Baba Dayo gave them some money to entertain themselves, they bought some gallons of palm wine and some crates of Legend extra stout and before we knew what was happening the Corp members brought out drums and started Kegites gyration at one end of the compound while the popular Theresa Onuoha Egedege traditional dancers were performing at centre stage. Some youths were sent out to Onitsha Gariki market to buy two Cows and two Rams.
When the Truck came in with the Animals, there was uproar in the compound. The Animals were slaughtered and shared amongst the kinsmen accordingly while meat and food were also served to everyone that came; there was liquor in abundance as every liquor store in the village sold out their Stock. What was supposed to be a quiet visit was turned into a party that lasted till the early hours of the next day. The Villagers were saying it was very evident what their brothers that have travelled to the west said about ndi Yoruba and Parties, they said they wished more Yoruba would come for their Sisters, I laughed when I heard it, these People did not understand.
Amaka’s father later cornered me at the Corridor as I was going to meet Amaka in her late mother’s room, he knew I had been avoiding him; he held me by the shoulder and pulled me closer to himself; Stop avoiding me Boy! He said; you have done well and I am proud of you! Let your past be in the past so that you can move on in life, right?
I said, yes sir!
Well done Boy! He said again; I am proud of you! You and your people have impressed me; you have brought honour to me in this community! Your marriage will go down in the history of this Village as the best! You pulled all the neighboring Villages to my Compound! They will take the news back to their Communities. I like that! Thank you my Boy! Thank you! He patted my back and he went to his room, I guess back to his books
I later told Amaka about my encounter with her father and she expressed her gratitude to me and my family, she said she thank God for everything that we have been through together, she said her traditional wedding will go down in history as a big and unusual feat that took place in the Village. The glamour added by the Corp member’s performance was awesome and will remain in peoples memory for long, the village had never experienced a traditional marriage that ran from Saturday to Sunday morning and left the entire Village known drunkards in stupor.
We left for Enugu on Sunday with our Wife and one of her nieces that would be staying with us; we told her family that she will return to continue her school until Amaka puts to Bed. My Parents drove with us to my house while Oga Luke and others drove straight to Abakaliki
When Baba Dayo saw my apartment, he opined that I moved into a three bedroom apartment, I told him I live alone for now as Amaka still works in Abuja; he called Amaka to join in our discussion and Amaka also said it would be a waste of money since I live alone, then Baba Dayo surprised us all;
So why can’t you leave Abuja and come to join your husband in Enugu here? He asked.
Amaka and I laughed
You mean her Job abi? He asked
Yes nah Baba! You know she works in Abuja; I said.
Is she not working for someone? He asked
Yes Sir! She works with Gani Chambers and you know that! And me I am still in School! I said.
Okay! He said; as my daughter in-law, I am commanding you to start preparing for your resignation immediately you return to Abuja! I want you to come home to your husband and start your own chambers! I want you to open an Amaka Dike Ojo Chambers in Enugu; you have worked here before so it is not a strange place for you to start on your own, in fact all your previous Clients will be transferred to your own Company!
Ha! Was all I kept saying while Amaka was just looking at Baba as if he was chanting some strange incantation.
Baba continued; I will foot the bill! It is money that it will cost me, not my blood, and by the grace of God today, I am capable; he said beating his chest. I cannot describe my reaction on paper, I can only say that while Amaka was crying on her knees with Arms stretched high up, Mama and Dayo my little sister were dancing around Baba Dayo and thanking him. Hmm, Amaka Dike Ojo Chambers! Good God!
To Be Continued