27 February 2006

All roads lead to Ibadan

Finally, the great day has come and gone! My girl’s wedding held at the weekend in Ibadan. Apart from a couple of hiccups - the ceremony started 2 hours behind schedule, national environmental exercise and a flat tire on one of the cars in the grooms company being the main culprits; we also suffered a food shortage scare (it was supposed to be a small wedding, at least we must have had like 700 people there! Thank God the bride and her mum made additional provision for food) as well as a seating shortage scare (us young ‘uns’ had to carry chairs and perch around the canopies), all went well. The bride was beautiful in blue, and the groom was a little hung-over from his bachelors’ eve party the day before! Princess looked nice too in her coffee brown lace, and I shouldn’t have worried about the admonitions’ from family and friends – I was so busy running up and down taking care of guests, I think the only comment I got was from a friend who told me to please visit a spa, the spots on my face were getting too much! Everyone liked my jewelry though; this means I will have to give it an appreciable rest period before I wear it again (women!). Unfortunately, I was unable to sit in one place to observe the introduction/engagement; I was occupied with welcoming and seating guests who had arrived in time for the engagement party which couldn’t start because the intro/engagement ceremony was still in progress. It was so hot and sunny and dusty, I have a bit of a sore throat.

After the intro/engagement and engagement party, a small train escorted the new bride to her in-laws in Ijebu. Princess had made me promise I wouldn’t drive to Ijebu so I had a driver from my office meet me in Ibadan on Saturday then drive me to Ijebu and finally back to Lagos on Sunday. I learned that the bride when going to her in-laws after the intro/engagement ceremony is expected to come along with a pot of soup, this pot of soup is referred to as 'obe iyawo' (brides soup) it can be any type of soup I gather, and she is supposed toserve it at her in-laws the next morning for lunch. The brides soup was entrusted it in my care by the mother of the bride, and I panicked all the way to Ijebu because Egusi is a very unreliable soup, any small thing and it goes bad! We left a little late (7:20 pm), and almost ran into thieves as we approached Ijebu-Ode! We got to the in-laws in one piece (brides soup inclusive), and no one was hurt, and no property lost although one of the cars had its windscreen damaged by the butt of the gun of one of the robbers. Prayers of thanks were offered for the new couple, for journey mercies, etc. I looked at my friend and her husband, as her mum-in-law prayed that they conceive twins that night. As it turns out they would conceive their twins another day as we all slept with the bride in her conjugal bed (the groom slept on the couch in the living room). Then came the advice from her mum-in-law and her friends. The bride was told that her husband was not only her husband, but her brother, friend, confidant, lover, father and her first born. She was reminded that whatever he became would be attributed to her influence; if he succeeded she would be a good wife, if he failed she would be a bad wife. She was told to not let the word of God depart from her lips; she should continually lift her husband up in prayer, and commit her home into Gods hands. She was told to treat her husband as her lord, respecting him comprehensively, and she should learn to humble herself, putting all that she was aside in total submission to her husband. She was also told to not include a 3rd party in her relationship, 3rd parties include family and friends. Then some other lady whispered something’s in her ear. In all of this I am thinking it’s all well and good that you are instructing the bride as to her role, but the groom nko? Does he have no role to play in the success of this relationship? As if they read my mind they now started on the groom. He should learn to be patient (I am guessing this is not his forte), and should value his wife’s opinion. Finally it is time to retire. After driving round town looking for a hotel with vacancies, (the two we stopped at were fully booked) we returned to the in-laws and this is why we all slept in the brides conjugal bed! I was up bright and early to make the trip back to Lagos where I spent the whole of Sunday asleep. I am happy for my girl, she has gotten the whole ceremony over and done with and she now Mrs Gudugbe on all fronts (legally and traditionally), but I couldn't help but wonder, is it possible to marry without all the fuss? As a Yoruba girl resident in Nigeria, I don't think so!

1 comment:

Epictetus said...

I hear that "iyawo" is actually a contraction of "iya Iwo". And it would appear that, according to the legend, the first bridegroom had to do his nuptials at Iwo. And did he go through Hades and back just for this? Marriage dynamics apparently moved against the bride (as you noted in the admonitions your pal received) only in compensation for this proto-ordeal.