Exploring manipulation 3

If you missed the last two parts, read part one here and two here

There were so many factors that stood against the relationship from the start; my dad had always said none of us would marry a non Igala person, he was a professor and wanted me to follow in his footsteps, he was from a place my people were already prejudiced about, I was in my final year while he was just starting university over again, even though he was 5 years older than me, and finally, I was a church girl and he was a bad boy. There were enough reasons to conclude that it wouldn’t work, the odds were against us. But something kept me close to him...I kept telling every one of my friends who asked me why I stayed that he has a beautiful heart. It didn’t make sense but that was it. I made things difficult for him. Somehow I had convinced myself that nothing good lasts forever so this great thing I had going wouldn't last, so I lived in hopeless fear that it would end. I kept breaking up with him, so I could save myself the trouble but he kept chasing me.

When I went for my National Youth Service Corps, I started attending this church and I got born again. I fell in love with the people and the environment immediately. I continued attending the church, then I made up my mind one day to break up with Yakowa because he wasn’t born again, and I did...after a lot of issues of course. Months down the line, an experience we both had changed him and he also became born again. So we got back together and moved on from there.

I was always lucky with getting jobs while he wasn’t for a long time. I was the girl who didn’t have a boyfriend to take her out or foot bills. There were so many issues but we worked through them. He did everything from selling bread to fish to petrol and finally, he set up a graphic design company.

I was tempted several times to leave him for "better options", men with more money, men who are seemingly more spiritual than him or more social, some of them came my way but Yakowa says he heard God tell him clearly that I was his wife. As for me, I refused to hear God. When I met him, I saw trouble but I liked it, my impression was that we would have a long tumultuous relationship. As much as I knew it could be fun, I wasn’t sure if I would last through it all. I finally settled down to listen to God a couple of years ago and that was what kept me in the relationship.

Now over the years, each time I tried to bring up Yakowa’s name with my dad, he would say different things like he can’t take care of you, he isn’t Igala, his people eat human flesh and they eat dogs and one that took me by utter surprise: he is a demon from hell sent to destroy your life.
From 2004 to 2015, we held on, through all our many break ups and challenges. Yakowa has always chased me and it’s only recently that I have stood still. 
Yakowa asked me to marry him and of course I said yes…that M and B experience is still the case when he kisses me :-) But I knew I had a big hurdle to cross with my father. Although I decided years ago that he would have no say in my choice of partner, my parent’s blessings is important to me.

We completed all the requirements from church to get married but as my father was adamant that I would not marry someone from Kaduna. As I no longer live in the same city as my parents, the pastors from my church travelled with me to meet my father and have a chat with him. They had had cases like this before and sometimes, parents just need some reassurance. Parents do not always get it right, do they? They could be wrong too. This seemed to me like a case of my father trying to live some of his dreams through me. When the Pastors spoke to him, this time, all those reasons he gave me over the years didn’t come up, he just said we are free to experiment, but no family member of his would attend the wedding. 

The church remains in a dilemma, they say our situation is peculiar, that they have never had this sort of standstill before. Usually there would be some support from the family of the refusing parents, but in this case, my dad is the first and most successful. It’s a case of the piper playing the tune, so all the family members are dancing or else... so I have no one to give me out to be married, even my brother can’t give me out unless mandated by my father.

Photo credit: Google images

Igala is a language/ethnic group in Kogi state of Nigeria 
Jabba is a  language/ethnic group in Kaduna state of Nigeria 
National Youth Service Corps is a one year mandatory service to the Nigerian government for graduates of higher institutions

This story is based on true life events 

Thank you for coming back even though I had to stretch the story out in three parts. I also say a big thank you to my friend for her courage to speak out by asking me to share her story. She has enjoyed reading your comments and we hope this has helped to create some awareness on similar issues, and to motivate us to think of solutions to trends like these.

The wedding was officiated by the church after much deliberation, it was an unconventional wedding. The outfits worn by the couple were not the usual white dress and suit. The bride's dress had touches of white but bright African prints sewn into it, while the groom wore a Nigerian outfit called a babanriga :-) It was a beautiful wedding and the love from the couple was beautiful to see.
Although the bride's parents were not in attendance, there was no shadow of doubt for them, they were sure this was the path they wanted to walk. This was the victory they had held out for, for eleven years.


  1. When is part 4 coming

    1. Part 4? Hahahahahaha They got married without the father being there and the church officiated the wedding. End of story :-)

  2. never read any of ur stuffs before. i most say this is the isssh. nice one

  3. It is difficult to go against one's parents but hey once you are an adult, you are responsible for decisions that you take regardless of how it makes our parents feel. It is very unfair to judge an individual based on his or her back ground or ethnic group and rather narrow minded as well.

    1. I agree, I wonder why people are judged based on stereotypes. In any case, I am pleased that this couple stood for their love. Thanks for reading Maryanne.

    2. I have read this story with a smile, a frown, sadness, happiness, emotions interwoven. God will give them the wisdom and the tools to make the journey worthwhile. theirs is an inspiring story.

    3. It is indeed a moving one!

  4. Awwwww. .*wipes tears* what a journey! The highs..lows.. oh my.. this must have been emotionally exhausting for the couple both as individuals and as partners. Well, I wish them nothing but the best, and I hope this road marks the beginning of a long beautiful life together, with many many blessings! They both have God and that's very important to weather the storms of life. However, I sincerely hope her family comes round now that the two are finally married (against all odds!). I hope they enjoy this new life together as they bask in their love for God and one another.. :-)

    1. I was even exhausted for them hearing the story, and I was not there through it all. I hope her father comes round also. Thanks for reading Efua.

  5. 11 years journey no be beans o. Jesus Christ

  6. Phewwwwww.....oh my!
    Feel so sorry for the two of them....but at the end it looks like they were meant to be together against all odds.

    Now, not to be judgmental but curious and maybe a silent voice of reasoning....
    - was it right for the church to go ahead and marry them outside of the bride's parents blessing? Is the church not adding to the already brewing rift? I mean, even the Bible tells us to Obey our father and mother....although the father's reasons for them not to get married is baseless but I believe prayers does work wonders and miracles....couldn't the church just pray fervently that God arrest the bride's father mind and soul?
    One of the basis of marriage is that a man will leave his parents and cleave to his wife as one? This is not the case if her parents are not in support of this relationship and refusing to offer their blessing to the wedlock.
    - Secondly, if they both prayed about it, and God reveals to her that this is indeed her husband, she would definitely be disobeying God by not marrying that person that God has put in place for her???

    Tough call, I pray God sees them through.

    1. Thank you Emma for adding your thoughts to this.

      You have already answered your question in some way. As much as we hope for parent's blessings, you wrote that the fathers reasons were baseless. With such baseless arguments, should she have waited on him to get her a husband? With his suggestion earlier saying 'what has love got to do with it', do you think he would have got an appropriate person?
      The same bible that asks children to obey parents also asks fathers not to exasperate/provoke their children but to raise them in the right way...it's all in the same chapter. Is this not a case of him provoking his daughter? She stayed on for 11 years waiting for his approval and blessing. She is the one who will live with the man and not the father, we have to make certain decisions for ourselves and this I would like to think is one of such cases.
      On the other hand, there are certain things we can continue to pray about but we will keep praying if we do not take a step. They prayed for almost 11 years, God who we pray to gave us brains for a reason, he guides us to use them. Leaving parents to cleave to partners does not necessarily have to be accompanied by blessings. How about people who are orphans?

      As they have both prayed for years and believe they are meant to be together, they have taken their step of faith, hopefully the father will come around. I have heard of cases like that in the past where parents eventually realise they were wrong.

  7. @Ene...Thank you for the answer you just gave in response to Emma's deliberations. I believe that doing things God's way sometimes might not necessarily mean that everyone around you will be on board. I also think that the true test of God being behind something is the way he brings people round to accept his will eventually or at least acknowledge it. The church fulfilled righteousness by going to see the father in the first place and hearing him out. It was obviously not an easy decision for them to have taken in light of the fact that they had never had a case where consent was not given at all. Jesus prescribes a method for settling arguments in the bible in the Gospel of Matthew 18:15-17. Speak about the matter with the person, if he doesn't listen, involve two or more people to witness the attempt to resolve the matter, if he still doesn't listen, tell it to the church and if they don't succeed, let the person be. I believe the couple followed all these steps faithfully. It is up to them to continue in the faith that brought them this far and act in love towards the father regardless.

    1. Thank you Estrella for adding your thoughts to this.


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