Memories! 11 days after my 23rd birthday! I still have that pearl set! Pure exclusive real pearl! Ndi Enugwu ukwu came to my father’s house for introduction and to pay dowry and they were asked to only do the introduction and return for dowry another day. My family chose to use that tactics to stop the process and be sure I was going to be ok marrying at that age. Some family members had good intentions to protect me while some didn’t. There was an impasse. “Gozie is too young to marry and should face her studies first.” “This little girl, where on earth did she meet this high flying man?” “So this man we know that’s flying all around the world couldn’t find gals his age to marry and it’s this little gal.” These were some of the comments and statements and the impasse continued from 1993 and crossed into the new year of 1994. One day, my uncle sent for me. He asked me to see him in his house at Ogidi. I did. I remember his smile and countenance when I walked up to his sitting room and greeted him. I was edgy not knowing why he invited me and being the kind of person he was, he wasn’t given to frivolity so I knew this was a serious matter. “Goziem kedu? I invited you to have a heart to heart talk with you seeing that you are not ready to back down on your decision on this Enugwu ukwu man. He is my friend and we belong to same lawn tennis section of the lagos country club and your Aunt, my wife is from Enugwu ukwu too. Now, talk to me, convince me about this decision. Why this man? What is it about him that has made you to stick to getting married to him?” My uncle asked me these questions. “Brother, thank you for giving me the chance to have this conversation with you. I love this man and he loves me. I know all the reasons why everyone is opposing and some are reasonable while some are baseless. He is a good man and we are good friends. We didn’t even have plans to marry ooo, he asked me to help him find a wife on campus and I charged him a fee for it and along the line the story changed. Brother, believe me, if he wasn’t good I won’t be insisting on him like this.”
“Hahahahahahaha!!! He contracted you to find a wife for him na your school? Two of you must be crazy, isi adiro unu mma. Now tell me the truth, has he spoilt you with money? I know him well and he’s very rich and a kind-hearted person. I know in this family you’re not hungry and I want to know if it is the wealth that got you hooked.” “Brother, which wealth? He’s even a bit stingy sef. He doesn’t give money in whole figure but in fractions. The other day he gave me nine hundred and sixty naira instead of completing it to one thousand naira. I don’t know why he is like that but it’s not his wealth oooo. Every time he will use dhl to send me expensive perfumes to my school hostel, he should actually ask me what I want. I hate the smell of that Chloe he’s always sending. Mscewww.” “Goziem, you are crazy and this is marriage we are talking about. I am now convinced about your decision and I will step in and speak to your dad and everyone including your other uncles. Do you have dates planned for? Go ahead and schedule your dates and print cards and keep me informed. But listen and listen good, I don’t want stories! I don’t want divorce or separation and if you dare those, you have brought shame to me and I will be blamed by everyone in the family for permitting you to go ahead with the marrriage.” “Brother, I will not divorce or separate. If he finds my trouble I give him trouble and we stay there.” “Goziem, listen to yourself? You will give him trouble? Is he your mate?” He went into a session of marriage counseling. Was I paying full attention? No! All I wanted was to leave that house and rush to tell Emeka that the war has ended! He was deeply worried about all the war and told me that he was sure I was his wife as he liked my crazy and bold attributes. We went ahead and got married! These two men in this story are dead. My husband died first in 2013 and about a week ago my uncle followed suit. Alu meee!!! My uncle kept a distance and an eye on the marriage and one time I ran into him at the airport, I was flying to run projects in Ghana, Zambia and Gambia, he reprimanded me for always traveling and asked if I was still married. As soon as I left his noble presence I called Mmili and asked him if he reported me to brother and he said no and laughed out loud! After I passed out from law school, I went to see brother na his Enugu guest house bearing the most expensive brand and set of Remy Martin in a case with fine branded cognac glasses. I knelt down before him, he was shocked and stared at me intensely. “Brother, this is to formally let you know that I am now out of law school and a lawyer and my marriage is 7 years old this year and to thank you for that decision you made to back me up to marry Mmili n’ezoluora. I am grateful, brother and I am thankful for everything. I came with this gift to express my gratitude.” He was pleased and surprised and he spoke words over me, he blessed me, he blessed me ooooooo!! Ezelue, Ebube Ogidi, Chief Victor Ikwuemesi, Chairman, Sosoliso airlines, thank you. Mmili later stopped being a fraction man and gave me access to run things and spend fully. We always told ourselves not to disgrace you and we stuck together and kept moving even in moments we couldn’t stand each other’s presence. I had moments I considered walking away, most marriages hit that point that one person is pissed, mana I remembered your words and warnings and stayed put. I also thought about those in both families who were going to mock me for leaving the marriage. I stayed and I am so glad I did! This isn’t a mourning tribute, this is a memory I will always live with and cherish. I have always known who I was and am and always known what I wanted in and out of life so when people meet me for a short time and vomit rubbish because they think they know me, I sit by the corner, and watch them just like I watched on that second photo. I watch you and smile inwardly as you dance the macabre dance. I don’t dance along but I set a date to return the dance visit and you definitely will enjoy it! Now, this is too long! Who cares?
Hi, I’m Gozie!
I am a Niche Coach and Master Mentor. I encourage, engage and equip others to believe in possibilities and create avenues to realize these possibilities.