While my mates spent this extended Easter break reading for our forthcoming MB 2 exams, I was away at Ondo State for my cousin’s wedding, doing a lot of wining, dining and dancing. My plan was to eat my life away and deal with the consequences later.
Before we took off, I had to dash to get my asoebi dress, because the best clothes are gotten from your tailor at the dying minute, on the very day you need it, or at best a day before. If you get your cloth anything earlier than that, you should know that your tailor didn’t give it their best shot.
On our way to Ondo, I ate the best akara of my life: it was at a food stall called ‘Iya Dunni Stores’. This akara was scalding hot, had crayfish in it, and was the right kind of fluffy. The stall is along the Ibadan-Akure is expressway and I encourage you to add this to your bucket list. Nothing else on the journey was as memorable as that akara experience.
We arrived at our destination at nightfall and we were welcomed with glorious plates of Amala and I settled in not long after that. I had packed along some school books I knew I wouldn’t read; that first night I tried to read something on pharmacokinetics. Or pharmacodynamics, I’m not sure. I remember words like drug affinity and something about efficacy.
I had to get up early the next morning to prepare for the traditional engagement. The ceremony was really colorful, accentuated by magnificent wraps of pounded yam served with egusi soup.
There was also a lot of love in the air, with the couple holding hands, looking into each other’s eyes and other silly things people in love do. I knew my village people were at work once again, striving tirelessly that I might end up in my feelings, but all their efforts failed. Fortunately, I came heavily prepared, and remained a hard guy, immovable till the very end.
Another highlight for me during the engagement, was when a woman mentioned that we would all go and celebrate with the couple on the birth of their twins in 9 months. Which twins ma? And in 9 months? And who says we’ll be invited?
The church service started soon after. Some people said the bride came late but can a bride really be late to her own wedding? Please. I don’t remember much of it as I used the time to catch a quick nap.
However, I recall hearing in the sermon, the preacher saying about the groom that “God knew he would like to come back from work and have someone waiting for him at home with food already prepared”. I saw Angel Michael raise an eyebrow for a second.
Then came the grand finale, the reception party. Alongside the rest of the bride’s train, I danced in with the couple and I might have even danced some Zanku by association (but legwork is still legwork).
Ondo isn’t called the Sunshine State for nothing. It has just the right amount of sun needed to take pictures radiant enough to blind your enemies. I took enough fine pictures to last a couple of months, some of which I have shared here in my benevolence.
If you see me post pictures at random times in the year, you may be tempted to ask me if it’s not enough. I strongly advise you against it, because it is really not enough, not nearly.
It has been my lifelong dream to be one of those wicked Yoruba aunties who people beckon at, at owambes, begging them to please bring Jollof rice to their tables. The opportunity presented itself as I was allocated tables to serve, with 3 servers assigned to me.
I constantly had a super arrogant look on my face, making sure I did not disappoint my ancestors, the great-aunties that had come before me, as this was a role I had been prepared for all my life. Ordering the servers to follow me closely, telling them that they dare not give anyone else food, it all gave me so much joy.
When my work was done, I proceeded to settle myself with multiple plates of VIP ofada rice. I was helping myself to another round of asun, when one of the servers by the stand looked at me and asked, ‘Aunty you again?’. I quickly got over my shock and saw that he was clearly an enemy of my progress. I threatened to report him to my aunt, and tell her that I saw him pour plates of asun into a nylon bag and hide it in his pants. His look of discomfort was soothing enough.
Can a girl just eat without any judgment?
Later at night, we went back to the house, and as we were all getting ready to retire to bed, my aunt mentioned that “Dupe we’ll soon be coming for your own o”. I thought it was one of those prayers and said Amen.
But she continued and said that it wasn’t enough for me to say ‘Amen’. I needed to be more serious, because I was in my twenties and my mates were getting married at 22. And have I seen the movie ’27 dresses’?
To say that I was stupefied would be an understatement, as I was not ready for the attack on my personality. I really haven’t gotten over it and I am not ready to talk about it.
Through it all, this past weekend was a refreshing experience. I’ve seen that Ondo State has great sun, good roads, fine cabs and lots of plantain, hence the residents must be happy people.
Since all my friends will soon be getting married, I wonder where the next solemnization of holy matrimony will take me to.
I look forward to it.