Saturday, 19 December 2009

Opening the mouth of the father - Part 3

The second part of this series Opening the mouth of the Father – Part 2

It will be traditional

Opting for a traditional marriage ceremony was probably the best choice since I am religiously averse though my bride as any typical Nigerian is quite religious.

One might well be persuaded of the need, but it is not that pressing, the traditional ceremony presents the opportunity for some very unconventional activities and the maybe some cultural education.

The landlord’s daughter who got married not too long before had such a splash, it appears, the tenant is on the verge of outdoing the landlord, one should keep an open mind before one begins a flight of fantasy.

Talking about money always

Preparations were in high gear, money for all that was necessary, drinks, food, cake, dresses, the list was interminable, I might as well have a mint in the backyard, but love conquers all.

The Master of Ceremonies was the uncle of the bride, a cantankerous and garrulous rotund man with a voice that boomed with an accent of English so thick, I was convinced I really was back in Nigeria, really back in Nigeria without and confusion of that fact.

As the day of the event drew near, many panicked as I tried to keep my cool European reserve, delegate tasks by project management and keep an rein on everything except the demands for money for the silly, the stupid and the incomprehensible – I grinned out as I gritted my teeth, how long would this go on for?

We are here to ask

My family had arrived, mother with her friends, my siblings all, my friends from youth all here to celebrate this long awaited event, once the questions about marriage are over, I can be sure that not a second would have passed after the wedding day before I am asked about children – people all seem to be in a hurry for you when in fact, it is you and her that would share that same roof.

That is a somewhat a way off, all the arrangements for visas and travel are coming on nicely, it would not be easy at first, but love does definitely conquer all.

I cannot say I am nervous, but you never know these things, the eventuality of a rogue village goat running amok and pulling the tablecloth off the high table with its horns, scattering the well arranged flowers, drinks, glasses and plates all over the place, leaving the bride in tears, I close to tears and someone suspecting some enemy wreaking havoc for jealousy and spite – my imagination is definitely getting the better of me.

Cherish the day

When that day is over, a sigh of relief cannot come too quickly for all concerned, it would be a great and magnificent day, I dared pray that it would all go nicely, everyone would say the nicest things to each other, the families would be friendly to each other and no funny relation would take that opportunity to vent and hopefully, everyone who really needs to be invited has been invited.

The ceremony had been set for the early afternoon, accounting for African time, we might just add another hour or two to the programme, someone had tried to meticulously time each issue on the agenda but I thought it was ambitious at best; these things have a life of their own.

People do not just walk to the table, they dance to the high table with a coterie of dancers and singers, drummers drumming at the decibel limits, the percussion allowing for the most impossible hip gyrations, it would be a lavish spectacle, I just hope the video guy is prepared to capture everything, we also got three photographers to ensure there was a continuous record of events.

Let the ceremony begin

Now that everything had been set, the MC got to the microphone and after a preamble of prayers stories, jokes and a basic idea of why we were meeting, the agenda for the day kicked in.

The first thing was Opening the ceremony table, apparently, the high table of almost 20 seats bedecked with an array of expensive drinks, the best crockery, the finest cloth and all the trimmings was hardly ready for a seating.

We were in an auction cum bargaining banter, cash was the key to opening any event or action in this ceremony, with 5,000, nobody was looking at us, at 10,000, there was a nod but no approval, at 15,000, we were told we could do better than that, especially, since one was from … it took 20,000 to consider calling anyone to the table.

Let the ceremony begin...

To be continued...

No comments: