I am sure all will agree that the puzzle of finding the right partner is one of the most difficult tasks one would have to undergo in life. It is a task which both the brain and the heart must channel all resources to overcome. This task usually takes discernment and self-discipline to realise, a trait which is not often found in teenagers. However, the bridegroom at this beautiful wedding and my childhood friend Yusuf Yakubu Aliyu was part of this class of extra-ordinary teenagers and the perfect example of what can be achieved through patience and self-discipline.

At an age when most young men were still struggling with accepting the challenges of puberty, a young man had already realised that his childhood sweetheart was the one for him. With nothing but the blessing of a wonder-woman as a mother, Yusuf made a lifelong commitment to Zainab Yusuf Garba and set his mind to achieving the financial stability he needed to start a family with his heartthrob. Shortly after our secondary school days, Yusuf suffered a major setback when he lost his father. While a father can never be replaced, his mother Hajiya Hajiya Rakiya shuaibu mohammed played the role which had been conferred on her, the role of a single-parent which she executed perfectly by not just making sure that her two children completed their education but also adopting and raising other children. Through all these, one lady stayed by his side, the new bride Zainab. By proving herself to be a friend indeed, she sealed a decision her husband had long made.

The wedding was a beautiful three-day occasion starting in Gusau on the 1st of December and reaching its climax on the 3rd in Abuja. The first day was a reception where many saw the beautiful couple together for the first time. Dressed in their traditional Hausa attire the couple danced, cut their wedding cake and received guests to the delight of  dozens of invitees  consisting of family, friends and well-wishers in attendance.

The second day was the wedding fatiha at the Central mosque in Gusau where the marriage was sealed by the Almighty God and witnessed by guests.

The larger group of people came together at a garden in Life-Camp, Abuja. It was the day of ‘Budan Kai’ or ‘the unveiling of the Bride’ in English. Here, the groom officially unveiled his bride and in compliance with tradition, showered her with gifts of money which was well-received with a beautiful smile of approval. On cue, other guests who were not too busy with the amazing food on offer also gave the couple their gifts and blessings.

Highlights of the wedding ceremony was however the words of advice from few elders for the couple and since the words were laced with good humour, and wisdom, all present benefited, from the young and unmarried to the old and widowed.

At a time when people tend to have a wrong notion about love, this three-day celebration of a love which has stood the test of time will be remembered as a lesson in patience and determination. I wish Zainab and my bosom friend Yusuf a marriage blessed with happiness and unending love.

Let me end with this humorous angle. In case there is any hiccup during your marriage journey, do not hesitate to consult the ‘Imo state Commissioner for Happiness and Couples’ Fulfilment(laughs)’…

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