She meets a Wyoming cowboy, he meets a Nigerian princess… the rest is history!
This is a brief recount of the love story between Odion & Zeb as witnessed by me, Odion’s twin sister. About 6 years ago (~2009), Od was asked about the physical appearance of her ideal man. She said, “6 feet tall, muscular, black chocolate….”.
A year or so later, I noticed one oyibo around. When I inquired, she told me he was a smart computer science classmate who she collaborated with on group programming assignments. I suspected he took a liking to her but she quickly brushed it of as “just friends”. Likewise, I let it go because he did not fit the mold she had described.
Summer 2011, I was in France and on returning she broke the news about their relationship. She giggled when I quizzed her about the ‘mold’. I was shocked but happy as I am a true believer in love that knows no boundaries – tradition, race, culture, physical appearance. We all have plans or ideas of what we want in life but God’s plan is always the best.
Congratulations Odion & Zeb!
This photo was taken in the bedroom were Odion waited before her official introduction to Zeb’s family. It is part of our custom that the bride stays in a room with her friends while negotiations between both families are carried out.
Typically, brides from our tribe, Edo, wear artistically adorned hairdos with an infinite number of burnt orange traditional beads. Odion opted for something very simple with a twisted bun and two wefts of beads around the circumference of the bun.
Here’s how my sister, Charee, went all out with the hairdo (called okuku) during her traditional wedding in 2013.
When it is time for the bride to be introduced to the other family, she is concealed with a veil over her head. Two or three other females are brought out first. The trick is for the other family to identify their bride. My head was covered with a wrapper and I was taken to the living room.
The person in charge, my dad’s eldest brother and my big uncle, asked Zeb if the person under the veil (i.e. me) was his bride. I gave myself out because I was gigging/laughing out of excitement. Zeb said, “No.” Then I think one other person was displayed before Odion was brought out to the family. It was so much fun!
Here, they talked about serious traditional matters. Unfortunately, I don’t speak my traditional language so I made my cute, little grandmother explain to me in English. The dowry was paid which is less than $1 in my tribe? The belief is that a woman can never be bought but at the same time she shouldn’t be given up for free.
The groom’s family also gifts the bride household and personal supplies (like fabric, food, cooking utensils…) as requested by the bride’s family that is supposed to help the bride adjust to her new way of life as a wife. They discussed all of those and also gave Odion and Zeb marital advice.
After all the serious stuff have been cleared from the table, Zeb’s father was asked to sit Odion on Zeb’s thighs. It is a rough equivalent of “I pronounce you man and wife. You may now kiss the bride.”
Per tradition, Zeb and Odion are now man and wife. We all cheer, everyone get’s excited. Odion and Zeb’s parents (Zane and Ginger) shed some tears.
Mr. & Mrs. Fross
Prayers and blessings are offered up for the new family
They switch clothes as a way of saying my single life is over and head on out to party with friends and invitees (+ more food) waiting outside in beautifully decorated tents. The MC introduces the new family.
The couple gets their own special tent too
Their first dance
Odion and Zeb are not the best dancers to Nigerian music but they sure did have a blast. Watch the 60 seconds video below. Sorry in advance as I recorded it on my phone and I was too excited to stand still during the recording.
You will hear the MC telling Zeb “We want you to dance with your wife before you go and sit down. Dance with your wife only…. Ehen, Odion give him African style. That is how we roll.” Then he says, “Mr. Zeb you’ve been playing some African jams lately!” So much laughter, fun, excitement, and happiness.
Group photo with both parents
Group photo with siblings, in-laws, nieces and nephews
Group photo with very close friends
L>R: Joy, Oyo, Enohor, Adaobi, Dorothy (RIP), Tega, Onomen, Aihinomon, Vanessa, Oghale
The group of friends that wear a particular fabric on your wedding day are called asoebi girls. The bride chooses the fabric and sells it to her friends. It is typically a way for the bride to raise funds and gain support from her close friends.
Photo with more friends most of whom are from high school (Presentation National High School)
And a photo with me and the bride
Just had to throw in a picture of myself somehow lol. She warned me not to smear my lipstick on her cheek. I probably would have ?. I hope you enjoyed reading and learning more about my culture.
Makeup: Oyinye from Make up by Nkiru
Wedding Planner: Fun Switch Events (firstname.lastname@example.org)