For many, 2020 has been a year of ups, downs, and many in-betweens. We know you have a lot to tell us and have asked that, as one big family, we all share our joy, pain, wins, losses, and successes through the year.
This year, God turned Igierobo Bonaventure Osagie’s pepper into delicious peppersoup.
It all started with high hopes for me because I just did my wedding introduction in December, 2019. One of my new-year resolutions was my wedding between my fiancée and I who happened to be one of my best friends in Mass Communication Department at the University of Benin.
We both graduated together in 2014 and started dating in 2018. It was a long distance relationship, and it was real work. I mean, work. She was based in Benin and completing her masters program and serving under the N-Power Batch B Program scheduled to end in July. I was into full-time media consultancy/volunteering for different brands, entrepreneurs and nonprofits in Abuja after a couple of sacks from the media houses I worked for in 2018/2019.
Then GTBank came to the rescue; I won some cash and gifts in their homecoming giveaways. Wow! I cried when I got their alert. GTBank, you guys rock!
Beyond the cash and gifts, it was frustrating and daunting because as an entrepreneur, you have to work for every Naira you earn from consultancies based on retainership. You also have parents and siblings who are dependent on you. I also had to work part-time as a sales consultant distributing a new product of juice for my youth pastor in RCCG. In all, my fiancée, now wife, who I call “Sweets” remained unfazed.
Then her elder sister’s wedding came in early March, ours was scheduled for April. I had to travel to Benin then came back to Abuja in late March only for COVID-19 to shock us and President Buhari declared a total lockdown in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun State on Sunday, March 29. I couldn’t travel again and we had to postpone the wedding indefinitely after pressures from everyone.
Even with the lockdown, our love grew stronger: we chatted and talked more, we did more video calls thanks to WhatsApp, we even started our monthly Bible study, fasting and prayers and got to know each other more.
So a lot of talking, recharge cards, and WhatsApp chats needed to be done to keep the fire in the relationship ablaze. But I will say it was a journey worth embarking on because I really saw the hand of God in everything.
Our Bible says horses are prepared for battle but its God that gives victory. Yes, you need money to have a wedding but beyond that, you need God, prayers, fasting, counsel, an understanding partner, discipline, humility, wisdom and unmerited favour from God through people. Most importantly, you have to prepare for marriage not the wedding. The wedding is just a day (or two) event. But the marriage is the koko! You need to read books, watch YouTube videos, attend youths/singles programs, be honest to yourself, be friends with people older and more experienced than you, amongst others.
When the president eased the lockdown in June, I travelled to Benin from Abuja. My fiancée encouraged me that no matter my financial problems, we will wed and emerge victorious.
Brethren, I fear fear! How do I pay bride price, do reception, rent event centre and what have you after the big hole corona has dug on everyone’s pocket? Things became worse with my dwindling income but thank God for my twin sister, mentors and pastors; they encouraged me to trust in God, after all, what God cannot do doesn’t exist. Indeed, without faith, you can’t please God. Faith sometimes can be really stupid, but its real if only you believe.
When I got to Benin after bypassing numerous security agents during the eased lockdown, we arranged a low-key wedding in three weeks. Thanks to her understanding dad, he gave his blessings. Graciously, on the 25th of June, we did our traditional wedding low key, gathered the little we had saved and with the support of parents, family members, mentors and pastors, the ceremony was done and dusted with only few family members and friends. The guests were fewer than 50.
God did it again on the 27th of June when we did our white wedding in her church with no reception, no decoration, no DJ, and so on. After cutting our 3-step wedding cake, which was done free of charge for us by my former boss, Nosa of Final Lap Events, we shared the drinks and jollof rice we prepared for about 100 persons after the church service and moved to our hotel room. We travelled to Abuja a week later with our numerous gifts from family and well-wishers. Praise God, we did a wedding without incurring any debt.
It has not been easy, but God has got our back. Two months after our honeymoon, I got another paid consultancy from a media house in the United Kingdom that entails me working remotely from Abuja. My wife also helped out with her money from part-time jobs including being a Jumia agent. This month will be our 5th month of being happily married. I can never mistreat my wife no matter what happens – she’s definitely from ‘Zion’! Truly, if a man finds a wife, he finds good things and obtains favours from God. Brethren, please we need God. When He turns again your captivity, it will be like a dream. At 30 years of age, I’m totally grateful to god for His faithfulness. Indeed, He can turn your pepper into pepper soup with assorted meat!
Have a story to share? We’ll love to hear it. Send in your essay to features(at)bellanaija(dot)com with the subject: 2020 Epilogues. Let us know all the twists, turns and successes 2020 came with.