All in Relationships

Nigerian Inter-Ethnic Love Stories || Lara & Teshola Idowu

Lara is such an amazing and kind-hearted person! We had the chance to meet up during my birthday getaway in Dubai. She was so gracious, invited me into her lovely home, fed me with the tastiest pepper soup and showed me round her beauty studio. As a fashion and beauty entrepreneur, she sews, teaches, consults and offers makeup services.  When she realised I ran this column on the blog, she was very willing to share her experiences and all I had to do was ask.

She's Yoruba, from Ekiti state in Nigeria (though her mum is from Ondo State) and been married for four years to Teshola (although you'd be forgiven if you thought that was their surname as she often goes by the name LaraTesh). On the face of it, their first Names and surname sure make it look like they're both Yoruba. But Tesh, a financial analyst is Itsekiri from Delta State, though his mum is from Benin. Don't you just love these culture fusion?

In her words "the nature of my job, has exposed me to working with people from different ethnicity and culture from all over the world. This has made me conclude that we are not different one another. What we see as different is what is adding color to this world and making us stronger". I couldn't agree more.

In this awesome interview, she spills on their inter ethnic union, how she has Igbo roots, opposition received, her dramatic proposal and the one food from Tesh's culture that she can't fathom eating! Of course, we have her gorgeous and gleeful photos to swoon over! Enjoy.

3 Years Married + A Fun Husband Tag!

As you probably know, Tee & I had our 3 year wedding anniversary earlier this month. So while I finally blogged about our Nigerian (Igbo and Yoruba) traditional wedding ceremony, I also wanted to write a serious -ish post on some lessons and thoughts that have crossed my mind in these 3 years (that post should still happen, hopefully). Then again, a husband tag sounded like fun, and asking Tee some random questions seemed like a good idea - which I had considered in this Get to Know Me Tag and you peeps agreed.

also asked readers via Instagram story if they would like to see a husband tag. Many said yes. I think they assumed it was going to be a video tag! Oooops, we're both way too shy for that. A couple of people seemed disappointed but then confirmed that they'd still love a written one. So I decided to go ahead with it - because a part of me was slightly curious about his answers.

You've probably seen a few couples do those husband tags on YouTube. I didn't particularly like a lot of the questions as these were mostly 'what's my favourite this or that?'. And even I can't tell you what my favourite anything is, so  how much more he.  So I skipped a lot of the 'favourite' type questions and I finally persuaded him to answer the questions. To be honest, I had a good laugh at a number of them! 

Nigerian Inter-Ethnic Love Stories || Aisha & Olamide Craig

I've secretly been looking forward to this feature! And perhaps a few people were hoping for it as well. Shortly after I reached out to Olamide, someone sent me a message on Instagram advising that it'd be great if they shared their story as they've got all of the three major Nigerian ethnic groups! Plus I was hoping that we'd get to feature more Hausa or northern stories here. 

Anyway, I present to you Olamide and Aisha! Olamide and I went to University together and he was always such a pleasant chap. He is Yoruba, from Abeokuta in Ogun state. He was born in Lagos and is a Pastor, Physician, Photographer and Poet.

Aisha, (or more completely Aisha Nkiru Ademide) is from Zazzau and is part Hausa, part Igbo, part Bonny and part Efik. Born in Lagos she grew up in Kaduna, Lagos and Onitsha. Aisha works in Banking. I'm so thankful to both of them for sharing their experience and their gorgeous photos! As usual, I bring you all the scoop. Enjoy! 

East meets West || Our Traditional 'Igba Nkwu' Wedding Ceremony!

It's our three year 'Tradiversary' today!  That's new lingua for the anniversary of our traditional wedding ceremony. Time really does fly. I remember how we said we'd make a picture album of our traditional wedding photos shortly after the wedding. 3 years in and we still have no physical album. tsk tsk. Thank goodness for soft copy photos

I can't believe it's been three years. It seems just like yesterday I was debating what outfits to wear for the ceremony. While doing some cleaning over the weekend, I stumbled on the first outfit I wore on the day, and I realised I hadn't worn it again since that time. 

As I haven't really shared photos, about the traditional ceremony as I have with the church wedding, I thought it's a good time to do so. Looking at the photos, I can see how much Tee and I seem to have changed! We look so young. More of Tee than me actually. I must be doing such a great job! Anyway, we're thankful for growth and all of God's graces. 

The Wedding Party Movie + 4 Things to Note When Planning an Inter-Ethnic Nigerian Wedding

So I promised to write a post on the rather box office breaking Nigerian movie "The Wedding Party". Not because I'm a movie critic, but because the subject was one quite close to my heart and I could relate with a few of the experiences.

You probably can tell already that the subject is Inter-Ethnic marriages and initially when I started blogging, I thought that's what my entire blog would be about. Not close, but at least I have a dedicated section for that - Inter-Ethnic Love Stories

So this movie, was about Dunni Coker and Dozie Onwuka's wedding and all the intricacies surrounding the wedding. Of interest to me, was the fact that Dunni was Yoruba and Dozie was Igbo. So this was an inter-ethnic Wedding. 

It reminded me of some of the issues that are likely to come even when planning such wedding and how it could potentially cause conflict! So using my experience as well, let me share some of what I noticed.

Nigerian Inter-Ethnic Love Stories || Heart Breaking Stories of Broken Relationships, Mistrust & Bias

You probably know by now that Nigeria's diverse ethnicity intrigues me. Just recently I was having a chat with Tee and we wondered what the different cultures and ethnic groups would have been like, had there been no alamalgation and creation of the country Nigeria. Our cultures are so different, yet so similar! I remember back in high school, marvelling at the fact that one word could have the same meaning across several Nigerian languages. These days, I often see more of a fusion.

Despite these vast differences, when people genuinely look past it and form genuine friendships or relationships, I think it's worth applauding. And when it's a relationship or marriage, I think such parties deserve a double round of applause.

So while I wish that could be the case, I'm obviously not naive. A lot of relationships have failed because of the difference in culture. Perhaps more have failed than succeeded. But does it have to be this way? Are there lessons to learn?

Three people have agreed to share their stories anonymously. I hope it challenges us to free ourselves (as much as possible) and be more open to tolerance for one another! Love doesn't and shouldn't come in a box. 

Enjoy!

7 Hilarious Questions Couples Think of at Their Wedding!

One of my best friends got married this past weekend, and it was so sad that I couldn't make it. Life really just happens you know. Four of us met in University about 12 years ago, and lived together for 2 years during our penultimate & final years of our LL.B degree.

We'd shop together, sometimes wear each other's clothes and often shoes. 3 out of 4 of us could roughy squeeze into a size 6 (UK) pair of shoes - although just one person (me) was an actual 6. The other taller than me was a 7 and the other shorter than me was a 5.5. But as young broke students, we made it work. The last person? no luck... she was a UK size 9 and often had shoe issues. Even at my wedding, her shoes were a struggle to find and didn't quite fit. (All my girls wore the same shoes which I loved! - Photo here). 

We're planning a girl's trip soon and we hope it works because the last time we were together was at my wedding. We naturally thought it'll happen that way for all the other three weddings. But when the size 9 friend got married 2 years ago, life had happened and only one of us could make it. Me the size 6, was already married, adjusting to my new UK lifestyle and couldn't make it for the wedding. The size 7 was somewhere in the land of the free trying to bag a masters degree and see if there was really anything such as the American dream.

Anyway, it was the shortest of us all - the size 5.5 that got married this past weekend. 

Relationship on a Budget: 10 Do-able & Fun-at-Home Ideas (without spending any Money)

I love speaking to myself - often imagining I have my own TV show. Being married sort of means I have to turn that down a notch lest someone begins to wonder if I'm okay. But I don't think I'm alone in this. I recently read a thread where a woman said her husband walked in on her speaking loudly and pretending like she was on her own show with a full audience. He was slightly confused. A lot of other women responded saying they did the same as well!

Anyway, yesterday while getting set for work in the morning, I had one of those talk-to myself moments as I said "I'm going to be so frugal in these coming weeks". I thought it was a slight whisper, but I must have been pretty audible because from across the room, Tee responded, "Me too!"

In my mind, I'm thinking "how weird that we're planning to be fugal as we approach February - the supposed month of romance, love and lavish gifting"

5 Categories of Money Questions to Ask While Dating (& even if you're Married!)

I absolutely love talking about money and I'm incredibly money conscious. Sometimes for good, sometimes well, for not so good. I probably know how much is in my bank account at every given time. I over analyse before making purchases - and if I didn't analyse way too much before swiping my card, I definitely analyse after, wondering if the new shoes were such a good deal or if i really had to eat at that restaurant. I like to account for every single penny. I've been known to cry in the past, when I couldn't account for how I spent  N200 say out of N10,000 or when I forgot to take my £10 note out of the cash machine. 

But much more than taking about personal money, I love talking about money with Tee. How much do we have?

His & Hers: Our Christmas Wishlists!

A couple of weeks ago, Tee and I had lunch in a pretty cozy Thai restaurant In London. Even though I work in the capital city, we live outside of it. So when he happens to be in the area we try to meet up for food or drinks. On this occasion I said to him "come over and let me buy you lunch"! He was pretty starving, so jumped at the offer - which was quite generous on my part don't you think? Especially as I had free lunch at work that day.

Okay, back to wish lists.

During lunch (my chicken curry had way too many stripes of ginger)  he asked what was on my Christmas wish list and I realised I wasn't quite sure what I wanted. Particularly because he wasn't exactly offering a blank cheque to me.