THE DRAMATIC TRADITIONAL WEDDING I ATTENDED



The story you're about to read is my true life wedding experience last month. Though we all dream of a perfect wedding but are there really perfect weddings? I'm going to tell you how it all happened. Simply sit back, relax, with a cold cup of tea in your hand and enjoy!😙😙😙

PLANNING THE WEDDING

I was on my bed, chatting and at the same time, scrolling through the profile pictures of my whatsapp contacts when I stumbled on the DP (display picture) of one of my friends, Yemi (not real name). She was posing with a guy in a very affectionate and intimate manner - a very good kind of pre - wedding shoot. I messaged her,

'Bae, how far? Are you getting married ni?'

She replied, 'Yes dear'

Astonished, I replied, 'Ahan. And you no even tell person'

She went on and on about how she's sorry for not telling me and I even borrowed her an excuse that it might be as a result of we not talking for a while that might have led to it. To cut the story short, we started planning. She was to arrive Ibadan from Lagos on the 17th of September and I promised to join her in planning. Whilst planning online, I started asking her,

'Do you have a bridesmaid? I could be your bridesmaid o'

'Oh sorry. I have already', she said

'Okay. It's no problem. What about your flower girls or what do they call them now?'

'Coventry?', she inputed

'Exactly', I concurred

'You can join but you will have to buy the uniform. It's just N7,000'

'Oh. Wow. It's not so much but you know if you had told me earlier, I would have planned for it. Well sha, I will get back to you on it', I told her making sure not to promise.

Days went by and she started reminding me of the N7000. When it was almost close to the D - day, I messaged her and told her that I wouldn't be able to afford it because I couldn't get the money I was expecting. However, I promised to help in other ways.

'No problem', she said

'Do you have an event planner already?', I asked

'Yes I have', she replied

'Alaga Iduro and Ijoko nko?'

'Yes I have'

'Well', I chipped in. 'I'm asking because one of my friend is a very good Alaga iduro and he's quite affordable. He's also an event planner', I told her

'Oh. I wouldn't mind him doing it instead. Like how much does he charge for the Alaga Iduro job?', she enquired

'I'll get back to you', I said and went on to chat my friend up. Marcus (not his real name) told me his pay would be N10,000 and I related it to Yemi.

'Please can't he collect N7000', she begged me

'Aha, N7000 ke. That's not much o. He would do a lot that day na', I explained to her

'Hmm. Please just help me beg him and talk to him. Please. That's all I can afford', she pleaded.

I went back to discuss with Marcus.

'Guy, abeg help her collect N7K. It be like say dem dey cut cost for the wedding', I told him

'N7K ke. That one na chicken change. In fact, na because say she be from you na him I call N10K. My work is not that cheap on a normal day na', he said

'Marcus, biko. Just help her do it like that. Abeg. Marus! Marcus! My guy wey sure!', I tried praising him to see if he would change his mind.

'Hmm. I don hear sha. But I go collect half first o and na because say na you sha', he finally agreed.

Yemi paid him half of the money. Her Alaga iduro was settled. Meanwhile, I had paid a tailor to sew a simple gown for me for the white wedding event but I would wear an english red gown for the traditional wedding. Before then, Yemi messaged me and told me she was feeling down due to the wedding planning.

'It is well dear. Just try and rest. It will pass', I told her

Again, Marcus told me to ask her if she still needs an event planner because he plans events.

'Like how much will he collect?', she asked me when I told her

'Like how much can you afford?', I asked her

'N60K for both the traditional and white wedding', she said

'GODFORBID!', Marcus screamed when I relayed the message to him. 'It's better she gives the contract to someone else. How will I decorate and plan the two events for just N60K. Se o rope mo fe wa sere ni? (Do you think I want to play ni?)', he blurted

'Allrice', I jested.

Days later, we talked about photography and videography.

'My friend said he would collect N150K for the two events', I told her

'Can't he collect like N40K?', she pleaded

'Never! Wait, are you joking ni?', the photographer laughed. 'N40K for what?'

'Ahan', I blurted. 'Is it not just ordinary video and photo. Something that I can use my phone sef'

'LMAO. Ehn, kuku use your phone then. It will be better. I don't do cheap work. Lightening, cameras...'

'There will be light in the hall or I can on torch light for you instead', I joked in a bid to convince him.

'Lol. You're a joker. Find someone else', the photographer said

'The guy no gree o', I told my friend

'It is well', she said

THE TRADITIONAL WEDDING

GATE CRASHING A BURIAL

The traditional wedding was to start by 2pm. After dressing up, I waited for my friend at Tunik Yoghurt Parlour at the University main gate. After taking some nice pictures and waiting for a while, he finally arrived, all dressed handsomely.

'You just dey fresh anyhow', I teased him as we went.

We boarded a keke napep straight to Agbowo Express and from there, took a cab straight to Brewery road. Marcus came with two other people - an elderly man and a small boy, the man's son. They were to drum during the event. Getting to brewery, we took a bike to the main venue - I and marcus on one bike and the drummer and his son on the second bike.

It was around 1:15pm when we arrived the venue. There were a few people there and the only sign that a wedding was about to hold were the people decorating the bride and groom area. The canopies were just coming up.

'Uh! And I thought we were late sef', I muttered

'Late ke. No be Nigeria we dey?', Marcus said

After resting for a few minutes, Marcus blurted out,

'I'm hungry. Make we go gate crash that party wey dey the other side'

'Lol. No shaking na', I said to him and we all carried our hungry selves to a party that was holding quite adjacent to where the wedding was to hold.

'Just do like say you be among them.', Marcus told us.

Majestically, we walked in and started strategizing on the best place to sit. We needed to be sure food would be served there first since that was our main aim. We firstly sat behind some people.

'Na burial event be this sha', marcus said, on spotting the pamphlet being shared of an aged old man.

We sat for a while and soon spotted food being shared at the opposite canopy.

'Make I go check if space dey there. If space dey, I go wave, una go come over', Marcus said and went to secure some seats for us at the other side. After getting some empty seats, he waved and we went over to meet him.

'Enikan wa m bi o(Someone is here)', a Muslim man told me when I wanted to sit down on one of the chairs.

'Ehn, a ma to lo. A ni pe.(We will soon be going. We won't stay for long', Marcus told him.

Funny enough, the exact place we left was where food was served next. After 20 minutes, some ladies came to meet us.

'Ki le fe je? Se amala, semo abi rice? (What do you want to eat? Is it amala, semo or rice?', she asked

'Rice is okay for me', I told her

'E fun mi amala (Give me amala)', marcus said

'Ati awa naa (And we too), the drummer man said.

Another lady came with a tray. There where three plates filled with Jollof and Fried rice and big meats. She served the Muslim man first. Then, I signaled to her to serve me too which she did. The drummer man collected the last plate for his son while he and Marcus awaited the other lady for Amala. We soon finished eating our own rice. At first, I wanted to eat the big meat with my spoon but not minding whoever was watching, I used my hand. Nobody sends anybody in the first place, I told myself.

Another lady arrived with plates of Semo. The Amala girl was yet to arrive.

'It's better you guys eat semo. Remember time is going and we have to return back to the wedding venue', I told them

'They wouldn't have started by now', Marcus said

'It's not possible. This is after 2pm na and the time is for 2pm'

'Okay. Let's see', he said and collected the semo as well as the drummer man.

Within a few minutes, the drummer guy finished his semo and egusi while Marcus ate only the meat, saying he didn't want to be too filled because of the work he will do at the wedding.

ALAGA WAHALA



We returned back to the wedding venue only to meet it as we left it. The only difference was that the canopies were up and the decoration was already taking shape.

'See how they decorated the place. That's what you get for paying N60K', Marcus commented.

I found a place to sit while Marcus went to change. Soon, I decided to go greet the bride as people were beginning to come in. I was allowed into the guest house. Marcus followed me. Yemi came out soon.

'Emete! I've missed you!', she said as we hugged

She looked very natural and pretty. She told us that after now, she won't come out till the real wedding because she wants to bath and do her makeup. As we were leaving, Marcus informed me that his 'omo ise(Worker)', fumbled and won't be coming. So, I'll have to take up her job.

'What will I be doing? I've never done it before', I told him

'I'll explain it to you. Your own is to pack money. I and the other alaga will be calling different things. I will give you a basket and once I call 'secretary', you will bring the basket so that they can put money. Make sure no one cheats you and you have to be very smart and sharp', he told me

'Aha okay o. You know I've never done it before sha', I said as we returned to the venue.

On getting there, the stage was set for the wedding to begin. The other Alaga was around and she exchanged pleasantries with Marcus.

'The way I'm seeing this Alaga, ehn, they would want to cheat you', Marcus whispered to me. 'Just be smart and sharp and watch them closely. If you see them pocketing any money, just tell me'

The traditional wedding finally started around 4:26pm. The female Alaga and Marcus, the alaga of the bride side mounted the dirty podium. Initially, I wondered why they didn't sweep the rug they spread but what wasn my business any way? The two alagas started singing songs to start the program and they danced with all their might.

Meanwhile, the other alaga's brother stood by me whilst chewing gum and looking like a tout.

'How far?', I greeted him

'I dey', he replied me

'Sebi you are the alaga's boy', I asked

'Ehn', he replied

'Abeg, I've never done this job before. This is my first time and I don't really even understand Yoruba deeply like that. So, when you want to do stuff, just tell me or signal to me'

'Hehehe', the guy laughed. 'Ehn no wahala na. We go do am together', he said

WHERE IS THE GROOM AND THE BRIDE?

It was soon time for the groom to dance in with his friends. The female alaga danced heavily as she called in the groom but no one showed up. We all assumed it was a normal short delay to surprise us but after 20 minutes and the groom hadn't showed up, we realized that something was wrong. Actually, nothing was wrong. It was just lack of preparation and misplacement of priority.

 'E joor. Time ti n lo o. Groom da? E jowo, e bota o(Please. Time is going. Where is the groom? Please, come out o', the two alagas pleaded.

Meanwhile, Marcus had given me signal to be ready to present the basket for money dropping. About 5 minutes later, the groom finally came out from the hotel, all dressed up radiantly and dancing gorgeously. I and the alaga boy picked race to the front of the groom to drop the basket for money. No be small thing. Lol.

'Ehn, we have to thank God for keeping us alive to see this day. Abi beeko? (Or isn't it true?', the female alaga asked

'Beeni o(yes o)', they all chorused

'That's why I just want to say, baba o, eseeeeeeee, I just want to say, baba o, ese!' she bursted out singing and shaking her big body rigorously. 'Now, you will have to thank God by dropping money. Let God know that you're indeed grateful'

The groom brought out some fresh N50 notes and dropped it into our baskets and I picked them up. Marcus had told me earlier that I was the one to collate the entire money. Then, we would share everything at the end of the event. I poured everything into a nylon. The groom didn't take two steps when the alaga stopped him again for another round of money dropping. The alagas collected money from him at least 8 times before he danced into the main venue.

On getting to the main venue, he was stopped again for another money collection.

'Are you happy?', the female alaga asked

'Yes', the groom replied

'That is why you have to thank Yemi's parents for giving you their daughter. It is not easy to train a child. After the entire training, they are finally handing her over to you. You have to drop money to thank them'

I and the alaga boy went to drop the basket in front of him again. When he had put in money, I started packing them plus the ones that fell on the ground.

The alagas collected money from him like 5 more times before it was time for he and his friends to prostrate in front of Yemi's parents. Meanwhile, people were already coming to change money from me. Marcus approached me.

'Be smart. Don't just change money for anyone and don't let that distract you. Focus on packing the money. If you must change money, let it be N50 you give them and not N20 because it is that same N20 they will put back and we won't make enough money'

When he told me, I soon saw the alaga boy pocketing some money. I wanted to challenge him but I knew he would deny it. I told Marcus about it and he was angry I allowed it happen under my nose.

'Sebi I told you to watch them', he said

It was soon time for the bride to come in. The alagas danced and danced and sweat and sweat under the sun but the bride was no where to be found. Perhaps, she was still doing her makeup or dressing up. No one knew. After about 40 minutes, she showed up with her ladies, dressed all glamorous and looking very beautiful. The alagas rushed to meet her at the hotel's gate, urging her to drop money as usual.

MONEY SUCKING, GOLD DIGGING ALAGAS

If there was one thing that contributed to spoiling the entire wedding, it has to be the selfish interest of the alagas. This is the first time I will be attending a wedding that so much money would be collected simultaneously from people by the alagas for something that doesn't make sense. For the air they even breath, the alaga could demand they pay money.

The bride and groom were sitted already as well as their parents. The alagas had sucked all the money from the bride and groom's parents to the extent that they were all tired. When they were all seated, the two alagas continued their dancing and faced each parent, asking them if they were happy about the occasion and that they should drop money as well as from everyone that that came with them.

It was around 6:37pm and the bride's father stood up to the alagas.

'Did we come here to drop money or for wedding? No one is dropping any money again!', he said and sat down angrily.

Caring less, the alagas continued their selfish deeds. I was already distracted changing money for all and sundry. I had become a money changer all of a sudden as people looked at me with bad eyes when I told them that there was no change. Meanwhile, the alaga boy carried one of the microphones and started singing rubbish and shaking like someone that just drank one crate of beer. I shook my head at his stupidity and continued changing money while using one eye to monitor him to be sure he wasn't pocketing any money.

Soon, a well dressed fat lady stood up from the audience and angrily blurted,

'Please what's all these? Bring this, bring that? Is that why we are here? No one is dropping any money again! Kilode gan! (What is it?)', the lady said and people concurred.

FAKE ALAGA, REAL ALAGA

Unknown to me, the female alaga who had been working since the beginning of the program was absolutely fake. She was just a musician and the real alaga came on board to continue the event. I clapped my hand at the drama. Marcus simply shook his head as they tried to push him aside because he was younger. Soon, the audience only wanted to hear from the real alaga and not from marcus or the fake alaga.

The real alaga continued the money drilling and said it was needed. At some point, some other girls came with nylon to pack some money sprayed on the bride. I wanted to pack too when the fake alaga boy stopped me.

'No pack am o. That one is for the bride. You wan make them bite you say you want pack their money abi', he laughed and I left them.

Soon, when other things were called and money was dropped, other people came to claim ownership of the money

COMMOTION OVER FOOD

Food was already being served and everywhere was getting dark. However, the way the food was served didn't go well with some people who perhaps hadn't eaten since morning. A man was almost blowing the eye of the server because she hadn't served him. Two other men started a fight exactly beside where the bride and groom where sitting to the dismay of the sad bride. We tried to calm them down. When we thought all was well, the real alaga entered into a fight with one of the female servers saying she was spoken to anyhow and she couldn't take it.

Caring less about the program, they exchanged insults and we all had to beg the real alaga to calm down at least for the event of the wedding.

GROOM DISAPPEARS, BRIDE FEELING SAD

The whole food commotion made the event come to a stand still as no one knew the next thing to do or say. The next time I looked at the bride and groom's chair, the groom was no where to be found. He had left already, perhaps, angrily or had something else to do. My friend, yemi, sat on the chair, all sad and broken hearted. I felt so bad for her. I had to meet her to assure her that it was all normal and everything will be fine.

NO CAKE CUTTING, DISAPPOINTED BRIDE'S  FATHER

The next thing was the bride's father screaming at Marcus for not organizing the cutting of the cake. It was a Muslim family and so the Quran was on the cake. Yemi had stood up already and her father approached her,

'Can you see the way your alaga fucked you up? All they wanted is money money and money and he hasn't cut that cake', the father said

Yemi approached me. 'Please tell Marcus to cut the Quran and keep the remaining cake', she said and left while I went to meet Marcus.

'Marcus', I called. 'Yemi's dad isn't happy o. He said you fucked her up and you haven't cut the cake'

'The man no dey alright ni. Shey I resemble caterer wey I go dey cut cake', Marcus said angrily

'Ahan. Don't say that. Sha help her cut the cake', I begged

He got a knife and started cutting the cake and murmuring. I collected the knife, cut the rest and helped to share it round

NO END, MONEY SHARING

This is the first traditional wedding I would attend that wouldn't have an end. We all saw it start but no one knew how it ended as everyone was shouting at the other person while the bride and groom disappeared into different routes. Marcus collected the nylon from me. It was time to share the money. The fake alaga who had changed to trouser and polo approached him for them to share it together but he refused and waited for the real alaga to come. They entered one of the classrooms of the school where we  did the wedding and shared it. The total money was N13,000. Marcus was more than angry with me because he saw it as very small and he believed I was cheated.

The fake alaga and her boy took N5000. The real alaga took N3000. Marcus took N5000. He paid the drummer and his son N4000 and then, brought out N2000 from his own money. He was left with N3000 which was the balance he got from Yemi. It was such a sad day for Marcus.

'They cheated you', he said sadly.

'But the money is much na. You guys really sucked these people off so much money', I said

'Much ke? On one wedding I did alaga, I saw N25,000 just from packing. They cheated you. I told you to be smart and not get distracted by changing money. Besides, these groom and bride plus their family are too stingy sef. They didn't drop better money. Dropping N20 and N50. Mtchew', he hissed and left

SAD BRIDE, STOLEN CHARGER, NO FOOD, SAD ME

After Marcus had collected his balance from Yemi, I went to greet her myself. She sat on a chair. Her gele was off. She looked like a shadow of herself - sad and disappointed. Some elderly women where there assuring her that it was all normal and the white wedding would be perfect.

'Yemi', I said as I entered. 'You look worried'

'The wedding didn't go as I planned. Everything was somehow', she said almost as if she would cry any moment

'It is well. That's the way weddings are. We should thank God it all ended well. And again, the alagas contributed. All they wanted was money', I told her

'Exactly. It's not right'

I consoled her, hugged her, assured her and went my way. Getting back to the venue, I started looking for Marcus. It was very dark now and everyone was leaving. Those from Ekiti and other states had enetered their buses to leave. About two people from the Ekiti bus were missing and the driver was in a haste to leave. I soon found marcus who was looking for his phone charger. The sound guys had carried it away and it was all my fault. I used it to charge my phone. I removed my phone and forgot to remove his charger. He was almost crying especially because it was a very original charger.

I went back to meet the other alagas who were sharing moin - moin.

'Food nko?', I asked and they all burst into laughter

'Food kor, food ni. No food. we even saw moin moin to share sef. Food don finish since', they told me

I didn't know if to cry or not. I felt very sad. After all the work, no food to crown it up. I sighted the tray of cake. The alaga boy and eaten the rest of the cake. Icing was the only thing left. I fed on the cake icing like my life depended on it till Marcus called for us to leave.

THE END

The most important thing is that the Bride and Groom were solemnized. They might not have had the best pf weddings but they achieved their main aim. The major problem was the selfishness of the alagas and the lack of an informed planning. No matter how much we plan for something, sometimes, things don't go as planned. Every girl dreams of a perfect fairy-tale wedding but are there really any perfect weddings?


EMETE

2 comments:

  1. Wao. What a wedding! It seemed like fun too. I like that you wrote about it so that we could see some of what constitute problems at the ceremony. Most of these alagas are very hungry and selfish. Nice write up

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