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Funmi Iyanda
Lagos, Nigeria
Funmi Iyanda is a multi award-winning producer and broadcast journalist. She is the CEO of Ignite Media and Executive Director of Creation Television
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Friday, May 02, 2008

Great Experience

In the spirit of worker's day, FI has agreed to let me post my colleague Seki's gushing account of her experience in Minna during Aishat Babangida's wedding. Clearly Seki was bowled over, on our part we are excitedly preparing for our first new dawner's wedding tomorrow. This will also be my last post at this time and end to my 15 days of fame as FI returns to the driver's seat on Monday.
Have a great weekend.

The first time I heard her voice, I was shocked, it was like a soothing balm, and she was actually inviting FI (my boss) and my pint sized self to her second wedding, I actually wanted to invite her on the show but condition was coming for her wedding first, which we agreed with, and she kept going on about FI coming, (she loves and respect FI to the T.) but unfortunately FI couldn't make it, she went to South Africa for her Desmond Tutu Fellowship Award .
So it fell on my tiny shoulder to attend, and off I went to Minna, Boarded an aero contractor flight and nearly met my maker that day and with so many dignitaries on board, and I started praying like the devil was pursuing me, virtually every one on the plane was praying too, with cries of Jesus, Allahu Akbar renting the air, my life didn't flash before me like people would say. I was just thinking of how my body will be dismembered, and without proper burial. But thank God the 33 thousand feet above sea level altitude, let go of the 31 thousand feet above sea level altitude so explained the pilot.

Got to Abuja in one piece, then Minna in another one piece, but I noticed that all the way from the airport to the villa the road was tarred, I mean no portholes, unlike the road to Ota, I mean the man left power about 15 years, the road is not new, but it was well built.
Saying the villa is awesome is an understatement albeit outdated now, just that you can go everywhere with the camera, due to overzealous security officials. We were ushered into a big family living room with Pictures of the Babangidas pasted everywhere. Then I met Aisha, she saw me and Exclaimed "You are Sakeenah" in that northern but sophisticated way. She embraced me, asked after FI.
What really baffled me is her humble and friendly nature. She welcomed everybody one by one, with her IBB smile (gap toothed smile) then her lady Hajara took over, taking us to the hotel to freshen up for the first event, Mother's Day, which all the mothers in the north in attendance, including the at large Iyabo Obasanjo.

Mother's Night
We were taken from the hotel to the venue of the event, it's the compound of her mothers school, Al- Amin International school, Ai, as she is called by her siblings and close friends, was stunning in her iro and buba green lace, her mother looked heavenly in her skirt and blouse made of green lace and chiffon.
There were so many dignitaries, white, black, brown, mullato. And then the Nigerian celebrities were not left out. There were different cultural displays from Minna and also Zamfara states.
Then come the advices from the mothers, Hajia titi Atiku, Hajia Fati Abubakar, (I love her advice) most, then The Overall Iyale Of the Shinkafis, who was so happy to have Aisha as her younger mate, she prayed and then cursed detractors. All in all I enjoyed the night and we got back to the hotel chauffer driven.

The wedding Fathia Proper
There was segregation, I mean the men were sitting outside while the women sat inside but we were able to hear the wedding proceeding with the aid of the microphone, Aisha's wedding skirt and blouse was simple but mind blowing, not as awesome as her first wedding gown, which is still talked about till now. Dr Mariam Babangida wore a white gown that made her look angelic and IBB wore white brocade Agbada with his smile on his face. The proceedings were mostly in Hausa Language. But the women were making necessary sounds from time to time, all of a sudden gave a nasal scream that hausa thing (hudawa) which means Aisha has become a wife. And the shout of Amaria rented the air, I almost jumped out of my skin.

Then the wedding reception couldn't take place immediately because the Men had to go for Jumat service. So we waited.
The reception was a bit like the mothers night, with cultural displays only this time IBB was present briefly, the Husband wasn't.

The Depature the following day.
Over a hundred women went with Aisha to Gusau, in Zamfara State, Aunties, sister, cousins, and friends. They filled up 2 planes. To be received by the senior wives of the Governor.
Yeah Aisha left for Gusau to start a new life and I came back to Lagos, to continue my journalistic life.


QMoney said...

Waoh!!!!i wish her a happy married life oh.hope they told her dat "2nd term is allowed but no 3rd term ooh"
dats a joke i heard obasanjo told Ali baba!!LOL

Anonymous said...

Hausa wedding are ususally very grand and elaborate. I'm sure you had fun.

Anonymous said...

Changing husbands like clothes and inviting the whole world to boot! Hope you don't get invited a 3rd time---

Hair Azara said...

wow. some people really do enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Aishat!

Na wa for people sha.

Who are we to judge people. She can marry as many times as she chooses.

I pray she finds true happiness second time around though.

It's comments made by ignorant people that make women stay in intolerable, heartbreaking and even violent marriages.

We all know that we all seek true love and happiness. True happiness is doing what YOU want to do and not what PEOPLE want you to do.

Even if you mess up on your choice, it won't hurt half as much as the one you choose to please others.

Adora, London

Zahra said...

Her name is Aishat and not Aisha... Dont yorubanise it people!

Anonymous said...

@Adora, i second that, true talk.

Anonymous said...

I have nothing against the Babangida kids. I dont know enough of them to have a view of their marriages and re-marriages. It is their father that I have issues with.

Apparently, she was abused in her last marriage. Maybe it is true or maybe it is not. If it is true, I hope one day she will tell her story and how she walked out of it. Maybe other women will find that empowering. Keep up the good work!

Austin O said...

I rather would not make any comment regarding the couple. But i wish i was there to enjoy and experience such a grand wedding with all the trimmings and splendorous cultural displays.
Any tourist and lover of peoples of this God's world and their different cultures and tradition would have had a "Great Experience".

Anonymous said...

Aishat is in a second marriage, good for her, she has proved a lesson that you do not have to tolerate an abusive relationship nor pretend to be happy just to please people.

Aishat, I celebrate your honesty.

Anonymous said...

exactly! we all pray for a wonderful first marriage but if it doesn't turn out as planned. then you dont have to suffer in silence because u want to please people. let them talk. they wish they could make decisions like her.

Anonymous said...

after her father stealing all of Nigeria's money and we have children going hungry everyday...why are Nigerians so stupid???

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that Mr. Babangida and his wife could afford to give such a wonderful wedding to their daughter using the money they stole from Nigeria.

Anonymous said...

IWe are happy for Aisha and hope this marriage fares better than her last attempt.