'Di Na Nwunye Obodo Oyibo'

by SOC Okenwa

Carnal relationships around the world between men and women (which sometimes lead to marriage) have intrigues, mendacity, honesty and outright wickedness and exploitation woven around them. Depending on the compatibility or otherwise of love birds the emotion and twists and turns connected with the expression and demonstration of ‘amour’ go beyond the immediate comprehension and satisfactory dominion of the mortal man.

Love, the true or false version of it, has made the life of many a happy experience while others on the wrong ends of the divide life has been turned into a nightmare. Love especially when it is not the true version has led many to their graves; victims are made daily out of the desire to belong to the big love tree.

Di Na Nwunye Obodo Oyibo (Foreign Husbands and Wives) is still in vogue. The phenomenon is rather growing making and breaking homes. In Nigeria as elsewhere in Africa the trend is assuming a life of its own: girls waiting on their ‘fianceés’ based abroad, boys waiting on their babes abroad. In most cases this long waits end up producing negative results, heartaches and heartbreaks that associate with love gone awry.

From Paris, France, in 2005 I remember calling my mother in Nigeria and informing her that I had found a ‘wife’, a white French lady I was in love with then. My mother reacted surprisingly negatively giving her reasons for her opposition to any such union made in abroad. Mama Akuehute reasoned that apart from the language barrier and colour she was against any marriage outside my roots. She cited two cases in my village: Ndu and Uche to buttress her point. Besides she detests the idea of her black son giving birth to a child almost eighty percent non-black, pigmentation wise!

Ndu went to Germany over ten years ago after finishing his college education. The last offspring of his polygamous family the mother prevailed on his elder brother to send him to Europe because Ndu was a terror to the family. Ndu’s mother loved the boy so much that nothing he asked from the old woman which she could afford that was never his for the asking. The relationship between mother and son was very deep as in any case of a loving mother and her loving son.

Having settled down Ndu perhaps in search of the elusive ‘green card’ had to marry a German lady and they have been blessed with two kids. When I went home December 2004 I learnt Ndu’s mother had passed away; she died agonizing over Celestine’s failure to return home after ten years living and working in Germany. On December 30th I assisted in the mother’s burial in the village without Ndu in attendance. Ndu’s elder brother in Lagos gave incoherent reasons for his absence setting tongues wagging in the village. But according to what I had gathered Ndu decided to shun his mother’s burial in order not to lose his German resident permit. Though he cried on phone when I spoke with him from the village I could understand his frustration over the fact that the cars and cash he wired home from base had been squandered by his elder brother.

Uche went to Germany few years after Ndu. He ‘fell’ in love with a Benin-born lady who has been coming home while Uche stayed behind. Though Uche has really developed his family, building houses and connecting electricity and digging borehole his ‘marriage’ with the Benin babe was done and consumated without two of them participating physically. Ndu’s parents had to travel to Benin to locate the girl’s home and pay her dowry! Pictures and video clip of the marriage were later dispatched to them in Germany. Representative suitor-absentee marriage like this is something my mother never liked and she told me without mincing words.

My mother made it clear that she does not want to see this kind of scenario happening to me. And because of my love for her I towed the line and quickly dropped the idea of the international marriage but I had told my mom that marrying from home is outside the question. Today I believe mom is happy with my decision to settle for an Ivorian wife even though she and my wife played language drama in the village. My mother understands and speaks only Igbo language and my wife does not understand Igbo though she speaks English. So you can then imagine the burden of the two women turning me into an interpreter whenever we visit home.

Here in Abidjan a romantic interesting tale was told recently on the TV programme “Tonnerre” involving an American resident here and one super-model cum artist Fely. Fely, a very pretty high-flying babe ‘married’ Doug after their chance meeting in an organized show-biz event. The marriage was blessed with a girl-child. Fely and Doug were having great time until Fely’s half sister came into the picture. Fely’s mother introduced a young girl to Fely as her sister, a child she had before she married Fely’s father. According to the pretty Fely herself who told her own side of the abominable story (before Doug was equally hooked on for his version of events leading up to the break-up of the marriage) she travelled to the US and her supposed sister visited her matrimonial home in her absence. While there to ‘salute’ Doug she seduced the American and before one could spell ‘morality’ they were ‘fucking’ hell out of each other.

Doug narrated how he was ‘hypnotised’ diabolically when Fely’s sister and mother took him to a village and pretended they had wanted to protect him from witchcraft and other evil attacks from his enemies — something that would guarantee him security in life and everything he did. Now that the ‘juju’ has cleared from his eyes and ears he wanted Fely to come back home matrimonially but Fely was giving some conditions before re-unification could ever be possible. Meanwhile the sister at the center of the scandal is now in the States having been taken there by Doug.

Edith is an Ivorian girl who was dating a Spanish sailor, a captain of a Spanish ship company that came often to Abidjan to deliver goods and services. And Micky is a Liberian who was deported from Dubai after a fraud-related offences. Edith and Micky had a kid out of their relationship, they were living together in the same apartment and whenever the Spanish was in town Edith abandoned home for hotel to keep his foreign husband company. In one of such romantic meetings in a five-star hotel (having pre-planned the final plot against the unsuspecting white man) Edith drugged the Spaniard late in the night after rounding off bouts of sexual intercourse with her. As the white man lay ‘dead’ on the bed Edith swung into action stealing his 12 million FCFA and bolting away with it locking up the man in the hotel suite and walking away with the keys! In the evening when the substance’s effect had faded the divorcee-Spaniard raised alarm that attracted the hotel management who broke down the d

oor of his suite to ‘free’ him from ‘captivity’.

The Spaniard so ‘freed’ went to the police and even advertised the theft in some national newspapers but Edith and Micky had bolted away to Ghana from where Micky found his way once again to Dubai. Edith settled down in Tema town quietly enjoying herself often sneaking back to Abidjan to visit her daughter. In the end the Spanish sailor after the initial shock and disbelief took vacation and went back home to lick the ‘wounds’ of his loss both financially and romantically. Micky has since played Edith a fast one taking a new wife in Dubai who answered Edith’s call whenever she wanted to speak to Micky. The Spaniard has now married another Ivorian girl and bought a villa downtown where they live happily. As of today Edith is now broke having squandered the stolen millions and she is reportedly doing prostitution in Tema looking out for another White victim!

Louis who returned home years back with a Greek lady had his wife to contend with as the local wife gave them hell. She insisted on three of them sleeping in the same bed! The Greek understood she was used and left Nigeria soon after threatening to expose Louis in Greece but Louis cleverly avoided such scenario; he never went back to Athens; he went rather to Spain. He escaped the wrath of the Greek lady waiting to inflict a memorable revenge.

We have seen men who left their wives to travel overseas for greener pastures only to ‘forget’ them whenever the good life and good returns overpower their reasoning power. You see them re-marrying whites or in the case of ladies white men with money to spend corner their loves and end up putting them in a family way. Some white men divorce their wives at home when they discover the African beauty or ‘charmed’ out of their wits. Marriage with the aid of ‘juju’ is phenomenal indeed!

Di Na Nwunye Obodo Oyibo ‘na wa oh’!, Foreign husbands and wives I bow and tremble oh!!

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tunne August 9, 2007 - 11:44 am

pls there is no basis for comparision btw mother and wife….Yr mother will never leave u nor forsake you. Yr so called better half can!

Anonymous July 29, 2007 - 6:52 pm

Then if there is no such thing as an ex-mom, why could you not have stayed with your lover, knowing that your family would be there for you regardless.

Godwin Kwushue July 24, 2007 - 2:00 pm

This thing is just practical, have you seen a man or woman who will remain married to a spouse with mental problem? as far as your spouse is concerned you have outlived your importance

Your relative will not give up on you, they will take you to the end of the earth to make sure you are restored to sanity and good health. You will still remain their son and brother, they will be offended if anybody should maltreat you because your mental state but your so called for better for worse partner, who has pretended all along to be 'one' with you would have moved to someone elses bed.

Some people abandoned their safety net {family} on account of this phrase and when situation that they can not handle confronts them as a result of their marrying or 'joined' so to speak with a monster of a husband or wife they become overwhelmed and alone

People should always endeavour to be pragmatic. I have always told friends this, your wife and husband may go but you mother and father will remain till death

I agree with you Patricia

mrskenna July 24, 2007 - 1:51 pm

Patricia, you are right about a man cleaving to his wife….of course, no man wants to hear that. No one wants a mama's boy. The bible is still relevant!

John July 24, 2007 - 12:39 am

Patricia Daboh: A husband can divorce his wife and go home to mama for a good pot of soup. You only have one mama, and can have wives at different times of a man's life. There will always be an ex-wife, or ex-husband, but never an ex-mama. Get that? Leave that part of the bible alone. the bible stories was not written with the African culture or even any other culture in mind, but the Isrealites' stories. There is no way two can become one flesh. Two opposite sexes are joined together to procreate, any other thing is for social well being, which one can meet amond groups of similar social interest.

Lati July 23, 2007 - 2:22 pm

What do all these stories about interracial relationships prove? I bet you could find some equally messed up stories about African couples too…

Patricia July 23, 2007 - 9:27 am

I find it amazing that you love your mother so much that you would rather drop the "love of your life" and marry someone of your mother's nationality preference. I know what it feels like being pressured not to marry someone from anohter nationality, for I am an African American woman, and I am married to a Nigerian man. I believe you are happy with your choice, but I must admit, I find it a little shocking that a man would actually heed to the wishes of his mother, when he is suppose to be in love with a woman. The connection between you and your mother seem stronger than any other connection you have. As a wife, I would not like that one bit! When a man grows and matures, he should, if you believe in the bible, cleave to his wife, leave mother and father, and his wife and he become one flesh. A bond between a husband and wife should be stronger than that between a parent and child.

Please do not take this negatively, but your devotion and loyalty to your mother over that of your own happiness is surprising to me and interesting.


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