Love Never Gets Old: Funmi and Ifeanyi Obi

I went to good old England for a bit in June with my sister. It was the John the Baptist to our trip to Istanbul (more on that soon enough). We went to the UK chiefly to be a part of my brother’s wedding to a wonderful lady. You see, Ifeanyi is not my biological brother, but we grew up together and he’s my family really and vice-versa. What a wedding! What a couple! I cannot wait for the children; seeing as she is a Doctor and he is a chartered Accountant, they will be a brilliant lot. Yes, where I am from, we bug the couple for children from the wedding day, we do not care whether they are ready or not. We are ready!

Anyi and Funmi

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He told me almost immediately after a few dates with Funmi, a stunning combination of beauty and brains. I was so happy for Ifeanyi, because if anyone deserves to be happy, it is him. He actively searched for someone to share his life with, kissed a few frogs along the way and voila, his princess appeared! She had been right under his nose all this while too. Six weeks after their first date, they packed up and went to the US for their first holiday together. After those 2 weeks, he knew! Of course he was hopelessly in love, and was ready to propose, he just needed the right time. For six months, there were no fights, no arguements! Then he jinxed it by talking about it, and the fights came; although they said it only made them stronger and more aware of how they felt about each other. I believe it was less than one year into the relationship, he bought a ring and sent me the link. Ifeanyi had it all planned out, quite the romantic. He made dinner, she arrived (believing they were just going out for the night) and he popped the question! She said yes, and the rest they say is history. I met Funmi for the first time over Christmas last year, and apart from how stunning she was, I also noticed what a warm spirit she possessed.

The hot groomsmen
The hot groomsmen
Anyi and Funmi
Anyi and Funmi
Couple's first dance
Couple’s first dance

It was a beautiful church ceremony, Funmi stepped into the church; a vision in a beautiful wedding dress that fit her like a glove. London in the last couple of days before June 29th was quite wet and miserable, but on the 29th, it was nice and warm, the sun was out. I did not need a jacket, that’s how I measured the degrees there 🙂
We travelled on to Hertfordshire for the reception. The wedding planner had done a fantastic job, the tables were all laid out, the hall beautifully accented in the colours of the day. There was a names/sitting board outside by the doors to the garden where all the guests stood around in little groups and the waiters passed out glasses of wine and Hors d’oeuvre. I found my name and checked out the names I was sitting next to, not bad! The photos were done, and we went into the reception. I sat with some familiar faces from university as my sister, my +1, had ditched me after church (full story on another day). We had rice, plantain, prawn, beef, chicken, some amazing chocolate cake, it was a feast. They had their first dance, the speeches were done and all took the floor! It was so much merrymaking! I had to drag myself off the dance floor and leave for London as we had a flight to catch to Istanbul at 6am the next morning. The party went on till 2am. What a blast!

The lovely bridesmaids
The lovely bridesmaids
Wedding party
Wedding party
Dance Dance Dance
Dance Dance Dance

Here’s wishing the lovely couple the very best in life. Nothing but the best will do xx

Istanbul’s Riots: A Big Deal?

This post is quite a selfish one. I have not found a single idea in my head to blog about for the last three weeks, it’s the worst blog drought that I have experienced, and I have lived a short blog life so far. In my defense though, work has been incredibly busy, so many things have happened that have left me emotionally drained and unable to read or blog. I should really blog about those, my work, my journey, my plans. In the next post perhaps. I have also travelled quite a bit in the last one month to areas where the internet was spotty at best. Thus I have sometimes missed posts that I would ordinarily have caught. Am still playing catch up.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Photo source: http://www.wikipedia.com

But the next two weeks will be full of posts mostly because I am on leave! For two whole weeks! Blogging, photography, books and food. I just bought Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book “Americanah” to read on my vacation. If she were a man, I would marry her! What an amazing writer. As I write this up, am about to leave the house to catch a flight to good old England, I hope the weather is nice this time around, I always end up in the UK when its freezing (or maybe it’s just Scotland). My friends have planned some good times for this trip, and I have a wedding to attend on saturday. I am excited to be getting away for a bit, but more excited at the possibility of going to Istanbul after England! Yes, the only city which has been the capital of three empires! It had better work out, because we have bought non-refundable, non-cancellable, non-anything-but-fly ticket. But everyone is dampening my spirits by asking my sister and I if we are aware of the riots going on in Turkey.

Holiday mode
Holiday Mode:
Photo source: http://www.hellobeautiful.com

Now, people have called me and compared the riots to the Arab spring movement which lasts for months and months in each country. Syria is still ongoing. But my understanding is that this is a different kind of fight really. The people feel that their government is not listening, and must take the opinion of the citizenry into consideration before selling off all the lands and trees and green areas that are as old as their ancestry, to developers. One thing has led to another and it seems this is like the “occupy movement”. There is no ambivalence in this for me at all, the way I see it is that a lot of have obviously exchanged hands (paperwork, profit) and the government does not want to back down. But isn’t that the point of a democracy? That the elected officials must listen to the voice of the people who voted for them? I hope that this blows over, I hope that more lives are not lost, I hope that this does not become as big a deal and as sad as Syria. I find that there is always a disconnect between the people and the men and women who sit in the parliament and in the state houses; the latter lose touch, selfish interests abound, which sometimes are bigger than them. Sometimes they forget the people and basically fight to advance the ideals and motives of their political parties and political godfathers. I sincerely hope this blows over and the greater good of the people of Turkey supersedes.

Blue Mosque
Blue Mosque
Photo source: National Geographic

Now having said that, I hope I have a good vacation. Istanbul is on my mind, the Blue Mosque, Aya Sofya, Basilica Cistern and the Grand Bazaar. In London, I shall be taking some photography classes, and hopefully blogging everyday. Yay! If you have a favourite place in both cities, please recommend them, the food, the shopping, the sights, I shall try it. I am like a child right now, my mind is wide open.

Across The Bridge

The phone calls are still coming in, people want to find out if this is true. I do not want to speak to more people. It is not in my place. My phone agrees with me and crashes. I lose all contacts worth over 4 years. Apparently there is a way to retrieve it, but what do I care? What do I care? Why should I care? When my phone rang pre-crashing, I saw her name flash across my screen, and I hesitated, panicking as I had done for a week now every time I spoke to her. Or visited the hospital. It was something that the doctors expected; like the Ukwa fruit that inevitably fell at its time, an open secret. How can you say that? One never mentions the journey of no return. You keep it in your heart. Till you burst. Her name flashes through my screen again, and I answer, clearing my throat.

Across the Bridge
Across the Bridge

“He’s gone,” She wailed, ululating over and over.

The goose pimples settled on my skin and refused to leave.

Phone calls, words, a blur, a flash, messages, phone crashes. I thought about M lying on that hospital bed for months, eyes closed, or open, depending on when you saw him, struggling with his kidneys. I thought about his poor wife, sitting by him, waiting, praying, hoping. I felt like a fraud, not knowing what to tell her as she wept. Who am I to speak words to the grieving? What do I know about how she feels? She’s stunned, the children are devastated. She shared his life, they shared his life, we came and went; friends, colleagues, at our convenience.

I have known M for about 3 years now. I worked with him. He was gentle and kind, we disagreed, but always with respect. Not only was he a man, he was at least a dozen years older, yet he did not conform to the common ageist and sexist ways of our society; he knew this was work, nothing personal so he got on with it. He put his family and charities first, he cared deeply. He was a good man.

The Tortoise
All photos my own

Death is the Tortoise
“All of you”
But wailing birds sometimes sound the unheard warning
Who knew Opi could be so loud
Now silent
Rest for the wounded must be easy ba?
The tugging from both ends
Now still
Now we try corn and pear
Let’s beat the drums for you
One more time
I hope you sit sprawled
Yogurt na Akunechenyi
Red sand and moonlight
The smell of earth and water
Raindrops on dusty ground
Harmattan
Be happy M