We can take her to her matrimonial home unhurt

December 14, 2018 Nigeria , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS

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By

Abdulyassar Abdulhamid

 

 

Marriage is a religiously induced culture that recognizes the coming together of spouses that can lead to what is called family according to law. This socially recognized union is as old as man himself; but most such relationships vary from one clime, culture geographical location, to another.

 

The questions on functional marriage have been there for a long time. The expectations of the couples sometimes exceed the intended purpose of the union. According to American Psychotherapist, Asther Perel, marriages survive because they have, but to me, their survival largely depends on the intention, information and maturity of the couple.

 

Wedding ceremony in reality symbolizes the coming together of a man and a woman “in faith, in oneness of mind, in truth, in thought and in love in one hand”; and in another it symbolizes feast (reception), merriments and enjoyment. To most women, life begins and will probably end with it.

 

One cannot single-handedly brush away this mode of thinking and the enjoyments attached to it; but one can equivocally point out the most misunderstood part of it that sometimes botches the whole arrangement and replaces the smiles on the faces of happy-go-lucky celebrants with tears. God forbids.

 

On Saturday December 8, 2018, I attended a wedding ceremony of my principal’s niece. Of course, the wedding was simple in the sense that almost everyone was punctual and the conjugal knot was tied on time. The wedding was graced by a large number of people from different walks of life. I met many top government officials and journalist friends there. I exchanged pleasantries with many of them. They were, and I still believe, kind.

 

I have been attending weddings all my life. I have keenly followed tens of births of such relationship between suitors and their prospects, series of visitations to bride-to-be’s families, engagements and presentations of trousseaus (the clothes and personal possessions a woman collects when she is about to get married) before the wedding day; but one striking thing about this wedding is that in the afternoon of that day, after I took a leave of about four hours due to a tight schedule I had that day, I was in the company of said principal, when a fleet of cars which was to take the bride to her matrimonial home arrived.

 

The drivers, almost all of them young men, arrived at the place to convey the bride to her home. You do not have to be told the feelings of the drivers and the jerk with which they started the cars; and the eagerness the bride maids might have at the moment or how the cars were carefully chosen to suit the purpose. Those lucky to find spaces felt all the world of themselves and losers ventilated their anger through hot tears. It is a familiar scene.

 

I could see young girls capering about, peeping through the windshields and weighting the possibility of booking seats. A group of them would move from one car to another perhaps searching for the flashiest one.

 

My principal, with whom I was seated, called one of them and after exchanging greetings, he said, “Please, who is the leader of this fleet that is taking the bride to her home?” The man started groping for words, and the principal added, “If you are the one, I beg of you to drive them there carefully. That does not mean I undervalue or belittle your driving ability. Please, tell your companions to do the same.” A well thought-out stance, is it not?

 

Of course, it is. How many lives would have been saved if fathers or guardians were to follow all the arrangements from the beginning to the end thereby making sure that the womenfolk, who are front-liners in every ceremony, acts according to certain laid-down rules?

 

I have been silently conducting an investigation on how fathers or male guardians, especially in Hausaland see processes leading up to tying the marital knot, what comes thereafter as only women affairs. This may be for a reason – probably a time-honoured value in this part of the world or simply put, “abdication of responsibility”.

 

The absence of either the father or a guardian to see to the arrangement or caution the groomsmen that are probably taking the bride to her home gives groomsmen an advantage over either the father or the guardian. They drive recklessly violating every traffic rule. This has led to loss of lives and changed the narrative from festivity to despondence or calamity.

 

In 2017, as reported by the Vanguard Newspaper, eleven women lost their lives in a ghastly auto crash in Kano metropolis. The accident occurred around 8:30 pm one night after the motorcade conveying the bride, friends and well-wishers to her matrimonial home hit a tollgate near Sa’adatu Rimi College of Education, Kumbotso ast Na’ibawa.

 

According to the FRSC Public Relations Officer, Mr. Kabir Ibrahim Daura, the report stated, eight women died on the spot, while three others died in hospital. And the remaining three while the driver were receiving medical attention.

 

Accidents are inevitable; but the said accident might have resulted from over-speeding and reckless driving as it is the habit of most drivers engaged in conveying brides to their homes. What is more, the elderly revel and encourage this kind of recklessness that in most cases end up in anguish, mourning, injury and loss of property.

 

Marriage narratives are not supposed to be happy ending: a ceremony, as in a novel or televised programme meant to make people laugh or entertain. But here is one making tragedy out of something hilarious.

 

About two years ago the DailyPost Newspaper reported that two women died in a bridal convoy accident. The accident occurred along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, while they were being driven in an SUV to the wedding reception. Perhaps recklessness, a salient feature of such a convoy, has sent them to their early graves.

 

Now Adaidaita Sahu (a three-wheeler) has been introduced into the game. Graduating from Achaba (commercial motorcycling), most of the riders of three-wheelers are well-known for the breath-taking, reckless riding of commercial motorcycles before their ultimate banning in Kano city due to the numerous accidents and environmental pollution they used to cause. In fact bridesmaids prefer three-wheelers to motorcars. That is why these days they constitute a large percentage of the bride’s convoy.

 

The other day I saw one bride convoy at a break-neck speed. The drivers of most of the three-wheelers were side-lifting their vehicles, lurching back and forth and the passengers who were mostly girls were shouting and singing at the top of their voices, perhaps to cheer up the reckless riders as if they did not pay a dime to their life or safety.

 

Many have met their untimely death, sustained injuries including compound fractures while vehicles have been destroyed due to this avoidable recklessness, but this life-threatening deed has refused to stop. Why? As Dr. Phil would say, with the passage of time and relentless deluge of data (distorted information on what to accept as part of a wedding ceremony) people who had a clear mind, a strong sense of right and wrong are gradually beginning to accept false as the truth.

 

 

 

 

Abdulyassar Abdulhamid

Abdulyassar Abdulhamid, Kano based, is graduate of B.A English from Bayero University, Kano. He is a budding writer, social analyst, freelancer at Sunrise Language Practitioner (SLP) and regular contributor to Nigerian dailies. 
His writings have appeared in The Communicator, a magazine published by Kano State Polytechnic and in Dailytrust, The Triumph and The cable newspapers. He has a strong interest in literary theory.

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