When I got inspired to share the peculiar stories of a few 2021 couples, I planned that each story would be captured in one post. But barely 3 minutes into Wole and Lade’s story I knew this could not be a single post – I’ll be doing my readers a ‘hoooge’ disservice and depriving you from experiencing the rollercoaster of emotions that I felt as I listened. So, this is a 4-part story, and I am certain you’d anticipate the next as you read each one. Wole and Lade are real people, and this is a true story, however certain details have been tweaked, and the pictures are not theirs.
‘…she heard someone give a loud guttural laugh, it sounded so ‘razz’ and out-of-place…’
It was the year 2009 and Lade had just gained admission into pre-degree at the University of Lagos. Today was the end of her church’s retreat, one that she and many other students participated in. After the retreat, portions of the campground were allocated to several groups for cleaning, and she had joined one of them. After cleaning, she sat quietly at a spot watching and waiting as other groups finished up. Suddenly she heard someone give a loud guttural laugh, it sounded so ‘razz’ and out-of-place that she immediately decided it had to be a very local person who made the sound. Her roaming eyes soon found the culprit and his looks justified her thoughts – a bush boy indeed, perhaps one who grew up in some village and got lucky enough to come study in the city. A thought that couldn’t have been hers popped up in her head – ‘what if that is your husband?’ ‘Tufiakwa! Husband bii ti bawo?’ She refuted the thought sharply, but it didn’t fly off as it should have, it drove itself more firmly into her consciousness that she found herself vowing to ensure nothing makes her become a friend of that fellow. That fellow was Wole.
‘…he only had eyes for light skinned ladies and planned to marry one someday.’
Wole didn’t notice the ebony black teenager eyeing him some yards away from where he and his friends talked and laughed, in fact he did not interact with her all through the one-year pre-degree program despite them having ‘church’ in common. In retrospect, it could have been because he only had eyes for light skinned ladies and planned to marry one someday, or because he was shy around pastor’s kids anyways. They seemed to be of a higher class from students like him who were pretty much regular kids.
During undergraduate studies at Unilag, she lived on campus while he lived in town, as such they weren’t attending the same fellowship. Things took a different turn when she moved to town in her 3rd year. Fate brought her right to his doorstep as the house she moved into was close to the flat he shared with his friends. They became friends, platonic friends – Wole had eyes for someone else at the time and he was praying concerning that lady, but by their 4th year in undergrad he had gotten over that lady as he did not feel the conviction to initiate a relationship. He started to get drawn to Lade and they grew closer – it seemed God opened the eyes of his understanding to behold the fairness beneath her ebony black skin. As they wrapped up their final year and prepared for the National Youth Service Corps year Wole hoped and prayed that they wouldn’t get posted to the same state. He needed the distance so he could pray and discern the direction of their blooming friendship with a clear head.
‘…Lade encountered a ghastly accident that left her in the hospital for the next 6 months.’
Wole got posted to Maiduguri and was redeployed to Lagos, while Lade got posted to Edo state. Shortly after NYSC camp, Lade encountered a ghastly accident that left her in the hospital for the next 6 months. Within these six months, she was transferred from Edo to Abeokuta and finally to Lagos. Wole visited her at every location, he was there for her as a friend – well you can say a friend in love!