A MAN WHO WOULD PUBLICLY PROPOSE TO MY DAUGHTER WITHOUT MY CONSENT IS NOT YET BORN
By Chief Anayo Nwosu
I was with Mazi Azianuka right inside his living room. The heat oozing from his anger was enough to roast a yam. Which Nnewi or real Igbo man would not be so infuriated? Mazi Azianuka's daughter, Ukwunnu, who was returning home from Canada after 7 years of university education nearly made her father commit murder. Thank God I was around and was able to nip the murder in the bud.
The young girl who had allowed western education to cross a cultural boundary had without breast-milk induced circumspection, introduced a strange male visitor to the father as her fiancé. Fian wetin? "How? When? Where?" the father wondered.
The father had suspected that something was amiss when the daughter asked him not to bother picking her from Asaba airport, that she would come home to the village by road from Lagos with her "friend". Mazi Azianuka, as a policy, does not travel in the same vehicle with all the members of his family to minimize impacts of any probable fatal accidents.
They travel in batches. The daughter was aware of this traditional travel arrangement and exploited it. She was to arrive a day after her parents did. She called a night before to announce that she would then arrive the village by road instead of flying due to bad weather. "Some Lagos boys must have started plucking okro in my farm without my permission", Mazi Azianuka's inner mind kept telling him.
The new crested ring on the daughter's middle finger was a clear give away sign but Mazi Azianuka chose to be blind. His apprehension was to crystallize on the New Year eve's visit to his home of Dr. John Thomas Ochonganoba, a native of Amichi, a neighbouring town. He could remember overhearing the daughter telling her mum on phone sometime ago, about one "cute" Nigerian doctor who trained in Canada but had to return to Lagos to manage his father's big hospital.
It was a women's talk not meant for his ears. He is a titled man. A clear picture is now being developed as to why Ukwunnu declined her father's advice to do her Ph.D. before returning home even when the father picked all the bills. She has suddenly developed a dislike for living in Canada. The cold in the country of her abode for 7 years had suddenly become unbearable.
Everyone, except the man and head of the house, seemed to have met or known this Dr. J.T. The shouts of "Dr. J.T is here" nearly made me and Mazi Azianuka miss the second Tottenham's goal against Chelsea on 4th of January 2017. My host and I did not know when the stranger, but a known visitor to others, entered the house and was even being served food in the dining room. We were engrossed in and glued to the English Premiership League match on DSTV.
After eating and drinking Mazi Azianuka's food and wines, the emboldened visitor had the temerity to distract his host by planting a loud kiss on the cheek (or wherever) of Ukwunnu at the dining table caring less about whosoever that would hear the sound. Ukwunnu confirmed the sound of what we suspected when after her father's favourite team, Chelsea was beaten; she brought Dr. J.T into the living room and introduced the guy, the visitor and a stranger to his father as her fiancé.
"Alu emee!" meaning "abomination has occurred!" Mazi Azianuka bellowed and went for the young man's jugular. It took my stronger hands to dislodge the old man's gripping murderous arms. Even as his life was in danger, the bumps in between the legs of the august visitor probably aroused by the dining table romance was so visible. Even the maker of his trousers made allowances in the flap area for this kind of occasion.
This Dr JT was personified in both his name and physique. No young girl, let alone an Ukwunnu, would meet and know this young doctor and not be magnetized by his endowment. He is handsome too. Dr. John Thomas Ochongaonaba, whose names coincidentally announce how big a "man" he is in reality is no doubt, any lady's dream come true. I could tell from the outline on his trousers, the magnitude of the real man in him.
How far can today's young Igbo girls not go in a bid to keep up with the Joneses? Why accept a ring or accept to marry a man without first securing a parental consent? It is a taboo for an Igbo father and an abomination for an Nnewi title holder like me to be seen as regularizing an already concluded transaction he was not privy to. A tail does not wag a dog; just as no one can throw a javelin without first showing the missile to the sky.
You can rock my daughters at my back but not in my very before. Mbanu! No man, I repeat no man, has ever been born, the man who shall attempt to give a ring to any of my daughters before my consent. If that is all about civilization, let me remain in the cave.