Why did you choose to marry at 25?
To me, age is not an issue. What is important is maturity. At 25, I was mature enough and I admired the institution of marriage because it trains one to be responsible. You can’t lead a reckless life because your actions cease to affect only you but even your spouse and offsprings. I was anxious to earn the respect that comes with marriage life. Besides, my business was doing well so I had no excuse for staying single.
So, how did you meet Nalule?
Since I did not have a prospective suitor, I suggested to my close relatives to find me anyone with the qualities I wanted in a wife. I emphasised that I wanted someone who was religious, well-mannered and a good family background. As they looked around, I also did my own search.
Hold on a second! You mean in this era where girls are all over the place, you failed to find your own partner?
First of all, I am the kind of guy who never indulged in intimate relationships. I found it time-wasting because they often ended with bitter break-ups. Yes, I had female friends but I had never dated. With this background, I was not sure I would make the right choice.
Okay. Back to how your search ended at Nalule’s doorstep.
One of my aunts informed me that she had a friend whose daughter had the qualities I was looking for. She suggested we meet the lady, and I was open to the idea. Before we met the girl, my aunt first showed me a photo of her.
Did you like what you saw?
One thing you must know is that when people are choosing photos to show off, they look for the best. And in this world of Photoshop, photos can be edited [Laughs]. But anyhow, I liked what I saw, especially the way she was dressed. It was decent. Another person would have shared a photo revealing a lot of flesh.
So when did you meet?
A week after receiving the photo. At my aunt’s home.
Were you impressed?
You know, a photo is a photocopy. And there is no way a photocopy can be better than the original. Even before we talked, I was impressed by the way she carried herself when she came to greet us. She was so calm. I hate jumpy women. Thereafter, we were given an hour, away from the rest of the people in attendance, to chat and get to know each other. At the end of the meeting, I was convinced that Nalule may be (note the word may be) my future wife.
Did you only relied on your aunt for information about Nalule?
Of course not. I had to ask other people who resided in the same village with her. I was, however, picky with the people I asked because I knew some would not be objective. I also had young brothers who knew her. It is not good to only rely on information from adults because when she meets them, naturally, she has to humble herself and be decent. It’s good to ask her agemates who relate with her casually.
Did anyone stand in your way?
I knew this was likely to happen, so I did not tell my parents about her. You see, parents will always look at you as their young son or daughter. I told an uncle whom they respected, and I was glad he supported my decision. When he told my parents, as expected, they brought up my age. He was able to convince them, though, and they blessed me. They asked if I had already made up my mind.
For how long did the two of you date?
We dated for two months. After our meeting, I gave her my number and we started communicating on phone. But you know that is not enough, so two days later we started meeting and hanging out together. Sometimes she would come to my shop and I used that opportunity to test her with tricky questions to find out her true character.
What did you admire most about Nalule?
She is God-fearing. That is the most important thing. If one has that quality then the rest easily falls in place. I also liked the way she dressed. She was always decent. One thing about dating is that one may take aspects like prayer and dress lightly, but Nalule took her prayer time seriously.
What’s good about someone else finding you a partner?
You get enough information about the person before you settle down with them. And then you rarely compromise your qualities because you are focused on whether the person is worth living with for the rest of your life. The challenge with searching for yourself is that you are driven by lust. For example, look at people who have married women not because they love them but because they “accidentally” got them pregnant. Anyway, both options are good if well-handled.
There is one disadvantage. Unfortunately it is felt more by the ladies. There are families where the girl has no say. As long as the families like the groom-to-be, the girl’s opinion does not matter.
Would you let your children follow in your footsteps?
Why not? I would not force them but I would recommend it as an option. It’s good. No wonder it was the way our fore fathers did it and their marriages lasted.