4. On A Nigerian PK Wedding

You know that the bride’s wedding gown will be ultra conservative as will be those for the bridal train. There will be no low cut, cleavage accentuating, eye candy-ish, strapless nonsense, and the hems will be at least an inch below the knee.

 You know that there will be at least ten different preachers – each with the belief that he is a colossus in his own right – and where both bride and groom are PKs, they might be nearer fifty than not.  You know that the program will be tweaked to provide an opportunity for every one of them to do something – give a word of admonition, pray, or lead the reading of the vows, or take a thanksgiving offering. You know that every speech and every prayer will be interminably long, as though there were an unofficial contest with a prize for the longest, most colourful speech. You know that it will be baking hot, and dry, because the powers that be have ‘decreed’ that there will be no rain.

 You know that there will be a whole lot of non-subtle symbolic references – the bride and groom feeding each other will be reinvented as a holy communion, and the first dance will be a thanksgiving dance, not just a dance.

 You know that the Mothers in Israel will be visible, and not just for the intricate whorls and loops of their obstructive head gear. You know that there will be oddly timed shouts of hallelujah, accompanied by hand clapping and the garish sounds of tambourines gone berserk. And when every one lines up to dance out to the front for the offering they will hold up the line by their unbridled dancing.

 You know that the lead Bishop will arrive late, sweeping in with his entourage of bible carriers and anointing oil holders. You know that it will be as though someone pressed a big reset button, and oblivious of the baking heat he will insist on laying hands and praying all over again.

 You know that the two hour service will stretch into three, and only some quick thinking will prevent it from extending even further. You know the picture taking session will be a full event in and of itself – the youth choir she once led will want a separate picture, as will all of the spiritual heavyweights who have ‘sown into her life’.

 And you know, that somewhere on row 76, in the crevice formed by the junction of the half open side door and a disused speaker, there will be a bloke slouched in a chair, his unruly hair the least of the oddities around him, alternately squinting and then stifling a yawn, and every now and then scribbling frantically inside his little black book.

#2- The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives..

Book number two is Lola Shoneyin’s The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives. This was one of the books I’ve actually tried to buy off Amazon and failed – twice (the other one being Teju Cole’s Everyday is for the Thief). I thoroughly enjoyed this one – maybe because  Baba Segi used to be a moniker I was known by. My summary:

Shoneyin takes polygamous life – the rivalry, the struggle for the bread winner’s attention, the gumption that ensures survival – and condenses it into a compelling narrative. The genius of it all is that is completely believable.