Nneka Jethro-Iroube: Finding my knight in shiny armour (30 Days, 30 Voices)

I knew my knight in shinning armor would appear and in my own eyes I had a fair idea of what it meant to be married so I felt prepared and qualified.  What more would a man want than a fine, godly, very smart – narrowly missed a 1st class- young girl.

Marriage, oh marriage

The long-coveted title of Mrs

The receipt of legal rights to wear a wedding band

My legitimate train to motherhood – Marriage

You know I never considered myself desperate to get married.  After all, I was never at those meetings for singles where prayers were offered for deliverance from spirit husbands and wives responsible for marriage-delays.

I knew my knight in shinning armor would appear and in my own eyes I had a fair idea of what it meant to be married so I felt prepared and qualified.  What more would a man want than a fine, godly, very smart – narrowly missed a 1st class- young girl.  I knew marriage was more than the title and the ring (though I really wanted the ring) and I knew it was a journey to be travelled with a man of similar vision and all the other good stuff, so in my eyes, I was ready.  Now where would I find the man or be found of him?

As a boarding student in the secondary school, I was never pressured to have a boyfriend even with classmates writing letters to so-called boyfriends.  I was not moved by the claims of love and all the stuff they got as gifts.  I got into the university at about 15 and, for my whole stay there, stayed clear of any relationship that hinted at marriage.  I felt I was too young and wanted to do well at my studies, obviously, considering a relationship too distracting.

Now done with university and having to wait one year before NYSC, I was ready for my knight.  Two days into the orientation camp in Borno (when it was still a sane town) and I find a friend – a gentleman, not exactly a committed Christian – but we strike a good friendship and are inseparable for the three weeks. Post-camp, my dashboard screams “not your portion, this ain’t the knight” so I end our friendship.  I trudge on to my place of primary posting and a “bro” seems interested. He’s alright on the spiritual but on the financial and vision tangents, em… I’m not so sure.

We get kinda close, he tells me about his babe (imagine that!) and a few weeks later, evaluation results come in negative, another move on. Then my paths cross another brother who seems satisfied with just being friends despite several insinuations by other members that we were an “item”.  So another move-on and I’m back to land Lagos with a painfully empty fishing net after a whole year of sitting by the seaside. *Sigh* I thought it’d be a lot easier than that.

My next search point had to be my home church – my knight had to be present in that gathering of saints. And then my radar begins looking but several evaluation results come back negative.  Getting exasperated, I yell at one prospect (apologise later though – no good in breaking a brother’s ego).

Few months on and I begin to observe some changes and sorry to burst your bubble it wasn’t a potential knight, it is a lady. Usually clad in ill-fitted clothes and not my definition of kempt, this lady suddenly starts looking good, wearing the right dress size, make-up, even heeled shoes. Woah! I think, what’s going on? Little do I know that the only him my radar had detected, though he hadn’t passed the full tests, was the motivation.

Rude shock it was, when I heard she was off with him and I was to be involved in wedding plans.  What? She? When I was here? How could this have happened? She had to have ‘jazzed’ the young man! I realized later that the eye sees potential and works it out. What then was to befall me? Did I mention that my mum was quite keen on my moving to my husband’s house which she saw as the next level of life for me? Where was this ring to come from?   I keep searching, knowing that marriage has to be in God’s plan for me.  After all, it was He who said ‘it is not good for a man to be alone’!

Finally, he came in the person of a senior colleague in the office.  Now, we couldn’t get married until he resigned as we were in the same unit and ‘in-sourcing” was not allowed.  After almost a year of prayer and threats by my mum that I resign and get married, he got another job and then we got married and yes, I loved and love my ring but marriage is work.  All along, I thought I was ready but reality gave me a rude welcome!

Theory is way different from practice – the breakfast, the going to market, the cleaning, the submission, the respect and praying about his dreams lest they fail and I be labeled a witch.  The list of responsibilities is really long, adjustments required maybe endless and I can’t help but wonder why ladies rush into this.  It’s so much work! It’s more than the ring, the gifts, the increase in status; it’s putting yourself last for another’s comfort, pushing the boundaries of inconvenience.  I’m having fun in my marriage but that’s because I was determined to submit to counsel and make sure he met the necessary criteria, even if I had to wait longer.

I would take the words of a person who has travelled the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway if he said it was blocked.  Why not the words of people who have been married 10 years and say, ‘Nne, slow down, never give out the cookie before you say I do, make sure you choose who you can live with if he never changes for the rest of your lives together.’


About the author: WriterSpeaksPoetry is the pen name for Nneka Jethro-Iruobe, a columnist, copywriter, editor, poet and speaker with a french-english bias. A contributor to several publications (start-up and existing), and already out with two(2) compilations of poetry, Nneka stumbled upon writing in 2003 when she had to head the literary unit in her university fellowship. \ A REAL Naija Sister, speaking all 3 major languages, educated and lived in Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa land, she writes & speaks to educate, inspire and entertain. She’s happily married to Jethro Iruobe, her No 1 fan and is excited about the walk of life with Him. Nneka currently resides in Lagos, Nigeria and works as a compensation advisor with a professional services firm.


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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