Over 20 years and counting, what an auspicious time to tell this story! It was in the early days of mobile telephone services in Nigeria when Ericsson, Nokia 3310, and Samsung were trendy phones. The Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card cost over N50,000!!!
I had the privilege of owning a contract package courtesy of a leading mobile services provider. My abode then at Wuse II, Abuja was a melting pot of sorts for friends keen to take advantage of free calls, especially on weekends. We had just concluded a pre-arranged important Abuja-Lagos telephone call and were heading to Central Area, Abuja, as guests at a scheduled wedding when my friend suggested that we stopped-over at a friend’s in Area 3. It was that fortuitous detour that brought me face-to-face with the ‘peace-of-my-heart’.
On arrival at Architect Izu’s house in Area 3, after pleasantries, our gisting had dove-tailed into an argument when a young, unassuming but confident-looking young lady came out to greet, and probably confirm those disturbing the neighborhood, and quickly disappeared. We later left for the wedding but then I could not concentrate and confessed to my friend that I had just found a wife. But my friend wondered how I could say that about a woman I had just seen and hardly knew. Of course, following my insistence, we got back to Area 3 and learnt that the young lady had just left to Gwarimpa Estate and that she had just concluded her National Youth Service, and was due to head back to Lagos the next day.
Needless to state that reaching her was a tall order because mobile phones were scarce, and the Architect, her cousin, was not sure of the specific address where she lived but only indicated a junction where we could begin our search. Yet we proceeded to
Gwarimpa without an address in search of her. I had no doubt that the love lightening had struck me at the right spot. We drove around the estate asking for Corpers’ residence. After we had almost given up and on our way home, we eventually found her on our way to shop at Wuse market.
Of course, that Gwarimpa encounter gave yours faithfully the opportunity to get vital information from Peace – that’s her name. In fact, my resolve was further kindled when I learnt that three other guys – a pastor, a lawyer, and a businessman – were all in line, pushing for her hand in marriage. I had just arrived the scene but armed with information, I moved fast to fend off competition and ensured that when she got back to Lagos the next day, I was still able to reach her through a cousin who worked with NDLEA, or through an office landline.
Long story short, after some background checks, I got a Nokia 3310 and activated a SIM. Next, I got a Pierre Cardin wallet and purse, carefully packaged, and couriered the phone to Lagos through the ubiquitous Ekene Dili Chukwu to a cousin for her to pickup. Interestingly, that singular move proved the masterstroke that
gave me access to her, staved-off competition, and opened a vista of hope and advantage in my quest to woo the lady that became the Peace-of-my -heart.
To the glory of God, the union was consecrated in Holy matrimony at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Maitama, Abuja, on 8th November 2003.
Guys, you see why I have fond memories of Nokia 3310, especially on a special day like our wedding anniversary?