Is that doubt I read from your face ?
No man who Wills to marry me is allowed to wear sorrow in place of his crown.
Wipe out the grief from your eyes ,
Aren’t you the one who told me that
“When we start a war, we must win it.”
We convinced your people ,
We overcame that storm,
We can this .
Aren’t we the ones who changed the mind of your people?
Did you see me swallow my smile when your aunties and grandmother spat on the soil to insult me ,
Did I for a moment loosen my hand from yours when your elders invoked your ancestors and asked why you have forsaken them ?
I have carried this rib gracefully through the years until I set my eyes on you
And even now I shall carry it,
With all this weight our people are placing on it ,
I shall carry it
So come ,
We shall meet my people.
I will teach you our greeting chants and how to bow for our elders
You will bring the wise men from your land with you ,
They shall carry sore milk and traditional brews,
We are going to pay my dowry .
Carry also yams for the women,
That will soften their hearts.
My mother is educated,
She has learnt to stomach her disappointment so you will not read it on her face ,
She will smile at you ,
A faint smile.
Do not look away when
While she hugs me she searches my waist,
She is looking to see if you have me tied up with juju.
My aunties are liberal
They might act cold ,
But only in support of my grandmother,
At heart they have embraced you.
They will tell you about my childhood,
Embarrassing moment like the time I stole meat at a family gathering while my grandmother was praying ,
My grandmother drag me by the ear to the local village priest and thrashed me with her farm shoes.
The priest had me confess
And then recite 10 Our Fathers.
Laugh when they laugh,
Let them believe they are funny.
Do not look my grandparents or father in the eye,
It is disrespectful.
Show them that your people are people too,
Receive the food with both your hands ,
And bare with the long prayers my grandmother says before meal,
It is how she is,
She must ensure she has mentioned everyone,
Including my long lost uncle who left for Abroad,
He is called a prodigal son.
It shall be well,
When they start to question you as my choice,
When they start to say that you are not fit for me ,
That I am a shame ,
When my grandmother spits on the red soil and calls our union an abomination ,
I will tell her,
Cucu nijue mwanake uyu dari na thakame itu
Ti wa ruriri rwitu
No ni mudurume
`grandmother, I know this man is not of our people,
He is not from our tribe
But he is a man
And I love him’
And you shall pay the dowry ,
And I shall be called your wife
For haven’t I carried the weight of this rib ?
Have I not loved you with all that I have ?
For we did not write to the heavens and beg to be of different tribes ,
It is a blessing and all blessing come with responsibility
We shall be a bridge through which our people meet,
Our children will bless our name.
Our great grandchildren will build statutes in our name ,
They will thank the heavens for us for we are a bridge through which our people meet .
Photo credit ; @africaheritage on Instagram