By Philip Job
“Everybody’s looking for that something
One thing that makes it all complete
You find it in the strangest places
Places you never thought you could be”
Well for Kingsley Chisomaga Onwukaeme and Adaeze Cynthia Chisomaga (nee Onyekwelu) the search for ‘something that makes it all complete’ ended as they found love in the prestigious Jackson Building. The Jackson Building is the edifice where Sub Saharan Africa’s premier Department of Mass Communication in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN is housed.
Considering that both lovers were classmates, their journey to ‘I do’ which held over the weekend at a lavish wedding ceremony tagged ‘Candified ’19,’ held in the heart of Lagos is one worth sharing and worth reading about. Though marriages between classmates especially in tertiary institutions are not uncommon, their story is peculiar. While Kingsley was a gangling vibrant younger man back on campus, Adaeze’s blazing beauty already set her apart, making her the cynosure of all eyes. They two were in normal circumstance, not supposed to end up together considering that Kingsley was her classmate and was yet to find his compass, let alone, a bearing while Cynthia on the other hand was already getting wealthy suitors at the door.
These two readily bring to mind Dr. Church Akpan’s theory on undergraduates and marriage. Dr. Church was a lecturer in the Jackson Building who sometimes spices up his lectures with interesting live theories to help students enjoy his lectures. He once theorized that female undergraduates from their first year are very eligible for marriage and can do so at any point in school while the male undergraduates will have to graduate, serve, find their feet before they are able to do so. To be fair, the good Dr. is correct- this is more of the norm than an exception. Kingsley and Cynthia were an exception!
Recalling with nostalgia how they met, Kingsley says, “We were classmates back in our undergraduate days. “Before we started dating, we were friends for a period two years plus. The Journey to our wedding which held recently and our blissful marriage today has never been easy even from those days.”
Cynthia’s account is even more detailed: “While in school, I was well-known but I had just a few close friends. Because of that, my journey during school days was linear- from the school hostel to class and from class back to the hostel. During the first and second year in school, he was the class representative in charge of running the entire class activities. In the absence of the lectures, we fall back to him for clarity on anything. That was literally the initial relationship I had with him, like every other member of the class.
“At that time, I was not ready to mix with classmates as I had my own life outside the department. But still, something was lacking as I needed a team to work, study and bond with in other to relate with the activities within the department. As God would have it, I started getting connected with Kings (Kingsley) when I found myself with him in almost every class group activity or assignment Though this more because our surnames are close, I still believe it was the Maker’s divine setting for making us connect.
“Long story short, we became good friends and began to share so much in our conversations, started studying together, ideating, going on outings. I bonded with him and his very few interesting friends that cared about my affairs. Kingsley was able to see beyond my façade of external toughness and get to me like no one has ever. I am one lady that appears to be extremely tough on the outside but within, I am just like a child whose number one priority is to be given all the attention and love needed to make me jolly at every point in my life. Well, I will say that just few came close to learning or observing that about me. LOL!. Maybe I did not give any opportunity to anyone unless you decide to fight it through, which Kings did.
“It happened that King intelligently studied, observed, strategized and found that which was missing and capitalized on it to break the toughness. Yes! It was broken from seeing him as just a casual friend. I found a companion in him-someone whom I can share all my problems, dreams, aspirations with and find all the solutions I needed,” she recalls.
Recalling the hurdles they faced while in school, Kingsley explains that he became threatened by lecturers who were ‘interested’ in his girl. “Some lecturers who were running after Cynthia started seeing me as a stumbling block. They wished to fail me but they couldn’t because of my position as a Class – Rep. At that point in our relationship, a lecturer in the department, Dr. Anorue Luke was Godsent to guide and protect us from external attacks on that front.”
Kingsley also recalled that his family was not initially in support of the relationship but with encouragement from Joshua, a mutual friend of theirs, they were able to make his family come around. “Family put me at the spot of choosing between Cynthia and them. It was a harrowing experience for me because I don’t joke with my family and I love my Candy (pet name for Cynthia). All thanks to God who used Joshua, my friend to help me make the right decision when it mattered most. Joshua said, “Boy! You know how far two of una don come, you sabi say this babe na blessing to you. Where was your family when two of you have been roughening it from nothing back in school days, NYSC days-that she travels 6 hours every week to come to you? Remember she turned down wealthy suitors for you even when you were still trying to find your feet?” “Boy!,” he reminded me, “family will come back but if she goes SHE WILL NEVER COME BACK and my hands are off. Be wise!” he admonished me.”
Cynthia’s account also mentions Joshua’s influence on the duo’s love lives and the various roles he played in seeing them remain in the relationship that has today matured into a happy marriage. “After school, we did our mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme in different states in the South West. While I served in Ogun state, he was a corps member in Osun. We were living four hours apart and still tried to keep in physical touch as much as NYSC could allow.
“When I left school, I had a lot going on emotionally. I found difficult to manage dreams outside the East where I was born and brought up. I wanted to further my modeling interest, see and experience new people and places but I didn’t know how to. As if I was already asking God for much, divinely, God stepped in through Kings, who struggled to make a good space in his family for me to be in Lagos state. That singular act was the beginning of our success stories – from getting a job together and settling in on our own. All through the way with all the challenges thrown at us, we didn’t let go of each other’s hands. A lot of times, it was tough, embarrassing and heartbreaking. These times were times of job-hunting, times of zero-account balances, times of menial jobs to survive, etc.
“We were not deterred but grew from strength to strength. We stuck together praying, mapping out strategies, executing them and counting the rewards which kept flourishing just like a tree planted by the river side. God made ways countless times, we met divine helpers. I still owe my loyalty and respect to my honourable agent, Sandra Ikeji, CEO, Blackdove models used by God to mold my modeling career and my entire achievements till date. God bless you Sandra.
“Thereafter, job offers came knocking without search, ideas materialize, bank accounts still loading, better and beautiful apartments and cars secured, multiple blessings to mention but a few.”
After a decade of been together and just a few days into matrimony, the couple can be said to have just commenced life’s journey. They can however give a word or two of advice to singles as well as dating individuals out there in their journey to marriage. Kingsley advises: “First all, I would say that true friendship is a gift from God. We make friends here on earth but only that connected from above has all the spices of happiness, love, comfort and peace. To find the one that God has created to help you find true happiness, have a sensitive spirit to know when the right woman comes into your life. To do this, be humane enough not to see girls as sex-objects.
“How supportive are you to your partner’s dreams and aspirations? For ladies, if he talks to you about his future and you cannot see yourself in it, RUN! Seeing yourself in terms of how he plans to grow where you are not featured is already a bad sign he doesn’t see you in his future. A man that does not think of how you can become better every day is not interested in you.
“Also, I tell people, sex is never enough to keep a partner. We have 24hours in a day. The highest time you can spend in giving a man or woman good sex is not more than 4 hours. What then can you offer in the rest 20 hours? If nothing, forget about marriage! After all, the Bible said it’s not compulsory. For men, If she cannot help you control your excesses, be a shoulder to rest, RUN! If she is only interested in the grooves and the jaiye jaiy as a struggling younger-man, please, RUN!
For Cynthia seeing beyond the obvious is key. Having a successful relationship is always much more than what can be seen with the eyes or in the immediate future. “My advice to young ladies out there is to see beyond their noses. How far can you see into your man? How much or how far can you see when you stare in his empty wallet? Do you see Pounds, Dollars or Naira? Or do you see sadness and rejection? For me, I see light and over flowing prosperity in his eyes, every second I look, the more I look the more I get and it is unending, even when he had nothing.
Well congratulations to the beautiful couple. Theirs is a marriage made in heaven…the type that will make a Kinsley say, “every young man looking for a life partner, need one like candy!” and Cynthia enthuse, “I am forever happy to make my Kings, my friend and companion for life. I thank God for keeping us and forever grateful. Truly, I must have done something great in my previous life to have been given kings as everyday spice to my life.”
Wedding gown: @chiquebridals
bridal train dress: @gistcouture