We love ‘Our Wedding Story‘ on Pleasures Magazine because its simply special. Love and weddings celebrated and rather than just seeing the wedding photos, we get to share the Nelson & Vickie’s beautiful love story in their traditional Ibibio way!
In 2014, we were at Eket in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria for the beautiful wedding between the family of Nathan Atangedem of Atibe Afaha Eket and Nelson Mkpandiok of Afaha Atai both in Eket Local Government of Akwa Ibom state, Nigeria.
Their love story is humorous yet so cute and their wedding was simply spectacular.
A lot of people always confuse Calabar and Akwa-Ibom as the same place, but though Akwa-Ibom was carved out of Cross river State, it is a different state on its own. The names and languages of people from these parts might sound alike, but in the end all three, Rivers (capital PortHarcourt); Akwa-Ibom (capital Uyo); and Crossriver (capital Calabar) are all different places… The Akwa-Ibom people who are generally called the Ibibio people, are found predominantly in Akwa-Ibom state, and are made up of the related Annang community, the Ibibio community and the Eket and Oron Communities. “Ibio-ibio” means short or brief and doesn’t have anything to do with height of the Ibibios… funny yeah! The name was given due the Ibibios brief way of doing things. Now that you know a little bit about the history and location of the Ibibio lets educate you about the main subject of the day “Nelson & Vickie’s Ibibio traditional marriage”.
A brief history about the rich culture of Ibibio way of saying “I DO”
When a man proposes to a woman and of course the woman accepts, they are then required to go and see the woman’s parents, this is called “Ndidiong Ufok” which means “ to know the house” of the lady. You could call it an introduction. During this, not many people are expected to go with the groom just about 3 – 4 people would be okay, but if more people are to go then the bride’s family must be informed of the number of people that will be showing up so they can make proper arrangements, especially as the family of the bride is mandated by custom to cook and welcome the members of the groom’s family like special guests. The next step is the ‘knocking of the door’; the date for the “Nkong Udok/ Nkong Usong (depending on the dialect)” is set after the ‘Ndidiong Ufok’,So after the family of the groom has gotten to know the house of the girl then they can come and knock on the door and officially ask for the lady’s hand. The knocking on the door is more or less the same as in the Yoruba tradition or the Igbo tradition, where family of the groom comes and asks for the girl that they are looking for in the house and in turn collect the “list” provided by the Father and elders of the girls family . In the Ibibio tradition the grooms family has to buy some things for the family of the bride, hence the list, which would include things for each member of the lady’s family from the youngest to the oldest. The day that the things or items on the list are to be delivered is called the ‘Uno Mpo’, which means to “to give something”. Traditionally, this list is a way of compensating the family of the lady by the family members of the groom’ for talking away a member of their family thus reducing the number of hands that would have helped in the farm or with cooking and taking care of the house. Of course today, there are no farms to help out with but in most cases, but tradition is tradition. The date of the delivery of the items is usually settled on at the ‘Nkong Udok/ Nkong Usong’. The next thing to follow all these events is the traditional wedding and here we go on the real business of the day – Nelson & Vickie.
Conventional is definitely not the word that pops into mind when it comes to Nelson, an Asian based real estate mogul & Vickie, a graduate of economics and the manager of Vinatha Petroleum Company. This couple wed the traditional way in a beautiful ceremony held at Government Primary school, Enen Ekpene. Afaha Eket Local Government , Akwa Ibom state, Nigeria on Saturday August 16, 2014 in a celebration that screamed – fun! Their journey to their nuptial started about fifteen months ago when they met at Heathrow airport London. Surprisingly they are both from the same local government and over time the attraction and friendship bloomed into love, and it took Nelson just few months to pop the question. And now happily ever after.
Its one thing for a couple to want a unique wedding and it’s another for the couple to do their home work to back it up – Nelson & Vickie did their homework for sure. Wedding was well planned, locations were great starting from hotel to the occasion ground. Their big day took months to plan and they made sure to let their personalities shine through on their wedding day. The couple’s family and friends feted Vickie and Nelson’s union in style. Amid a sea of guests dressed in traditional attires, Nelson stood tall in his gold traditional attire paired with a chiefly line cap while Vickie dazzled in her gold George wrapper and blouse- staple attire accessories with an ornate coral traditional beads. Various cultural dancing groups and musical bands were at hand as they serenaded the newly weds and their guests, over two thousands in number. It was indeed a day of love and culture.
Guests included a representative of Akwa Ibom state governor, Godswill Obot Akpabio, Hon. Paul Umoh, Perm. Sec., Hon. Victor Henry (Chairman, Eket local govt.), Barr. Ebitu, Commissional Ita, Emman Summy, Engr and Mrs. Moses Akpubak, Glady Edem, GeneralUmoh Bassey, Mr and Mrs Etukakpan Nelson Mkpandiok among other highly influential politicians and business executives.
Vickie’s advice to other couples: Put God first! Tell Him exactly what you want and He would give you the desires of your heart. Also, be patient with one another. Don’t let a third party into your union, except God. Pre- marriage counseling is very good also because it gives you an insight on the journey you’re embarking on. Communication is very important too. Above all, be best of friends.
Wishing Nelson & Vickie a marriage filled with continued laughter, love and joy!