Love Life is a Zikoko weekly series about love, relationships, situationships, entanglements and everything in between.
The subjects of this Love Life are Blessing* and Tunde* who are both 30. They tell us about meeting through work, two failed proposal attempts and how Tunde pulled what he considers the “greatest scam of all time” by making sure they got married on their shared birthday.
Did you know you had the same birthday before you met?
Blessing: Well, I did.
Tunde: Because she was stalking me.
Blessing: I was doing my job. On December 31st, 2018, my line manager told me to review the CV of a guy who came highly recommended. His birthday was on his CV, and it was the same as mine. So I checked his name on social media to see what he looked like. In his profile picture, he was wearing a waistcoat, looking like a good boy.
Tunde: I don’t even own a waistcoat. What are you saying?
Blessing: I even forgot about it until February 2019 when he started working in the office. I remember the first day I saw him. He was wearing a blue shirt with grey pants, and I said to myself, “Who is this brother?” He looked like such a church boy. I smiled at him, and we had a chat.
Tunde: Abi, you fell in love at first sight?
Blessing: Lai lai. I did not at all.
Tunde: You won’t sweeten this story to make your life great? Anyways, now that you’ve said your own, let me say my own version.
Blessing: My version is the truth, and all you need to know.
Tunde: When you were talking, I didn’t interrupt you. So let me say my own o.
Oya, Tunde, speak your truth
Tunde: They gave her my CV, and she was blown away so she decided to check me out online. When she saw I was a fine boy, she knew she had to work with me. That’s when she started recommending me to the manager.
Blessing: That’s a very big lie.
Tunde: But our coworker said you fought for me to join the team.
Blessing: Your CV was impressive, and I did look for you on social media, but only because of the birthday thing. I didn’t give a shit if they hired you or not. I just needed to get the work done.
Tunde: We ended up working in the same team and reported to the same manager. Our manager told me you fought for me.
Blessing: You won’t talk about how you saw my big bumbum and became confused?
Tunde: Who told you that one?
Blessing: Your friends did.
Tunde: I remember seeing her for the first time in the office, dark-skinned with her big bum and tiny waist. I was like wow. When I got back home, I had to tell my friends the women in my new office had yansh.
What was working together like?
Blessing: We sat together at work, and I like to believe we were friendly towards each other.
Tunde: In the office, she’d act as if she cares, but when I travel to the North for work, she’d never text to check in on me. I even had a word with our manager about working in a team of people who don’t care about each other. Blessing never called to ask how my trip went even though she knew I had to travel to all these dangerous places.
It’s giving JSS 2. Why did you report her to the manager?
Blessing: LMAO. He wanted me to talk to him, but instead of meeting me as a man, he went to report me to “Big Uncle” manager.
Tunde: It’s not like I reported her. I had a review of culture meeting with the manager in April. Because I typically travelled alone — the company couldn’t afford to send more people — I felt like the team didn’t really have my back. Hers was even more hurtful because we sat together in the office, and she was always tickling me. Then when I travelled, she wouldn’t even bother to find out if I was dead or alive.
Blessing: Sorry nau.
Tunde: Can you imagine. Four years later is when you’re apologising.
Blessing: We weren’t that close then. He was a great seatmate, I won’t lie, but I just didn’t care so much.
How did you progress to being friends?
Blessing: After the manager told me what Tunde said, I started checking up on him. We worked more closely together, and he was fun.
Tunde: And funny. I’m a funny guy.
Blessing: Somewhat funny. He thinks he’s very funny.
Tunde: Not somewhat. No “I think”.
Blessing: He’s a gbef, and it’s his gbefness that makes me laugh.
Tunde: That’s being funny. Do you laugh? Exactly. The thing is that because I’m a funny and fun guy, she couldn’t get enough. She’d call me around 6 a.m. to find out if I was going to the office.
Blessing: That was later when I started liking your big head. Nonsense.
Tunde: Same thing.
Blessing: Please, let’s stick to the questions.
And you both realised it was more than friendship when?
Blessing: After we’d built a solid foundation of friendship in June. We searched for places together while he was getting an apartment. We even used to visit each other on some weekends. It was easy for us to bond beyond the office environment. We also used to come to the office together with one of our colleagues. The three of us would meet at a designated point, so we were in each other’s faces a lot. I started to get these mosquito feeling in my stomach whenever I got a text from him or saw his face.
Tunde: It’s me that’s mosquito feeling?
Blessing: Not you; the feelings.
Tunde: What happened to butterflies? Why mosquito?
Blessing: It started as mosquitos then moved to butterflies. Now, it’s elephants in my tummy.
Tunde: It’s not even cute animals you’re mentioning.
The feeling solidified in August 2019 when she started having issues with a lecturer we can’t really talk about. I didn’t want to see her hurt, so it really hit me that I wanted to take care of her.
When did you decide to do something about the mosquitoes in your tummy?
Blessing: I had a boyfriend at the time. We started dating a couple of days before Tunde joined the company, but along the line, we started having issues. The guy and I broke up in October 2019, then Tunde and I started having relationship-type conversations.
Tunde: After she broke up with her boyfriend, she started seeking for me.
Blessing: Oh God.
Tunde: One Saturday in November, I went to see her, and as I was about to leave, I just started gazing at her.
Blessing: I feel like if anyone had carried scissors to cut that tension, the scissors would’ve broken.
Tunde: I wanted to kiss her, but I didn’t want to do it first because I’m a bad guy.
Blessing: So I did it.
Tunde: She told me to come back and kissed me. I knew I would die there. We became kissing coworkers, or co-kissers, if you will.
Blessing: He’d come to the office and there’d be tension. We both knew if it weren’t an office, we’d tear each other apart. But we’re great work partners, so we put all our emotions aside to make sure we got work done.
Tunde: I want to believe the tension helped us with work. We’d want to finish as quickly as possible so we could focus on other matters. I asked her out twice, but she turned me down because she needed time to think after just coming out of a relationship. But when our office closed for the year on December 19, she came over to my place and we spent Detty December together. On the 29th, I asked her for the third time to go out with me. We were in bed together; she said yes.
Blessing: Changed my mind because Detty December
Didn’t your office have a no-dating policy?
Tunde: If anything, our office encouraged it. Everybody dated everybody there.
Blessing: It even produced three married couples.
Tunde: Twice, someone introduced a coworker to their friend or family member, and they got married.
Company or dating site? God, abeg
Blessing: Dating and working together was great because we got to spend a lot of time together.
Tunde: In January 2020, she returned to her place, but honestly, she spent more time at mine than hers.
In February, COVID-19 happened, and we spent the lockdown together at my house. I stayed in an estate in GRA at the time and we had 24/7 electricity. Her place in Somolu didn’t, so it made sense for her to work from my house. The first couple of weeks were really good. We didn’t have any problems, and it stayed that way until we found out her dad didn’t like me. Her parents were really attached to her ex-boyfriend. They thought he was a responsible guy who’d eventually marry their daughter.
Blessing: Then we broke up for no actual reason. And they thought Tunde was this bad boy who was turning my head.
Tunde: Her dad reached out to her in late March to find out how she was doing. She said she was spending the lockdown at home, but he found out his unmarried daughter was living with the same guy he already thought was turning his daughter’s brain. That’s when all hell broke loose. He’s an influential man, so he started threatening to reach out to some top police officers. That’s how our life went from peace and quiet to chaos and confusion.
I was so scared, I had to call my dad and tell him about the girlfriend he didn’t know about. He told me I had to return Blessing to her place so I can get her father’s blessing for the relationship. But it was in the thick of the lockdown, so we had to walk all the way from Ogudu to Bariga before we could see a car to take us to Somolu.
Even Fitfam people don’t do like that
Blessing: When he dropped me off at my place, I had to let my parents know I was back so they could stop all the police talk. But I didn’t want to let him go, so he stayed with me for about a week.
Tunde: I loved he,r and she was really unhappy. I didn’t want to just leave her like that.
Blessing: When he left, he stayed alone for like a week before I went back to his place.
Does that mean you resolved the problem with Blessing’s dad?
Blessing: Not really. There was no light or water in my place, and I needed both to work. My parents live in Edo state, so it’s not like I could go there. They just weren’t seeing that the most sensible decision was to stay in his place and work from there.
Since they didn’t agree to see it that way, I just went back to his place and lied to them that I was still at mine. There was no way I’d endure the lockdown period without light, water and my man. We lived together for a couple of months till he had to move from the mainland to the island for his MBA.
Tunde: I resigned from the company to do my MBA in January 2021. It was a residency program, so I had to leave her at home and move. It was the first time we had to go long periods without seeing each other. So it was catastrophic initially. She was home alone while I was in school doing this high-intensity programme that sometimes had me studying until 3 a.m. I’ll be too tired to speak to her on the phone, and she couldn’t come visit, so we barely spoke.
How did you get through it?
Tunde: This is the part that made me believe our love was meant to be. A couple of weeks after I started the program, she got a job in an office really close to my postgraduate school. Sometimes, when they gave us lunch in school, I’d take some to her. But that wasn’t enough; we had to get creative.
Blessing: I started sneaking into his room sometimes.
Tunde: There were loopholes in the school’s rules, and we exploited that. I won’t go into specifics because I don’t want to give the current students expo.
Blessing: I’d sneak from his room to work and then slip back into his room. It was adorable.
Towards the end of 2020, he stylishly asked what I thought of getting married. I freaked out about it because I thought it was too soon. He wanted to meet my parents, and luckily for us, my younger sister was getting married to one of his best friends. They did their introduction in the village and he was part of the wedding party, so he used it as an opportunity to meet my dad.
Tunde: I always knew her dad would like me. The problem was just that he didn’t know me. So before I went to their place in Edo state to see him face-to-face, I wanted to have a conversation with him over the phone to tell him my mind. I told him I was a responsible man, doing my MBA, and was interested in marrying his daughter. After that conversation, we didn’t speak again until her sister’s introduction in May.
How did the meeting go?
Tunde: Do you want to tell them how scared you were?
Blessing: I was shaking. My parents can be quite strict, so I didn’t know what to expect. But he came with his friends, and it went well. He became their sweetheart, although it took my mum a bit longer to warm up to him. She was extremely careful because she didn’t want me to go into the wrong hands. It took Tunde, my dad, sisters and even me talking to my mum for her to warm up to him. Now, they’re besties.
Let’s talk about the marriage proposal
Tunde: I proposed a few weeks before the official introduction between our two families in August. The proposal was funny because I had to change the venue a couple of times.
The first proposal was to happen at the beach in July. I’d planned with my colleagues to use them as a decoy. I’d tell her my office was having a “bring your partner” beach event. That way, she’d have to dress up and gbam! Proposal. Blessing and I stayed in a small studio apartment, and we never hide things from each other. We take all our calls on speaker, and we know each other’s passwords. With my colleagues in on it, they’d know to slip the plan in so it would seem legit.
Unfortunately, the Saturday I’d planned to propose, I couldn’t get the logistics right, so I moved it to the next Saturday. However, I didn’t tell my colleagues. When they called during the week, they started asking how the proposal went. She was right there so the proposal couldn’t happen again.
Oya, proposal number two
Tunde: I was planning to propose to her during our annual office retreat. You were allowed to bring your partner and even kids for the week-long retreat. It was at a really nice hotel, and the aesthetics would’ve been perfect for a proposal. Unfortunately, our Chief of Staff changed the rules and said she couldn’t come because I hadn’t proposed yet. I couldn’t tell her I planned on proposing there because I’d just joined the company and didn’t want it to be weird.
The date for our introduction was getting closer, and I wanted to propose before then. But I knew it would be difficult to get her to dress up without looking for a ridiculous excuse, so I had to do the ridiculous. I reached out to a not-so-close friend of mine and got him to invite us to a fake event. Then, I told my neighbours I wanted to propose to her in their apartment. They were in love with the idea. They left their apartment for us so I could get it all set up. I called my friend’s sister to help me out with balloons and everything.
While all of this planning was going on, Blessing and I were arguing. Why? Because I kept having to take my calls outside so she couldn’t hear what was going on. While she was accusing me of talking to other women, I was planning her proposal.
Tunde: I got a lot of our friends and family involved. On the day of the “dinner” my friend invited us to, I told my neighbours to call me and ask me to come over. They’re a married couple with a two-year-old and were like a big brother and sister to us. So them calling one or both of us over wasn’t new.
When I got to the apartment, I called to tell her it was both of us they wanted to see, and she should get ready so we could go from there straight to the “event”. When she got there, I was on my knees with all our friends around and music playing.
Blessing: And I laughed so much. When my younger sister got proposed to, she laughed as well, and I was wondering what was wrong with her. It got to my turn, and there I was. Seeing him in his turtleneck, down on one knee with all the balloons, it just looked really funny. I’m not sure I heard anything he said. I just said yes, and he put the ring on my finger.
Did anything change once you got engaged?
Blessing: Not really. We still remained the cool and adventurous couple.
Tunde: Maybe our mentality changed. We had to start saving for a house and planning a wedding, so we had all those things at the back of our mind.
What was the wedding planning like?
Blessing: It was actually cool, not as hectic as I thought it would be. Since my sister got married in August, we had a template to work with.
Tunde: We did elevate the template though because our wedding was the bomb.
Tunde: Look, let me tell you. I’ve pulled the greatest scam in history. Now, instead of celebrating our birthday and anniversary separately, I can lump it together and give one gift. People will read about me. Children will write stories about me. I’m making history.
Blessing: It’s not like I objected to the idea of getting married on our birthday. Plus, he’s making all this mouth about not buying gifts, but this man is a liar. Since we entered February 2023, he’s been buying me gifts every day.
We got married on our birthday because he just thought it was adorable. Now, it’s a story he tells everyone once they mistakenly ask. It doesn’t help that we have the same loc hairstyle. When people see us, they mistake us for siblings then he launches into the “born on the same day and married on the same day” speech.
What’s married life like?
Blessing: We’re a lot more conscious about building long-term wealth, not just for both of us, but our families are involved now.
Tunde: When you get married, you think you’re getting married to one person, but it’s actually a village. You now have to consider family members when doing certain things. We kept trying to figure things out individually, so we argued a lot at first. Like three months in, we realised how important talking to each other about things is. We’d sit up in the middle of the night and cry about stuff.
Something else that’s helped our relationship over time is the foundation of friendship. I may be upset with Blessing my babe, but Blessing my friend and I will sit down and talk.
On a scale of 1-10, what’ll you rate your love life?
Blessing: I’ll rate it a 9. The 1 is because of the possibility of us being more than this. There’s a lot of room for improvement.
Tunde: I disagree for the same reasons. Since she said there’s a lot of room for improvement, I’ll rate it a 1. Shebi it’s you that’s looking for room? The 1 means there’s plenty of room for you.
Blessing: That room you’re talking about, it’s like you’ll go and collect it outside o, because I don’t understand.
Tunde: But for real, I’ll say a 9 as well. We don’t fight, and it’s not because we don’t have growing tension about things, it’s just that we quickly communicate it. It’s been butterflies since we started dating. I feel pretty good about us.