Love Life is a Zikoko weekly series about love, relationships, situationships, entanglements and everything in between.
Davina, 28, and Hamza, 28, dated for a year before they got married. This week on Love Life, they talk about dating for three months, dating again three years later and eventually getting married.
What’s your earliest memory of each other?
Hamza: In 2005, we attended the same secondary school for one term. I joined in JS1 and left that same year.
Davina: I remember him running out of the dining hall with glasses on one day. And in my head, I was like, “Where are you running to?”
Hamza: I don’t remember that day, but I remember you were a popular kid who loved music and dancing.
Did you two talk to each other?
Hamza: No, we never did until 2009 when I found her on Twitter. I don’t remember a lot of our conversations during that time, but I know I invited her to my prom.
Davina: I couldn’t go because it was the same day as my prom. Plus, I had a boyfriend at the time.
Hamza: Aha! Now the truth is coming out.
LOL. When did you people start talking proper?
Davina: After I came back to the UK for my master’s in 2017, my friend — who was also his friend from our secondary school — invited me to her house. She was like, “By the way, Hamza is going to be there.”
When I saw him, I thought he grew up nicely. He was skinny in secondary, but now, he was looking all buff and sweet.
Hamza: She looked really nice too. We had a good time at our friend’s house and when she was about to leave, I told her to make sure she comes back.
Davina: I did and we dated for like three months.
Hol’ up. How did that happen?
Davina: So I came back to my friend’s place a few days later, and he was there too. This time, he gave me more attention. We watched a movie, and at the end of it, we kissed.
Hamza: It felt really nice, and I started to move to her. We exchanged numbers and got talking. I asked her out a few days later, and she said yes.
Davina: Hamza was very romantic and all, but I was still hung up on my ex in Lagos. Plus, I’d been used to long-distance relationships and being in such close proximity with him was hard for me. So I broke up with him after three months. I was being stupid.
Hamza: I don’t think it was stupid. I just think you weren’t ready.
Davina: Yeah, I wasn’t ready, and I felt like I needed to be honest about it. Part of me wanted to keep trying, but I just wasn’t there for it. He didn’t deserve a half-arsed relationship and I told him that.
How did you take it?
Hamza: I was really hurt but I’m happy she was honest with me. I moved on with my life and had other relationships. 2020 was particularly interesting for me. I was settling into adulthood proper. I’d let go of a lot of things and people to heal and just go through my emotions. I’d also been through therapy and was feeling good about myself. Only for this babe to call me one random day in September 2020, three years later. I was playing video games that day, and I remember being very confused. I picked up because I wanted to know if she was okay.
Davina: I just wanted to say hi to him. I had just come out of a relationship.
At that point, I prayed to God. I said to Him, I don’t want to get married, but if it’s what He wants for me, He should show me the person I should marry and help me pursue him. A few days later, Hamza’s name began to sit in my spirit. I’d wake up at 4 a.m. to pray and Hamza would be on my mind, so I decided to call him. I thought there was no animosity so why not reach out? I even talked to one of my closest friends about him, and she said I could shoot my shot if I wanted to.
Did you want to?
Davina: Yes, I did, but I also knew I was the one who broke us up in the first place, so I had to be gentle and patient with him. I asked him to hang out with me.
While we were together, I’d give him compliments. Tell him I like his hair or his fit. This boy still didn’t figure out that I was moving to him until December. I even invited him over to my house and cooked for him. Me that I’m protective of my space.
Hamza: LOL. After I left your house that night, my best friend called me. I told her I just left your house, and she said, “Are you sure that babe doesn’t like you?” I asked her if people can’t just be friends? I even got upset about it.
Davina: That’s how clueless he was…until I kissed him.
Ou. How did that happen?
Hamza: She invited me over to eat.
Davina: I made this boy food again. I’m mostly vegan, but I made him a suya mushroom thing, fried yam and fried plantain with palm oil pepper sauce. I also got him Maltina. For context, I live in a white-dominated area so it’s hard to find Nigerian things, but I went to look for Maltina for him.
Hamza, and you still didn’t know?
Hamza: LOL. No idea. I got to her place and there was food. So much to eat in so little time. After eating the food, and drinking the Maltina and wine, I couldn’t move. I even told her I have to introduce her to my other friends so we can all be friends. I ended up sleeping on her couch.
Davina: That was my plan — to make him so comfortable, he wouldn’t be able to find a reason to leave my house.
Hamza: The next morning, we kissed, and I left the house confused. When I got in my car, I called my best friend to tell her we just kissed and she’s like, “Ehen, I knew it.” We texted a lot that day. And I wasn’t doing anything that night so I decided to go back to her house.
Davina: Please, I’m not a freak, but I told him if he comes back, I’m not letting him go.
Hamza, it was obvious by now, right?
Hamza: Yes, but I needed to know what we were doing with each other. I didn’t want us to be friends who kiss every now and then. So that night, we talked about the possibility of dating. I knew not to get myself into situations I couldn’t control by not defining them. We didn’t become a couple that night, but I knew we were getting there.
Davina: In my head, he was already my boyfriend sha.
Hamza: It became official for me in January.
Tell me about that
Hamza: We were spending a lot of time together, and I liked it. In December, I went away with my friends for the holidays. I missed her so much during that time. When I came back, my housemate tested positive for COVID, so we had to isolate for 14 days. Gosh, it was hard not seeing Davina for that long.
One day, we were talking and the conversation of “boyfriend and girlfriend” came up because, as usual, Davina had an agenda.
She said, “I want to know what I should call you when I’m talking to my friends.”
A smart queen…
Hamza: LOL. The thing is I wanted to ask her out in person, and I told her that. She said it didn’t matter so I asked her to be my girlfriend, and she said yes.
What was the relationship like the second time around?
Hamza: Initially, it was scary. Here’s a girl I had chased twice, and now, we were in a relationship. However, like I’ve said, Davina is great company, and at the foundation of our partnership, we had a friendship. This allowed us to navigate seemingly difficult situations because we liked one another, and on top of that, we love each other very much. Without even thinking too much about it, I knew I wanted to be with her for the rest of my life.
Davina: For me, this is the first relationship I’ve been in that’s taught me so much about myself. I’ve learnt to be more patient with people and with myself. I’m more self-reflective. I’ve also learnt to love in languages that are not my primary love language. For context, my primary love languages are physical touch and words of affirmation while Hamza’s are acts of service and quality time.
Also, this is the first relationship in which I know my partner would do anything for me. Not just because he says it, but he actually makes an effort to. I love that he is always there for me, ever supportive and ever loving. I wouldn’t trade us for anything in this world.
Sweet, do you two fight? Tell me about your biggest fight
Hamza: Davina and I hardly ever fight. We’ve had just two big fights in the course of our relationship. I’ll tell you about the last one. She had an issue with me that questioned my commitment to her.
Davina: I was struggling to understand the nature of one of Hamza’s friendships. I had been cheated on before in previous relationships so my guard was up. I confronted him about it in a raw and immature way. The approach didn’t hurt him as much as the fact that I was questioning his commitment to me.
Hamza: I was annoyed because I had spent months before that day planning my proposal.
It wasn’t even a fight where we raised our voices at each other. Our sentences were pointed and abrupt. The silence in between was the most deafening sound so I decided to take a stroll to clear my head. As I walked, I prayed because I’d already planned to propose to her the next day. In this situation, I needed guidance from God. I didn’t take my phone because I didn’t need any external influence on my decision. I didn’t know how much time passed, but I got the confirmation I needed that Davina was the one so I went back to her place.
Davina: I was so worried. He didn’t return until just before midnight. In fact, I was on my way to search for him when he walked in. I apologised for what happened and he told me that he had been planning to propose to me so he needed to know if I trusted him and really wanted to be with him. I just started crying. We both did actually. I’d never been so sure of anything.
Aww. When is the wedding?
Davina: In four weeks!
Hamza: We honestly can’t wait.
Send us wedding photos, okay? Until then, what attracts you to each other?
Davina: I can’t pick just one thing. For one, I love Hamza’s physique. His arms, his jawline, his eyes, his smile beautifully framed by his lips. Phew! He’s also very understanding and patient. He takes his time to listen and is never quick to respond. I love how screwed on his head is.
Hamza: I actually dislike this question because it’s complex. I think most people expect either a single poetic line or an essay filled with buzz words. However, I’ll put it simply like this: Davina is my person. She is kind, understanding, patient, loving, caring, strong and intelligent. She corrects me when I’m wrong, fights for me when needed, and most of all, she loves God. She is and will always be someone I can depend on. With her, I can call anywhere home.
While I wipe my tears, please rate your relationship on a scale of one to ten
Hamza: 9 because no relationship is perfect, and we’ve had our fair share of troubles. But there’s no one else I’d rather do this with.
Davina: It’s the same for me. This relationship hasn’t just been a source of peace for me, but it’s also caused me to grow a lot, which I’m super thankful for.
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