Love Life is a Zikoko weekly series about love, relationships, situationships, entanglements and everything in between.
How did you meet?
Mobola: I threw up right in front of his friend’s Toyota at a public event seven years ago. He jumped out of the car and came to ask my friend if I was all right, but I vomited again, right on his white sneakers.
That was enough to make him fall for me.
Aliyu: After dropping my friends off at The Experience, I was struggling to get out of TBS at around 6:30 p.m. I remember it was getting dark and everywhere was crowded, the roads were congested. The plan was to drop them off as early as 4 p.m., but we ran late, and I was stuck.
That’s when I saw these three girls bunched together close to the race course entrance. One of them was bent over, so I got out of the car to get to them. That’s how I got vomit on my shoes. I got to find out they planned to attend the overnight concert, but she ate something funny earlier in the day and had to rush out to throw up.
Mobola: I told him I’d be fine once I got it all out of my system, but some security people were already harassing us for polluting the environment. He grabbed a black nylon from somewhere and handed it to me in case I had to throw up again, saying I had to go home.
Aliyu: She looked very pale. Uber and Taxify were still new then. Neither of them had the apps. I couldn’t imagine them jumping bus with her in that condition, so I urged them to let me take her home. Thankfully, her house was in my general direction, and I still had to return to pick my friends up the next morning, so I assured her friends I’d update them if I saw them.
Mobola: And those unserious friends let me go with a complete stranger!
What happened next?
Mobola: As expected, there was a lot of traffic, but fortunately, I didn’t throw up in the car.
Aliyu: We spoke on and off through the traffic, and I told her the car belonged to one of the friends I’d dropped off. I’d offered to be their driver because it wasn’t easy to drive your car to that event and have to park somewhere or start looking for a cab in the chaos.
We talked until I dropped her off with her mum at home. I exchanged numbers with her and one of her friends before that. But after I left her place that night, we didn’t communicate until New Year’s Day when she called to tell me she was sending a gift to my house.
Mobola: I sold clothes and shoes for years before I got my first job in 2018. When we were in the car, he took his sneakers off and put them beside me in the front passenger seat. Don’t worry, he’d rinsed them with pure water outside the car first. Anyway, that’s how I got to know his shoe size, so I decided to send him a similar pair of sneakers to show my appreciation because I had the feeling he would’ve thrown that one away.
Aliyu: I was impressed when I received the shoes with a gratitude card the next day. I’m not used to women buying me gifts. Fast forward to November 2017. She called me out of the blues and invited me to that year’s The Experience. I told her “No, thank you” because I was a Muslim. She said it didn’t matter that it was an experience I just had to experience once in my lifetime.
I liked how passionately she tried to sell it to me, so I said I’d come though I didn’t plan to. Then she asked if we could go together. I knew I was in trouble, so I just said yes and asked for the details.
Mobola: The fact that I still wanted to see him again even though he’d seen me vomit made me know I liked him. Something about how caring he was got to me. I kept hoping he’d call again during the year, but when he didn’t, I came up with the plan to invite him back to the place we met.
Aliyu: It was a good plan because I had a good experience that somehow changed my life.
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In what ways?
Aliyu: Well, I met my future wife. We’re not married yet, but we will be.
Mobola: I’m still waiting for him to propose.
Aliyu: I’m not where I want to be financially yet. Right now, I’m struggling, and I don’t want to take her out of her father’s house just to come and suffer.
At the Experience 2017, we met up with some of her friends and mine. My friends were so surprised to see me attend a Christian gathering. But it was beautiful, and I enjoyed myself.
Mobola: That’s how we started attending them every year.
Aliyu: But after that one, I asked her to be my girlfriend. I hadn’t been in any serious relationship for close to three years because I wasn’t the best person when it came to constantly calling, meeting and checking up on people. She seemed easygoing and there was something about her that made me happy.
Something just told me to ask her out and be straight, so I did.
Mobola: Just like he said, our relationship has been very easygoing. We don’t stress each other at all.
How do you know for sure that it’s love?
Mobola: I don’t know how to answer that o. We just know.
He’s a kind person, but the way he particularly treats me with care makes me feel special. He never wants anything to stress me out, not even work.
Aliyu: That’s why I really want to be ready before we settle down. I’m not saying she’ll quit her job, but I don’t want her to work too hard because we want to make ends meet. Her dream has always been to have her own thriving business, and I want to set that up for her.
How do I know it’s love? I already feel invested in her welfare like we’re family members. She also just makes me smile anytime I see her and know she’s mine.
Mobola: Aww. I also think the fact that he converted, considering how we met at a Christian event, is not a coincidence.
Aliyu: Changing my religion was a big deal for me. Even though I wasn’t the most religious Muslim before, it was a part of my lifestyle because it was all I knew. But then, I attended church with her one day, and that was it.
I’d say falling in love with her became impossible without falling in love with her religion just because of how spiritual she is without being bigoted. She never visited a mosque though, but then, I wasn’t as religious in answering the adhan as she was with her worship.
What do your families think about the conversion?
Mobola: My parents didn’t mind either way because my dad grew up Muslim and later converted. He still behaves more Muslim than Christian. My mum has always been an Anglican Christian, but the type that believes more in people being good than in a religious label. The only thing she’ll say is, “But you won’t make heaven o”.
They welcomed him when he was a Muslim, but embraced him fully when he converted.
Aliyu: I’m from a polygamous home, and my mum is dead, so my family don’t too much care. In their mind, it’s, “Good riddance to the bad egg”. It just means fewer visits to the family home for important occasions. But my cousins still invite me for Ileya and the like, and sometimes, we attend together.
Mobola: To them, I‘m the devil’s advocate that led their child astray.
Aliyu: Not at all. They actually treat her so well.
Mobola: I feel like they do that out of guilt because they insult and curse me behind my back.
What was your first major fight about?
Aliyu: When we first started dating, I bought her goat meat pepper soup instead of the catfish one she’d asked for when she wasn’t feeling well. She was adamant that I not buy goat meat, but that was the only type my usual plug had at that time, so I bought it anyway.
I didn’t know she doesn’t eat goat meat.
Mobola: It was goat meat that gave me serious food poisoning the evening we met. Since then, once I so much as smell goat, I have nausea. I promised never to eat the thing after that day, and I still stand by it. I told him specifically not goat meat pepper soup, and that was exactly what he bought.
I ended up throwing up immediately after he opened the hot bowl of soup.
Aliyu: I’ve suffered with this throwing up of a thing.
Mobola: But I won’t count that as a major fight sha.
The one that still makes me unhappy to date was when we had that conversation after I told you I was pregnant before COVID-19. We decided to abort it because I agreed that neither of us was ready, but he was so matter-of-fact about it. I expected and needed a lot more care from him, but for the first time, I didn’t get it.
Aliyu: I was ashamed of myself for asking you to have an abortion and was trying to manage my own emotions.
Mobola: I got the abortion, but then, we had a major fight over the whole thing. I was honestly so scared that was the end for us. The next day, he came crying and apologising, taking back everything he said.
He showed me he could put his ego aside for our relationship, and that was a relief. We’ve been more careful with family planning now that we know we want to wait a bit to get married.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your Love Life?