Monday, November 24, 2008

OJ’S WEDDING FORMULA


The wedding bells rang over the weekend and Jeffrey softly exchanged nuptial vows with Josephine at the ever-magnificent LCI (light House Chapel International) edifice with the exotic QODESH tag of touch and style. I was there; go check the qodesh out one of these days at North Kay and you’ll be impressed by its architecture. No doubt I’ve labelled it as “a-one-stop-all-you-need-in-the-ministry-church”. Excuse my ignorance! that building is likely to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Elmina Castle! Take a full tour and you wouldn’t be out in 1hour. The contrast is just to help you dig up a mental appreciation of the building. You dig?

The groom, Jeffrey Ocran (OJ) my basic and junior high school colleague, who later became my brother when we were on the campus together at one of the world’s rare ocean-view universities, the University of Cape Coast, got married to Josephine Boahen, also my one-time course mate on the same campus. If you care to know, both the groom and bride undertook the same degree programme, (Bsc.) Biological Science, not that alone, these folks were also fasting and praying together as members of the LCI campus ministry. The best man couldn’t have conjectured a better biblical parody to express on the occasion, “Jeffrey was watching and praying”.-the formula revealed.

I’ll rewind quickly to mine first year-first semester days on campus. I had registered to read “Slave Trade and Colonialism” as my compulsory African Studies course for the 1st semester, interestingly enough in the 2nd Sem as if it was premeditated, Jeffrey, Josephine and Julius (as am popularly known) happened to enlist for the same African Studies course, this time it was “Comparative Analysis of Economic Development in Africa & the Caribbean”.

In fact, as of the time, a lot of students chose these two courses because it was widely believed that it was easier for one to make an “A” in both. For the first time, I met Josephine at about the third lecture or so of the “Slave Trade” course. I was late for the lecture that day. Beautiful and cute Josephine was sitting behind, guessed she was late too, so I chose to slide up next to her on the same bench. Those days it was my ritual to strike acquaintances by introducing myself to anybody I found myself sitting next to.

I asked for her name after I had been generous to say mine, she wasn’t amused at all upon hearing it, she might have said in her mind, “Julius! and so what?” But her reply came, it shocked and embarrassed me (I didn’t show it), it was the famous line of ladies on campus, “why do you want know, please you’re disturbing me” (the lecture was in progress all this while). I didn’t give up there because it wasn’t strong enough to put me off. Apparently, I was interested in dubbing her notes, the part which I missed for turning up late. I made a few remarks to her regarding explanations by the lecturer; this was just to draw her response. She wouldn’t budge, after all she was right, and I was disturbing her by being garrulous. The lecture ended and before I could say, “jack”, she had packed and was long gone.

During that same week, providence made sure our paths crossed again “vis-a vis” at another location on campus, she was heading towards me from the opposite end of the street. When she came within close range, I quickly made an overture to apologise for the other day. Here again, she wasn’t ready to exchange pleasantries. As if that wasn’t enough; I had decided to pass by OJ’s hostel that weekend, we were living a few metres apart in the “Diaspora” (a term used to describe the surrounding environs of the university) and I wanted to grab something to eat at his end. We did that quite often.

Here was Josephine again! She had also come to pay OJ a visit too. “So all this while we were connected and we all did not know”, that was the first thing I said after OJ had done the introduction, but she was also quick to report me to OJ, “your friend has been worrying me-oo, please warn him”.

“Don’t mind Julie, that’s the way he is, always getting on people’s nerves” OJ responded to calm her. Now she was beaming with smiles and excitement to hear that a guy could be called by a lady’s name. “Julie! How come?” she remarked with alacrity to know how I became knighted by that name. This name had been conferred on me long ago at the Basic school where OJ and I had known each other, apparently my colleagues had decided to shorten “JULIUS” to “JULIE”, for them it was easier and funny for a smallish boy. I’ve never objected to it even till this day, it has come to stay.

One time Eric Sackey came over apparently to look for me at home, my mother attended to him at the door, and he went like, “please am looking for Julie”, Eric was in a state of oblivion, he quickly regain his consciousness in split seconds to rephrase, “eh sorry Julius”. Mummy couldn’t help bursting out with laughter; she was hearing it too for the first time and actually, up till now she’s remained a fan of the name too.

I realised she wasn’t the kind of lady one could joke with. You see, she’s a straight forward and a very principled person. Trust me; she’s capable of taking control over matters and getting things done the right way. Inward, she’s a nice person to be with, if you get closer. I would never forget how she once asked OJ to bring me along to her room at “ADEHYE HALL” (a campus residence for ladies) to take some soup. I had been sick; lost appetite and looking pale. It was her attempt to get me up and going. Indeed she kept her word with a nice treat, occasionally within the 4yrs on the campus; I had the opportunity to taste more delicacies she prepared for OJ. On some occasions the food was brought to my room and I dictated the pace. I recall OJ’s own bad attempt at cooking, in many instances the all-tin tomato gravy, sometimes resembling a soup, got burnt. As for the rice, its destiny was to get burnt always; this was because the landlady of the hostel had banned the use of rice cookers to avoid high electricity bills.

When I was cash strapped he was there like George Bush to bail me out and I did same for him as a brother when I was also in the position to. We shared some secrets too, like my interest in Priscilla, the lady who gave the vote of thanks at the wedding refreshment. He always vouched for her as a suitable partner for me whenever the issue of pairing me up was raised. He noticed that my gnashing situation was just too much. He was kind enough to make some recommendations and introductions. Unfortunately, I failed to pursue the struggle.

All in all I can confidently say that this union is a good one for him, and I’m most optimistic that his beloved is going to keep the family together as they prepare to go and sojourn in The Gambia. Yep! That’s the destination for Pastor Jeffrey’s missions, he’s been away a couple of months ago already, but this time the Pastor is going back with his newly wedded wife to prop him up. Beautiful beginnings!

He has the honour of being the very first guy to get married out of his junior high school mates, many of them have stayed by him through out all these years. They were around to see their friend and brother become a man. I tried to sample a couple of views at the wedding ceremony from them. I did that because the attendance was very youthful and I wanted to find out whether getting married was a difficult decision to take being young men and ladies. All they did was to throw that “responsibility” at each other. Everybody thought it was rather the other’s turn to get married other than them. They want to take their time to tread cautiously until they were certain and ready to go before the altar.

It cannot be overlooked; OJ has also had his bad times and has paid his due from Basic through junior to senior high school. Now that he has taken up the challenge of the ministry to share the gospel, he is the best man to tell his story and experiences. We used to say that OJ was capable of doing anything as a bad boy; but yes I will say again that “he is capable of doing anything good as a changed man.” We’ve all been once mischievous and naughty as teenagers, running away from the boarding house and all.

I have no doubts about what Jeffrey can achieve together with Josephine; I can only congratulate and wish them well as I support with a prayer too. Once OJ resolves to do something, take his word for it.

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1 comment:

Nii Lantei said...

This is a great write-up on the beginning of the love we are seeing blossom today...
Nice work done "Julie"..but we'll chat on a diff platform about the"struggles", Pricilla and all..lol

Nice work, man..one of ur best i guess...i enjoyed reading it!!!