Dating In Nigeria: 5 Traditions Only Nigerians Can Relate To
Welcome to the Nigerian dating scene, where the words “have you eaten” mean “I love you” and marriage is the ultimate prize. Nigeria is a huge country by African standards, as it is home to 200 million people who share about 250 ethnic groups between them. Not surprisingly, Nigeria has a long assorted list of traditions and customs that Nigerians live by. These traditions include the subjects of dating and marriage. While a majority of these traditions are akin to those from other parts of the world, here are five of the distinctive traditions that govern dating in Nigeria. If you’re not Nigerian and plan to date a Nigerian, you should read this. Nigerians, this should give you a few good memories and a few more laughs.
If You’re Dating In Nigeria, Take Note of The Following
Pre-Marital Introduction Ceremonies, aka “Courtship”
No matter how long you’ve been dating your partner, the relationship only becomes official after the formal introduction ceremony. On the other hand, this also means the couple is ready to tie the legendary knot. The introduction ceremony usually takes place in the bride-to-be’s family home. Her fiance’s people come to the house to pay their respects to her family and “state their intentions”. After the bride-to-be’s family accepts the official proposal, both families share food and drinks. These days though, introduction ceremonies are as good as one of the three wedding ceremonies that Nigerian couples usually conduct. That’s up next.
Three Weddings, One Couple and A Marriage
Unless you’re a ‘foreigner’—or don’t mind being called one—Nigerians are expected to have three different wedding ceremonies. The first one is the traditional wedding. Depending on what part of the country you’re from, this involves the bride price, flogging, mass prostrations, wine carrying, picking out your spouse from a line of thoroughly-veiled women, and the like. Next is the court wedding and finally the church/mosque wedding. This way, your union will be recognized by the provisions of Nigerian traditions, Nigerian religion, and the Nigerian civil law. All three weddings also involve feasting, so couples need to be financially prepared for this as well.
The Unofficial Marriage Age is 30
If you’re not married at age 30, or at least engaged, you’re a nobody. You will be repeatedly forced to answer the question. “what is your aim in life?” In Nigeria, none of your achievements no matter how great, compare to your marriage certificate. In fact, it is not strange to be thrown out of your parents’ house for this reason. Whatever you do, find a spouse before you’re 30 and Emeka whose diapers you used to change only yesterday, will invite you to the christening of his newborn.
Courtship in Nigeria and Jollof Rice
No matter what anyone says, jollof rice is a national identity and it deserves a place on the Nigerian Coat of Arms. Wars have been fought and won for this miracle meal and that’s why it is not a Nigerian party if it’s not a jollof rice party. And it only follows that your partner can make a banging, finger licking, tongue-biting pot of jollof rice. If not, it’s best to rethink the relationship while there is still time.
If You're Dating In Nigeria, Flaunt It…On Social
Cute photo…check. The sweetest words…check. A thousand likes…check. Your courtship must stand the test of social media, where if your boo has got a boo, s/he will be uncovered. If you both pass this test, your union will last forever.
What traditions of dating in Nigeria do you know? Leave us a comment. We promise not to laugh…too much.