The Esajeres surpass themselves in organizing the 1st Wedding of the Year between Ebere & IK

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The Prince & his Princess shares Love inside their hut

It was the first Saturday of the year, January 2nd 2016 and from all indications, it was the very first wedding of the year. The grand events was the official marriage of Ebere, the beautiful daughter of Guardian Newspaper’s veteran Political Editor, Mr. Akpo Esajere and Ikechukwu the handsome son of a former Director of Engineering, Leventis Stores, Mr. Joseph Amaechi Okobi and his lovely wife Mrs. Patricia Obiagheli Okobi who is the  immediate Past Vice Principal of Ogba Junior  Grammar School, Lagos.


The event started with an early morning traditional marriage ceremony at the modest home of the bride’s parent somewhere in the heart of Ogba in the Ifako-Ijaiye Local Development Council area of Lagos-South West Nigeria where family, friends and well-wishers joined other Nigerians to support the Okobis  and Esajeres for the traditional marriage of their children, Ikechukwu and Ebere.
 The event which started as early as 8am metamorphosed into a bigger celebration with a white wedding bash at Amazing Grace Pentecostal Church (Solution Ground) by Bakare Avenue off  Shipeolu Street-Palmgroove-Lagos under the leadership of Bishop (Dr.) Mrs. Chioma Grace Dauji at 12 noon and ended with a grand reception at Quad T Event Center by Eco Bank Bus Stop (Opposite UPS), Gbagada-Lagos.
Your Africa’s Number 1 Celebrity Encounter Blog Asabeafrika is official blog for the event.  Here we bring you the unpublished scoops from our first marriage of the year. Enjoy!

Ebere & Ik looks into the future with hope

The Couple
Ikechukwu Okobi Joseph the newest groom of year 2016 is a graduate of Computer Science from University of Nigeria (Nsukka) while his pretty bride, Eberechi Esajere is a graduate of Agric Economics from same institution. She currently works with one of the branches of Zenith Bank PLC in Lagos. The two met couple of years back in UNN. Ikechukwu was in his final year, leaving while Ebere was just getting into the institution. It is not all the time and in many instances do you find a lady enroll into a higher institution and twice lucky to pick a husband material out of such institution. And it is not equally all time you find a man, especially having finished his studies and about to leave, being so lucky to pick a wife material out of school. IK hails from Ibusa in Delta State South-South Nigeria while his pretty Ebere is from Isoko in same Delta State.

Ikechukwu talks to the GDA

Meet Groom’s Parent
 Engineer Joseph Okobi a former head of Computer Engineering division at Leventis Stores is the father of the groom while groom’s mum is an educationist of over three decades experience. Her name is Madam Patricia Obiagheli Okobi, she retired last November, 2015 as the Vice Principal of Ogba Junior Grammar School in Lagos-South West Nigeria. She retired on Monday November 16th which falls on her birthday.  The two were looking very dashing and happy at the home front of their in-laws, the Esajeres as they ask for Ebere’s hand in marriage for their son, Ikechukwu.

Mr. & Mrs. Akpo & Sylvia Esajere

The Bride’s Parent
Bride’s parents are Mr. Akpo and Mrs. Sylvia Esajere all from Isoko in Delta North of Delta State, South-South Nigeria. Mr. Akpo Esajere is a veteran political editor and political analyst with the leading Nigerian elite’s Guardian Newspaper. He has practiced for over three decades and one of the most respected Politics Editor in Nigeria; his pretty and charming wife who gave him 5 loving kids (3boys and two ladies) was the former Circulation Manager of Hallmark Newspaper, National Mirror Newspaper and today she is the Copy Sales Manager of Daily Sun Newspaper, one of Nigeria’s largest circulating tabloids. They were both in a celebration mood as they received the Okobis in their humble home for the historic occassion.

Groom's Parent, Joseph & Patricia Okobi ready to pay the dowry and take away Ebere

The traditional ambience of the venue
The traditional marriage took place at the modest home of the Esajeres (Bride’s Parent) in Ogba area of Lagos-South West Nigeria. A portion of the large compound was re-designed to suit the taste and nature of the occasion as a traditional hut was erected for the couple. The hut made up of traditional mats strewn with white linen, had two horsetails which signify royalty. Inside the hut are medium baskets made from traditional canes which dangled on the wall.  The seat inside the highly crafted hut is made of traditional raffia tree embossed with a white tailored cushion and two pillows for the comfort of the couple. The design caught guests’ attention at the occasion which lasted for two hours.

A Very Happy Akpo Esajere & wife, Sylvia, In-law, Patricia look with keen enthusiasm
Ebere & Her Father-in-law, Joseph Amaechi Okobi

The Traditional Cake too
The traditional Wedding Cake was another article of the event which caught the fancy of guests and well-wishers who stormed the Okobi/Esajere traditional wedding bash. The cake spoke much of cultural heritage and royalty as all props assigned the cake by the designer spew cultural inclination. The Cake which adopted the red and white color of royalty had a crop of Kolanuts in white and red color embossed around it. The foundation of the cake is that of a royal crown spiced with kolanuts and beads which signifies royalty, fruitfulness and authority.

The Traditional Wedding Cake

A fruitful Marriage for Ebere & IK

Why the Event was delayed by 30 minutes,
The traditional marriage which had guests from both families taking their seat as early as 8am was delayed by 30 minutes as the Master of Ceremony  Dennis Ofeh  came some thirty four minutes behind schedule. He quickly apologized and went straight to work as the event started earnestly. The event opened with prayer and breaking of Kola nuts which is very synonymous with both the Isoko (Bride) and Ibusa (Groom) cultures in Delta state—Southern Nigeria.

Elders conducting the Kola Nut breaking segment

Meet Pastor who invited Jesus to the traditional marriage
Pastor Andy Onochie of Winners Chapel seems to be the man of God the Esajeres and Okobis entrusted the prayer of the day unto. This handsome man of God who took his seat at the Groom’s family’s side was the one who opened the prayer session at 8:34am inviting Jesus into the traditional marriage. Pastor Andy Onochie was also the man who opened the prayer segment at the Reception which took place later in the day at Quad-T Events Center in Gbagada area of Lagos. He equally invited Lord Jesus into same ceremony. It appears that while bride’s family provided the Master of ceremony Dennis Ofeh, the groom’s family provided Pastor Andy Onochie for prayers. Well, nobody can fault Pastor Andy’s decision to bring Jesus to IK and Ebere’s wedding as it is on record that Jesus’s first miracle in the Holy Bible was performed at a marriage feast.

The Naira Rain Kola Nut

How traditional Kola nut breaking generated over N100K
For strangers who are not too familiar with the cultures of the Okobis of Ibusa and the Esajeres of Isoko land, breaking of the Kola nut was just another cultural ritual in a traditional marriage. But that segment of the marriage turned out to be a chance to learn more about Kola nut breaking culture as a lot of attention was given to that aspect of the ceremony. The MC, Dennis Ofeh announced to both families that the wedding was a “Happy New Year Wedding” and that he expected everyone to treat the kolanut breaking segment as the first kola nut breaking activity of the year since the event is taking place a day after New Year celebration. He also told the guests that the Isoko people of Delta State guides Kola nut breaking jealously.  And before anyone could say “Okobi” both groom’s family and the bride’s family with their legion of friends and well-wishers have contributed almost a hundred thousand naira as every guest kept dropping between N3k to N5k, 10k and upward. The smallest donation was N1k. The segment became the most celebrated segment as it served as a prelude to other attendant activities which announced that a traditional marriage has taken place. The segment was conducted in Isoko and Ibusa dialect as elders at the event agreed that Kola nut does not speak English.

Akpo Esajere congratulates his brand new In-law Joseph Amaechi Okobi for a job weldone

Ebere signs her marriage register

Signing of Marriage Certificate
It was the next high profile segment of the ceremony as the Esajeres excused the gathering and led the Okobis into the living room of their tastefully furnished apartment where a few representatives from both families were given the privilege to witness the signing of the traditional marriage certificate between the Okobis and the Esajeres in fulfillment of all traditional rites that their daughter, Eberechukwu has been finally given out in marriage to Ikechukwu. It started with a prayer from bride’s father, Mr. Akpo Esajere who showered blessing on the couple, praying that the marriage will be fruitful and graceful. Groom’s dad was the first to sign the marriage register after other traditional rites like paying of dowry were observed. It was a joyous Engineer Joseph Okobi who signed the traditional marriage certificate before the bride and groom appended their signatures and a certificate handed over to them under the Isoko marriage union.

The Bridegroom with their Parents
The Bride's Maids @ Church

Groom’s Friends and siblings storm event
Among big boys who stormed the event for I.K. & Ebere’s traditional wedding is groom’s brother, Jude Okobi an IT Consultant and last born of the Okobi family. His two sisters, Rosemary and Isioma (Married) were also on hand to ensure their brother got the best emotional support on his day of joy. Others who are friends of the groom are Barrister Valentine Okonji, Mr. Mbanefo Anthony, Engineer Nonso Anyatonwu, Prince Demola Sonubi (A graphic expert) and the Duke of Ibusa town, Prince Nduka Zobs. They were all in good spirit as they arrived with Ikechukwu and featured in the entire events from home down to church where majority of them turned to groom’s men before heading to the reception.

The Okobis & the Esajeres

The brand new husband, Ikechukwu Okobi shares selfies with relatives

Etisalat Model, Bode Taylor in the House
This handsome and clean looking dude was the cynosure of all eyes as he stormed the Esajere’s home in the early hours of that first Saturday of January 2016. His name is Bode Taylor, a model with leading telecommunications company, ETISALAT. He was also at the church as one of Groom’s men and at the Wedding Reception as well.

Groom's younger sisters, Isioma & Rosemary with a male guest

Bride’s siblings too
Bride’s three brothers and elder sister were also at the event; the three Esajere boys who all adorned white attires are Chichi the first child and scion of the Esajere dynasty. The other two are Obaro and Oghale the last born of the family. Her elder sister Mrs. Veno Omamuli and her husband Mr. Timenyin Omamuli (An Itsekiri born business man) were also around to make the day a wonderful one for their sister who was taking her first step in marriage.

Akpo Esajere prays for daughter, Ebere & husband, Ikechukwu

Cutting of the cake & the Meal of the Day
The traditional wedding cake was cut at exactly 10:10 am as guests were served meal of Yam & Pepper Soup with goat meat and assorted drinks. The Convoy of cars conveying guests, family, in-laws and well-wishers later left Ogba for the White wedding (at Palm groove area of Lagos) at 11 am as the Church wedding was to kick start by 12 noon.

Bride's Dad, Engineer Joseph Amaechi Okobi signs the dotted lines for daughter-in-law

 Amazing Grace Chapel, a Church run by a female Bishop
 Amazing Grace Pentecostal Church (Solution Ground) on Number 1, Bakare Avenue, Palm groove, Lagos is one big church you will like to find yourself inside. The church has a capacity to host about 2000 guests and worshippers at a seating. The interior is painted in light brown color with well decorated furniture, Air Conditioner systems and a coordinated team of choristers, instrumentalists and men of God who assembled for the entire Okobi and Esajere guests. Guests were welcomed with a great rendition of musical entertainment as they stormed the church in droves. Mother of the bride, Mrs. Sylvia Esajere is an Evangelist and Coordinator of the Amazing Grace Choir which was the reason why the entire choir was in a gay mood on that January 2nd and even rendered two newly composed wedding songs for the couple.  The Uniqueness of the church however lies in the fact that it is under the leadership of a female Bishop, Bishop (Dr.) Mrs. Grace Chioma Dauji. The church is bride’s parent’s church. 

Bride's Parent ready for the signing of marriage register
Ebere & IK at the most strategic hour of their lives

The Solemnization of IK & Ebere
The solemnization of IK and Ebere started at 1pm as the Lady Bishop (Dr.) Mrs. Chioma Grace Dauji and her husband, Apostle Edward Baba Dauji in company of other ministers of God namely; Rev. (Dr.) Mrs. Kindness Obembe, Pastor Raymond Efeturi Yugbowvwre, Pastor Joseph Chukwudi Nwadubasim and Evangelist Abiodun Joseph Adefuye invited the couple to the altar for the process of the white wedding. It was unique all the same to find a woman Bishop coordinating the first wedding of the year.  Bishop Chioma Dauji who dressed in unique cream colored queenly regalia marched with her bishop crown was in her best of mood as she coordinated the event to the admiration of many. It was the first time many guests and friends of the Okobis and Esajeres would see a female Bishop coordinating a wedding ceremony.

Ebere & her Mother-in-law, Patricia Obiagheli Okobi

 Groom and Lady Bishop’s drama excite guests during marriage vow
It appears that Ikechukwu Okobi the groom looks cool, calm and collected but what you cannot take away from him is his deep sense of humor which is quite legendary. This humble and innovative alumnus of University of Nigeria brought his wits of chosen words to bear during Item No 8 & Item No 9 which are “The Marriage Covenant” and “Marriage Blessing & Exchange of Rings”. When he was being asked all the attendant questions regarding his total acceptance of Ebere as his wife and lifetime partner; instead for the handsome Ikechukwu to call her by name, he would rather use words like “My Beloved”, “My Sunshine” “My Angel” etc for all questions asked by the Lady Bishop. And when it was Ebere’s own turn to equally address her man, she said “My World” instead of calling out his name. The drama got interesting when the crowd chorused “No, no, no” which means they wanted to hear names being  called out by the couple, the Lady Bishop quickly interjected and defended the bridegroom by telling her worshippers/guests this “He has the right under the sun to call his bride any good name he chooses to address her today”. The drama later drew applauses and appreciation as the groom continued with his “My Sunshine” “My Beloved”, “My Sunshine” devotion under the banner of her Lordship, Bishop Chioma Baba Dauji. It was the most dramatic and fun filled segment of the wedding ceremony. Analysts believed IK & Chioma’s decision to use such loving and kind words to describe each other are a sign of their deep love for one another.

IK endorses Ebere as his legally married wife
Lady Bishop Dr. (Mrs.) Chioma Grace Dauji of  Amazing Grace Pentecostal Church Worldwide

What  Lady Bishop Dauji told IK & Ebere
Among other activities like song ministration, Holy Communion, Signing of marriage register, and Presentation of Bride & Groom to the church among other activities, Lady Bishop Chioma Dauji presented her sermon titled “You Can Not Fix Price on Love”. The lady Bishop encouraged the brand new couple to employ Love as the driver of their marriage and never to sack love at any given time in the relationship. Bishop Dauji noted “You can not fix price on love because love stands by itself. Love breeds Patience” The Bishop said the marriage which is a product of love is incomplete until something is put into the marriage “This marriage is incomplete until you put something in it” she stressed. Dauji said even though IK and Ebere bring forth their covenant kids later in the union those kids will surely grow and move away to live their own independent lives at a later date in life and the remaining commodity in the marriage will be I.K. and his Ebere, The Preacher continued “After a number of kids coupled with the challenges of raising them, beauty might disappear but the only commodity that will keep the union is Love”. The Lady Bishop advised that even though there is nothing bad in a man helping his wife out with house chores once in a while, it is still the Primary duty of the woman to do such. “Yes, I support a man helping a woman in the kitchen once in a while but it is not the full duty of a man. Every man that has lived a bachelor’s life has tested bread and beans before, he has tasted guguru and groundnut. If you can’t cook for him, I don’t know what you can do for him to win him”  “In marriage, nobody graduates, no convocation”. The Lady Bishop went further telling her listeners that as a Bishop, she do leave her altar straight to the kitchen to make her husband happy at home”. The Bishop said a great act of humility is desired from both parties, stressing that “The one that can easily say ‘I am sorry’ is the one that loves most; it is love that keeps us running in a marriage. Love starts the race and ends the race for us because marriage is a university without graduation”.

Ebere & Ik gets their marriage certificate from Dennis Ofeh
Lady Bishop Dr. (Mrs.) Grace Chioma Dauji hands over Certificate of Marriage to the First Couple of Year 2016, Mr. & Mrs. Ikechukwu & Ebere Okobi

How Lady Bishop’s husband, Apostle Baba Dauji shocked guests
Many people who witnessed the White Wedding ceremony of IK and Ebere were quite surprised at the humility displayed by the husband of Lady Bishop (Dr.) Mrs. Chioma Dauji. Her husband, the Kaduna State born Apostle Edward Baba Dauji really played the role of not just a supporting husband to his Igbo wife but a very humble husband at that, as he held the microphone for his wife all through the ceremony, making sure Lady Bishop didn’t have any stress holding or dropping the microphone. Even though other ministers were standing, the Kaduna State born Baba Dauji chooses to be the one holding the microphone for his wife.  Apostle Edward Baba Dauji showed his bishop wife so much respect that people started wondering how a man could play such a humble role in his wife’s ministry. It was such a unique and new lesson altogether for all men who attended the event. Groom’s Parent Speak

Ikechukwu goes home with his brand new wife, Ebere Okobi (Nee Esajere)
Bride's Mum, Mrs. Sylvia Esajere

I want IK & his wife to put God first—Eng. Okobi
Groom’s dad, Engineer Joseph Amaechi Okobi spoke with Asabeafrika and this is what he said in the brief encounter with Africa’s number 1 Celebrity Encounter Blog.
What advice do you have for your son today; he just got himself out of the bachelor’s club?
Well, the first advice I will give him and his wife is that everything must start with God; they must learn to love God, to serve God and to be happy with the Lord in this world. Once they are happy with the Lord, every other thing will go well with them because if you love God, then, you can see the Lord in your neighbor. Your neighbor is your brother, your sister; the passer-bys are all your neighbors. After that, all the other things will be added unto them.  It is the Lord that would guide them. So, once they have their trust in the Lord, He will guide them through life. We can only wish them well as they joined themselves together today.
Can you tell us your full names and identities?
My name is Engineer Joseph Okobi. I was the head of Computer division in Leventis before I retired.

The Lady Bishop Dr. (Mrs.) Grace Chioma Dauji stamps IK & Ebere's marriage certificate
Groom's Mum, Patricia Obiagheli Okobi

I want divine intervention for them---Groom’s mum
Madam Patricia Obiagheli Okobi, mother of the groom also gave her prayer to the couple through Asabeafrika
Madam, what do you wish your son today as you escort him out of bachelorhood into marriage life?
By the grace of God I wish them all the best in their married life. I wish them God’s blessings, God’s protection, divine intervention in all what they are going to do in life and when it is time for God to bless them, he will bless them marvelously and multiply them and they will see their children’s children in the name of Jesus.

Bride's Parent, Akpo & Sylia Esajere amidst relatives

Let us know you fully ma?
I am Mrs. Patricia Obiagheli Okobi, I was the Vice Principal of Ogba Junior Grammar School before I retired. I retired last year on November 16 which was my birthday.

(The Concluding Part tagged “Why I married Esajere’s daughter” + Scoops from Reception Comes on this blog shortly) 

…Always pray to be among lucky people who celebrate their Events on Asabeafrika….Talk to our Events Agent on 081-0506-5267 or write Asabeafrika@gmail.com!
Groom's Dad, Joseph Amaechi Okobi signs the marriage register
Groom's Dad, Joseph Amaechi Okobi
IK gives Ebere her first Holy Communion after wedding before Her Lord Bishop Dr. (Mrs.) Grace Chioma Dauji
IK gives Ebere her first kiss before the Church
IK unveils Ebere for a Happy Wedding Life
Ikechukwu Okobi signs the White Marriage register as Newly Wedded Mrs. Eberechi Okobi looks on
Ikechukwu signs the marriage register
Lady Bishop Dr. (Mrs.) Chioma Grace Dauji with her husband (holding the microphone) Apostle Edward Baba Dauji conducting Ebere & IK's white wedding
Lady Bishop Dr. (Mrs.) Grace Chioma Dauji blesses the New Couple
Pastor Andy Anochie inviting Christ Jesus into the event
Prince Ikechukwu Okobi, Brand New Husband-2016
Some of Bride's Sisters

The Amazing Grace Choir did enough exploits

The Esajere boys Chichi (M) Obaro (L) & Oghale (R)

The Groom & His Men on arrival to his In-law's home
The Man; Akpo Esajere signs the wedding register
The Marriage Certificate from Amazing Grace Pentecostal Church Worldwide
The Traditional Wedding hut

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