Posted by By SAM ANOKAM on
Their love story started from the news room. Ben and Franca Njoku (both journalists) are Vanguard newspapers’ latest couple.....
Their love story started from the news room. Ben and Franca Njoku (both journalists) are Vanguard newspapers’ latest couple. The lovebirds began a journey of eternal love that took both their colleagues in the office and admirers by surprise. The couple took their marital vows at the Communion Church (Garden of Power) recently.
My colleagues were surprised in Vanguard when the news of my getting married to Franca was broken to them. Even at the point of sharing my wedding cards, I was still playing safe, denying having anything to do with her. The reason was to guard against corporate gossips, criticisms and scandals of which we were both conscious. It is not an easy thing to marry somebody working in the same establishment with you.
Particularly, we were conscious of avoiding discouragement from either friends in the office or elsewhere. Criticisms were bound to surface and we were not prepared for that. So we decided to keep it away from the prying eyes of our colleagues. Even up till today, our colleagues are still surprised as to how we were able to nurture our relationship to the point of getting married under perfect secrecy without their knowledge. It was top secret.
They were surprised because they had never seen the two of us together, we don’t do anything in common because we postponed whatever we have with ourselves outside the office. The mobile phone really played a great role in our relationship. In the office, we pretended as if we didn’t know ourselves. Everything was completely coded. I believe that with God, nothing is impossible.
I find her irresistible. She is out-going and a good mixer. Apart from her beauty, she is also caring.
On that day, after close of work, we headed to our hide out, where I bought drinks. At the peak of our excitement, I brought out a ring and asked her if she would marry me. We knew we needed each other. So there was no need for ceremonies. She agreed and I later took two of my friends to meet her people.
As someone from Ibo land crossing border to marry from Delta, we both have different marriage institutions. I thought it would be easy crossing the hurdle but it wasn’t. The challenges I faced in having her as my wife was tradition. It wasn’t easy to combine traditional wedding and white wedding almost at the same time. Having fixed a date for the white wedding, we had the traditional marriage also to deal with. It became a difficult thing for me as a journalist and a salary earner. It was an enormous task to be done. I thank God that things went well.
Consent of your parents-in-law
I had no problem with her people. If the lady in question agrees, the parents have little or no influence over her decision. Everything went on as expected and people came out to support us.
We both did the test.
She is my angel. She is so dear to my heart and she is everything I want in a woman.
How did you meet Ben?
We both met in Vanguard. I got into Vanguard in 2000, while he came in three years later. We had been very good friends before we began to talk about getting married. We usually go to cover assignments together since we are both journalists. I formed the habit of eating while working. I like eating or chewing something, my brain and my mouth will be busy at the same time. So he would want to come close to me to know what I was doing. Most of the time, he would just come to eat what I was eating without my consent. Sometimes, I would chase him away and sometimes I would just leave him. And sometimes I would know what he is up to.
What attracted me to him was his calmness and apart from that, he is a handsome man. I took time out to study him. I have heard a lot of stories about journalists (male) that is why most ladies don’t take them seriously. We will be playing and I would pick up his phone and start scrolling to check things out for myself.
While we were going along, he would ask me about my likes and dislikes. We were trying to compare notes to know if we were meant for each other. He did not tell me anything but I knew what he was up to at that time. But I would say the whole thing started in December and if there was any proposal it came last December.
There was somebody in the picture before me and I learnt there was a misunderstanding between them. I too had somebody but because of his unfaithfulness, I had to quit that relationship. As a matter of fact, I decided to give Ben a chance and all this while he was becoming very close to me and at the same time, I was afraid because I didn’t want somebody to break my heart to pieces. The proposal did not come straight. He took me out and where he made his intentions known to me. That was how the whole thing happened.
That was the first requirement that the church asked. We knew our HIV status before we got married.
He is gentle and supportive. He is like a wind beneath my wing and he makes me fly.
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