When Sophy Ijeoma, a makeup artist from Nigeria, decided to comment on an acquaintance’s Facebook marriage advert as a joke, she never imagined she would marry the man just seven days later, but I guess she underestimated the power of social media.
The day before New Year’s Eve, Nigerian furniture maker Chidimma Amedu decided it was to find a wife. Instead of probing his friends or going on a dating site, he just posted an advert on Facebook, asking all women interested in becoming his wife to reply to his post. It read “Am of age to and I am ready to say I do and I am wasting no time. Send in your applications. The most qualified will be married on January 6, 2018. Application closes 12 midnight, December 31, 2017. I am serious about this… and don’t say you did not see it on time. Goodluck.”
Photo: Sophy Ijeoma
Amedu received a few responses from interested parties, but the one that caught his attention came from Sophy Ijeoma, an acquaintance he barely knew. She was maid of honor at a friend’s when she saw the funny post, and it piqued her interest. She had been Facebook friends with Amedu for about a year but had previously had little interaction beyond occasional likes and comments. Initially, she thought the post was a joke and replied saying: “Am interested, just DM me…lols.”
“I never knew he was serious about the post,” Ijeoma told the BBC. Amedu, however, was completely serious. He sent her a private message, and they began chatting via Facebook messenger. Two days later the couple had their first date at a mall in Ijeoma’s hometown of Enugu, in southeastern Nigeria. Amedu traveled over 500 km (300 miles) from his home in the northern city of Abuja to meet her there.
“It was love at first sight,” Ijeoma told reporters. “He is the most handsome man I’ve ever met, and I liked him instantly.”
Amedu felt the same, and after taking one look at her said, “You’re beautiful”.
After two hours of conversation, Amedu asked Ijeoma to meet his uncle who also happened to live in Enugu. Family support behind one’s choice of spouse is an essential part of Igbo culture.
“We got to the uncle’s house, and he said: ‘Uncle, meet the woman I want to marry,'” Ijeoma recalled. “When I saw him for the first time, I definitely found him attractive, but what I didn’t know how serious he was about marrying me. It was after we met the uncle and his wife, that I realized that this could actually happen and I wanted it.”
The couple decided to keep their momentum and seek the approval of Ijeoma’s family on the same day. Her father had passed away, so it was up to her elder brother to give his blessing, which, somewhat surprisingly, he did. It was official – Amedu and Ijeoma were engaged to be married all within hours of meeting.
“At first, her family thought I was not serious, but I proved to them that I was,” Amedu told CNN.
The couple planned their wedding over the next four days after taking a test to find out if they were medically compatible. Nigeria has a high rate of sickle cell anemia, and couples are advised to compare their genotypes to avoid having children with the condition. All went well, and on January 6, 2018, the couple officially became husband and wife, in a traditional Igbo ceremony.
Photo: Sophy Ijeoma
“I am happy that I married him. He is my kind of man,” Ijeoma told CNN.