Our love story is here!!!! Hello people! You spoke, and I listened!!! By popular demand, here is the story of how we met and started our love journey. You know the best part? I got PJ to tell us the story, so he is the one who wrote this post. I have only added my own comments in italics and inserted the photos as well (PJ don’t gat time for that, lol).
In the beginning – between France, Spain and Nigeria
Back in April 2016, one of my friends and former colleagues at British American Tobacco (BAT), Miss Enitan Kuku hit me up one weekend on WhatsApp while she was studying for her MBA at IESE in Spain.
KJ: Enitan and I met in June 2014 on the first edition of the Mandela Washington Fellowship. We stayed in touch from time to time after the fellowship. I guess we also have Obama to thank for this, lol.
She said, “Bro, there’s this lovely lady I want you to meet. I think you guys would make a great fit”. Kemi had gone to spend a weekend in Spain where she and Enitan reconnected. I thought to myself “I’ve heard this a thousand times before but cool beans, let us give this one a try”. She then went on to confirm that I was not seeing anyone at the time.
[KJ: I like Enitan – the girl did not want to come and cause wahala in another young girl’s life, lol].
Before she went off the chat, I asked if I could see a photograph of the said great babe because as a baby boy, the first thing you see is not the sweet Jesus or the thoughtfulness inside but the sweet baby doll on the outside. [KJ: Hehehehehe!!]. When she sent me Kemi’s picture, I played it cool and was like, “She aight” 😂😂😂 but in my mind I was saying “She ain’t bad at all o”.
Enitan would not quit without locking something down, so she literally set up a meeting for 13th August 2016 and put it in our respective calendars (that’s the only reason I can remember this date).
[KJ: The way Enitan close-marked me to lock in a date in my calendar was exasperating. I remember agreeing to the meeting so that she could just get off my back, lol. Thank you Enitan – we are super grateful for your resilience in this matter].
The first meeting – dinner in Lagos
By the time I met Kemi in person in August 2016 at Ginger Tapas, she “don blow” as we say in the local parlance because her INSEAD valedictorian speech had gone viral. But knowing your boy, I did not bring it up in our first conversation – I feigned ignorance because I couldn’t be “stan-ing” on the first date. [KJ: But he was stan-ing low key o! Hehehehehe!!].
Enitan wisely arrived an hour late for the meeting so we didn’t have a choice but to start talking to each other, while we waited for her. We ordered our drinks – I ordered a bottle of STAR as per standard procedure and she ordered some non-alcoholic beverage, also as per standard procedure. I didn’t sip my drink immediately after clinking glasses with Kemi. She stared at me in horror and told me some European folktale about 7 years of poor sex for the person who doesn’t drink immediately after clinking glasses. I sharply told her, “Olorun ma je (God forbid)”. She didn’t know I was praying for her!!! LOL! Kemi, you need to give me a prophet’s offering o!
[KJ: I agree with you PJ – hope you deducted it from my bride price as discussed, lol].
The initial meeting went well as Kemi realized this guy she now calls PJ is built different and is The Chosen One. [KJ: *side eye* I definitely did not leave that meeting thinking he was the chosen one. I did think he was interesting and would be a good person to have in my network]. I discovered she is BIG on family, ambitious but most importantly, kind and thoughtful. On the family front, it was her grandpa’s funeral that weekend, so she was just sharing memories of the legend her grandpa was (Papa was the baby boy’s baby boy) and how he meant so much to her. We spoke about work as she was “funemployed” at the time, and also spoke about life in general. During the conversation, we also realized that we had quite a number of mutual friends/acquaintances.
[KJ: Lagos is much smaller than we all think! Let us be well-behaved always]
I didn’t make much of our meeting at the time as I was talking to another girl at the time with the intention to date. I just kept things friendly and warm with Kemi. I figured she could be a good friend, at the very least. Even though we went on to date other people shortly after we met, we stayed in touch. From time to time, Kemi would message/call me to ask advice as they don’t call me the Sage of Iperu for nothing. [KJ: Osheeey, My Wikipedia, hahahaha]
Lunch in Cape Town
Fast forward to April 2017, I was off to Cape Town for the Easter holidays. Kemi randomly reached out and while catching up, she mentioned that she was supposed to be in Johannesburg for training around the same time but was having visa wahala.
[KJ: I was going to say as per standard procedure, but I have taken all my visa issues to the Lord in prayer and from now on, it is all seamless in Jesus name! Amen!].
Once her visa issues were sorted, she decided to go skydiving in Cape Town first and we ended up overlapping in Cape Town for a day. She tried to rope me into her crazy skydiving adventure, but I told her I didn’t want to give my village people in Iperu (who I had escaped in Nigeria) an opportunity to make mincemeat of me all the way in Cape Town, lol. Ko le werk! So, we struck a deal – I would buy her lunch in exchange for an exemption from the adrenaline-fueled experiment. Lunch was great at Paranga by Clifton Beach [KJ: We should go back there soon!!!!] We also had the company of my good friend, Lekan, at that lunch as I didn’t want Kemi thinking things, lol. Again, I didn’t make much of this meeting as I was still happily in love with my then-girlfriend. [KJ: *sips tea*]
I left Cape Town the next day while she jumped out of a plane and then went on for her training in Johannesburg. We remained friends, but I didn’t know there were fractures anew in Kemi’s then-relationship
[KJ: Fractures anew? Why is this thing sounding like a King James Version something? Lol].
It really did not matter to me then because as I said above, I was still happy in my relationship.
[KJ: Uncle, we have heard o! No one is blaming you for the fractures anew, hehehe].
By May, she had broken up with her then-boyfriend (which she didn’t tell guys) and immediately went back to South Africa for a 6-month project. Little did I know that my own relationship too was about to end.
[KJ: And you also withheld information for months and didn’t tell babes, lol]
Building the friendship over FaceTime
After my relationship ended, I realized I was talking to Kemi every day. She was still in South Africa at the time, so FaceTime Audio with that my dead iPhone 5s and daily WhatsApp chats became the norm. I wasn’t sure if I truly liked Kemi or if I was just dealing with the hurt of my failed relationship. We always managed to meet up whenever she was in town for the weekend, but your boy wasn’t ready to be committal because I was not clear if it was rebound things or it was just me being in point guard position. By October 2017, it was clear that Kemi had caught mad feelings for your boy. [KJ: You wish!!! Lol]. Can’t blame her though – what other option did she have? LOL! [KJ: Young man, be guided, hehehehe].
However, the baby boy spirit in me was alive and well and was not going to quit without a fight. Despite the awkwardness of the situation, we remained good friends all the way through to early December 2017. This baby boy spirit made me ‘ghost’ on Kemi in December 2017.
[KJ: I will spare you the gory details of this ghosting experience but let’s just say he was pre-occupied with other concerns. Even though I didn’t let the ghosting ruin my Christmas holidays, the thing pained me sha but hey, look who is laughing now! Hahahahaha.]
In January 2018, I called her to wish her a Happy New Year and we discussed our plans for the year, I told her that 2018 was the year I would propose to my future wife. I then jokingly “e fit be you o”.
[KJ: I remember rolling my eyes and just being like ‘whatever’ mscheeew, lol]. At this time, Kemi was quite mad at me because of my ghosting shenanigans amongst other irritations and heart palpitations I had caused her.
The turning point
Our friendship was not the same – we were chatting about once a month and she was no longer as responsive in those conversations. A few months later, I realized this and asked her to meet up with me, so we could talk things over and achieve closure. Little did I know that I was going to close one chapter of my life while opening a new book in my life. [KJ: Osheeeeyyyy!! See bars!!!]. We spoke about life as always and just as I thought the conversation was going to continue to be sweet and cheerful [KJ: because you know, I am a sweet baby doll, hehehehe], Kemi dropped two expletive-laden sentences while expressing how deeply hurt she was about how I had toyed with her emotions. Those sentences came as quite the shockers because Kemi had never used expletives before in conversation with me or anyone else.
[KJ: Guys, the thing pained me gan and I felt like I needed the homeboy to know how hurt I was. I am sorry again, Lord Jesus. I won’t do it again, I promise].
The more shocking part was that she didn’t use just one expletive, she used two different ones in two different sentences, lol. At that point, I realized, “Aiye mi, t’emi ba mi” (a.k.a. ‘its all over, Jackie).
I was never going to trade my friendship with Kemi for anything, so I went back home to do some introspection. Then I said to myself, “Pelu, don’t be unfortunate and let this special girl go”.
I decided to get back in the game and went on the charm offensive with her. But Kemi was not easy on me this time around. One occasion that stands out was when we bumped into each other at a mutual client’s office. We were chatting [KJ: Actually, you were trying to get me to confirm a lunch or dinner meet-up with you and I was not really responding] and as we were exiting the reception, we literally walked into each other. I personally don’t believe in coincidences because I know God doesn’t make mistakes. I told Kemi that I had taken that as a sign – which was very much needed since we were just working things back and I had only just told her that we needed to get serious. Of course, after I had done ten-ten (played games) with her feelings in 2017, it would have been infantile of me to expect that she would just ride with me so quickly.
She finally agreed to meet me for breakfast and I think she did so grudgingly because she came looking her possible worst. She came straight from boxing classes and was sweaty as hell but that was the day the Lord opened my eyes to the wonder of her booty 😂😂😂
[KJ: Hahahahaha, everything looks better in gym clothes, lol]
Prior to this encounter, I had never really paid attention to her body, since I was more focused on her character, spirit and intellect. That day however, the Yoruba man in me came out. I was even more convinced about convincing her to give us a chance to work. [KJ: No words!]
Popping the question pre-Lebanon
I kept at this for about 3 months till June when I asked her to be my girlfriend the night before she left for her Lebanon trip.
[KJ: Homeboy dey fear say I go find Lebanese lover, hahahahahal].
I was dropping her off at her Aunt’s house when I asked, and I can never forget her response. She said, “Please, I cannot tell my children that this is how I was toasted/courted. You will have to work”. Under my breath, I said “Mo gbe”. It was obvious that since I had messed up my first chance when things were much easier, I was going to do plenty work to just normalize the relationship.
Fast forward to 22nd August 2018, while on some midnight chat with Kemi, she decided she was ready to officially date me. I think she chose that date for ease of remembrance as it’s her bestie’s birthday. [KJ: Hi DeeDee]
Popping the REAL question in Mozambique
On 25th December 2018, while on a NaijaNomads holiday in Mozambique, your boy got down on one knee and proposed. She said YES and shed one tear. [KJ: I promised that I wasn’t going to cry, lol. You are lucky you even got one tear. But yooo, I was so emotional!]
As I told Kemi, even though I was kneeling, I stood upon The Rock of Ages to give her a rock for the ages! [KJ: And the church said – AMEN!!]
Since we got engaged, introduced and now married, it has been a lovely journey and I am excited about our amazing future together. I love you, KO! [KJ: Yup, he still calls me KO!]
Final note: It has been an incredible journey going from friends to lovers and now life partners. I honestly would not change anything about our journey (except that December ghosting sha). I love you, PJ!!!
Alright people, that’s it from us! I am sure you know that before, in between and after this telenova described above was a lot of prayers, a lot of seeking God’s face and a lot of trusting in God’s will for our lives. We cannot over-emphasize the role that the grace of God played in our lives on this entire journey and we are truly grateful to God for that grace!
If you have any questions for PJ, please drop it in the comments section. I will humbly ask him to respond, lol. If the questions are for me, let me know and I will humbly respond too, hehehe. Honeymoon post is next, yaaay!!!! Stay blessed.