STAR comedian, Bright Onyekwere Okpocha (Basketmouth) has tied the nuptial knot with Elsie Ngowi Uzoma. Held at Giwa Barracks, Falomo, Ikoyi, Lagos amidst pomp, the wedding, attended by family members, friends and colleagues of the couple was classy in many ways.
Basketmouth/Elsie’s marital journey kicked off with the introduction early in the year. A court wedding followed on Monday, November 1, 2010, while the traditional marriage was at the bride parents’ Festac, Lagos residence.
ENCOMIUM Weekly was at the Saturday, November 6, 2010 white wedding and reception.
BASKETMOUTH/ELSIE’S LOVE STORY
The couple met sometime in 2003. She was a fresher at the University of Lagos, where she read Creative Arts. Dated for seven years, they are already blessed with a baby boy. Those close to them say they cherish each other. That explains why they have been together all these while despite all odds. Interestingly, nobody introduced her to Basketmouth, the Glo ambassador who she says is her favourite comedian. And it happened that she boldly told him so when she met him one beautiful day. That was how their love germinated and grew to the point of marriage.
THE SOLEMNIZATION PROPER
With about 50 guests seated in a tent, Basketmout didn’t need a cathedral to formalize his marital union with Elsie. The minister-in-charge was actually flown from the UK to perform this task. He did everything all by himself, from the solemnization, prayers to sermon. His message centred on the need for the groom to take care of his wife, Elsie. He used the metaphor of the garden and the gardener to define the mystery of marriage, while urging the groom to transform his partner to a bride and excellent woman.
THE BRIDAL TRAIN
Annie Macaulay and Bovi made the bridal train. While the bride’s maids wore a ball gown (tube) with a touch of pink, the men in suit were in black and white. Their ties also had shades of pink, only a few of Basketmouth’s colleagues made the bridal train (there was also Buchi and D-Don).
Nigerian photo-journalists were totally shut out of the coverage of the wedding. Basketmouth contracted the job to a UK-based photo agency. And they didn’t disappoint him as they did their job well. From the couple, bridal train, the couple’s families to friends and guest, the commissioned paparazzi captured them all for posterity.
ENTRY POINT DRAMA
Getting into the wedding reception was like the proverbial camel passing through the eye of the needle. Apart from possessing the black and pink invite, guests were made to check their names on the register where a seat number was allocated before going through another round of screening by the stern looking bouncers. And because of this, guests were displeased over the multiple screening they were subjected to. Some of Basketmouth’s colleagues in the entertainment industry were shocked to their marrows to have experienced such treatment. Comedian, Basorge Tariah, Jnr., had to pass through the back door to access the marquee. In fact, that must have been the reason he refused to come for the toast when he was called upon to handle the session. The case of Ayo Makun, a.k.a AY, was even amazing. The father of one simply made a u-turn when his name couldn’t be found on the guest list. Female singer and Glo ambassador, Ego Ogbaro, had to explain herself for close to 30 minutes before she was allowed in. Comedian Gandoki, lost his cool at the entry point, when he nearly attacked the bouncers, who turned him back at the entry point. The talented rib cracker was furious and lashed out at the security personnel before he was pacified and ushered in.
HOW THE COUPLE ENTERED
Walking in pains, the bridal train marched in with the couple. Drawing applause from guests, the reception formally kicked off around 6 p.m. Sonorous voiced singer, Ego Ogbaro led them all the way. There were other love songs in the background.
BASKETMOUTH’S LATE DAD REMEMBERED
A minute of silence was observed for the bridegroom’s late father, Elder Peter Okpocha. From Isuikwuato, Abia State, the deceased was described by his son, Bright, as a loving father and community leader.
PASTOR TONY RAPU BLESSES THE BRIDE
Senior Pastor of This Present Church, Tony Rapu, who told guests he was the spiritual father of the bride, blessed her. The respected man of God committed the couple into God’s protective hands. He also prayed they enjoy a productive marital union.
THE COUPLE’S FIRST DANCE
Bright and Elsie opened the dancing floor as Godbless and his band entertained. A good dancer, judging by her variety of dance steps, Elsie didn’t leave anybody in doubt that she was celebrating her happiest day. The couple made way for others to join them. The party lasted till midnight.
THE CUTTING OF THE CAKE
Co-ordinated by popular comedian, Bovi, the seven-layered cake was cut by the couple. It was celebrated with the name of J-E-S-U-S.
YOU CAN KISS THE BRIDE
Feeding and kissing the bride and vice versa is one aspect of wedding that many look forward to. And this joyous scene was not absent at Basketmouth/Elsie’s white wedding. The couple took turns to feed each other. Expectedly, they wrapped up their first assignment with a ‘holy’ kiss.
BOUQUET FOR ALL THE SINGLE LADIES
Some single ladies, who were mainly friends of the bride, filed out to catch the bouquet of roses. Although, many were eager to get hold of it and end their search for Mr. Right, but only the luckiest made it. The wrist watch the bridegroom promised the groom’s men was incidentally picked by his best man, Dotun Makun, one surest way for Basketmouth to get back his designer watch.
THE BRIDEGROOM’S REMARKS
Basketmouth made a brief remark to signal the end of the first phase of the wedding reception. That was around some minutes past 7 p.m. “I am not going to say goodnight until midnight,” he promised his guests, who were already soaked in party mood amidst roof raising beats, and so, so much to eat and drink. First, he showered thanks on the parents of the bride (Elder Christopher and Mrs. Ethel Uzoma) for allowing him to marry their daughter. “I will take care of her and make sure she is very hapy at all times,” he pledged.
It was also another opportunity to appreciate his mum, Mrs. Obioma Okpocha. He said she was the best mum a child could pray for. “You carried me in your womb for nine months. You nurtured me for 32 years. I thank you mama. I love you to the bones.”
He also praised his late dad whom he said was physically seated amongst his guests. Basketmouth appreciated all his Glo friends and most especially, Globacom boss, Dr. Mike Adenuga, Jnr.
“As for my wife, Elsie, she is the main reason we are here today. She knows I love her. The only thing I didn’t do was not marry her in time. I would have married you eight years ago. Elsie, I love you as far as you respect me,” he added.
Basketmouth ended his short speech with his acknowledgement of all the companies that made the wedding the huge success it was.
THE CARS THE COUPLE USED
Two exotic cars were parked at the wedding venue. A green Toyota Seqoia and a brand new metallic GL450 4matic. Basketmouth bought the latter posh ride for his wife. Both were generously decorated in bright colours.
THE LONG LIST OF LAUGH MERCHANTS
Star-studded to no end, all the big names in comedy made it to Giwa Barracks to honour one of their own. Ali Baba, Julius Agwu, Basorge Tariah Jnr., Gbenga Adeyinka 1st, Tee A, Klint de Drink, Gandoki, Princess and Teju Babyface, were all present. Talkative, Jedi and Emeka Smith also called to show love.
GLO AMBASSADORS, NOLLYWOOD MISSED IT
Surprisingly, it was only Genevieve Nnaji that represented all of Nolywood at the wedding as none of Basketmouth’s Glo ambassador actors were in the house. Rita Dominic, Nonso Diobi, Mike Ezuruonye, Ini Edo, Monalisa Chinda, Ramsey Nouah and the others were either not invited or they chose to attend other engagements. It was only fellow Glo ambassador, Ego Ogbaro that made it. In fact, she led the song with which the couple and the bridal train were welcomed to the hall.
MICHAEL ADENUGA SHOWED THE COUPLE LOVE
Although he was not present at the wedding, chairman of Globacom, Dr. Michael Adenuga sent his regards. He was represented by Bode Opeseitan, an Executive Director in Glo. Sources squealed that the billionaire businessman was a major sponsor of the classy wedding.
Ayo Makun, who we earlier sighted at Giwa Barracks, the venue of the wedding was not seen at the reception hall. His absence, we later learnt was not unconnected with the unpleasant screening of guests. Many high profile guests may have also left that way.
WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT THE BRIDEGROOM’S BEST MAN
If you thought Basketmouth would settle for any of his rich and famous friends in the entertainment industry, you would sure be disappointed. He, rather chose his childhood friend, and artist colleague, Dotun Makin Dotun was said to be Basketmouth’s best friend anytime, any day.
HIS COMEDIAN COLLEAGUES HAVE NO ROLE
They were just walking the length and breadth of the hall without any serious role at the wedding. We are talking about comedy big boys, who came to rejoice with their colleague. One even expected they would come with special gists for the couple. But, like the other guests, Bright and Elsie did not make provision for souvenir for anybody.
NO SOUVENIRS, NO GIFTS
You can count the number of gifts Elsie received at the wedding. She didn’t even seat long there before her friends took her stead waiting for gifts that never came. And surprisingly, there was equally no souvenir!
PRINCESS DANCES HER HEART OUT
Frontline comedienne, Princess danced her heart, body and soul out. And she lighted up the stage when the couple were sweating it out.
UNILAF ALUMNI ASSOCIATION SUPPORTS ONE OF THEIR OWN
Ex-students of University of Lagos, particularly of the Creative Arts Department were almost everywhere in all shades and cuts of aso ebi. Mainly fitting pink dresses, they worked as ushers and did other jobs for their friend, who graduated from the school about four years ago. And when it was dancing time, they electrified the stage.
GENEVIEVE NNAJI STRANDED
Nollywood super star, Genevieve Nnaji took it in her strides when she was delayed for about 30 minutes before she was assigned to her table. She also left the hall in time. Genevieve wore a simple LBD.
BETWEEN FRANK OKAMIGBO AND EX-BEAUTY QUEEN
Former Miss Akwa Ibom and Club Papa’s boss, Frank Okamigbo formed a good company all through the reception. Enjoying her glass of champagne, Miss Mary Ann Bassey, was also constantly sighted with her cousin, Annie Macaulay. She was as amiable as ever.
DELE MOMODU GETS ORDERLY
Presidential aspirant, Chief Dele Momodu now goes with an orderly. He was all over him at Basketmouth’s wedding. The publisher of Ovation magazine also got an endorsement from the couple, who promised him their vote, come 2011.
WHAT DELAYED BASKETMOUTH, ELSIE MARRIAGE
Don’t be surprised that Bright dated Elsie for almost eight years without tying the knot. First, they wanted to be sure they love each other enough to live together as husband and wife. And by the time they made up their mind, Bright’s dad died. But they finally walked down the aisle on Saturday, November 6, 2010.
TERRY G, DJ JIMMY JATT TAKE OVER THE STAGE
Dancehall crooner, Terry G performed at the wedding reception. His performance was superlative as a highly charged audience asked for more crazy beats when Jimmy Jatt dished out beat upon beats that stretched the party beyond the expectations of guests.
WHO DID WHAT
The Bright/Elsie Okpocha official union was put together by Funmi Victor Okigbo’s The Wedding Company. The tall and light-skinned event manager was on ground with her team with walkie-talkie in their hand. Everything went well. He Balmoral marquee inside Giwa Barracks, Falomo, Ikoyi, Lagos was lavishly decorated by Uche Majekodunmi’s Newton and Davids, The stage arrangement was by Theo Lawson’s Total Consult, while the multi-layered cake was done by Tosan Cakes Company. Godbless’ Eboni Band, was on stand, assisted by Africa’s number one DJ, Jimmy Jatt.
‘Our love story’ – Couple
How do you really feel today?
I am really, really happy.
Did you see it coming?
Yes of course. I have praying over it and today, we are here.
For eight years that you have been with Basketmouth, what do you cherish most about him?
Everything, his troubles, his love. I just love everything about him.
What is your family size in future?
Three children by the grace of God and lots of love. Lots of happiness, lots of everything.
How is the acceptance by his family?
I am so happy, I will say it’s God and my being. They had to take me for who I am and they had to love me. They have come to love me and I am so happy about that.
How did it all start?
We have known each other for seven years. We have been through ups and downs.
What was the attraction?
He has always been my favourite comedian, so that was it. I just wanted to say hi to him and I told him I am one of his biggest fans, and that was it. So, we met sometime later and it began that way.
What will you say he likes about you?
I wouldn’t know, you should ask him that.
What is your prayer for this marriage?
Every good thing of life, God’s blessings, long life and prosperity.
BRIGHT ONYEKWERE OKPOCHA
I feel very good.
What will you say you cherish most about your wife?
She is a beautiful woman, I love her to the bones. I love her, that’s why I am doing this.
Was it love at first sight?
The first day I set my eyes on her, I fell for her.
What is your family size in future?
I expect anything God gives me.
– UCHE OLEHI and FOLUSO SAMUEL, Pix –GODWIN ONYEMAECHI