CERTAINLY, Saturday, March 1, 2014 will remain evergreen in the memory of gracefully ageing Lady Maiden Ibru, the publisher of The Guardian newspaper and the wife of late Alex Ibru.
It was the day governors, captains of industry and commerce, politicians and high society honoured her with their presence at her daughter, Omotuvie Alexia Ibru’s traditional wedding held at the Grand Marquee, Tafawa Balewa Square, Onikan, Lagos.
Congratulations on the wedding of your daughter?
How do you feel seeing your second daughter getting married within two years?
Ah! How will I feel? Naturally, parents will be happy when their children get married, particularly their girls. We were very happy. This is a relationship that has been on for 10 years. They met in the university and they remained friends all through. From the very first relationship they just struck a good friendship and stayed together. Lovely parents, very well brought up and good manners. They even have some traditional values you do not expect an oyinbo (Caucasian) to have. He has the decency to write my two sons asking their permission before he could propose to my daughter. That really brought tears to my eyes. That tells you how well mannered he is. So, she is very lucky and I am lucky that I have gotten another son. I have the confidence that they will stay happy. We only wish that God gives them good health, gives them the fruit of the womb to be able to produce lovely children and also for us to be loving grandparents.
When is the white wedding taking place, ma?
The white wedding is going to take place abroad and it is going to be very quiet.
How do you feel seeing eminent Nigerians gracing your daughter’s traditional wedding?
It just shows that it is the way you relate with people that people will relate with you. They didn’t do it or come because of my children. They did it on account of me. I have always said character maketh a man. So, it depends on the way you relate with people and I relate with everybody, both young and old. Even though we had some rain in the morning, they all stood up to honour me. What else can I ask for? People should just try to be decent in their relationship with fellow human beings and give respect to whom respect is due. It will be reciprocated to you. Like I always say, what has age got to do with friendship?
Did you miss your late husband, seeing some of his friends at the wedding?
Quite naturally, it was even his birthday.
That day was his birthday?
Yes, it was a special date.
Did you deliberately choose that date for the traditional wedding because of him?
Both of them (couple) did. They said they wanted to do the traditional in March and they will do the other one (white wedding) in Spring. When they checked the calendar for the first Saturday in March (2014), lo an behold it fell on Daddy’s birthday.
Even it was quite emotional for her (bride). At a stage, she was fighting back tears, we had to prevail on her so as not to spoil her prop and all that.
Aren’t you worried that your two daughters are married to foreigners? The first, Anita to a Ghanaian and the second one, Alexia to a Briton?
Oh! Why should I worry? I am a foreigner myself. My father was a Greek even though he lived, died and was buried here. No, no, no, love has no colour or creed or what have you. Times are changing. My father was a Greek some 60 something years ago when I was born. You can see that the world is getting smaller. A lot of Nigerians are schooling abroad and in the process they get to meet foreigners. It’s Nigerians who should be saying they are losing out, not me worrying that they married foreigners. No. If anything, he would look after my daughter very well. Is it all the jagajaga (rubbish) life, carrying girlfriends all over the place that is happening in Nigeria that you want my daughters to be subjected to? No way. I will do anything that will make them happy. I have never chosen anything for them. They are just people who are different. But I pray that God will be with my children either as wives or husbands.