IT was more like a carnival when star actor, Chinedu Ikedieze tied the knot, the traditional way, with Nneoma Nwaijah the lady that stole his petite heart. Held at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church field, Obolo, Isiala Mbano, Imo State, Chinedu and Nneoma’s wedding attracted a mammoth crowd, made up of his colleagues in the movie industry, the Abia State Governor, Chief T. A. Orji and other top government officials and thousands of his fans across the nation.
Kicking off around 3.23 p.m, far behind the scheduled 12 noon time, security men had a hectic time controlling the more than 20,000 crowd that thronged the venue to catch a glimpse of the super star.
The occasion that took about an hour 30 minutes was anchored by comic actor, Kingsley Ogbonna, popularly called Dauda. It started with the introduction of guests. The chairman’s address followed, in time for Abia Governor’s speech. In his very brief remarks, Governor Orji who spoke in Igbo congratulated the newly-wed couple praying God to bless their marriage. He advised Chinedu and Nneoma not to allow a third party to scatter their marriage made in heaven.
The highlight of the ceremony was the traditional, Igba Nkwu (marriage) which involved the exchange of wine and parental blessings. And amidst a display of the rich Igbo culture, there were several dancing troupes and live performances by leading highlife musicians like Morocco and Saro Wiwa, amongst others.
Abia State Governor and wife, Dame Mercy Orji supervised the cutting of cake designed to again reflect Ikedieze’s Igbo culture. And not missing in action was Aki’s Nollywood twin brother, Osita Iheme (Pawpaw). Decked in Igbo traditional attire like Aki, the little man was the cynosure of all eyes.
Chinedu Ikedieze and wife also danced with their guests invoking naira rain on them. Expectedly, the marriage ceremony ended in good time (that was around 5 p.m) to allow guests, who came from far and wide to return home.
However, an after night party was later held at Evangelists Mike Ikoku’s All Season’s Hotel, Owerri, as assorted wines and spirits flew freely.
Some celebrities that honoured the Ikediezes include Kanayo O. Kanayo, Lancelot Imasuen, Steve Eboh (Ajibo), Emeka Enyiocha, Uche Jombo, Charles Inojie, Chidi Nwaokebia, Sunny McDon, Uche Elendu, Maureen Solomon, Dozie Eboh, J. Martins, Mike Ezuruonye, Tom Njemanze, Anayo Uzor Philip, Emeka Okonkwo (E-money) and Kcee (Kingsley Okonkwo), amongst others.
Chinedu and Nneoma Ikedieze would stage their white wedding on December 10, 2011, in Lagos.
‘I prayed and fasted to marry Nneoma’
- Chinedu Ikedieze
Congratulations on your traditional wedding held on Saturday, November 26, 2011.
Thank you very much. God bless you.
The crowd at your wedding was quite historic, how does that make you feel?
In fact, I was totally overwhelmed. It was a complete mammoth crowd. I know I have a huge fan base here in the East, across the nation and the world over, I never knew that such crowd and caliber of people would grace my occasion. In fact, it’s completely beyond words. It’s unexplainable.
What about your wife?
I think what happened yesterday has come to her realization that I am really a celebrity. I think she knows that I am a bigger boy.
Talking about your wife, Nneoma, what was the attraction in the first place?
There are wives and there are wives. There are friends and there are friends. It is easy to have a girlfriend, enjoy yourself but when you want to get settled with someone that can make you happy, it’s always difficult. That was exactly what happened to me. When I met Nneoma, it wasn’t that easy.
When was that?
I first saw her in 2005 here in Lagos. We met on a movie set. She came to assist someone on that production. By then she was still an undergraduate at Enugu State University of Technology (ESUT). She read Mass Communication. We became casual friends then. It was in 2008 that I decided to revisit that friendship. That means to think deep about her. And by the grace of God, this is the result!
How did you propose to her?
It was quite funny, something different. This I would love to say one beautiful day.
Now that you are married, how many kids are you expecting?
It all depends, but I want three kids.
So, when would you start making babies?
We don’t create babies, we plan and God creates.
Where are you taking her for honeymoon?
We are looking at about five destinations. We have the Bahamas, Qatar, Mauritius and the Caribbean.
What would you say you cherish most about Nneoma?
I think she’s someone you can easily predict, she doesn’t pretend. When she’s happy, she’s happy and when she is annoyed she would let you know and I love her for that. I just hate those that pretend.
And what did she say she treasures most about you?
She loves Chinedu Ikedieze.
How did your parent react when you told them you are getting married?
They were so happy. About six years ago, there was this story that I was married. They didn’t need to call me because they trust me. They tell their friends they are proud of me. So, yesterday I decided to tell the world, for the first time Chinedu Ikedieze is getting married.
What was Nneoma parent’s reaction when you first told them you want to marry their daughter?
Before I decided to marry, I went into prayers and got closer to God. Let me tell you if you want to do anything and you are not with God, you will be in crises. So, my in-laws gave me a pass to communicate with God first. I started praying, fasting.
So, you fasted to get your wife?
Whenever I want something from God, I fast and pray.
You did seven days fasting because of Nneoma?
I didn’t do seven days fasting but I prayed and asked God for His permission to settle down.
When you proposed to your wife, where did you do that?
In Ikeja, Lagos. When we agreed to marry each other, she called her parents. They were happy and advised us as any parents would do. When I called them, they were happy and they blessed us.
Were you scared they might reject you when you were calling?
No, because I had prayed and got a reassuring feedback from God. So, with that confidence I know all was well.
What was going on in your mind between Friday, November 25, 2011 and your wedding day on Saturday, Nov. 26?
My brother, not as if I was anxious but I wanted everything to come and go because the pressure was too much on me. I was primarily concerned with what to do to make my guests happy as well as to protect them.
Let’s talk about your white wedding coming up on December 10, 2011?
As I said before, my white wedding would be a family affair, I am inviting only a few friends.
You read Mass Communication with your wife, is it a coincidence or what?
She was already an undergraduate when I met her.
But did that influence your choice?
No, even if she read Igbo, I would still have married her. Love is love.
How would you describe Governor T. A. Orji attending your wedding?
My Governor flew all the way from France to attend my wedding. In fact, that memory, even in my grave, will be there. It is an unforgettable memory. He is the only governor that makes promises and fulfills them. I am happy he supported me.
Please, describe your wife in a sentence.
Nneoma is a wife.
Amidst speculations that Nneoma is only after your money, what’s your word to pessimists?
They will always say that. But let me tell you, anybody that habours sinful thought does not accommodate good things.
Will Osita Iheme be your best man for the wedding?
He is and will always be my best man.
How would you rate his support during your wedding?
I will simply say that Osy is a man.
‘I did not marry Aki because of his money or fame’
- Nneoma Ikedieze
Who is Nneoma in the first place?
I am Nneoma Ikedieze, nee Nwaijah. I am from Imo State. I am a graduate of Enugu State University (ESUT). I read Mass Communication. I am the second in a family of six. I was born in Enuug but I grew up in Victoria ISLAND, Lagos. I schooled in Ikoyi while living with my uncle.
What was your feeling when you saw the mammoth crowd that attended your wedding?
Actually, I was surprised. I never expected that, so I give all the glory to God.
Did you feel intimidated?
Not at all. I expected people but not what I saw.
Why did you fall for Chinedu Ikedieze?
He is a very nice guy and free style person.
How did you meet?
We met in Lagos. We worked in a production together because I was a costumier…I have always been seeing him, I just like his lifestyle. So, we became friends and from there the journey began.
How and where did he propose to you?
That is personal o.
How did you know that he was your man?
I am not the friend keeping type, but when I meet my friend, I know. We have been friends and I think I saw what I like in a man in him.
What are the qualities you saw in him?
Chinedu is very intelligent and smart.
What was your parent’s reaction when you told them you are getting married to Aki?
They were not surprised because I like his movies. My dad was like whao, “You go ahead if he is your choice.”
Would you say it is a natural love you have for Chinedu?
Yes. Although he was my course mate, I just love him naturally.
What do you really want changed in Chinedu?
Nothing to be changed. He is okay for me.
This is not the most pleasant of questions but we must ask you this. Many people say you are going for Aki because of his money and celebrity status?
That is cheap talk. They can say whatever they want to say. I married Chinedu Ikedieze. I did not marry Aki.
How would you describe your mother and father in-laws?
I have always prayed for people like that and I have finally met them. And I wish my sisters to have in-laws like them.
What did she particularly say about you?
The mum is so so happy and the father is a complete gentleman. They were happy to meet me then.
You read Mass Communication, do you intend to practice?
No, I want to go into fashion designing.
What is your prayer for this marriage?
I just want the will of God to be done.
– This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, November 29, 2011