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This one will surely make all my Ibadan folks giggle. In very recent times, the city of Ibadan has come under intense spotlight for jokes, memes and many other social media sports. It is then worth celebrating to find someone sharing a beautiful love story that stemmed from the ancient city. Enjoy this one, and maybe you just might be next in line to take a trip to Ibadan in search of love.
My story begins from the day I received a letter from the head office informing me that I had been transferred to Ibadan, Oyo State.
It was a promotion, but it didn’t feel that way because despite moving to a higher management position. I had to move from Lagos to Ibadan. Hence, my celebration was minimal.
I was not exactly prepared to leave my friends and family in Lagos but duty called and I had to answer.
My love-hate relationship with Twitter did not help matters as the promotion came at a time when Twitter Nigeria had a lot of unpleasant things to tweet about Ibadan people. Somehow, I hid the news from my friends in order not to fall victim of their endless banter.
I was given a month to prepare for the cosmic shift, so I had to get my acts together as quickly as possible.
I moved in to the accommodation prepared for me by the company on the Saturday before my official resumption at the Ibadan office. On getting to the house, I realized that I had a neighbour in the compound – Blessing – a beautiful lady who was very hospitable.
Blessing helped me settle into my apartment and was on hand to get anything for me. It was really awkward for me to realize she was a single banker, and we were the only two people occupying the whole building. I lived upstairs while she stayed down.
As time went on, we got close and made her realize how I didn’t like the city of Ibadan. I always had a complaint or the other about the roads, power situation, kind of people, dirtiness of some areas, standard of products and services et al. Sometimes we got into long arguments because of her unrelenting passion to make me like the city. But as a stubborn person myself, I was not ready to change my view of the city.
Every weekend, Blessing would always invite me to go with her to different places, and since I was warming up to her, I obliged most of her invitations. Before long, I had been to Ibadan zoo, Mapo Hall, Bower’s Tower, Heritage Shopping Mall, Fun Factory and many other fun places in Ibadan. I was already in love with the city by the time I realized what was happening. What intrigued me more was knowing that Blessing is not even an indigene of Ibadan; she is from Edo state.
I later found out that she is a person who had the habit of appreciating what she has and seeing the good in any situation she finds herself. This quality along with many others made me really like her. And despite all I did to make sure I didn’t cross the line with my neighbour and housemate, I fell in love with her just the way I fell in love with the city.
After a year and three months of knowing Blessing, we started a relationship. And in order to ease out any awkwardness, I changed my apartment to another part of town. Her passion, in conjunction with my new-found love for the city made us visit many other places, even outside Ibadan. Naturally, we grew a very strong bond and our relationship blossomed.
It’s been three years now, and I have since moved back to Lagos with my wife – Blessing – but each time I visit or pass through the city of Ibadan, I can’t help but feel nostalgic.
I may not have loved Ibadan initially, but it brought me love in two ways. I’m grateful.