The Tribal Headache

The Tribal Headache

Nnenna was a very decent girl. She had very fine manners! Her thank yous, sorrys and pleases were very on point and was of the kind that made the heart of a man melt like butter on a hot loaf of bread. Needless to say, Nnenna was the jewel of her parents. She was obedient and didn’t need to be told about doing house chores. In all ramifications of the word, Nnenna was a sweet girl and she was fast growing into a fine young woman.

Olabode could not get his wits about him anytime he came around her! To start with, he wasn’t much of a talker so it became even more difficult to carry on a lengthy conversation with her. All he knew in his heart was that Nnenna was special, and delicate, like an egg, and needed to be protected, and cared for!

They would take long walks or sit for long periods of time and talk and  listen to each other or just listen to the silence around them. It was a growing garden of love, a yearning for each other that was being fanned into a blazing fire of love by each passing day! Before long, they were deeply, madly in love.

But there was one headache! The tribal headache!

Nnenna knew in her heart the way her parents would feel about her blossoming relationship, they were going to disagree vigorously, therefore, she had kept all traces of it a secret. Olabode on the other hand had gone to town with his new-found love! To him, it was something he could not hide. If he got the chance, he would go to the rooftops and shout it out to the world that he had found such a rare gem.

Their blossoming garden of love was growing from rose to roses and little by little Nnenna intimated Olabode about the looming clouds ahead. To him, it was a bridge they would cross when they got there. To her, it was a bridge that was going to be difficult to cross.

For all the confidence that Olabode felt, and for all the love that Nnenna felt for him, little did they know, that the bridge ahead was a very raggedy bridge, and that it could very well see to the end of their brightly burning love!

And so their love grew from strength to strength! And they knew in their hearts they would love to share their life together. Olabode on his part could not imagine for himself another bride but his Nnenna, and Nnenna, even though the looming clouds occasionally caused her much heart ache, she was still as sweet, and was happy that her heart had found a place she could call home.

Time passed, weeks became months, the seasons came and went and the winds had now brought the looming cloud directly overhead. There they stood at the foot of the raggedy bridge that was going to be their end. If they let it.



Nnenna sat reading, legs crossed, her reading glasses perched precariously on her nose. From time to time, she lifted her gaze from the book she was reading to look at the little girl playing beside her. She adored her so much. And as though reading her mum’s mind, she looked up at her mum, smiled, and said: “I love you too mum”

Nnenna smiled and before she could say anything, her daughter continued.

“Mummy, daddy say he’s going to buy me my doctor’s kit. So I can treat Daisy’s runny nose.” Daisy was her doll.

“Awww, that’s so thoughtful of you. How is daisy feeling today?”

“Not very well mummy, she couldn’t even sleep throughout the night.”

HONK! HONK!! There was a car at the gate.

The little girl’s imaginative demeanor disappears and is replaced by a gleeful wide-eyed prance. Bobbing up and down, she tugged at her mother.

“Daddy is back, daddy is back”


Who do you think daddy is? Olabode? Or someone else? Do you know of any tribal headaches? Did they pass? Have you got your own tribal headaches happening now? How are you dealing with it? Please tell us about them if you don’t mind. I promise to tell you what happened to Nnenna

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. mikail

    It is peculiar among the tribal divides that parents prefer their children to marry from the same tribe as they. When I was to marry my wife, I met such stonewall. Mine was such that the differences were too many – She is a Ghanaian, I a Nigerian, she is a christian, I was a staunch muslim. Everything about culture was in the other direction. And it was not difficult to discern the difficulties that was ahead of us. Today, we are ten years in this same marriage facing the challenges of marriage with mutual love and understanding.

    With three wonderful children, what else can we say? We are grateful to the Lord for giving us each other!

  2. Ayodeji Agboola

    Indeed i am happy for you Mikail… It is indeed a grounded issue here in our African setting. But i guess it is only anxiety for their children that makes parents hesitate or even say No. But the world is changing, and more and more people seem to see that there may be another side to the coin.

  3. Emmanuel

    Daddy will most likely not be Olabode. My experience of relationships shows that partners never really get to know each other until trials come. The picture painted by the story depicts that Olabode and Nnenna have had a smooth ride in their relationship, this is a delicate situation that may be giving a false impression of stability and mutuality. Once Nnenna’s parents “disagree vigorously”, a lot of things will start to happen, tension will start to build up and relationship between all stakeholders will be tested by friction and strain. Olabode and Nnenna are inexperienced with friction and strain, therefore my guess is they’ll most likely not survive it.

    1. Ayodeji Agboola

      Hmmm, Well said Emmanuel. Indeed you have been able to look beyond the obvious, and i think you are right. The friction that can be caused by this Tribal headache can be very hot indeed and i thing the only saving grace is the strength of what the two parties feel for each other.

  4. Jin

    Complete this story please. Headaches most of us face. Allowing parents dictating our lives. Love is key. Good nnenna and oladode crossed that ragedy bridge

  5. Mariam Aliyu

    It makes me sad to know that parents still insist that their children must marry from his or her own tribe. I thought the marriage was for the two individuals not for d parents..whether u marry from the same tribe or not, u wld still face challenges, it takes genuine love, understanding and commitment to make any relationship or marriage work

  6. Ayodeji Agboola

    Well, in the African setting, the recognition that a marriage belongs to the two intending people is still very far from the minds of most parents! In that regard, it seems it is the children that must now educate the parents!

  7. dammy

    i’d say Nnenna and Olabode crossed that very raggedy bridge…’s might have been very hard but they must have crossed it……….when i think about the tribal issues, and believe me i think about it some, my heart is gripped as if by some metallic hand and i feel a slight fear, yes, the fear for the said parents who try to tear apart the pure love their son or daughter has for another of a different tribe….the fear that they know not what awaits them for such acts as they commit and i can only hope that understanding comes to all such parents and pray that if ever i find myself in such a situation, that i can also scale it over.

  8. Ayodeji Agboola

    Wow. well said brother, well said!

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