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The Prism of Love

An article in Vanguard newspaper, showed that December is the month with the highest number of weddings in Nigeria. It was no surprise, then, that I happened to attend two in the space of one week. On the surface, there seemed to be no similarities between them as they were worlds apart in every way.

One was held on the dusty playgrounds

of a public school in a forgotten part of the ancient city of Abeokuta. We were constantly at the mercy of a combination of heat and harmattan. The usual stress that comes with every event with meagre funds, was apparent from the poor officiating, to the less-than-standard environment. Yet, a man and his bride were in love and we were present as witnesses to the lovely occasion.

In contrast, the ambience of the other bore all the hallmarks of a 'talk-of-the-city' wedding. From the wonderful live band that ushered you into the well-set tables replete with Local, English and International Cuisines, to the stunning display of several well-lit chandeliers and accompanying air conditioning. It was little wonder I felt quite at home here. The wedding was an ostentatious show of wealth and the entire ceremony was breath-taking. Once again, no one was in doubt of the love this man had for his bride.

As I meditated on these events, a common theme was apparent. It was ironic that the parents of both brides were in tears over the seeming loss of their daughters while the grooms’ parents exhibited great joy over the legal addition to their ranks. This goes to show that no matter who we are, no matter what we have, or what we do not have, we all have a desire to love and be loved. Love is the strongest of all human emotions.

If you have never been in love, this is an opportunity to fall in love. If you have never loved, again, this is the time to cultivate it. Love is the greatest virtue. Show a little love to someone who doesn't know what love is. What I witnessed that week is proof that love cuts through social, economic, and even religious barriers. The only way to judge both ceremonies as the same, worlds apart as they seemed, is through the prism of love.

This speech was written and delivered by Toastmaster Adeleke Akinola.

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