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Stories From The “Haven” Of Cross-Cultural Relationships – Real Life Yarns

Stories From The “Haven” Of Cross-Cultural Relationships – Real Life Yarns 

Early this year, just around the time when Nigeria conducted her presidential election, Twitter went up in flames. First, it started with the viral news of Lagosians destroying properties that belonged to Igbo residents. Then it escalated to outrage concerning a certain group of people declaring the Labour Party gubernatorial candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour unfit to become the governor of Lagos State. The reason was that GRV was not “purely” Yoruba. He had an Igbo mother and a Yoruba father. And, to make it worse, he was married to an Igbo woman! Hence, an online battle ensued on tribalism, and the “awws” and “ughs” of cross-cultural relationships. While some shared horrible stories of their relationships with partners from different tribes, others narrated very beautiful stories that would get you screaming, “God when?!”.

So, in this episode of Real Life Yarns, we are featuring some of the stories our followers shared with us about their experiences in cross-cultural relationships:


I once dated a Benin boy and it was a great relationship. Although he never met my parents, because I was in another State, my friends loved him because he was smart and a tall glass of fine wine. We were happy until he had to relocate to Benin for work. During this period, I travelled to visit him. When I got there, he said that we could only go out one at a time. He told me his mom’s shop was on his street and that she didn’t know he had a girlfriend. He didn’t want her to see us together and ask questions. I agreed even though it was silly. But I got tired and confronted him later. He finally told me that his mom didn’t have a problem with him having a girlfriend, but would kill him if she found out that I was Igbo. I jejely packed my bags and left the next morning.


I had this very fine Igbo girlfriend back in 2018. We were so in love and wanted to get married. The issue was that she didn’t tell her parents that I was Yoruba. She just told them that I could speak Igbo and that I was from a good family. When they asked for my name, she gave them my English name. I guess she already knew the kind of parents she had. She didn’t even brief me. So, the first time I visited her parents, I told them that my name was Abayomi. Come and see the shock on their faces! They asked me to leave, telling me that Yoruba people were very tribalistic and would not treat their daughter well. They even added that Yoruba men were womanizers and that they wouldn’t want their daughter to end up with one.


My parents are from different tribes. My mom is from Delta, while my dad is from Imo. Their marriage might seem drama-free now, but when it started, my dad’s household was a ring of fire. His family demanded that they wanted a woman who was also from Imo State and swore that they would never accept my mom. My dad thought it was a joke, but they did everything to thwart their wedding. At some point, they even threatened to disown him. But my dad, being stubborn and lovestruck, went ahead with the union and was estranged from his family for many years. It was when my mom had her fourth child that the family finally started warming up to her.


My own was that I went to date one Calabar girl because of nyash back in 2019. While we were engaged in some aggressive cuddling one hot afternoon, my mom walked in on us. She was a progressive widowed mother who raised me all by herself, so she just told us to stop fooling around and left the room. The mood was spoilt, so I dressed up and went to meet her in the sitting room. She started quizzing me about the girl since she had never met her. When she heard that her name was Offiong, her eyes almost popped out of their sockets. She screamed, “Nwa Calabar! Ngwa ngwa, go and tell her to start going to her house before she charms my only child with her witchcraft and inflicts him with nameless diseases.” She literally chased her out of the house. The next day she got me drugs for STDs. My respect for her reduced since then.


I have always been a rebel in my family. That is how I started dating my Igbo boyfriend against my family’s advice. I later told them that I had broken up with my Igbo boyfriend and was dating a Yoruba one. One fine day, when I knew that nobody was at home, I invited him over. We were seeing Interstellar when my parents strolled into the parlour. The first thing that told my parents that he wasn’t Yoruba was when he jumped up and stood as straight as a plank to greet them. I stupidly tried to correct him by saying, “Chidi, you have to prostrate!” My father’s face was priceless that day. He was like, “Ehn…! Chidi? Omo Ibo!” Then he asked him to get out of his house; that his people were disrespectful. My Chidi left but, as “disrespectful” as he was, he kept coming back. We are married now with twin boys.

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