Friday, February 5, 2010

Cutlural Dance

I remember years ago, when I was at univeristy my dad had this idea that I would get married early and give up on his dream of a law career. Huh! Well as we sometimes say 'man proposes but God disposes.' Fast forward 20 odd years, 40 years old and still single. I trusted God that I would meet someone, but as the years went by it was taking more and more of an effort to keep up my optimism.

Seven months ago I lost my job in IT and that gave me the impetus to focus on my dream of a writing career. I attended my first ACFW conference and it was such a strong learning experience for me. I had long put my desire for marriage on the back burner, remembering to pray every so often for the Lord to send my husband. So you can imagine my surprise when I actually met my husband-to-be in Denver.

On the flight back to London, apart from the 'butterflies in the stomach' feeling that often accompanies a new love, the thought running most through my mind was "how do I tell my father?" Now you're probably wondering "why would a 40 year old woman be concerned about what her father thinks?" It all boils down to those loaded words -culture and tradition.

For as long as I can remember it was always understood in my family that my sisters and I were supposed to marry men from my dad's tribe. Not just Nigerian men, but Urhobo men. So how was I going to tell my dad that the man I'm going to marry is, not only not Urhobo, he isn't Nigerian, but is from Cameroon? Imagine my amazement when the first words out of my dad's mouth were, 'God does answer prayer', quickly followed by a statement about the smallness of the global community. Go figure.

A few weeks later I was back in Denver, meeting a whole community of Cameroonians and finding myself immersed in some of their culture; observing how much we have in common. From the similarity of the local parlance (broken English), to the same ingredients used in cooking, to similar traditional attire and values. The one difference that shocked me was how domesticated Cameroonian men can be. Now dont get me wrong, Nigerian men can be domesticated, but it's not often you see the men at functions cooking and then serving the women, let alone cleaning up after them!

On this new journey I am about to undertake I see so many possiblities. Not the least for my writing. On this blog I'm listed as the writer from England, but interestingly I see myself more and more as multi-cultural, from England, from Nigeria and now I feel a little Cameroon in my spirit. Im looking forward to weaving stories about how, through the adversity of a job loss and uncertainty about the future, God answered my prayer in a most unexpected way.


  1. And that's why we need international communities. No more us and them. No more hatred. We can only pray.

  2. How exciting that God brings you together at this point in your lives. He must have something very special in mind. Is your husband also a Christian fiction writer?

  3. Ufuoma, Thanks so much for this post and congratulations on your new relationship. The Lord bless you as you move forward with him. I especially enjoyed the weaving together of your writing life and your personal life. So conferences aren't just about writing!

  4. Your story is almost folkloric! Nigeria, Urhobo, Cameroon, Denver. I need only do a small bit of research on each of these words plucked out of your blog, Ufuoma and I've expanded my cultural and geographical horizon.

    I'm also 'The Writer From England' but I live in France, my husband is Turkish (and English) and I and we have lived all over the place.

    Good luck with your husband to be, brought to you in such an unusual way. We were brought together by pair of pink shoes!


  5. And when I gave you that hug in Denver, never dreamt you were starting another special time in your life! So pleased for you Ufuoma!!