42 years ago, the current governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu Aketi, was posted to Enugu State as a youth corper.
He was just a dashingly handsome lawyer who was fresh out of the Nigerian Law school.
As he was packing his bags to enter the Ekene diri chukwu luxurious bus, going to Enugu from Ibadan, where he was raised, little did he know that he would meet his heartthrob, the woman of his dreams, and the mother of his kids today at that ancient city.
In the famous words of Elon Musk, “Fate loves irony”.
Younger Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, accompanied a friend to visit corpers at the corper’s lodge in Enugu, where she set her eyes on the most handsome man she has ever set her eyes on.
The attraction for her was his broad chest and his fine face.
Being a bold woman who is not afraid to go after her dreams and what she fancies, legend has it that she was the one who toasted this handsome young man, defying patriarchy and stereotype which imposed the rule on our women that a woman should wait for the man of her dreams to woo her.
She is a feminist, and the ideal of a feminist drives her in everything she does.
That bold attempt later gave birth to a beautiful marriage Union, which is 42 today.
At that time, two things stood out and provided a lesson for my generation to ponder on.
1) Her excellency and younger Betty was actually a Federal civil servant at that time.
Younger Rotomi was a corper, but the difference in social class was not enough to discourage her from pursuing a man that she loved and still loves.
2) 42 years ago, it was unthinkable for a young woman from the rural agrarian area of Emeabiam in Imo State to venture outside her community, much less beyond Imo State, in the name of marriage.
Intertribal marriage was not mainstream the way it is today, but her excellency braved the odds because her love for him is enough.
Looking back with the benefit of hindsight, I think my madam has earned the right to brag that she built her husband.
They started life 42 years ago with nothing but her meager salary as a civil servant and then their incredible faith in the possibilities of tomorrow.
But today, they have ended up in the Ondo State Government House.
Ah, an incredible fairy tale love story that reminds us that what unites us as a people is bigger than the bigots who work hard to separate us every 4 years.
A love story that is a broader reminder that sometimes, love is enough and that is all you need.
To the first family of Ondo State, I join the people of Ondo State in celebrating this huge milestone and a love story that inspire all of us.
To the First Lady of Ondo state, Congratulations to you, Ma Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu