Today, My Baby Says, “I Do” Without Me!, By Tony Okoroji

See how this Coronavirus or Covid 19 has just messed up a year we ushered in with a lot of hope and promise!

I still do not believe that it is actually happening but see what the world has become. When the 1st of August 2020 was fixed for the wedding of my youngest daughter, Stephanie Chinenye Okoroji to her sweetheart, Samuel Egiafameh in Glenn Dale, a suburb of Maryland, USA, it was meant to be a day like no other.

I was practically counting the days, the hours and the minutes.
Madam, the fashionista that she is, raided Balogun market in Lagos to get the best fabrics on show to create for me some eye splitting agbada for the occasion. Ordinarily, I am not an agbada person but the 1st of August 2020 was scheduled to be a day like no other, a day to dress to finish and I was ready.

As the coronavirus reared its ugly head earlier in the year, we all thought that after a few weeks or at the worst a couple of months, the madness would go away. After all, did Ebola not go away? Did SARS not go away?

Who would have thought that instead of the virus going away, the year 2020 would be washed away? For many months, the Premiership, the NBA, the NFL, the MLS disappeared. Even the Olympic Games, the world’s greatest spectacle with billions of dollars invested, was scrapped. Yes, they have recently tried to concoct what looks like the EPL and the NFL to come back. The truth is that I have not been watching. What kind of Premiership is it with no yelling fans in the stadium? It is like tea without sugar, tasteless!

I was so sure that before the 1st of August, I would find a way to get to America and walk my baby down the aisle in my flowing agbada and do that which every father is proud to do. Those familiar with this column may recall that when Stephanie graduated from the University of Maryland, two years ago, I flew round the world to arrive at her graduation event as it was taking place. She had no idea that I was in the auditorium watching the proceedings until the event ended. When she saw me, it was with disbelief that she screamed, “Daddy!” Oh my God, I was happy.

Who would have thought that the ever busy Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos could be shut down month after month and all the airplanes that fly people from country to country, morning, afternoon and night, would be parked? Who would have believed that those with American passports, the most respected passport in the world, would be banned from entering Europe? How come none of the big prophets and seers that harass all of us on TV saw that the world would be turned upside down in 2020?

I have struggled to make sense out of what is happening. I am stuck in Lagos while my baby girl is taking one of the biggest steps in her life today. I may be lucky to see the event streamed on some video monitor. I have asked my brother Iyke, who lives in Baltimore, to stand in for me.

I guess this is one of those times when you just take whatever life serves you. Please join me in wishing Stephanie and Sam happy wedlock today in Maryland.

See you next week.

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