Celebration Mode: Lilian Elemchukwu-Ohia

When Rihana waltzed into the studio to put together her hit single ‘’We Found Love’’, l want to believe that she didn’t appreciate the depth of the reality inherent in the chorus of that song. This is because even though love is a universally acceptable lingua franca spoken from the heart, it is usually found in the unlikeliest of places, and therefore the ‘’hopelessness’’ of its discovery.

The banking halls of Nigeria’s new generation financial institutions have the distinction of providing leverage for the consummation of financial transactions. However, there is another leverage which these institutions provide but which is largely unspoken of: the consummation of emotional transactions. Quite a number of customers and bankers alike grace these hallowed halls in search of the highly sought after lucre, but some come out of them with much more treasures than those stored in the vaults therein; relationships that lead to marriages.

As Branch Service Head of one of Nigeria’s biggest several years back, the events leading up to the consummation of what l prefer to term ‘’a transaction within a transaction’’ could only be attributed to fate. At the time, one of my fervent prayer points was for a life partner. I had a well paying job, a good car and a house badly in need of a woman to transform it under a properly structured agenda, into a home. I gave God strict instructions on what l wanted. Yes. Didn’t he say we should put him to the test? Oh ho! And trust him to rise to the occasion with an ironic but somewhat comic twist to boot.

It so happened that my branch in Port Harcourt had a customer who effected a Funds Transfer to another branch in Lagos. This branch was headed by an attractive damsel that had a reputation as a no-nonsense Operations person. And it was true to type that she spotted an error in the procedure through which the Funds Transfer was done. Expectedly, the alter ego in me felt bruised when she requested that l cancel and redo the transaction. I was not prepared to take orders from her and this led to her escalating the issue to our Group Head who being close to both of us settled the matter amicably. Thus, began a friendship over the bank’s Microsoft messenger service, developing into a relationship and eventually marriage.

One very significant aspect of this narrative is the fact that we officially started dating on her birthday; the 17th of October, a date we have fondly coined as 17.10. Interestingly, the number to the current account l opened at the bank even before she joined the bank ends with those exact figures. Coincidence or providence? I guess that is irrelevant right now. Today, as she marks yet another birthday, l can only but look back in retrospect with nostalgia. So next time you walk into a banking hall, l advice you put on your cupid lenses. You just might be asked, your money or your wife?

This is a tribute to her and l am seizing this opportunity to say ”Happy Birthday Swit”. You have been an inspiration and you would always be the love of my life. I love you all ways and always!!!

Charles is an Environmental Management researcher at the Sheffield Hallam University, UK. His tweet-prints can be found at @9jaBloke.

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: OF BANKING HALLS AND TRANSACTIONS: A TRIBUTE by Charles Ohia (@9jabloke) – Y! Fiction
  2. Ijilola
    Oct 17, 2013 @ 16:53:18

    Dis is so swwweet, happy birthday to ur darlyn


  3. kizzle
    Oct 17, 2013 @ 17:27:08

    Awwwwww :$


  4. Adewoyin Joseph
    Oct 18, 2013 @ 08:07:07

    Very sweet!


  5. Mz Greene
    Oct 19, 2013 @ 17:23:04

    9c. Very sweet.


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