Guests were not served ‘soft’ drinks: Three Powerful Lessons from the Halima Babangida wedding

It is no longer news that
Halima, the last daughter of former President, Ibrahim Babangida wedded
last weekend at an event attended by the high and mighty in Minna. The
3-day event drew attention for many reasons.

While many focused on the
number of private jets, hired or owned, that landed on the Minna airport tarmac just for the wedding, many others were more interested in the
politics of people from.different political camps sitting together on a
table and even exchanging banters. There were however three unassailable
lessons that we deducted from the wedding.

It was the first time
in a wedding of that magnitude that bottlevd drinks were not served.
Neither Coca cola nor Pepsi or other soft drink products were served
during the event. The development left many wondering. Why would a
wedding of that calibre not have drinks like Sprite, Fanta, Coke, Pepsi
or even Malt drinks. Later, we were made to understand that the
financiers set out to put forward a message, and that is, there are many
more local drinks that are beneficial to the body than coca cola or
Pepsi products or even the malt products.

Guests were served with
chilled zobo, various forms of Kunu, there were also straight juice
drinks, like pineapple, ginger, and some mixed together in cocktails.
For those who liked to experiment with new things, they must have been
overwhelmed by the number of drinks that were seemed in gourds.

didn’t end there, the drinks were complemented with food and snacks. At
the cultural night, which ordinarily should have featured dancing and
singing for the bride, about eight states spread across Nigeria were
chosen to present food and drinks which they served to people. Both the
people who had invitation cards and those who didn’t had access to these
meals as there was more than enough to go round. Indeed, at a point,
people from some of the states were begging to have guests taste what
they had.

Local snacks especially from Niger State was the order
of the day. In normal climes, you would enter a wedding reception and
see cup cakes or piece of cake neatly packaged for guests. This was not
so. The fine packages contained Donkuwa, kulikuli, kokoro and Gurundi
all Nupe delicacies.

Maryam Babangida, the matriarch of the
family was champion of women empowerment. The whole idea of encouraging
local meals and drinks was to bring back what she lived for. Most of the
local snacks and drinks were products from women. If we all patronise
our local meals and drinks, more women would be empowered and we would
also be more healthy.

Another takeaway from the wedding was the
fact that one way or the other four of Africa’s richest somehow see IBB
as their mentors and were there. Governments come and go, but there is
no doubt that the IBB era helped in moulding some entrepreneurs who are
today billionaires.

They were not contractors but people who saw
opportunities in the Nigerian economy and seized them. Mike Adenuga,
Folorunso Alakija and Aliko Dangote are a few of these men. They were
not contractors. They were entrepreneurs who helped in opening up the

Article by Bamidele Afolabi for Abuja


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