Professor Johnbull flays arranged marriages
A new episode of popular TV drama series, Professor Johnbull, this week focuses on the issue of matchmaking in Africa's traditional marriage and its usefulness in contemporary society.
The episode dissects the age-long tradition whereby parents or relations arrange partners for their children or relations considered to be of marriage age but have refused to take partners to raise families of their own.
In the episode entitled Arranged Marriage, three "proximate people" of Professor Johnbull (Kanayo O. Kanayo), Mai Doya (Funky Mallam), Etuk (Imeh Bishop) and Olaniyi (Yomi Fash-Lanso), worried by the single status of the scholar, arranged to have the retired don marry Etuk's sister, who resides in Abuja. It will be recalled that Professor Johnbull lost his wife years ago.
As that plot is being scripted, the mother of Abadnego (Martins Nebo), convinced that "a man who can grow beards is old enough to marry", arranges a village girl for him and pays the bride price before bringing her to Enugu for Abadnego.
Arranged Marriage becomes intriguing when Etuk's sister arrives Enugu to discover that Professor Johnbull has no such proposal and Abadnego rejects the village girl brought to her by his mother.
How does Professor Johnbull receive Etuk's sister? Who arranges the exchange of gifts between Professor Johnbull and his arranged wife? Is Abednego's mother's assertion that "love comes to marriage when children begin to come in" valid? Can two complete strangers make good marriage partners? Is matchmaking old fashioned or still relevant in contemporary time? Is Professor Johnbull truly lonely and sad? What is the place of compatibility in matchmaking?