Wonder Wedding: Day The Blind Played For Deaf And Dumb Couple – By all meansWonder Wedding: Day The Blind Played For Deaf And Dumb Couple – Photo by lalasticlala, it was a day to remember: a wedding of two people one deaf the other with speech impairment, a pleasant scenario of the visually impaired supplying melodious music, and both the blind, hearing and the non-hearing all dancing joyously despite their limitations! Taiwo Abiodun, who attended the wedding reports.
You could tell that it was their day. The bridegroom looked gorgeous in his long sleeve lemon shirt and tie, on cream suit, while the bride beamed in her immaculate white wedding gown, with shoes to match. The ceremony peaked as the bridegroom slipped the wedding ring into the bride’s fourth finger and followed with a prolonged kiss that literally sent the cameramen into wild clicking action. The guests at the Owo Town Hall Registry (aka Oke Mapo), Ondo State also caught the frenzy, greeting the newly wedded couple with a thunderous applause and cheers.
But for the sign interpreters, who intermittently gesticulated to pass messages and information across to the celebrators, you really could never have imagined that two heartthrobs being formally joined on this occasion are deaf and dumb.
The wedding between Kunle Oluwadare and Omolola Onipede took place on December 20, 2014, over a year after they began courtship. It was thus a moment to cherish and celebrate for the two families, who came together in approval of their children’s union .The groom and his parents and family came all the way from Akure, to Owo to seek Omolola’s hand in marriage. The Introduction/Engagement ceremonies, which is a fundamental part of a formal Yoruba marriage rites was also performed, with the groom presenting the bride’s family with the usual requirements. The groom’s friends also performed the traditional prostration to the ‘almighty’ in-laws, while the veiled bride was brought out and ceremonially unveiled by the groom.
As a Christian, the bride expectedly picked the Holy Bible when asked to pick one item of her choice that she’ll cherish amongst all the items brought by her suitor. Again a loud ovation followed.
As is the custom with every dignified Yoruba family, the bride price and other monetary gifts brought by the groom for the bride’s family were returned, with the family insisting that their daughter was not on sale.
At the reception held at the bride’s family house at Aruwajoye street (Owo), where friends and colleagues of the couple gathered to entertain guests and the newly wedded couple, the highlight was the moment when their blind and visually impaired friends from The School of the Blind sang, played the piano and drummed to the admiration of all present. Guests and well-wishers also danced to the music blaring from the four hi-fi speakers mounted at strategic positions of the venue, and generally rejoiced with the newly wedded couple and their friends, who also suffer from disabilities ranging from visual impairment to hearing and speech disability.
Their colleagues, who came from the Special school (of the deaf and dumb and the visually impaired) also wiggled their waists and danced the much they could, despite the fact that some of them could not hear a sound. They simply went along with other guests as they sang, gesticulated and wagged their waists.
The visually impaired were not left out, as they also sang and danced- at least they hear the music, even as they stepped on anyone who as much as went too close to them.
Through a sign interpreter, Mrs. Helen Famuwagun who doubles as their teacher in the church, the visibly elated bride said she lives in Owo and has been looking for a nice and responsible man, which she has now found n her heartthrob, Kunle.
“We met in 2013 and courted for over one year. I know his parents and they too know me and my parents very well,” Omolola announced.”
Asked if the suitors took some time coming, she replied that “many suitors were coming, but I decided to choose Kunle, for his understanding and caring nature. Kunle is a man after my heart,” she gesticulated to her interpreter, who in turn explained to the reporters.
The couple who both attend GOFAMINT Church said they are happy to have scaled all hurdles to eventually solemnise their relationship. Through their interpreter, Kunle said he does not want any woman in his life, except his brand new wife, Omolola.
Kunle disclosed that he met his heartthrob at a friend’s place on May 10, 2013 and immediately took interest in her.
His words, “I liked her immediately I saw her.”
Asked if he would someday take another wife, he shook his head, gesticulating to the interpreter that he would never consider taking a second or third wife.
He however declared that he would like to have many children, depending on God’s wish.
My name is Helen Famuwagun (Mrs.), I am one of their teachers in GOFANMINT, what I’ve noticed is that most of them don’t marry normal persons but their likes. This is because they understand each other and are able to interact through sign language. In the church, we teach them that they should not ‘see’ each other before getting married. And this they obeyed because we monitor them very well. We also tell them that their bed must not be defiled, imparting in them the way of God. As a preacher and pastor, I preach to them that it is a sin to make love out of wedlock. Of course we relate with them through sign language, because of their nature and they are well receptive.
Famuwagun also revealed that by nature, people with such disabilities are special people and are very jealous. This she said is why they often married their likes, with whom they share good understanding, and compatibility. She said that such understanding is critical, because they could be very fatal when they get angry.
She also disclosed that this was not the first time such marriage will be taking place.
The visually impaired sang danced and were all happy. One of them Temitope Ariyo, who is the leader of the School Band, said “we are happy to play for our colleague. Although we cannot see them, they see us. Today is another happy day for the couple “.
Olorunfemi Seun, and Tosin Oladapo, two back-up singers who are also visually impaired also expressed their joy on the occasion.
Chief Anthony Adeyeye Onipede and his wife,Taiye are Omolola parents.
According to them, their daughter was not born deaf and dumb, but suddenly observed that she could not talk or hear when she was a toddler. “Omolola was born as a twin, but her twin sister died at infancy. She was still crawling when we discovered that she could not talk or hear,” the parents chorused.
Onipede said “I am her father. I did not immediately know that she could not talk or hear. I was in Onitsha then as a soldier .It was my late father who first noticed the problem. We went to places; hospitals and even churches, thinking it was a spiritual attack, but no progress.”
Continuing, Onipede said “I made efforts to take her to school. She went to deaf and dumb school in Akure; she also went to Technical College, Owo, where she learnt Painting and decorating”
Asked whether her daughter was forced to marry a challenged person like herself, Mrs. Onipede said “No, it was Omolola who said she would marry Kunle. They both went to the same school, and I think they would understand each other better. I am happy for their coming together and I am told their children will be normal when they begin to have children.”
The parents of the Bridegroom exhibited great joy throughout the occasion. When interviewed, Kunle’s father, Rufus Oluwadare, who is a Shepherd at Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), Akure said “my son was not born like this. I am the happiest man today for my son to be getting married. I have done two weddings for my two children this year but this is the most interesting and most unforgettable among them all. Yes, they have challenges but see how God has compensated them with this crown? What I know is that if a bad person blocks their way God has a way of compensating them.”
Expressing her joy, the groom’s mother said “He is very selective and does not seem to want anybody except this lady. They have introduced some divorcees and single mothers to him, but he always rejected them.”
She added that her son was not born with speech challenges. She however blamed her enemies who inflicted the condition on him, when he was a baby. She said “I believe it is the handiwork of evil doers. But what do we do? We still thank God for everything.”
Chief Fehintola Famulagun who witnessed the occasion said she was happy that the marriage took place. In her words, “we have been preparing for this big wedding, and I prayed to live to see my niece’s daughter on this glorious day. Omolola is kind to a fault and this is a lesson to us all, that disability is not an excuse for anybody .The couple is extremely happy .There are lots of able-bodied people, who cannot achieve this type of wedding.”
Chief Olubola Olusola Ogunleye who came to represent the Olowo of Owo, Oba David Folagbade Olateru-Olagbegi III said “I am here to represent the Olowo of Owo, at this occasion. I am happy for this wedding which has taken place despite the couple’s challenges. Let us therefore give kudos to them. I also thank the parents for not choosing partners for them”.
Mrs. Kehinde Fabolide , who is twin sister to the bride’s mother also expressed her happiness. She said “We should thank God for everything. You can see my sisters who all came from America, Lagos and Akure to witness this greet occasion. God is good.”