I’m Kunbi Salami, well, only for a short while now. You see, I’m getting married. My boyfriend of 3 years; Kehinde, and I are finally tying the knot in less than 2 months. The proposal was magical. But do not let me bore you with details. That is not why we are here. That is not the dilemma I am facing.
You see, Kehinde has been going on and on about how he wants to start building his own house as soon as we get married (we are currently staying together in one of his late father’s house with two of his cousins), how he is a proper Yoruba man and his culture makes it necessary for him to build his own home. Crap. I love my husband oo (feels so good to call him that even if he will not be until two months). You see, I would rather rent a lovely apartment than wait for him to start building, and I cannot continue to stay with his cousins after we get married. The problem is not the cousins, no. I just want my privacy with my husband.
I know some of you reading this are thinking I’m probably not well or something, my friends think so too. No, I am very alright. I have no problem with my husband’s culture. I mean, we are both Yoruba. Regardless, let me clarify why I would prefer to rent a home with Kehinde, rather than let him build one.
I must first of all say that, I love my husband-to-be, very much in fact. The problem is, my husband gets easily distracted (I am not permitted to call him lazy). What I’m saying is, when you finish building a house, will you not start with maintenance? Kehinde will not fix a light bulb in the house, and if his cousins do not do it, I have to. Kehinde will forget to call the carpenter to fix the door-hinge or the broken wardrobe, if his cousins do not, I have to. This is the same man that is going on about building a home for us; does he expect me to start calling the carpenter for a broken roof, when I have just given birth? Even the Christian bible says that you shall know the truth and it shall set you free, I know this truth, let me speak it. Let it set me free. I cannot start chasing one electrician around because my husband simply chose to forget, or be expected to start fixing light bulbs when I am carrying a baby. Am I right or am I right?
Another problem is, Kehinde’s job description demands that he moves from place to place, city to city. He just moved from Abuja where I met him to Lagos, during my service year about 6 months ago. Lagos is the third state in Nigeria he has been transferred to now, and being his wife, I would need to move with him the next time he is transferred. Please, do you think it is reasonable for my husband to build a home in a place he may not live in forever? I do not get. I do not understand why he insists on building a home in Lagos, when there is every possibility he will be transferred to Bida or Lokoja or one other remote location in Nigeria (something I am seriously praying against). Why not just let us rent a home here, and wait for the transfer letter peacefully? Why should we be staying in another state, and let construction be ongoing in another? It does not make any sense to me. Perhaps, my Kehinde is a Martian and I do not know it yet.
I love the good life, very much. I love swimming and going to the spa and all sorts. I know my husband-to-be, he also loves the gym. He loves lifting weights and all those other things men do. If we build a home, I do not expect a gym or a spa to come with it. Where will we get the money from? Wouldn’t it be a lot more reasonable, to rent a home in Lagos that comes with both? Kehinde can go to the gym on Saturday mornings while I just go swim or something, instead of us to start travelling miles like we do now, just to get a swim. This one may seem a bit selfish, but, won’t swimming make me look better for my husband? After all, they say it is one of the best forms of exercise.
As I have said before, my husband is quite “forgetful”. When it is time to pay taxes and the Land Use Charge they now pay in Lagos, he will not be the one who would have to leave his place of work, under Lagos hot sun, go through the infamous Lagos traffic, to pay them. No, it will have to be me. But if we decide to rent a home, all the katakata will be borne by the Landlord or agents or whoever. As long as it is not me, I am very happy. Do you still think I am crazy? No? I thought so.
Lastly, but definitely not the least, as my friends from Estate Management used to shout, back when we were in the university (rather annoyingly, I must add): Location, Location, Location. You see, I would rather live on the island, as both my husband-to-be and I work on the island. Land prices on the island however, are through the roof. The price of 2 plots of land in Victoria Island will pay our two rooms rent for fifty years. A house we will not stay in. All we need for now is just two rooms; one for us and another for when his mother comes visiting. What do we need another for. We will start thinking of how to expand after we decide on when to start making babies. After we are certain of how many years we’ll spend in Lagos.
I am very sure most of you probably agree with me right now. I could close with the usual “I hope I have been able to convince you blah blah blah” thing, but, that is not my aim. My aim is not to convince you guys, my aim is to convince my Kehinde, who has been insisting on building instead of renting. I’ll probably use my womanly charm or something.
What do you people think? Should we rent? Build? What would you do?