In a recent interview with Punch, Chinedu Onyia the eldest of the triplet, and wife, Mary Dumalu talked about their wedding and unique love story.
Why did you and your brothers choose to marry on the same day?
Chinedu: It was our wish, while we were growing up, to have it like that. It was also our mum’s wish for us to marry at the same time. She always imagined the three of us getting married on the same day. She felt it would look very nice and prayed for it to happen because it was not going to be easy for all of us to be ready at the same time.
Since it was the wish of your mother, is she still alive?
Chinedu: She died in 2013 so unfortunately, she wasn’t there to witness it. If she were alive, she would have been excited. I know she would have gone down on her knees to thank God for answering her prayer and making her wish come true.
How did the two of you meet?
Chinedu: I saw her walking on the street and was attracted to her. I didn’t talk to her that day; I waited till I was able to get somebody close to her before making my move. When we talked for the first time, we exchanged contacts and became friends.
Dumalu: It was during my National Youths Service Scheme programme; he saw me and fell in love with me. We later exchanged contacts and started talking. He said he liked me and wanted to settle down. I said I would think about it. After some time, I replied that I liked him and he started making arrangements for our traditional marriage and white wedding.
Did the three of you (brothers) tell your women separately that you would like to have your weddings on the same day or it was done together?
Chinedu: We are not based in one state so we have different stories of how we told our wives. The discussions were done separately.
Did your women object to the idea of marrying on the same day?
Chinedu: When we mentioned it to them, they were excited and had not seen it happen before. So, they were eager to witness it. We are grateful to them because they sacrificed their idea of the kind of wedding they wanted for it.
Why did you agree to it?
Dumalu: I love my husband and I have to love what he loves and like what he likes. We loved the idea. They said they would like to get married on the same day because they are triplets, I said how would it go. We worked together, planned for it and it went very well. It sounded funny at the early stage but after some time, I felt ‘the world go hear am’ (the world will hear about it). At least, people will know that there is love.
What if the women had disagreed?
Chinedu: The idea was exciting; so they would want to be part to it. It is like a project you will want to be involved in. So they saw it as a project that must be delivered. They welcomed it and worked towards it. They made sacrifices to ensure that it worked out.
Which one of you found the woman he wanted to marry first and courted for a longer period of time than the others?
Chinedu: Ebuka and Okwuoma, their courtship was longer than mine and Kenechukwu’s. They met in school.
Did your wives sometimes mistake you for one another?
Chinedu: No, they can identify us.
How identical are you?
Chinedu: We are not very identical; if you look closely, you will know we look different.
Have you ever mistaken your husband for any of his brothers?
Dumalu: I know my husband!
What was the most interesting thing that happened on that day?
Chinedu: We saw it as a project that had been delivered and everybody was excited.
You live in different states, how stressful was it to have your weddings at the same venue?
Chinedu: As a family, most of our events are done around Easter and Christmas Day when relations will be available. That was why we planned to have the weddings around Easter but we had to postpone them because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
How was the common venue used for the weddings chosen?
Dumalu: Enugu is central; I am from Delta State, another wife is from Enugu and the third one is from Imo. And since Enugu is centrally situated, we chose Enugu.
Did your parents feel that they didn’t get to host their son-in-law?
Dumalu: We did the traditional marriage before the wedding; that is the more important one in my place. The traditional marriage was done in my hometown so my daddy had no problem with anywhere we chose for the white wedding.
Did the three of you (couples) start courting around the same time?
Dumalu: I don’t think so. I met my husband during my national service year. One of my brothers-in-law met his woman at his workplace. I don’t know when my third brother-in-law (Ebuka) met his woman but their relationship lasted for four years.
If you had been dating your husband for some time and his brothers didn’t have a partner yet, would you have agreed to wait for your husband’s brothers to be ready so you could all marry on the same day?
Dumalu: I would have waited.
How did you feel on your wedding day?
Dumalu: Oh! I felt happy and great. It was awesome.
Most women like their wedding days to be special and to be about them, did you feel like the focus was not on you and that there were other women competing with you on that day?
Dumalu: No! The focus was on the triplets and their wives.
So, there was no issue about who looked better…
Dumalu: There was nothing like that. We wore the same type of gown, did the same type of hairstyle and so on.
How would you describe your relationship with your sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law?
Dumalu: They are wonderful people. They are good people. They have good hearts and are very lovely.
How did your traditional marriages go?
Dumalu: Ebuka had his on December 28, 2019; mine was on January 4, 2020, while Chinwe’s was on February 21, 2020. We pray that God will sustain and strengthen us all.