Accidental meeting of 2 World Bank staff leads to marriage (PHOTOS)

Ije and Meke

Meke and his beloved bride
The traditional marriage of Ijeoma Ikoku and Chukwuemeke Okeke took place at the tail end of 2016 in the ancient kingdom of Archochukwu, a marriage that brought together two states, and attracted notable personalities from home and the Diaspora.

Meke smiles on as he waits to take his bride home

The marriage ceremony happened at ‘Ogo’ Amannagwu, village square of the ancestral home of the Ikokus, where the groom and his kinsmen had visited to complete the marriage traditions, according to the traditions and customs of of the Igbo people.​

Yes, he drinks from his bride!

The beautiful couple relaxes as the event goes on
The colourful affair, saw Ije and the bridal train, known as ‘odu mgbede’ in Arochukwu adorned in Omu Aro dress, as well as George clothes. On the other hand, Meke wore a gorgeous agbada suit, and a befitting okpu mmee (red cap) to match, which aptly identified him as a true son of Enugu Agidi Royal community, Anambra State.​

Ije performing a dance

She poses with friends in the bridal section
​After the initial customs of marriage have been observed by elders from both families, the couple entertained guests by dancing around the arena.​​​

A proud groom relishes thoughts of a wonderful home with Ije
Speaking to JUNGLE JOURNALIST NEWS CORPORATION, the couple revealed that the meeting that led to the 16th December ceremony was purely accidental. They both worked at the WorldBank and there was a function called together by the then finance Minister of Nigeria (Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala) that was meant to bring together Nigeria professionals working with international organizations like the IMF, World Bank, IFC to discuss to discuss the government’s vision and plans for the Nigerian economy. The bride and groom were both in attendance, and met over a seating mishap. The rest they say is history.

Mrs Mary Ikoku, sister in law of the bride and CEO of Access Media steps out in style

Fmr. Minister for Power, Prof. Bath Nnaji and wife with the bride
Who is the better dancer?

Ije, beautiful, gorgeous, dashing!

Rocking the music!

​In his own addition to the remarkable tale, Meke told our correspondent, when asked what he thought of the moment he saw Ije; “nothing really yet, she was very engaging, so we engaged. It sounds crazy but I am a peoples’ person and I like to chat people up, but I had no grand design. When I was taking her out for lunch, I was possibly flirting but with no grand intension but the moment you get to know Ije, you just fall in love with Ije. So, it wasn’t planned at all. I went, I saw, and I was conquered!”​​

Rumundaka Wonodi, Pioneer Managing Director/Chief Executive of Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading PLC (NBET)
When confronted with why he married Ije, even though people believe Anambrariansp love to marry themselves; he says: “I am not from Anambra then”. Further, he says that places of origin cannot come before person; “People’s upbringing and where they grow up practically don’t count because when you marry a person, you marry her place. Again, he says what he fancies most about Ije is “she lets me play a fatherly role”.​

Dr Alex Otti, APGA gubernatorial candidate for Abia 2015 in a handshake with groom
“Ije is Ije, to know Ije is to love her and sometimes also she drives you crazy, but again that’s what love is all about, you don’t know why you do it , you just do it”.​

The beautiful bride waiting

Rocking the glorious Omu Aro traditional dress
The only daughter of Prof. Chinyere Ikoku and the granddaughter of Late Alvan Ikoku, Ije the bride is currently the Chief Financial Officer and founding team member of CEC Africa Investments – a multi-country infrastructure investment platform. Prior to this she worked with the IFC/WorldBank infrastructure and technology teams, covering Africa and Latin America. She holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, and an MBA in Finance & Entrepreneurial Management from the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennysylvania.

Finally, bride steps out in grand style
Dashingly exquisite in Omu Aro

Mrs Mary Ikoku being interviewed by entertainer ‘Cassette’
On his side, Meke served as a Legal Officer with the United Nations from 1992 to 2001, moved to UNESCO same year and served till 2004 as a Legal Officer, before proceeding to World Bank, where he currently serves as a Senior Counsel in Washington DC, USA.​

‘Cassette’ with a guest
Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Meke had his early education in Eastern Nigeria, before moving back to Lagos for undergraduate studies.  He later went to the United States to study law, and has worked most of his life in the international organisations.​

RTD Major General Emeka Onwuamaegbu, FMR. Commandant of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna.
Prominent among those who graced the occasion include former Group Managing Director of Diamond Bank and APGA gubernatorial candidate for Abia 2015, Dr Alex Otti, former Minister for Power, Professor Barth Nnaji and his wife, Mazi Emma Nwokoro  (HAPEL), Prof Nkanginieme, RTD Major General Emeka Onwuamaegbu, (Commandant, Nigeria Defence Academy and an intelligence chief), Rumundaka Wonodi, and many others.

Meke who has found Ije has found a good thing!

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