Recently, I attended a very lavish wedding on the outskirts of Lagos. I got a chance to talk to the couple, Justus and Fola, later in the evening and theirs was love bound by their hobby.
They met in one of the best casinos in Nigeria and their love for betting is what sparked a conversation between them. From that day on, they became inseparable and one thing remained constant: their hobby.
Having heard so much negativity surrounding gambling and what it can do to relationships, I was curious to find out if they still bet and how it has affected their relationship.
And this is how our conversation went.
Me: So how did your love for betting start?
Fola: I wouldn’t actually put it as a love for betting but the love of sports in general. Betting is what makes watching sports much more fun. We bet on the teams that we support
Justus: I love watching football and my wife and I support different football clubs so we each bet in support of our teams. And this is where the fun is.
Me: Betting is a very sensitive subject here in Nigeria and from what we have heard, betting has wrecked so many marriages and families. Don’t you think the same will happen to yours and especially that the two of you are engaged?
Justus: Let me tell you something, betting just like alcohol, drugs, infidelity among other vices are risk factors when it comes to every marriage and family. But how many successful marriages do you know where one or both spouses indulge? It is all about self-control, moderation and knowing your limits. As it stands, finances are the major cause of the high divorce rate in Naija, not betting or any other past time activity.
Fola: I echo my husband’s sentiments. Your pastime activity should not control your marriage. And if it does, then there was no marriage in the first place.
Me: Do you plan to continue enjoying betting together?
Justus and Fola: Yes, of course
Justus: We are not stopping any time soon.
Me: Aside from betting, what other pastime activities do you do as a couple?
Fola: We both love good food so we enjoy cooking for each other. We just enrolled in a cooking class last Saturday. Our plan is to find and capitalize on the activities we enjoy before we start a family.
Me: Allow me to be a typical Nigerian mother. When are we expecting our first baby?
Justus: Soon enough
Fola: We have already heard such remarks from our anties. To be honest, our plan is to first learn and enjoy each other for at least two years. After that, we can have babies back to back.
Me: It was nice chatting with you two. You are such a bubbly couple. I would love to have an in-depth interview with you sometime next year.
Fola: Yeah sure.
Sports betting is a hobby like any other. And when done in moderation it can be entertaining to anyone. I must say Fola and Justus gave me a different perspective on betting and relationships. For a long time, I assumed no relationship survives betting but clearly I was wrong. I hope you too will see things differently.