While many Nigerians would give an arm to have their wedding in Dubai, London, Paris or any other beautiful city in the world, an Italian couple, Kevin Prattico and Carmola Guardsch, chose the rustic community of Umuduruzo in Amaigbo, Nwangele council area of Imo State to consummate their marital union, Kevin Prattico and his wife Carmola Guardsch, who work for Azione Verde, a Non-Governmental Organization at Amaigbo, decided to have both their traditional and Christian weddings in the town to the delight and amazement of the locals who trooped out en masse to witness their marriage. Speaking to Oriental News, Prattico revealed that their decision to have their wedding at Umuduruzo community was because of their love for the African culture.
He said that they also considered themselves as part of the community since they have lived and worked among the people of the community.
He said that the people of the ommunity are very hospitable just as they see them irrespective of their colour and race as part of the community.
“We could have had our wedding in Italy or any of the European cities, but we chose to have it here in this community because we love the African culture and tradition and especially the traditional wedding ceremony which must be done before the Christian one. I must tell you that we love it because you don’t have this thing in Europe. Again we live and work among the people of this community and we also consider ourselves as part of this community.
“The people of this community are very hospitable and they regard us as members of the community and not as foreigners who live among them.
You can see that the entire people of the community came to celebrate with us because they see us as part of them. Even the women have already inducted my wife as member of the Catholic Women Organization after our Christian wedding and this shows that they accept us as part of this community and we are happy about it. We thank those who felicitated with us, we want others to also emulate us because the Igbo culture is good and should be preserved,” he said.
During the traditional wedding, Chief Isaac Duru while performing the traditional rites between the Italian couple commended them for their love and appreciation of the Igbo culture.
He also admonished them to love each other as husband and wife, adding that in Igbo culture marriage is a highly valued institution as he thanked God for bringing them together.
Similarly, the Parish Priest of Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church, Reverend Father Boniface Duru, a native of Umuduruzo, who officiated at the Christian wedding while blessing the couple encouraged them to live in peace and to put God first in all they do to merit his immense blessings.
Fr. Duru, who is the founder of Azione Verde that brought the Italians to assist in humanitarian work of the organization in Amaigbo, admonished the gathering to always love their neighbours regardless where they may come from, saying that God is love.
His words: “We are all the same people regardless of the colour of our skins, we must always show love, care to our neighbours because God is love. The large number of people who came to witness this ceremony today is an indication that the newly wedded couples have been accepted as part of this community and we are happy for them.
“It has been over 12 years when the Italians came to Nigeria and established schools and hospitals just to help the needy. They came because they are very much interested in our customs and we Africans should value our cultures. This traditional wedding demonstrates their love and enthusiasm for African way of life”.
Domenico Agatiello, who spoke on behalf of the Italians and the charity workers at the event, expressed their profound joy and happiness for the newly wedded couples and for identifying with the Igbo culture who have shown them love and hospitality.