Mariam Ileyemi, a Premium Times reporter, and her lover, Lateef Azeez, have tied the knot
The wedding, themed #Milat’23, a combination of the bride’s and groom’s names, was a splendid ceremony with friends, family members and colleagues in attendance and was held in Ikeja, Lagos State on 11 November.
The atmosphere was filled with joy as friends, family members, and colleagues gathered to witness the union of Mariam and Lateef.
The couple, hailing from Ogun and Oyo states, respectively, shared their journey from acquaintances to life partners in an exclusive interview.
Journey to “I do”
The love story between the bride, a Mass Communication graduate from Lagos State University, and the groom, the Founder of Business Metrics Limited and Convener of the Policy Implementation Assisted Forum (PIAFo), began four years ago in 2019 at the University of Lagos.
Fate brought them together during a capacity-building program, but it wasn’t until 2022 that their paths crossed again, thanks to Ms Ileyemi’s editor, Mojeed Alabi.
For Mr Azeez, it was love at first sight, but it would not be an easy ride for him to get Ms Ileyemi’s attention. He proposed on the spot, but Ileyemi, daunted with doubts, refused without a second thought.
She said, “When he asked me out during the programme, I declined without sweating. He was just like every other new person I met at the programme, and so I didn’t take his proposal too seriously.”
Mr Azeez, smitten from the start, persisted in pursuing Ms Ileyemi’s attention. Despite Mariam initially declining his proposal, he remained a constant supporter, contributing to Mariam’s charity initiative, The Mariam Ileyemi Initiative (TMII).
Their friendship deepened, and in 2022, love blossomed.
Ms Ileyemi, recounting their journey, confessed, “I did not see marriage coming, not until we became close in 2022. I was big on relationships for marriage, which made me set my boundaries such that if there were things I was uncomfortable with, I let go.”
“Even though all I wanted was to focus on work and me, he made me realise he was worth it and interested in my personal development.
Mr Azeez, undeterred by Ms Ileyemi’s initial rejection, decided to propose again when he was sure the timing was right.
Their relationship evolved with consistent communication and meaningful conversations. After much prayer and introspection, Ileyemi fell for Azeez’s humility and kindness, leading to her acceptance of his proposal.
She said, “I fell in love first with his humility and kindness. I accepted his proposal, and I asked him to go and see one of my Godfathers, Akeem Salau, in LASU, followed by my Mum, right from secondary school, Ajibade Fatima.
The couple’s love story culminated in a beautiful Islamic wedding ceremony on 11 February, 2023.”
Mr Azeez said, “I finally decided to propose to her when I was sure saying the words would not send her away. If you tell someone your desire at a time when they aren’t ready to hear it, the outcome will be negative, and you might not get another chance. We’ve had interesting conversations on diverse topics regarding life, career and humanity before I re-introduced my desire. Even after I did, I was not pushy. She had her time to think about it, and immediately she said yes, she asked me to see her family.”
As Mr and Mrs Azeez embark on this new chapter of their lives, their love story serves as an inspiration about the unexpected twists that love can take.
The couple is currently on honeymoon in Lagos.
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