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With Surprised By Marriage… Ichaba offers transforming vision of life

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Guests at the unveiling

Dominic Ichaba, a legal practitioner, chartered stockbroker, executive coach and corporate governance expert recently unveiled his first book.

With an enviable career profile spanning more than three decades in those fields of endeavour, you would have expected a treatise on jurisprudence or an insider’s view on corporate governance and management. Instead, it is on marriage.

Asked why a book on marriage, the bespectacled sexagenarian, who hails from a small village in middle belt region of the country, offered that marriage influences individuals and societies greatly.

His words: “Marriage affects societies and nations. Good marriages are most likely to result in good families and good families will produce good communities, societies and nations.”

Writing from personal experience, research and over two decades of marriage counseling, Ichaba stated, “marriage is one institution that has made a significant impact in my life, beginning from my own parents’ failed marriage, the once I observed growing up and mine.”

During the launch of the book titled, Surprised By Marriage: The Life Transforming Vision Of Marriage, in Lagos recently, the book reviewer, Tunde Ojo, said, “the first book by the author but it has drawn from his rich life experience as an authentic African, husband, scholar-practitioner and minister. Ichaba has written eleven chapters of serious content made dynamic by pulsating prose. Lean meat, devoid of fat and verbal puff.”

Ojo disclosed, “Surprised by Marriage… opens with an enthralling drama of domestic violence in a rustic village setting. With an admixture of verbal violence and wry humour, an embattled couple… is set for their usual fighting bout. The wife screams and calls the husband “chimpanzee.” It is difficult to query the logic of the woman often physically abused by her husband… A beating bout is afoot. Spectators have gathered to be entertained by this dysfunctional couple. Thankfully, the tension-soaked episode ends on a note of humour, even if temporarily, to the great relief of the reader. The husband, either being “benevolent” under the influence of burukutu (local gin) if you can call it benevolence, or better still, sheer providence, rejects the usual resort to beating his wife black and blue but calls her ‘Mrs. Chimpanzee’ in retaliation to his wife’s word of abuse.”

The book reviewer, a veteran of Nigeria’s marketing and media landscapes, was quite excited about the quality of the work. Hear him: “Hardly do you find a book on marriage with such a dramatic start. But part of the beauty of this book is that this style is sustained by the author through his lucid writing with episodic narrative.” Like a good action moviemaker, Ichaba has managed to get his readers, “just like viewers…readily move to the edge of our seats, lean forward and say to ourselves; ‘This is going to be interesting’.”

What’s more, “Ichaba has written a high utility book of marriage, a manual for ministers, a hand-book for married couples and a preparatory guide for intending couples. He has created a meeting place for theologians, scholars and the ordinary Christian in the pew to meet and enjoy a lively and useful discussion on the subject. Hardly have I been this surprised by a Nigerian author on the integration of biblical principles, thorough research and practical application. This book has established Ichaba as a thought leader on the subject of Christian marriage.”

Ojo enthused, “you will be surprised by the richness of its content and the thoroughness of its language. You will be surprised by the balanced treatment of the book’s sub-themes and topics. You will be surprised by his transparency and vulnerability in writing about sex. You will be surprised by the author’s scholarship and the robustness of his application of biblical principles to controversial issues in the context of a fast-changing African communal- and the highly connected but grossly disconnected, individualistic Western- culture.”

Even though he didn’t experience the joy of a settled home as a child, Ichaba described his epiphany thus: “God changed me through His vision of marriage that dawned on me as I searched in the Bible for answers to my questions and confusion about marriage.” Corroborating the introspective, disrobing effect of the book, Ojo opines, “It is difficult to read this book without a deep reflection on marriage, particularly your marriage, if you are married…If you are not married and desire to be, you will be reflective as you ask the soul-tasking question: What should be the overarching purpose of my own marriage?”

In all, Surprised by Marriage … underscores the fact that people and their relationships can and have been transformed as they embrace God’s vision for marriage; Ichaba and his wife, Chidiebere, have experienced it in their nearly 27 years of marriage and over 20 years in marriage ministry.

Ichaba is a Partner in PAC Solicitors, a law firm based in Lagos. Before joining PAC Solicitors, he was acting Managing Director/CEO of Cornerstone Insurance Plc.


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