Essential Pre-Marriage Tests: The Nigerian-American Edition | Featured: Ada Ehi

Regardless of where you are relationship-wise (single, double, dating, in a relationship, engaged), before you decide to tie the knot, there are serious issues to consider.  The way you resolve these issues might mean the difference between saying "I do" or "Deuces" to your partner.  Now, to resolve these "issues" people typically take tests.  To see what type of tests I have in mind, read on.

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I noticed that in Nigeria, the following tests are emphasized not just for the sake of the couple, but also because they have to do with the health of their future children.  These tests include (in no particular order):

1.  Phenotype / Genotype Test - to find out the blood group/type of your partner.  This typically relates to the issue of Sickle Cell Anaemia.

2.  HIV Test - to make sure your partner does not have HIV.

3.  Background Test - Now, this one is NOT really a test.  Let me explain.  Back in the day, typically, before you married into a family, you had to make sure that the family you were about to form an alliance with had no history of health conditions such as epilepsy, madness (or insanity), etc.  I am not sure people do that as much nowadays.  Do people still do this type of detailed family background/history test? If you have more knowledge on such matters, please share in the comments section. I would love to read your contribution.

AMERICA (or should I just say "Diaspora")

If you are a Nigerian living in America, there are some extra considerations before saying "I do" mostly because it is just a different society from Nigeria.  Here are the common pre-marriage tests:

1.  Marriage Records Check:  This is to make sure that the man or woman is NOT currently married because Bigamy is illegal in most of the 50 states.  People who did not check beforehand have been known to marry men (and women) who were already married thereby making the subsequent marriage VOID, i.e. it's like they went to play "dress up" at the altar because without a divorce, the man or woman is still legally married to Spouse # 1.  To prevent yawa from gassing, please check, check, check.

2.  Criminal Records / Background Check:  While this is not a job application, it pays to check this out too.  Why? To make sure "honey" is not an ex-convict or wanted felon.  I think that show "Who the [Bleep] did I marry?" deals with the post-marital consequences of NOT checking this out.

3.  Credit Report Check:  This cannot be over-emphasized.  Before saying "I do" (especially if you have good credit), BOTH of you need to check your credit report.  "Honey's" credit report can tell you a lot about his or her financial responsibility.  Or lack thereof.  It can also reveal whether or not the person has filed Bankruptcy before. Or even point out identity theft.

4.  Phenotype / Genotype Test - For the same reasons as described above.

5.  HIV Test - Same as above.

So, what are your thoughts on these? Which ones did I leave out?


Ada Ehi has been on the Nigerian gospel music scene for a couple of years and she is known simply as 'Ada.'

Ada / Twitter
Her debut album was titled "Undenied" and released a few years ago, but it was her latest single "One Way (Ahead Ahead)" (from her upcoming album) that caught my attention.  Why? Read on to find more.  Wait! Listen to "One Way (Ahead, Ahead)" first before moving on to the review (This version features TB One, another Nigerian gospel rapper):


Likes: The hook is deceptively simple, but it is very effective for its staying power.  It literally sticks in your head for longer than you would expect.  Don't believe me? In one week, see if you do not catch yourself singing "One way, Ahead, Ahead" complete with the mandatory dance moves.  I don't know who actually wrote this song, but that person gets cool points for the song arrangement.  It is a well-structured song, and I say that because I did not find myself wondering about the placement of the various aspects of the song.

The lyrics (and the message) were clear and picking out the words she wove into the song was straightforward.  However, I cannot say the same for the hip-hop/rap part.  But since Ada is being featured here, not TB One, I won't go into details of TB One's part. This song fits neatly into the Christian Rock category and follows the basic patterns and structure that are typical of that style.  Ada provides a strong lead from the beginning to the end, and the background vocals complimented her.

The instrumentation was on point, which is a strong point of this particular style.  I was not disappointed in that respect.  In fact, the beats were a mix of rock, and possibly hip-hop.  What does this mean for you? You'll be "bumping" your head to the beats.  *head bumping in progress*

Dislikes: At 5:20, the song, in my opinion, could have been a LOT shorter. It did not have to be this long, especially as there was very little variation to justify the extension of time on this track.  That is my major complaint about this track.

Recommendations:  (1) Reduce the length of the song.  Aim for under 5 minutes.  (2) Rap part can be re-worked to make the lyrics clearer.

Finally, some more information on Ada:

Artiste's Stage Name: Ada

Artiste's Real Name: Ada Ehi

Connect with Ada: Facebook | Twitter

Listen to more tracks from Ada: ReverbNation | MySpace

So, how has your week been going so far? Excited about June? Well, there's only one way to go: Ahead, Ahead, Ahead! (You know I had to throw that in there).  Have a great rest-of-the-week!

lol see as the American list come long pass... choi

Is Bigamy really that common in the states? Sad.
That credit matter, I know it doesnt apply to Nigeria...yet but i really wish it would. Some bobos be walking around living large on bank loans.

The easterners still carry out background test.

Background test isn’t as crucial these days, you can pretty much figure out a person’s family history from there Facbook+TwitteR+ instagram+tumblr... my point is, we are overexposed and people don’t have to dig too far.

On Genotype issues on America.... doesn’t the situation only apply to Blacks and South Americans?

Whilst having a good knowledge about who you want to marry is a good thing, it's important not to dig unnecessarily too deep otherwise you'll be looking for perfection which is rather a myth.

We did the Nigerian style, first two anyway. I asked him about his background including marriage, and credit report. Though our families were too far from each other to do individual assessment, I trusted him.

Ahh I just cant miss your i saw this post title and look interesting so I clicked on all through until I got to the feature artist and said to myself this must be Relentless and lo and behold it was...haha thanks for sharing as usual :)

Background test is still carried out BUT I must say the background test is often less rigorous if the bride is quite 'mature'
In my experience - from what I have witnessed - if the bride is 30+, the family is often less selective.

*looks around* I see we have renovated the house. Not bad.

I remember asking a guy that was 'on my case' for his genotype and he said he did not believe in such. Yea, my eyebrow was glued to my hairline too. Ko yemi rara. In this 21st century (i think i mentioned this on on of Ay's posts)

hmm...the song is what I'm here for today. X_X. Okay, a bulk of the most-played song on my mp3 is from your blog I tell you. Motara(Oba Ni), Kefee (Beautiful), Elevation (MOdele ft IBK) and many others.

Keep it going. I know I'll like this too.

Okay lemme contribute *shines teeth*, for me I would add that Spiritual research is also key (not the one in Nollywood o). Asking God would sometimes uncover things which some of the afore-mentioned would not reveal.

Nollywood Reinvented: Yes now. There is more to investigate (and more readily available tools too).

Ginger: Bigamy is definitely practiced even though it is criminalized. I guess it is less serious than murder though. Just saying!

Meanwhile, on the issue of those bank loans and living large, it is a way of life here o. People spending more than they earn. I didn't know Lagos had caught the fever too.

Atilola: Yes, some of them still do. I doubt that it's limited to just Nigerians from the East sha.

9jaFoodie: It's funny that you should mention that because not too long ago, I heard that the CIA gets a good chunk of its information from Facebook. And they don't even have to "try" to get the information. It's just sitting there, ripe for harvesting *smh* So, yes, in addition to formal background checks, social networks are helpful.

The phenotype issue is not only restricted to those groups you mentioned o, but for sickle cell, I know they are disproportionately affected.

Naija4Life: Looking for perfection is a useless quest. True. But, acquiring useful information about your soon-to-be partner, for example, is a wise move, and should be encouraged. Especially the health-related issues.

Myne: Thanks a lot for sharing your own experience here. What I believe you illustrated is that trust is important, but you must also ask the right questions. Shying away from these issues is a no-no.

Miss Yellow Sisi Unspoken: LOL! I followed your "discovery" process and just pictured the look on your face when you saw "Featured Artiste." Yeah, that'd be me. You're welcome too!

Naijamum in London: Your comment throws new light on this issue. So, based on what you said, the more mature (or older) the bride, the less likely they are to carry out a thorough background test? That's interesting. I wonder if the same rule applies for matured / older grooms.

Toinlicious: Yes, we threw out a few old stuff, and brought in some new ones. Glad you like it. Thoinx!

LOL @ eyebrow glued to your hairline. Thankfully you didn't mean that literally :D I would have had the same reaction. I assumed there was more awareness about genotype issues. It is important to know pre-marriage at least.

Michael: Ori mi wu but please don't lagimo! Thanks for the encouragement o. It means a lot to me :-) Continue enjoying o jere ...

LOL at "not the Nollywood one o." Definitely not that kind of spiritual research. That one compounds the problems that are already on ground.

The spiritual is definitely a priority for me too, for the same reasons you mentioned. It comes before we even talk about anything on this list. But, the focus of this post was on practical things one can do. I believe God has His own part, and we have our own part to play too. The tests above are still important regardless.


I would love to hear your thoughts. Please Share.

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