Funmilayo and Deji

How We Met

I do remember the day I met Deji but tbh I don’t remember much about our communication after that. I know we added each other on Facebook and spoke a few times but that was about it.

We had a mutual friend that we were both really close to at the time (the same friend who introduced us to each other) so whenever one of us would go to their house, the other would be there. I think that’s where the friendship started to grow. There was endless amount of banter, good food and insightful conversations. We became genuine good friends.

At the time my focus was on other things so seeing Deji as anything but a friend was not even in my thought process. I’m pretty sure the same went for him.

It was like this for probably 2 years or so. I remember in his final year we hung out more as I was fairly close with his housemates. The group of us would go cinema quite regularly. I lived further out from everyone else, so like the gentleman Deji is, he would always walk me home. I guess you could say our deeper conversations and getting to know each other on another level started from there.

I honestly don’t remember where the conversation stemmed from but if you’ve ever witnessed Deji and I banter you can visualise how this dialogue went and how unserious it would have been. Deji and I went back and forth about food and cooking so he asked me to cook and I said “yes, let know when you’re ready” but didn’t think he would actually follow through. He followed through! I kept to my word and invited him and his housemate Dami for dinner. I made jollof with stewed meat and if you know you know!! Deji came back for more!!!

It came to Deji’s graduation and I was really really proud of him. I might have been a tad bit over excited but I remember all the talks we had in regards to his degree, goals and vision for the future so to see him finish with a 2:1 as well as winning an award brought joy to my heart. I admit, I behaved like a groupie and watched his graduation live but it was an achievement worth celebrating. We went out to celebrate his graduation and I guess this is where the story really begins.

In all honesty I didn’t expect to see Deji often considering I still had two more years left in uni but I knew for sure he would be a friend for life. I am a firm believer that he ‘strategically’ left his Raybans in my handbag the evening we celebrated his graduation. The following week I had a three day church programme in Wembley which was round the corner from his house. He came to meet me up, hung out with some of my friends stayed for the programme and even came back the next day with his mum. From then on we practically hung out every weekend

September came and I returned to uni. Deji came to see me in Portsmouth, took me for a walk near the beach, told me his intentions and here we are almost 7 years later

Funmilayo's Proposal in Portsmouth, United Kingdom

How He Asked

When it comes to birthdays; it’s tradition that we don’t hold back. Our birthdays are 3 days apart and it’s almost like a mini competition on who can throw the best surprise lol!!! 2016 was no exception.

If you know Deji, you will know that he has been working towards getting his ACCA qualification. This particular year his exams were very close to my birthday and as I had already booked us a group trip to Iceland; the compromise was to celebrate my birthday after his exams. He promised to make it up to me and that I will be shocked (little did she know what he had up his sleeve).

When the Saturday we chose to celebrate my birthday rolled around, he came and picked me up early in the morning with no information of the day’s plan or even the destination. He gave me simple instructions which were to not wear makeup, to pack swim wear, day wear and evening wear. I obliged. After about an hour into the drive, I kept noticing signs directing to Portsmouth. I quizzed him multiple times on whether we were going to Portsmouth, he did not appease me and remained silent. Annoying!
But as I suspected, the car came to a stop and “ta da! We were in Portsmouth”. Hmmm.

He planned a lovely spa day for me which included a full body massage and facial. Yet as grateful and happy as I was, my inquisitive nature was not satisfied and I wanted to know what was wrong with the multitude of spas in London. Why Portsmouth? Of course, he gave no answer. Really annoying!!

In the evening, he took me to a nice intimate restaurant right by the spot where he had made his intentions known 5 years prior. Picture: a 5 star, 7 course candlelit dinner and no more than 20 tables; it was truly romantic.

However, he disappeared during our romantic dinner for about 20-30 minutes and suspicion started to kick in. When he returned, I thought maybe he would be coming back with loads of people, instead he came back with gifts and a cake which he had been hiding in the car. Lol, I couldn’t complain; who doesn’t like gifts?

We then went for a walk, just as we did on 30th September 2011, along the sunset beachside talking and reminiscing. It was all cute and movie worthy till I started complaining that my feet were hurting; heels are just for pictures!!!

He got us a cab, which I assumed would be taking us back to the car. It did not. The cab drove us to Gunwharf Quays instead. By this point, I’m full and merry and the night was good; what more could he be up to? We arrived at these set of apartments opposite the Tesco at the entrance of Gunwharf.

Just imagine the expression my face!! CONFUSED.COM

Deborah: “Deji, why are we here?”
Deji: “There’s a house party”
Deborah: “But I don’t want to go to a house party”
Deji: “We won’t stay for long, come on, trust me!”

We rode the lift upstairs, 7th floor I believe and a door slightly ajar but there was absolute silence. No sign of any house party!

Deborah: “What on earth is going on? WHY ARE WE HERE?!”

Deji opens the door, there’s a pathway of rose petals to the front room, somebody’s phone (hidden) was recording our entrance. We barely made it into the front room and the first face I saw was Selasi’s.

Deborah: “Why is Selasi here?”

We entered the front room, candles everywhere, heart shaped petals in the centre, by this point I knew exactly what was about to happen. Deji was trying to figure out where the ring was hidden while I stood there lost for words. “I have one more gift for you” he said. Then one by one my close family and friends started to enter the room and encircled us as he proposed.

17.12.16 – The day I said Yes! (Only took him 5 years!!)

Our Video

Watch more proposal videos & follow @HowHeAsked on Instagram for more stories!

Special Thanks

Samuel Falusi
Photographer