My name is Baïdy, 32 years old and I’m a specialty coffee professional, entrepreneur and all-around creative/lifestyle enthusiast from Senegal and based in Los Angeles. I am married to my beautiful wife of 5 months, Yadi, and look forward the rest of my life with her.
My name is Yadi, also 32 years old and I’m currently a business student. I am Sene-Gambian Muslim woman based in Sweden with passion for natural hair and social entrepreneurship. Some would say our story is a bit unusual but it was predestined. We found our way back to each other and got married after eight years of being apart on the opposite side of the world.
How did you meet?
We met at Santa Monica College in the fall semester of 2008 when our mutual friend introduced us. It was a friendship that progressed over a couple years into a romantic relationship.
How long have you been together?
We started dating in the summer of 2011, fell in love and our relationship progressed until Yadi had to move back to Sweden which created a shift in our relationship. The distance made it hard for the both of us to maintain a romantic relationship despite our love for one another. We became best friends and kept in contact over the eight years we were apart on a regular basis, that emotional connection became the foundation of our relationship today.
How did you know you’ve found the one?
Y: I was going through some personal issues right in the beginning of our relationship and he became my biggest cheerleader, even though I was trying to push him away. He was so patient and kept supporting me throughout it all. He encouraged me through our faith, pray with me and one thing that he said to me that I will never forget is “if I can’t be with you at your worst, I don’t deserve you at your best.” That solidified it for me. Our connection was incomparable to anything else I’ve experienced, our bond, love is built on a religious, spiritual and cultural level.
B: When you know you know, but it’s not until you go through some challenges, personal or within the relationship, and your bond is tested, that you have a true understanding of the commitment to that notion of true partnership. I know I wanted to marry Yadi when I saw her! It was that obvious. That part was easy. The tricky part was getting her to feel the same way about me, and that we would have chemistry and a deeper connection. She got my quirks and kinks and loved my awkwardness and unusual personality. Not only did she accept me for who I was, but she got me and loved all those qualities that shaped me, and we became great friends and ultimately a married couple. Despite the distance, or in spite of it, is when I knew she was really the one because I still couldn’t fill or replace the void or bond we exclusively shared, even from a far.
How was the proposal done?
Very African and Muslim lol. Baïdy contacted my mom and uncles and asked for my hand in marriage, his parents then spoke to my side of the family. We had our Nikkah (Islamic marriage ceremony) on 9.9.19.
We have not had a reception yet but we’re aiming for our five year anniversary, God willing.
What does the term "Black Love" mean to you? How does it affect how you relate to your partner?
Y: Black love feels like home. We are allowed the space to be authentically ourselves, connect and communicate on a deeper level without having to peel so many layers. We got each other from jump. Unfortunately, where I was born and raised and having divorced parents, Black love was for a long time a rare commodity. Although I yearned for it and felt like it was a necessity, it wasn’t something that I thought was obtainable until I met Baïdy.
Love doesn’t come without challenges even in a Black relationship however, we are each other’s ally when facing the outside world and piece of mind in each other’s company.
B: Black love feels like poems recited throughout the 1993 film poetic justice or the 1997 film love jones. It feels like an authentic connection and particular understanding rooted in shared values and mutual customs. Black love leaves room for growth. Black love is a forgiving, yielding and healing process when you confide and find rest and refuge in each other. Black love is a beautiful expression of the many kinds of human experiences. Black love is going through the storms and finding the light on the other side. Thus, these precepts or ideals of Black love I subscribe to is what binds me and Yadi. It allows us to face the challenges we’re met with by taking a lifelong pursuit of being in love, day by day, and create something that is sustainable and fruitful.
B: My word of advice is marry you a black woman, build a legacy, pray and be steadfast in your endeavors. Much love.
Y: Relationships take a lot of work and effort, make sure to pour into yourself before you pour into others. And pray!