Single millennial, 30, who says British men ‘let you down’ goes ‘manhunting’ with her MOTHER in her native Nigeria – as she’s desperate for her daughter to get married and start a family
- AJ Odudu, 30, moved from Blackburn to London ten years ago
- She’s carved out a successful career… but has been less lucky in love
- In Channel 4’s Manhunting with my Mum, she embarks on a road trip around Nigeria with her mother Florence in the hope of finding a husband
- Pair discover they have very different expectations when it comes to dating
As a television presenter, social media star and model, AJ Odudu has a stellar career, but she has struggled when it comes to finding a man to share her success with.
Since turning 30, AJ, who moved from Blackburn to London ten years ago, says she has felt like there is ‘a hole in her life’ without love.
At the major age milestone, she decided to enlist her outrageously lively mother, Florence, to help her find a husband to finally settle down with.
Drawing on the Nigerian tradition of parents arranging partners for their children, AJ and Florence embarked on a road trip around Nigeria in Channel 4’s Manhunting With My Mum.
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On the hunt for love: TV presenter AJ Odudu, 30, enlists the help of her bubbly mother Florence to help her find a husband in a new Channel 4 documentary called Manhunting With My Mother which sees the pair embark on a roadtrip to Florence’s homeland of Nigeria
Disillusioned: Television star AJ admitted on Manhunting With My Mother she had reached 30 and, despite carving out a successful career, she wanted someone to share her success with
Lagos love: AJ meets Nollywood actor Timini on Lagos Beach where they go on a romantic date. AJ reveals that out of all the men she met during her trip with her mother to Nigeria, he is the one she has remained in touch with
AJ, one of eight children, told FEMAIL why she was keen to find ‘the one’ now, saying: ‘It basically stemmed from the fact that I was turning 30 to be totally honest. I had a bit of a meltdown.’
She continued: ‘I was always like “yeah you get old gracefully and whatever” but there’s something about that milestone age that puts everything into perspective and I was really reflective.
‘I was questioning what did I want, I wanted a career, I wanted to be travelling and all of those things but I also thought I would be married by now, or at least have a boyfriend!’
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AJ’s mother Florence, moved from Nigeria to Blackburn in the early Seventies as part of an arranged marriage and has been with her father for over 40 years.
Florence is disappointed that AJ hasn’t settled down and given her grandchildren yet: ‘Because they are Nigerian, they had an arranged marriage years ago, they had eight children and they literally can’t imagine being 30 and not having children.’
AJ added: ‘She had five children by the time she was 30. She is like “how are you coping? Not only being single but having no children?” it is just so foreign to her.’
In the hilariously heartwarming programme, which airs on Tuesday night, Florence takes matters into her own hands and sets her daughter up with potential suitors.
They include handsome Nollywood star Timini, 30, a besotted Prince Joshua, 34-year-old celibate churchgoer KC and musician Isaac.
Manhunting With My Mum draws on the Nigerian tradition of parents arranging partners for their children, AJ explained that her mother and father – who have been together over 40 years – are baffled by the fact that their daughter hasn’t got married and started a family yet
The social media star meets with devout churchgoer Kelechi, also known as KC. AJ was quite taken a back to learn he had been celibate his whole life admitting later that having dated guys ‘who just can’t keep it in their pants’ KC’s values are actually quite desirable
The TV presenter explained that the values in Nigeria were strikingly different to what she is used to in the western world – the traditional roles of men being the breadwinners and women as the homemakers is something that is still very much expected.
It was something AJ initially found irksome: ‘At first I felt it was so foreign and thought these values were so off and I didn’t agree with anything at all.
‘I was talking to the Nigerian musician [Isaac] and he was telling me that my career was secondary to his, but then on reflection I felt like at least he was being honest.’
AJ joked that while she learned that’s something she certainly didn’t want, it helped her to realise that she did want someone who was devoted to her, honest and well-travelled.
She said UK men offered a stark contrast: ‘Guys lead you on here. They sell you dreams, they promise you the world. Then, as you fall in love with them, they let you down.’
Timini takes AJ, pictured together on Manhunting With My Mother, on a boat ride to a local island where he wines and dines her on the beach, the pair bond as they take snaps for social media and she considers relocating to Nigeria
Florence is disappointed her daughter isn’t already married and with children, as AJ explains on Manhunting With My Mother her own mother had had five children by the time she was 30 and is left baffled
After being in hurt in the past by men who cheated and weren’t ready to support her career AJ is looking for a strong partner and has even considered following her mother’s footsteps into an arranged marriage
After being hurt in the past, AJ said she had built up emotional walls, but now she’s ready to let them down and has even given some serious thought to following in her mother’s footsteps with an arranged marriage.
She explained that she would be ‘much more open to it now’ but it is something she would ‘never have considered’ ten years ago.
And did AJ find the right man in Nigeria?
‘Well, I’ve stayed in touch with the Nollywood actor Timini,’ she revealed adding that she wouldn’t be as dismissive of men in future.
‘He travelled and he’s experienced different cultures, he understands from the point of view that women over here tend to be a bit more career-driven and our sole purpose in life isn’t to be your wife.’
Manhunting with My Mum airs Tuesday on Channel 4 at 10pm
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