Some celebrity couples tell MOBOLA SADIQ about how they celebrate Valentine’s Day and how they show love to their spouses
I treat every day of marriage like Valentine’s Day – Kayode Salako
How would you be spending Valentine’s Day?
I usually spend Valentine’s Day by having quality time with my wife.
What is your most memorable Valentine’s Day experience?
My most memorable Valentine’s Day experience was when my wife surprised me with a gift I was not expecting she could ever give me. She was able to do it and I was happy she did it.
Some people believe that African men are not romantic. What is your reaction to that?
It is only African men that are poor (that are not romantic). When one is poor, one would not know the definition of many things. African men that are financially endowed know what romance is and they know how they enjoy it with their women. It is only frustrated African men who cannot afford the basic things (of life) that are not romantic. And, that is because those men are under mental pressure, and there is no way they would know the definition of romance in that state.
What is the most romantic gift or experience you have ever given your wife to keep the love alive in your marriage?
I try as much as possible to make sure that every day of our marriage is like Valentine’s Day. I say nice things to her, and always try to encourage her and make her feel special. That is my own style. It is common knowledge that women are always motivated by what they hear and men are motivated by what they see. If one always says nice things to one’s woman, no matter how poor one is, one would always get things easily with her. Valentine’s Day should not be only one day in marriage or a relationship. Every day should be taken as Valentine’s Day, which is what makes a marriage or relationship interesting.
It is said that love is not enough to keep a marriage going. What would you say are the necessary ingredients to make a marriage successful?
It is true that love is not enough to keep a marriage going because love is like a baby— it needs to be nurtured. If one does not feed love well, it would not grow well. If one does not treat love well, love would not be happy.
There are a lot of broken marriages these days but they did not start that way. Every marriage starts with the statement, “I love you”, but what happens after that? If the two people start living together and continue to frustrate the love, the love would become sad, frustrated, confused and eventually die. The couple must be convinced that they are made for one another. The man must know that the woman is not a yesterday’s woman; she is today’s woman. The 21st century women are educated, exposed and are aware of their rights in marriage.
One must understand the woman one is living with. Communication is very vital. If your woman does something wrong, do not bottle it up; rather, be ready to communicate with her. If communication is strong, there would always be resolutions. Also, the man must be someone who can overlook things. If one cannot overlook things in marriage, one cannot keep today’s woman. That is my principle. If you keep reading meaning to everything that happens around you, you would not be at peace with yourself, let alone a woman. Also, if there is no money in marriage, there would be a problem. Today’s women easily get fed up if she has needs and they are not met. Therefore, money is important.
Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be all about sex — Foluke Daramola-Salako
How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?
I actually planned my wedding day to be on Valentine’s Day. We went to the registry on February 14, while my birthday is on February 15. Valentine’s Day is always memorable for me.
Your husband said that during a particular Valentine’s Day, you surprised him by giving him a type of gift he had not received before. What’s your reaction to people who say that Nigerian women don’t usually buy expensive things for their lovers?
I am a giver by nature and I like to throw surprises. My husband is also a generous person but he is conservative. I am the one that likes to keep up with trends. I like surprising him and I am more romantic than he is. My husband is the nerdy type, but when he wants to give me things— be it money or gifts— he does it excessively. I feel I owe it to him to reciprocate in my own little way.
Some people say that love is not enough to keep a marriage going. From your experience, what are the most important qualities needed to make marriage successful?
It is very true that love is not enough to sustain a marriage. It is more of mutual respect, mutual understanding and giving allowance for bad behaviour sometimes. The Bible says, “To err is human and to forgive is divine”. Sometimes, it is not about the love. People go astray and it is for us to know that it does not make the person love one less. That person is also human and it is left for one to know how to correct that wrong. If one believes that it is always about love and one does not give allowance for wrongdoings, there would be a problem. Marriage is way beyond love. Sometimes, it comes with challenges, which are a normal part of life. I believe that when a couple is deeply involved in each other’s life, they would face the tide together and tell a fantastic story thereafter.
The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the movie industry in a lot of ways. How did it affect your career and what are you looking forward to doing in 2021?
It affected me as a movie producer, and my humanitarian works were affected as well. When the pandemic took place, a lot of people were out of jobs and money. But, I still tried to help out in the little ways I could. For the movie industry, a lot of things came to a halt. However, one saving grace was that I had some savings and that sustained me. Immediately the lockdown was lifted, I resumed my activities. I am a content woman and I had no problem restarting my businesses.
A lot of young people seem to think that Valentine’s Day is all about being intimate. What do you have to say to such people?
I want people to know that Valentine’s Day is about loving oneself. It is when you love yourself that you can show love to others. You can never give what you don’t have. Valentine’s Day is not for sex. It is not for you to show love to your boyfriend or girlfriend; it goes beyond that. We say God is love and if God is love, the only way you can show that you have God is to show love. And, showing love is not about sleeping with one another. A lot of people do not understand what Valentine’s Day is about. It could be making someone feel good about themselves, or just a visitation. In this part of the world, we have to show love to ourselves and not necessarily the opposite sex. It is in Nigeria one would see big houses and big cars in garages of the rich wasting away. Yet, a lot of people are sleeping on the streets, hungry and jobless. I believe that the number of wasted resources in Lagos State alone can solve half of the employment problem. But, the elites are self-centred, yet we say we are celebrating Valentine and showing love. I think it is time for us, as Nigerians, to retrospect and think beyond the surface and understand what we are talking about.
Giving gifts regularly spices up marriage — Fisayo Olagunju
How do you intend to spend Valentine’s Day?
I intend to spend Valentine’s Day the same way I have spent it in the last four years— with my beautiful sunshine. I am going to go everywhere with her, spend time with her and show her that I love her and care about her.
What is the most romantic Valentine’s Day experience you’ve had?
It was the day I got back from work and my wife took me out on a trip to a resort and we had fun. It was the most romantic thing because she had planned everything, from breakfast to lunch and dinner. We even had a day at the spa. It was perfect.
Some people feel that African men only buy gifts for their spouses on special occasions, such as Valentine’s Day. How true is that?
It is not until something happens that you need to give gifts. It is always good to give your spouse a gift once in a while. It brings spice to your marriage. It also strengthens the bond between you and your spouse. Whenever I am financially buoyant, I get my wife something nice, and she does the same for me.
Some men are romantic but don’t like to partake in house chores. Is that the same for you?
I do house chores. I do everything with my wife. Aside from the home front, I also help out with her business as an influencer. For every advert she has recorded for brands, I have been there. Even when she is on movie sets, I check up on her randomly and bring her food too. Since I met Anita, I have always been there for her and by her. I help her brush her hair, loosen it, wear her shoes and also help fasten her pieces of jewellery. I also cook a little.
What pet names do you call your wife?
I call her ‘babe’, ‘sunshine’, ‘my companion’, and ‘my queen’.
Why do you think love dies in marriages?
If you don’t marry someone who is your friend and you cannot talk about everything, it tends to be like that (love dies). But when you marry your friend, you would have a good bond. Marriage is supposed to last forever. We try to incorporate our private times into our work schedules.
What is the first thing that ran through your mind when you met your wife?
I was speechless because we met at a birthday party. If I was told that I would marry her, I would have doubted it.
Did you develop cold feet before your wedding day?
I didn’t develop cold feet. I knew deep down that I was going to enjoy for the rest of my life because she is a good woman. There is nothing anyone can tell me about her that would make me think otherwise. Our wedding day was like heaven on earth and having cold feet was out of the question. My parents and other family members know that I love my wife.
I’m spending Valentine’s Day in my husband’s arms— Anita Joseph (Olagunju)
What is the most romantic and interesting Valentine’s Day experience you’ve ever had?
My most romantic Valentine’s Day was when my husband gave me diamond earrings. It was wonderful because I knew that he did not have much (money) at the time. It was just a year after I met him and I was wondering how he could buy the earrings with his savings. I refused to take it at first but he insisted and I took it.
How do you intend to spend this year’s Valentine’s Day?
I am going to spend the day in my husband’s arms. It is also our wedding anniversary. We would go out to do some charity work as well.
Some people feel that African women don’t usually buy expensive gifts for their husbands or partners. What’s your reaction to this?
That is some African women. As for me, I treat my man like he is the only man in the world. I treat him like there is no other man in the world. I do not have to wait for a ‘lover’s day’ before buying him gifts. And, that is what he does to me too. One should give gifts all the time. It does not matter what day or month it is. Some African women also give good gifts, unless they cannot afford it. However, some women feel that it is their right to get good gifts and not vice versa. Gifts should not be a gender thing. Marriage is a partnership.
What’s the most romantic thing you’ve done for your husband?
I think my husband is in a better position to talk about this because I don’t want to assess myself.
You have often extolled your husband’s virtues on social media. What is the most admirable quality of your husband?
My husband has a lot of admirable qualities. Before I got married, I prayed for a God-fearing man, that would love me and treat me well. And, God answered my prayer. My husband is kind and sweet.
Have you always wanted to marry someone in the entertainment industry?
I never wanted to marry in the entertainment industry. I just found love. I did not choose it. He came along and I found myself in love, so it did not matter if he was in the entertainment industry or not. I found love and we clicked.
People often say that when a relationship or marriage begins, the love is quite ‘strong’ but after many years together, it seems to fade. What’s your take on that?
That is a common notion. In our first year of dating, a lot of people said the pampering would stop. But, our relationship is four years old now and the affection has not stopped. It depends on how you started and how you built your relationship. As for me, nothing has changed. My husband has remained the same.
What are some of the teachings you got from your mother before marriage?
When you are raised well, there are some things you cannot do and there are some things you can do. I got a lot of teachings from my mother. She told me that no matter how angry I got, I should always give my husband food. Even when I am angry, I give him his food, and do whatever I am supposed to do in the house. My mother told me that marriage is sweet and sometimes it gets sour. But, as long as you know what you are doing and you keep your head up, God would be with you. My mother also told me and my sisters that the men we would marry would be the best men on earth. That was her covenant with God. Luckily, my sisters and I got the best. When you see me and my husband on social media, I pamper him and carry him like an egg because he is an egg to me.
How does it feel being a celebrity couple in the entertainment industry where you’re constantly under public scrutiny?
They (society) throw a lot at us but we are able to survive because we knew that was going to happen. Being a celebrity couple in this industry is not easy but we are surviving it. It is sweet too.
Love is everything in marriage vows – Stephanie Coker-Aderinokun
What’s the most romantic Valentine’s Day you’ve ever experienced?
Most times, I get gifts from my husband, so I cannot really say that a particular year’s Valentine’s Day was more special. He does special things randomly.
What is your thought about the frenzy around Valentine’s Day?
I believe Valentine’s Day is just a time to appreciate the ones one loves. However, I believe that you should always treat the people you love well often—appreciate them every day. I do not think you should go the extra mile on Valentine’s Day. I don’t believe in the frenzy or buzz associated with Valentine’s Day.
How do you intend to spend this year’s Valentine’s Day?
Last year, I cooked for my husband and prepared him a menu but this year, I think we would go to a restaurant to have dinner. COVID-19 will not stop us from having fun.
Some people feel that African women don’t often buy expensive gifts for their husbands or spouses. What’s your reaction to that?
I think it is a bad habit. Women should spend as much as they can on their men because Nigerian men, especially the ones that I know and have in my life, do not spare any expense when it comes to their wives. I understand that some women earn less than their spouses but even if you must buy a perfume for him, go for the very exotic ones and not the regular cheap ones. They deserve it.
What is the most romantic thing you have done for your husband?
I created an oil painting of us and I also had them put a traditional wedding picture of us in the painting. Also, I did another one, showing our lives together in many years to come.
What is the most admirable quality of your husband?
My husband is a kind gentleman. He is generous, has a lot of perseverance and he is very optimistic.
Why do you think loves grows cold in relationships?
I do not believe in that school of thought. I think that as the years go by, our love would still be as strong as the first day we met. If a couple is able to overcome trials and tribulations together, it makes their love stronger. Also, when a couple starts having children, it makes love stronger.
What is your definition of love?
Love is loving someone, even in their ugliest days. When you are loyal and stay by each other’s side regardless of what one person is passing through, that is my definition of true love. All the things contained in marriage vows is my definition of love.
Some people have argued that domestic chores should be done by both partners and not the wife alone. What is your thought on that?
I don’t believe that and don’t do it in my house. I have somebody that does the chores. I believe if you can pay people to do the chores, you should do it, unless you enjoy doing house chores. Why would I waste my time doing something I don’t enjoy doing? When you are dating, you should try to figure out the kind of person you are dating and understand the person better. This is the 21st century and I do not see why someone should be a slave to someone else in the name of love or marriage. That’s like having another 9 to 5 kind of job in the house.
It has been said that where there is no money, love does not thrive. What is your take on this?
That goes for both parties. I do not think a man would want liability and vice versa. I think if there is no money, it would be frustrating for both parties. You need money to take care of the house. If you don’t have money, you would be frustrated, even as a housewife. It is very important for both women and men to make their own money.
I’d do anything to make my wife happy— Olumide Aderinokun
How do you like to celebrate you wife, especially on Valentine’s Day?
I celebrate Valentine’s Day with my wife by letting her know how I feel about her and how I appreciate her for being in my life.
Some men say they developed cold feet before marriage. How did you feel a day before your wedding?
That was not the case with me. I did not develop cold feet before my wedding. I was really looking forward to getting married to the love of my life and I was calm about it.
What’s the most romantic and interesting experience you have ever had?
My most romantic and interesting experience so far was our honeymoon in Barcelona, Spain.
What’s your definition of love and how far can you go to show love to your wife and loved ones?
Love is just patience and enduring. I can do anything that will make my wife and loved ones happy.
One cannot love without giving – Adeniyi Johnson
How do you intend to spend Valentine’s Day?
I would spend Valentine’s Day with my loved ones, most importantly my wife.
What is the most romantic Valentine’s Day experience you’ve ever had?
In the past four years, things have kept getting better, so I have a problem choosing which is my most romantic. Last year, it was breakfast in bed, and dinner at one of the finest restaurants in town.
What’s your most boring Valentine’s experience?
There was a Valentine’s Day I spent on the road. I was on the way to see an old girlfriend. The bus broke down and the flower (I wanted to give her) was bad before I got to my destination. You cannot imagine the experience.
Some people feel that African men buy expensive gifts for their spouses only on special occasions. Is that same for you?
Most African men are not romantic. They forget that you should constantly take care of whatever you value. Giving gifts should be a part of our lives. You cannot love without giving.
Some men are supportive but don’t like to help with house chores. What do you think about that?
I help with house chores. There are some chores my wife cannot do better than me because they are meant to be done by a man.
What pet names do you call your wife?
I call my wife ‘mine’.
The COVID-19 pandemic was one of the unplanned occurences of 2020 and the world is still grappling with the effects, especially with the second wave of the virus. How has it affected your career?
The coronavirus has greatly affected the movie industry. People find it hard to give their houses for locations now. There has also been a reduction in the number of movie productions. If actors don’t work, we cannot get paid.
What are some of the things you know now that you wish you knew at the beginning of your career?
Placing value on oneself is one of the most crucial things to know at the beginning of one’s career.
You have often written heartfelt posts about your wife. What were the signs that convinced you that she is yours?
That is quite personal to me.
How does it feel being a celebrity couple?
Me and my wife are ourselves any day, anytime and God has been helping us to (be that way).
As someone in the public eye, you get a lot of criticisms. How do you handle both the good and not-so-good comments on social media?
Criticism is part of our lives as celebrities in the entertainment industry. As for comments, I hardly read them and in recent times, I have started deleting and blocking comments that are very offensive. Also, for the sake of my sanity, I do not read contents on blogs, so negative comments are wasted (on me) at the end of the day.
What are some of the lessons that you have learnt about love thus far?
One of the important lessons I have learnt about life is to love but do not lose yourself.