Award-winning Nigerian film director, Obi Emelonye, met his actress wife, Amaka, on the set of Fire Dancer a film produced by Tchidi Chikere, in 2001.
Obi was the director of photography of the movie which featured veterans like Genevieve Nnaji, Chidi Mokeme, Zack Orji, and others including his wife.
The couple will be celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary on February 12 and are blessed with three beautiful children.
In a chat with Vanguard, the loving hubby spoke on how they have been able to keep their celebrity marriage intact after 15 years.
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My life before I met my wife
I wasn’t born and brought up in London and if you must survive there, you are required to do certain things in order to stay above the water. But then, when I came back, I wiped my slate clean and started afresh with her.
I said to myself, ‘if this woman is everything I wanted in a woman, what am I looking for again?’ And truly, since I married her, she has kept herself clean, appealing, s*xy and still looks beautiful.
You wouldn’t know she has given birth to three children. Any man would be happy that he’s still married to the same woman he married many years ago. To stay with the same woman you married many years ago with little changes is the dream of every man.
My wife still wears the same clothes that she was wearing when I met her. She’s more mature now, more enlightened and she have progressed with me, under me, in front of me and behind me.
Their staying magic
This is a woman who has constantly re-invented herself. It demands constant work on both parties to try and stay appealing to your partner. You are not going to say because I am married, I’m not going to look after myself again.
No, you have to constantly re-invent yourself; constantly remain appealing and sexy to your partner. I do that and my wife does it.
I guess that’s why we have the kind of marriage we have after 15 years of being together. It’s easy to get carried away in our industry where women will do everything to lure you to their side.
You need the grace of God, self-discipline, steadfastness and the fear of God to survive in the movie industry and not to riddle your life with scams, gossips and scandals.
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I don’t believe in courtship, but I didn’t court my wife. When I saw her I knew she was my wife. I needed to confirm what my instinct told me and once I confirmed it, we were married as far as I was concerned.
Courtship is great but people get lost in courtship. There are two concepts of marriage; the western one which can be described as the love marriage and the relationship concept which is practiced in Nigeria and sometimes in India.
Celebrating my wife
The first three editions of AMVCA, where I was nominated multiple times and I won multiple times, I have had to attend the awards’ ceremonies with her at great expense. It’s not that I cannot attend the awards’ ceremonies alone, but she has been part of this dream from the very first day.
She has made the sacrifices and allowed me to walk away when I was supposed to be with her; to go out in the day time and come back late at night and she has supported me throughout. And when the time of celebration comes, I shouldn’t go out there and be celebrated alone.
She has to come along with me because she’s part has been part of the dream and when I climb the stage to receive my awards, I want to walk along with her because without her I won’t achieve what I have achieved.
I think I am the envy of a lot of women because I have brought a lot of crisis in the marriages of many celebrities. Their wives are now making reference to me, saying to their husbands, ‘Don’t you see the way Obi Emelonye parades his wife at high profile celebrity events.’
That’s their problem, I live my life the way I want to live it and I am happy and my wife is happy too.
On any regrets in their marriage
Not at all. Nobody is perfect. We all have our flaws but that does not mean that we don’t quarrel. One of my wife’s weaknesses is that she loves me so much.
Sometimes, she needs to just go with the flow and I criticize her all the time. But it doesn’t change anything about her. She’s a wonderful mother of my three kids and a good friend to me.
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On marrying early
I was in my early thirties when I got married. I needed to settle down. I felt I was in a good place at that time and was looking for a wife.
But I didn’t want to marry an already made woman. I wanted to marry somebody who would grow with me and ready to support my dreams.
Over the past 15 years, we have moulded into one family and enjoyed the marriage. As a young man, who just returned from London, and with a little cash to throw around, I felt I was incomplete without a woman around me. More so, I was distracted with all the good things around.
When I proposed to her, she didn’t understand what it meant to propose to someone. I was disappointed that I didn’t get that kind of excitement from her. It was a lukewarm acceptance of ‘I will marry you’. I said to her, ‘Is that it?’ She replied, ‘Yes that’s it’.
She’s not really an excitable person. In a way, I was beginning to understand that at a time. Really, it was tough to accept the fact that you just proposed to a young lady you knew barely few months back, and she was not excited about it. However, when she accepted my proposal, I was very happy.
I went to see her people and, later, I got my family to do the needful, while I travelled back to London. A few months later, she joined me in London. That was it and she has never left me since then.
Tags: Amaka Emelonye, Courtship, Obi Emelonye, wedding anniversary
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Good for them, love at first sight and marriage without courtship works for a lot of people.
Many more years to them.
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