The story you’re about to read is about 54 years old Ezekiel Olufemi Asogba who married in 1983 at 26 but separated from his wife in 1990 after having three boys. The couple’s marriage crumbled because of constant parental interferences and went their separate ways because God didn’t bless the marriage with a female child.
Twenty-one years after that painful separation and after both parties had other relationships, the couple is back together as husband and wife.
In this chat with our Entertainment Editor, OGBONNA AMADI , Asogba tells the bitter but sweet tale of how he overcame shame to make peace with his wife. Enjoy:
In The Beginning
My name is Ezekiel Olufemi Asogba, from Ikpokia Local Government, Ogun State. Initially, I was a transporter but with my age, I’m retired. I’d been living alone for the past 21 years now without my wife.
I never re-married because I had it in mind since my childhood that I would not have a polygamous home. I don’t like it and I thank God for helping me to maintain that policy till now.
I’m not from a polygamous home but I have friends from polygamous homes and after hearing their pathetic stories, I refused to be in such situation.
We got married in April 9, 1983 at an elaborate Church wedding. Initially, we had a good life but then we lived in a family house. That means my parents also lived in the same house with us. And because of that, it caused a lot of quarrels. Along the line, we discovered that there was no love between my wife and my parents.
I was initially a salesman until I left the job in 1985 because the man I was working for didn’t pay well. And since I couldn’t get a better job at that time, I went into transport business. There were no tokunbo (second hand ) cars then and there was no money to buy a new car. The second hand one I bought then gave me a lot of problem. If I made N300 in a week, I would still spend it on the vehicle. So, we kept managing life and the situation got so bad that the family came under pressure.
Around 1988, I told her that ‘ look, we had three issues, and that we should stop having children and see if the situation would improve. If the situation improved, then, we could have more children. And that was how we started having problem because she wanted more children. All our children were male. So whenever I asked her for sex, she would refuse because I was the one that said we should stop having more children.
Then, my parents called us and said because we’ve not had female children, we should pray to God to give us female. Eventually, we tried having the fourth child but it was also a male. So she accepted her fate that there would be no female
in the family.
She left because we were still living in my father’s house in 1990. I was left alone with the children until they were old enough to look for their mother. But I didn’t bother to look for her or know where she lived because since she left, I didn’t think there was love.
I’ll say that my family was the genesis of the problem because the Yorubas have an adage that says -when a child is cutting a tree, it’s the elders that will know the direction where the tree will fall. So when the whole issue started, my parents didn’t give me any good advice or encourage me. My parents were at home when the woman was packing her things but they didn’t make any effort to stop her.
It means that they were in support of her leaving. I married at the age of 26 and we were so young. We were Christians and we went to church but we didn’t understand the meaning of the word of God we heard. But I thank God today that as I grow, I began to realize my past mistakes and the only thing to do is to make restitution.
I’m born again and the word of God I hear is having an impact in my life. It was then I realized that sometimes, I hear a voice that cautions me on what I should do and not do. I could remember that five years ago, I tried to re-marry. But each time the lady came visiting, I’d hear a voice saying she isn’t my woman. It got to the extent that when she came on a particular day, after eating, she told me she wanted to go somewhere to collect some money from her tenant.
Immediately she left, my spirit told me that she lied and that she went somewhere else. My spirit told me to go to a place and that I’d see. I couldn’t believe it. I quickly put on my shirt and went there. Truly, I met her with another man in the dark corner. When she saw me, she was shocked and greeted me. I didn’t answer her and I came home. Later she came and started begging. But I told her how the whole incident happened. Still the voice continued to talk to me.
On the day I wanted to travel to my village, she stole my money and ran away. I haven’t seen her till date. If you reject what God gave you, he may never give you another one.
So, I started thinking that it means that my ex-wife is my real wife.
I prayed and asked for forgiveness. The spirit asked me to go to my wife, beg her and she’ll accept.
It was hard for me to do. I felt ashamed to go back and beg her after 21 years. This is a woman who once remarried and had another child, a girl.
I summoned courage and told my son to go tell his mother that I was coming to visit her. I fixed a date.
I didn’t know the place but my son described the place to me. I went and saw her with her elder sister. Immediately she saw me, she was shocked as if she wasn’t sure I was the one
21 years of pain over
We didn’t meet for 21 years. When I got to the house, I greeted her and my son led me into her sitting room because she has a house too. After some minutes, she opened the door half way and stole a glance at me, then she closed the door again. Rather than come in she went out to call her sister who came in and we exchanged greetings.
I told them that what we had in the past was a child’s play because we were young. But now, we are older and that we should make restitution, otherwise we won’t make heaven. Her elder sister then said what I came to do was what I ought to have done many years ago but that the fault wasn’t from me but from my parents.
We talked and then she said she was happy that I made such a move. Then my second son too said he was happy that I did such. Then they asked my wife if she had anything to say. But she said she couldn’t say anything and I told her to take her time.
Irony of fate
This event happened on August 21, 21 years after our separation. So I knew that everything that happened was as God wanted it.
Something happened before she left me. There was this constant quarreling and I threw her load outside because I was fed up with the whole thing and I didn’t know how it all happened. That day when we sat there watching TV, we saw a movie with a a couple fighting and the husband threw out the woman’s properties-just like I did.
We both watched in awe and realized it was what happened 21years ago. So we both agreed that we both needed to make restitution. So I told her that it wasn’t as if I was putting pressure on her but that she should decide if she wants to make heaven.
The day she came to visit me, the General Overseer of my Church wasn’t around but two pastors were around. I went to the Church jubiliating. And when the G.O. came back, he prayed and blessed the marriage. I did a thanksgiving.