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August 2, 2013

Unending saga of Nollywood divorces

Unending saga of Nollywood divorces

Kayode and Funke on wedding day

By Ayo Onikoyi and Juliet Ebirim

If marriages are meant to be celebrated then what happens to divorces? In the last couple of weeks what has been pouring out of Nollywood are stories of divorce. If there are any marriages, they are not hot enough to make good news. Okay, there are enough movies making their rounds of the cinemas and maybe some endorsement deals are being pulled off but aren’t they a bit of backstage stuff to take the shine out of these divorces?

With recent divorce of Nollywood superstar actress, Funke Akindele, it is no longer news that most marriages involving top Nollywood actresses hit the rocks just as soon as the oaths were taken. Maybe Funke’s drama with husband of barely one year tops the list, given the glamour that accompanied the solemnisation  of their matrimony and the manner in which the separation was served to the public.

Everybody felt for Funke. At least the method employed by the husband, choosing the social media to break the news, even to his wife, got Funke a drove of sympathisers who were ready to take her husband apart. Maybe, that emboldened Funke because she has since shrugged it off and is already painting the town red as she was spotted last weekend, looking her smashing self at the Miss Global pageant .

Kayode and Funke on wedding day

Kayode and Funke on wedding day

Then Chika Ike steps into the mix. Although she has been separated from her husband, Tony Eberiri for close to two years but the glee with which she announced the divorce she got from an Abuja High Court on Monday set adrift once again another divorce saga which has an uncanny resemblance to that of Funke Akindele’s.

While Funke’s husband, Kehinde Oloyede took to Facebook to announce  his separation from his wife, Chika chose Twitter to tell her fans that “she was finally free of Mr Tony Eberiri”. “I’m now officially divorced. Thanks,” she tweeted.

Funke and Chika may now be on the spot but they have a long list of others before them. While a lot has been speculated on why these marriages fail, investigations have revealed that top on the list are abuse, infidelity, violence and what they have come to term ‘irreconcilable differences’.

The story of Laide Bakare was another messy divorce saga. She was reportedly married to Mr. Okunfulire who unknown to her was married to another woman with two children. But most of the facts were not made public until Laide was delivered of a baby  for another man, Mr Tunde Oriowo. She however had a daughter for her estranged husband. Her own case was termed “glaring injustice”.

Nollywood diva, Stella Damasus is probably unlucky. She lost her first husband, Jaiye Aboderin  to the cold hands of death shortly after their marriage. After that, she tried to get on with life and tried her luck with Emeka Nzeribe. That luck did not hold as they separated just after two years, citing ‘irreconcilable differences’.

Saheed and Fathia Balogun were the perfect couple, almost a model for what a celebrity marriage should be  until cracks in that perfect picture began to manifest. While Saheed accused Fathia of infidelity, Fathia was always crying of domestic violence from her partner. Willy-nilly the marriage crashed despite interventions from families and colleagues.


Chika Ike

Although, Lola Alao, another Yoruba actress, has said she has forgiven her husband, Dare Ogunlana,  allegations made by the man during the heat of the divorce saga are still fresh. Dare described Lola as “diabolical, deceitful and a woman not to be trusted”, to which the woman responded with maturity by keeping mum. In a recent interview Lola agreed his ex husband was a nice man but got carried away by the pain of the separation. According to her “that man is a very nice man, it just didn’t work out between us”, she said.

Ayo Adesanya and Goriola Hassan probably didn’t do badly. Their marriage lasted eight years and  Ayo and her movie director husband were always together, in the house and on location until it seemed they got tired of seeing each other around. Ayo fingered ‘jealousy’ as the virus that stole into their home to eat out the nuptial knot.

It was hard to believe that Doris Simeon and her director husband, Daniel Ademinokan would go their separate ways after showing so much love and affection the way couples who seem to be in love do. They were married for a few years and then broke up. At a point, Doris accused her Daniel of scrounging on her.

Stephanie Okereke-Linus is now enjoying the bliss of her second marriage, her marriage to big boy Idahosa Linus.The A-list actress is said to have been very happy with her divorce from her ex-footballer husband Mike Iloanyusi, who, at a point allegedly completely likened Stephanie to a piece of football he played around. She divorced him on account of battery and infidelity.The breakup of the marriage of this top actress is said to be based on extra-marital affairs.

For Chiege Alisigwe, who was married to a UK-based businessman, she  alleged that the man had other relationships. Unable to bear it, she came back to continue her life in Nigeria, where she met her present husband, an Enugu-based police officer.

After a number of failed marriages, fans were happy that Shan George had found love again, when she announced that she was getting married to Tony Nwosisi. They got married, but the marriage did not last, her reason, being ‘incompatibility’



Eucharia Anunobi, now an evangelist married Charles Ekwu in 2000 and they divorced in 2009 on many grounds including infidelity, abandonment and lack of responsibility to their only child. She disclosed to an Ikeja High Court, how her  ex-husband allegedly slept with their 13-year old housemaid several times in their matrimo-nial home. The suit was filed in 2007 but suffered several setbacks until 2009.

The list is endless. Hilda Dokubo, Monalisa Chinda, Foluke Daramola, Clarion Chukwura, Ngozi Ezeonu, Kate Henshaw, Jennifer Eliogu, Stephanie Okere and many more have experienced bitter pills of divorce and in most cases the reasons are not so dissimilar.

Most often than not, these super stars knew they were diving into troubled waters but for one reason or another they just didn’t give a damn. Funke Akindele’s husband was known to have fathered over ten kids by different women before Funke decided to settle with him.

Monalisa Chinda, who is romancing Lanre Nzeribe cannot say she is so wet behind the ears not to know that the guy is known as a top playboy. Many Nollywood actresses have also married at the expense of some other women who have had to relinquish their men to their beauty, fame and influence.