By BENJAMIN NJOKU
Chico Ejiro is one of the most prolific Nollywood producers who has become a household name in Nigeria and beyond. He met his wife, Joy, in 1994, and wedded her in 1998.They have four children. Zeb Ejiro, the best-known of the new Nigerian cinema auteurs outside of the country, and Peter Red Ejiro, another Nigerian movie producer are his two elder brothers. Chico and his wife take us through the journey of their marriage.
Married for 15 years I am married to Joy Ejiro and our marriage is blessed with four kids. I have been married for fifteen years now. I studied Agriculture in the university and I will be 60 years on the 15th of October. I have been in Nollywood since 1987. I met my wife in 1994, at The University of Lagos when I organised a show with my boss then, Opa Williams. She was still a student then, but we got married in 1998.
She understands the entertainment industry very well. In relationship, she understands what it takes to build a lasting relationship. It was her ability to understand me and my job. You know, I encounter a lot of people in the cause of my job, especially females, so she has to learn how to tolerate a lot of situations like that. She is also very compassionate, if I don’t have, she supports me.
My wife is a very understanding woman. There is no marriage that doesn’t have hiccups, but as a couple, you have to learn the chemistry between yourselves and do not allow anyone to come in between you. If you have a quarrel, settle it yourselves because there is no marriage that is perfect. My wife is a costumier and runs a shop called: Real Colours. When I started movie production, she was my costumier too and I brought her in, to work with me on some of my early shoots like like “ Daybreak and Full Moon.” These are some of the qualities that attracted me to her.
It wasn’t easy and that’s why I said,we dated for some years before we got married. Like I said earlier, we met in 1994, and got married four years after, in 1998.
What marriage has taught me
Marriage has taught me a lot of things; it has taught me how to handle family issues; care for my family. It has also taught me how to love my wife because if you don’t show love to your wife, your marriage is bound to have a crack. You must learn to be open to your spouse and if it’s possible, you should operate a joint account with her; learn to apologise to your spouse whenever you feel that you have erred. There are a lot of things you must know. First of all, you must be patient enough to tolerate each other. Then, you must also learn how to communicate. Both of you must be God-fearing and learn how to plan ahead.
Stronghold of my marriage
It is the understanding that two of us share together. Once there is understanding, we will resolve our differences amicably without allowing a third party to intervene in our matters. This is where communication, understanding and forgiveness come about in marriage. There is also the need for husband and wife to hear the word of God as frequently as possible. Marriage is a very difficult institution, but with understanding and tolerance, many marriages are made in heaven. Most marriages crash today because there is lack of understanding between the man and the woman.
What she means to me
She means everything to me. In my next life, I will look for her and marry her again.
What I hate about Her
Nobody is perfect. I don’t hate anything about her. But once in a while, when she gets angry she raises her voice. I have complained over the years, and I think, she has stopped it because it happened during the early stage of our marriage.
I’m not in support of family violence. Whenever my wife offences me, I usually go to a nearby relaxation centre to watch football. I’m the chairman of Arsenal FC, in Nigeria. I could stay away throughout the day and when I return to the house, she will be begging me. There are several ways you can show your wife that she has offended you. Punching her will not be the solution. My mother did not abuse me as a child for one day, why should I beat up my wife?
Five things that lead to break up
Lack of understanding between the man and the woman; infidelity, keeping extra-martial affairs; allowing the third party to interfere in your marriage;pressure from the outside and above all, when God is not invited in your marriage. Hearing the word of God will instigate the spirit of forgiveness in the mind of the married couple.
His love for football takes the shine from his family— Wife
How I met Him
We started out as friends, and we dated for four years before we got married. I met in 1994, in UNILAG. There was a show they stage there and I attended the show. When he saw me, he approached me and told me that he wants to be my friend. I frowned at his request, wondering how what he said has got to do with why I have come to watch the show. But after much persuasion, I accepted his request.
Accepting His Proposal
It happened like a joke, I give God the glory. The thing just flowed and one day, he said, ‘I want to marry you,’ and I said ‘just like that.’ That was it.
After 15 years of marriage
Marriage has been sweet because my husband is my friend. I think that makes it easier for me. Yes, we disagree over a lot of issues but at the end of the day, we resolve our differences amicably. Disagreement is normal in marriage.
What I hate About Him
Nothing, but it’s just that he likes to watch football. Each time, he returns home, he usually turn on the television set and get glued to it without talking to anybody. It brings quarrel in the house.
Worried about female His admirers
I don’t get worried because I know that at the end of the day, he belongs to me. We can’t do without talking to each other every minute on the telephone. Anything that is happening now, I will be the first to call him just as he will be the first to call if anything is happening around him.
If I have to marry Again
I will marry him because he is the only person that can tolerate me.