Obi Emelonye is a Nollywood celebrated film maker. He’s shuttles between London, where he’s currently based with his family, and Nigeria. He got married eleven years ago to his wife, Amaka, and they are blessed with three kids; two boys and a girl. The producer of the award-winning movies, “Last Flight to Abuja” and “Mirror Boy”, shares the romantic story of his journey into marriage.
Years in marriage
I have been married for eleven years now.
How I met my wife
I met her on the set of “Fire Dancer”, a film shot by Tchidi Chikere and in which I was the director of photography in 2001. It starred Genevieve Nnaji, Chidi Mokeme, Zack Orji among others in Omole Estate, Ikeja. One thing led to another, and after one year, she joined me in London. Ever since then, we have been living happily as husband and wife.
She’s not an actress, but she writes scripts occasionally. Right now, she’s not in front of the camera. Her name is Amaka.
Love at first sight
I was driving into the compound where we were shooting a film. When I sighted her at the balcony, I told Chidi Chikere who was sitting next to me, “This is my wife.”He asked me if I had met her before now. But I replied him I had not, insisting that she was going to be my wife. I didn’t just feel it in my spirit, I voiced it. Chidi is a living witness to that instant feeling of love.
I don’t know, but naturally, she’s a very beautiful woman. That’s one of the attractions. But there was a connection in the spirit. Sometimes, some pastors say that they were given a ministry. So, when you see your ministry, you recognise it. You don’t need a second invitation. The moment I saw her, I knew she was going to be my wife; the woman I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I was certain about it and that was the best decision I have ever taken in my life.
It wasn’t going to be a marriage proposal at that very beginning. At that time, communication was a big problem. She didn’t have her freedom because she was staying with her aunty. There were no mobile phones at that time too. So, it was challenging to build a relationship from afar. But with God on my side, we were able to surmount all those hurdles because it was meant to be.
11 years down the line
The journey so far has been blissful. My wife is one of the most supportive human beings. She’s my biggest fan, and we are blessed with three loving kids; two boys and one girl. At the moment, we live a very happy and contented life in London. The challenges are huge because of the industry we belong to, and time constraint. But, above all, we are surmounting every challenge in front of us, and getting better and growing stronger in the Lord.
What I don’t like about her
She loves me too much. It’s not always a good thing to love someone uncontrollably.
What she doesn’t like about me
I think she complains that I devote too much time to my work. But it’s a path I have chosen to follow in life, and something I was doing before she met me. For instance, I’m in Nigeria now, and she, and my kids are in London. I will spend a couple of weeks here before returing to London. I will keep coming back because this is what I do for a living. So, it’s very difficult balancing that. But she sees it as a disadvantage. Meanwhile, sometimes, I try to turn it into advantage because she accompanies me to all the celebrity functions that I’m attending. By so doing, she shares in the joy, shares in the money, and also, she shares in the brand.
Disagreement in marriage
Naturally, you would have to disagree with your spouse everyday on certain issues. But it’s about coming to an agreement or agreeing to disagree on a particular issue. However, marriage is built on dialogue and understanding. I’m not an advocate of domineering in a relationship. It’s an equal partnership even though I’m more equal than her. I listen to her. She has a voice and I respect her opinion.
Initimacy in marriage
Absoluetly. Your dog answers whatever you call him. If yolu want to make your marriage a romantic affair, you can do so. It’s what you make your relationship that it will be. And after 11 years in marriage till death do us apart, I will continue to to love her. It will continue to be romantic and a joy to psend time with her.
What I cannot do for her in the name of love
I will do everything for her; Anything and everything for her. I have donated one of my kidneys to my younger brother. If she needs my heart, I will cut it out and give it to her. That’s the extent I can go for her in marriage.
Why marriages crash
Lack of communication is one of the key factors. When there is an issue and you don’t talk about it in the right mood or voice, then things get worse. A distance grows and rife is put between the two of you, and everybody drips apart. But once you able to sort every problem that comes your way without interference from the outside, you stand a great of having a successful marriage. That’s what has kept my marriage going all these years.