T op comedian and host of comedy show, ‘Teju Babyface’, Teju Oyelakin, is proud to tell anyone that cares to listen that he married the love of his life, Tobi. However, four years after the couple signed the dotted lines, Teju’s love for his wife continues to wax stronger. The ace comedian, in this interview, recounts how his wife told him off the first time he approached her for a relationship, just as the wife agrees that her husband was not the only man that came to ask for her hand in marriage.
By Benjamin Njoku
Marrying a friend
On the issue of marrying my friend, the truth is that we became friends after getting married. I mean really good friends. Before we married, we were friends who were attracted to each other because of the qualities we saw in each other. But it was after we got married that we really started to bond at the deepest level of marital friendship. You know what I think? A combination of fidelity and weathering storms together brings about those results and that kind of friendship.
Not a single one. In fact, I wish I had gotten married to her earlier. Perhaps two years earlier. I often tell her that if I had married someone else (whilst the opportunity was there to marry her) and I saw her walk into a room, I would have had the deepest type of regret.
After four years in marriage
I believe you can tell from my answers thus far that the experience has been instructive. I won’t say that every single day has been a picnic or cake walk. Heck, the sun doesn’t shine everyday in life. That’s why they give you an A grade if you score 75% in school. No one expects you to score 100%. In fact, no one can score that consistently. You be God? So, we are at that 75% A grade level.
Before tying nuptial knot
Well, quite a number of things but one of the most instructive ones was that she was there when my father died. That was a big one. I can’t even begin to put into words what that did to cement our relationship. She might have missed it too because she had been out of the country and decided to come in a day earlier. If she came in at the time she had originally intended (a day later), it would have been after my father died and somehow I think that might have taken away from the depth of bonding that painful period afforded us.
Being popular and handsome
Well, my experience can be culled from a saying of the Yoruba people which my father used in counselling me several times before he died: “Ni’gba ara l’a bu’ra. Enikan ki i bu Sango l’erun” (Sango only answers by thunder in the rainy season. Therefore, no matter how devout, no disciple invokes the god of thunder in summer and gets an answer. There is a right time to do everything). Let us just say I had my day during my dating years and when that lifestyle was no longer tenable, I was blessed to not only know it but also to find a wife, a good thing and my help mate.
First impression about wife
In fact, when I was less than charitable, I would think she was arrogant. Why? This is because she literally told me to buzz off the first few times I approached her. I was like ‘ehn? me?’. Plus she always had a perpetual scowl. I mean, it made her more attractive but it was a scowl nonetheless. It all disappeared the first time I saw her smile.
Sex before marriage
Lord knows I didn’t always live and behave like that, but, somehow, I was fortunate to discover not only the truth but also the strength in keeping the marriage bed undefiled before I got married to my wife. My father was also very insistent that I should not sleep with the woman I would marry. He would say ‘look, one can even make a mistake and slip up but don’t make it a lifestyle!’ Plus my wife was having none of it! For where?
Each other’s judgement
But of course. Who else’s counsel should one trust? I mean, it doesn’t mean that I always take her counsel (and she mine) but the veracity of it is never in doubt.
What he doesn’t like about wife
There are even things I don’t like about myself! Who is perfect? I wouldn’t say there are things I don’t like. Let us just say there are things I would change about her if I had the power. Having said that, there are things I would change about myself too and I am sure she shares the same sentiment. Having your spouse exactly the way you want would make for a boring co-existence I think.
We really bonded on the set of his Teju Babyface TV show—Wife
Of course it was. I knew he was a popular person but I didn’t let that get into me. I decided to take him for who he was/is and of course there was love.
Sharing him with another woman
Not at all! I didn’t even see him that way. So, it was a no brainier really. A non-issue if you like.
Meeting him when he was nobody
Nobody? He was already The Teju Babyface when I met him. In fact, we really bonded on the set of his Teju Babyface show during the first season recording in 2010. I had come to fill in as a make-up artiste for their regular person and that was when we really spoke for the first time.
Before meeting him
I was an industrious young woman (if I may say so myself), so it was always from one audition to the other. I dated a bit but nothing really deep or emotional.
Making a choice between numerous suitors
Again, I guess they were there, including my husband. He likes to share a story of how I never gave him the time of day when he met me the first time. Lol. True somewhat. He met me while I was working at an event and, as I have said, I had industry firmly in my sight in those days. So I didn’t really see the suitors I guess.
Die to marry him again?
No way. We both believe in life in Jesus Christ. We will live a full life here and hook up again in heaven when we both go in many decades time. No death anywhere around us.