Saturday, April 20, 2013

Femi Fani Kayode Speaks on Love, Marriage and Divorce

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I was a fan of Femi Fani Kayode while he was in the Obasanjo government. He was a good looking man, younger than a lot of the others in the cabinet, and well spoken. I knew nothing about him as a person or his personal life. And then I left Nigeria, he left the government and kind of faded from the public eye. My interest was rekindled in him after a politically motivated exchange of words he had with Reuben Abati.

And then he made the remarks about the dead girlfriend of Oscar Pistorius, [read here] which I found thoughtless and gratuitously provocative. When I learnt he granted a personal interview to this Christian blog, I was interested, and after reading, I think I see where those nasty comments were coming from. We are to believe he's a repented and reformed philanderer, who really loves his wife even though they're living separate lives and he just finished dating someone else not too long ago. Yeah, right.

I found his thoughts on love and marriage interesting, if not something I agree with. He presents a perspective that we rarely hear from. Most womanizers never speak up, and at least Fani Kayode is speaking from a place of knowing he made mistakes. On divorce, some could say he's taking a pro-stand because he's a divorcee, but it makes sense. Here are some excerpts from the interview;

On his first marriage;

The first time I was married to a wonderful person by the name of Saratu Atta who is the mother of my first daughter Folake. Folake is a big lady now.  Today she is a lawyer in one of the top firms in the U.K. She’s twenty five years old now, a brilliant young lady. I was married to her mother but things didn’t work out. That was in 1987. After two years we split up and she went back to Ghana. Her mother is Ghanaian and her father is a Nigerian by the name of Alhaji Adamu Atta who was the former governor of Kwara State during the Second Republic.

I loved her then and I still love her today. She’s a good friend of mine but when the marriage failed I was totally broken and shattered. We had wanted to come back together again but at that point hearts had hardened, one thing happened after the other and that was the end of it. Yet I never stopped loving her and till today there’s a small space in my heart that’s just for her.  There’s a little corner of my heart that belongs to her alone. We are very good friends and that’s a good ending for that one even though the marriage failed.

Then came Yemisi Adeniji whom I got married to in 1990. The marriage was stormy right from the start. It didn't go too well and unfortunately after struggling to make it work for four years we eventually separated and later divorced. Though she had three beautiful children for me the marriage did not last and we did not part on the best of terms. It was very bitter and unpleasant. I was not an easy person then and the truth is that I put her through hell with all my strange behaviour, strange habits and strange ways. To make matters worse we were both very headstrong and very tough- she was a lawyer and so was I.

I hope that I have not said too much here because it is not my intention to hurt anyone with this interview or to rake up old wounds. I just feel that it is time to open up just a little and settle all the misconceptions and speculations about my private life and what happened in the past. This is the most difficult interview I have ever given but I will go ahead since I gave you my word. Nam (that is what I used to call her then) and I parted ways under very acrimonious circumstances because I felt that she just deserted me at my time of need and things have never been good between us since then.

On his turbulent second marriage

We married in 1990 and we separated at the end of 1993. Yet despite the failure of our marriage and the strained relationship that we have always had, I thank God for our special moments together and for the fact that we at least brought three beautiful children into this world. Despite all, she too still has a little corner of my heart and when our marriage crashed it wounded me deeply.  I often hear about the bitter and painful things that she says about me everywhere but I will never respond. She can say that I am the devil incarnate and I will never respond. You know why? Because we were once married and I loved her for 3 turbulent yet wonderful years.

I still love her to a certain extent because she is the mother of three of my children. I will never forget that. I will never hurt her. I will always wish her well and God will continue to bless her even though I honestly believe that she hates me. There is a thin line between love and hate and she just flipped over it at some point. What happened in those two failed marriages was that I was a different person.  I take full responsibility for the failures of both. I was not the easiest person to be married to then and I was not the best of men.

I went through a transformation process when I went to the Bible Seminary in Ghana in 1993. So everything about me pre-'93 was very different to post-'93. Post-'93 I was a different person. My values were different, my outlook to life was different, my politics was different and my attitude to people was different. I didn’t know God before going to the seminary even though I hail from a long line of pastors. I was a very difficult person then and I just loved to enjoy the good life, to party, to play polo, to drive fast cars, to do politics and to drink champagne.

Worse of all I was a chronic womaniser and for some reason women seemed to love me so much and I loved them back with equal passion and depth. I was  a wild young man that had everything that money could buy and I assure you that this was nothing to be proud of.  I was good, I was smart, I worked hard and I did well at school and at my job but I just didn’t believe in the power of God then and that was my greatest mistake. I was an unbeliever- an intellectual barbarian. I didn’t understand these things until I had my encounter with God when I went to Ghana in 1993.

The point I am making is that I wasn’t the easiest person so I do not blame those twoo ladies for anything that went wrong. I blame myself. They had their own fair share of issues and complicated behaviour but I will never say those things publicly. I am the man and I  have to take full responsibility for everything that went wrong and I wish them well. So those were the first two times that my heart was broken.

On his current wife, Regina

She did not chose a public life, I did. So she has always told me to keep her away from all the publicity and public scrutiny because she hates it and because she is very sensitive and protective of our daughter Remi. Yet today it is fair for me to extol a few of her virtues and expose a few of my warts and weaknesses and talk just a little about the blessing that God gave me in Regina. The truth is that to have put up with someone like me for so long the lady really is a saint and I appreciate her so much. I do not and have never taken her for granted even though I have slipped and failed her more than once in the past.

It is her ability to love even the unlovable and very complicated, volatile, complex and unpredictable soul called FFK that moves me so much. She never judges me by my actions because she sees my heart and she knows that I am a good person despite it all. She loves me just the way I am and no matter what happens to me, unlike anyone else on this planet of 7 billion people, she will never forsake me or turn her back on me no matter what. That is what gives me strength and that is why I cherish her today and I always will.

Now let me just start answering your question by saying that I am not an angel. Like most married men I have made mistakes in the past and I have let down my wife on a number of occasions. Yet despite that I never stopped loving her.

Not many people will admit to that. So I am not an angel but neither have I ever considered the possibility of leaving my wife though on many occasions she almost left me. I have been close to her since 1994. We got married in 1997 and the only way that I would ever leave her is if she says that she does not want me anymore and that she loves someone else.  That is the only circumstance under which I would release her. I pray that it never comes to that but the truth is that the last few years have been very tough for us both in terms of our marriage and this saddens me deeply.

Yet only death can stop me from loving my wife and even after that I will still continue to love her because I know what she has done for me in my life. We have been apart for quite some time now but that doesn’t mean anything to me.  My relationship with her transcends the physical. We have been apart only because I have kept her out of this country ...  I won’t let them come back because I will not allow them to suffer or be humiliated simply because someone here hates me and wants to take it out on them. I have gone through that pain of being separated from the one I love more than life itself for a number of years now yet it does not in any way affect my relationship with her.

I trust her absolutely and she understands me very well. Even before a thought crosses my mind Regina knows what it is because she knows me even better than I know myself. Most importantly she caused me to start believing in myself again even when I lost all confidence in myself and my future and when I didn't even want to live anymore. My enemies and detractors tried everything under the sun to destroy my marriage but when you have a soul mate that is your wife, true love transcends boundaries and every circumstance.

A series of affairs while married

Thankfully I met my real wife Regina in 1993 in Accra and we got married in 1997. She stood by me through thick and thin. Through the most difficult times and through the best times. Then a few years later I failed her and made a terrible mistake which had terrible consequences for my marriage and almost destroyed it. I got involved with a young lady and had what the French describe as an ''affaire de coure'' with her. I take no pride in what I did or even in  sharing it with you here but it is a matter of public knowledge so I am telling you nothing new and I hope that when your readers hear what happened to me they will not end up making the same mistakes that I did.

For a couple of years I became deeply attached to this young lady. I will refer to her as ''Omo C''. I got very close to her and we fell in love. Eventually things did not go too well for us because I was not prepared to take a second wife and then she took one or two steps which disappointed me and that was it. That is how it all ended. Even though I felt deeply hurt by her and that we may never speak again, I have to say that she was a wonderful person, she worked extremely hard, she was very loyal to me up until the end and I will not say anything ill about her publicly.

 A lot of things you see about her on the internet today, the things they wrote about her are not even true. It was an error of judgment on my part to have any kind of affair when I was married and it’s something that I regret deeply but the truth is that for some time that young lady brought joy into my life and I fell deeply in love with her.  That was the only time in my life that I ever came close to taking a second wife and I pray that it never happens again.

Thankfully my wife prayed me out of that situation, continued to love me, forgave me, helped me to heal and saved our marriage and family. She forgave me and I haven't looked back since. I have nothing bad to say about that young Igbo lady as an individual. She made her choices and we will leave the rest to God. As far as I am concerned a lot of things you see about her on the internet are not true. I won’t even go into those things or discuss them here but we should cut her some slack. She’s just a nice person who wants to live her life quietly and move on with it and I wish her well.

Yet the pain of our break-up was terrible though it was the right thing to do. And whether anyone likes it or not the truth is that she still has a tiny corner of my heart as well. She will always be a friend even if we never see each other or speak to each other again.

I was involved with somebody else through the years when I was alone here in Nigeria and separated from my family though it was something that did not in any way threaten my marriage. A good friend of mine became very close to me. I will refer to her as the ''God-Sent Child'' and she came from the Mid-West though she had lived in Lagos all her life. We were very close for a number of years and she was a great source of comfort for me throughout that period but the time came when we had to part ways.

I had to consider the implications of our friendship on my marriage and she had to move on with her life and  go and do her master’s degree in the U.K.. She’s finished now. She did very well. She’s back in Lagos now, doing very well and moving on with her life. I hardly see or hear from her these days but I am proud of her, I am happy for her and she’s a wonderful person. She will always be part of me as well and again a little portion of my heart still belongs to her. That’s four.

The fifth one, the only other woman that I ought to mention, I will not say much about publically for a number of reasons. She is somebody that I will refer to here as ''Tranquility''. She is an enigma. She is a good friend of mine and I am telling you that she is what they call a smooth operator. More importantly wherever she goes she brings peace and tranquility and she is one of the kindest souls that I have ever met in my life. I will not say anymore about Tranquility than that.

So now you have heard it all... I hope that you will learn from my experiences and mistakes instead of making yours. These are a very serious issues and the emotions and memories that they invoke are  powerful and deep. The general point is that I have made my own fair share of mistakes and I have learnt a hard lesson from those mistakes.

I have made my peace with my God and with my wife and that is all that matters to me. I suffered plenty of heartache and caused enormous pain to others as a consequence of these series of events, my actions, my behaviour,  my choices and my clandestine associations. Such complications are best avoided and such actions are best avoided. Being a real man is about loyalty, faithfulness and fidelity to the one you love and not about jumping into bed with different women.

If my choice had been to leave my wife and settle down with any of these other women I could have done that three times over now but I have chosen not to do so but rather to stay with my wife. I made that choice even though I do not deserve her. That’s the point I am trying to make. I could have followed somebody else but no I made that choice rather than say I am going to break my marriage or betray my wife by taking a second wife. I will be loyal to my wife and let the other person move on to a better life for themselves.

That for me is the triumph of love because if you really love somebody you have to let them move on to a better life and not put them in a situation whereby they are second wife to you. And if you really love your wife you will never toy with the idea of taking a second one. These 5 women all have a tiny portion of my heart but my wife has the rest of it and trust me when I tell you there is plenty of it left. She has at least 95 per cent of it and on top of that she has my body, spirit and soul as well.

I hope that your readers can learn from my mistakes. If you have a good woman or a good wife please hold on to her at all costs and never let her go no matter what.

On Divorce and advice to those who are hoping to get married

FFK: The most important decision you will ever make in your life is who you marry. Yet there is a misconception about marriage particularly amongst Christians. They say once you are married you cannot be divorced. It’s actually a misconception and a misunderstanding of the scriptures. The best thing is never to marry somebody until you are absolutely sure that’s who God wants you to marry but 90% of people don’t wait for God. They marry for carnal reasons, for monetary reasons or even for lust and it’s a mistake.

The bible says "those whom God has put together let no man put asunder" but the mistake we all make is that once people are married we assume that it was God that put them together. It’s not always the correct assumption to make. So where God didn’t put you together there can be a divorce. And where God put you together you will know because the taste of the pudding is in the eating.

If you are flowing well together and if you are totally committed to each other no matter what the challenges are, if you still love, you still care, you still forgive, you still touch the life of your husband or wife then you know God put you together and you stand firm, you don’t let anything break it. But in making that choice you need to know you made the right choice.

If you made the wrong choice as a young man or young woman to go into marriage it will be the most terrible mistake you can make in your life. It can mar your destiny and destroy you or it can make you as well. The woman you marry, or for women the man you marry, is what will determine how far you will go in life. It’s as simple as that. It’s not something to be taken lightly at all.

Read the full interview on My Testimonys


  1. Sigh.
    Myne, I can't believe you gave FFK space on this blog. This is not Romance meets Life. This is I can get away with it and I did. He is here listing all his paramours by name and nickname. Where is the repentance? He sounds like someone listing his conquests. You can tell us you hurt your loving wife by your adultery and end it there not dedicate paragraphs to each partner in sin.
    I don't know joo, he is just a bad but typical example of Nigerian men. Regina is now a Saint because she turned a blind eye to his philandering abI? Tell me more...

    1. infact I'm vexing on the second read. so he could have married any of his other paramours and left Regina? But cause of his great love he chose to stay. Eyaaa stories that touch the heart.

      I'm happy it is working out for them, but he should spare us the 'I could have married any of the other women' and thank his God that Regina chose to tolerate him.

  2. LOL Ginger o..

    I like the statement " The woman you marry, or for women the man you marry, is what will determine how far you will go in life. It’s as simple as that. It’s not something to be taken lightly at all".Very true o..

  3. Lol at ginger.. i am so with you on this... abeg to many many affairs... not romance at all.

  4. Ginger's comments says it all for me...Thank God for him finding God...this man has forever been written of my good book and his story reminds me of tuface.

  5. Who knows if he even sponsored the lady's M.Sc? He's a serial philanderer. Coming clean, dedicating paragraphs, allocating his heart in percentages and extolling the virtues of his paramours does not mean he would not cheat on Regina again. A couple of years down the line, we may look forward to another epistle of his hedonist conquests...

    1. Hahahaha....."allocating his heart in percentages" indeed.

  6. Let's give the man a break abeg. How many men (especially Nigerians) can come clean this way? Many of them can not even count the number of women they have had affairs/flings with. He even respects the women enough to not see them as easy toys but as people with emotions too. We can all always get it right but when someone takes a step in the right direction, we should encourage them at least. This isn't the perfect way to handle this but I respect his guts. Quick question: had it been a lady with this confession, what would we say? Many times we're overtaken by biases.

    1. "We CAN'T always get it right but when..." I meant can't not can.

  7. He really loves the ladies, doesn't he. And all this talk about the women he has affairs with having a small piece of his heart...please, we could have done without all that.

    I also don't agree with the part about God joining together or not joining together. Even when people claim God has joined them, they still act stupid and mess up. They still get divorced. Whoever or whatever you believe led you to marriage- God directly, or through the brain and common sense he's give you, or through a recognition of the other person's worth, values and character and the fact that you can see yourself living with this person for life- whatever the case. It takes HARD WORK to keep a marriage going and to hang in there.

    There's no magic formula that says if a couple understands each other and get along, it means God joined them, and if they are at each other's throats, then the devil had something to do with it. I think that type of logic is too simplistic. All of us can likely name a few couples whose marriages are on the rocks even after prayer and fasting and so on. Pastors, even. Let's emphasize the sacrifices each party has to make to make a good marriage.

  8. Lady A has a percentage of my heart....Lady B also has another percentage too. 1 question. Is his heart a pie chart?

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