Monday, June 24, 2013

Gbenga and Lara George - Trying Out New Places

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Lara George was a member of the former gospel trio KUSH, along with TY Bello and Emem Ema. She got married to Gbenga George nine years ago, after what she describes as a very short and fun-packed two years. In this interview, Lara and Gbenga talk about how marriage has been for them.

When was the first time you set your eyes on your wife and what was the attraction?

Gbenga: Let’s start from when I first heard about her, then eventually meeting her. I was in school, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, when my friend played Angels, a track from the KUSH album. I tried guessing who was in the group and I was sure Sisters with Voices (SWV) sang it. I particularly could not get over the Soprano voice singing, ‘I’m surrounded by fire, surrounded by fire…’ I was shocked when he told me they were a new Nigerian group of three ladies and a guy. I also remember joking about the guy having an eye on the soprano chic. Few years after that, the girl group had graduated and they were all over the place. I was reading and watching them all over the media. You could only wish for friendship,I didn’t  even dream of marriage! KUSH was a different feel back then. It was a phenomenon and all eyes were on them. Really, I could only see and commend their works. It would be wishful thinking to desire any of them. However, the gap became closer, as it turned out that we attended the same church— House On the Rock. Well, not like the gap was close, but at least, each time the girls were in the country, we would see them come to church, they used to file in like Angels, maintaining decorum and respect for their fans who were greeting them.

How tough was it wooing her?

Gbenga: To be honest, it was not anything I did; she was just sorry for me. She saw a good guy who really liked her and she decided to bless me with herself. If I said this was what I did, I will be lying. Although I will not underestimate the power of my charm, we happened to end up working together when she decided at some point in her career to practise architecture, which she read at the University of Lagos. My office asked me to get an in-house architect, I didn’t know what I was thinking when I went to hire an in-experienced one. I defended her case, perhaps well enough for the office to retain her, which they did. The office eventually became too small to have two people work around it, so we became one.

Did you entertain any fears dating a celebrity?

Gbenga: I actually did not. Lara gave me all the reasons not to. She never had airs around her; she actually never knew how popular she was.  Oblivious of the fame, that made the relationship very normal. Anytime I attended shows with her, she made sure I was standing right where she was, she liked to hold hands and maintain territory, and those were very good and comfortable signs. So really, it was not any much of a struggle at all.

KUSH - Lara George, Emem Ema and TY Bello

How did the proposal go?

Lara: There was no formal proposal, like the one you do on your knee with rose behind your back and ring hiding somewhere waiting to be popped open!

Gbenga: Even though Lara would have preferred that, I happen not to be thus inclined. I was very mechanical about the whole thing. We had started the relationship on a light note, it had progressed into talking more seriously about how we would run the home, details of activities that needed to be done as a couple. We were practically together all through our dating days, it never really did occur to me to do the traditional ‘popping the question:’  Well, I am yet to hear the last of it, so I have decided to pop a surprise very soon, this would  make up for everything, that’s a guarantee.

In addition to being a lawyer, I understand you have a stake in the music industry. Did your wife influence this in any way?

 Gbenga: Absolutely! I started my practice in a maritime law firm and I have in the last decade, honed my legal skills in franchising, copyright, and intellectual property and real estate. I have always been involved in her career from day one of marriage. I took over her management, handled all her legal affairs and so on. It has not stopped my law practice in any way; it has only given me a direct insight into mainstream entertainment and its legal practice in addition to my other field of expertise.

I am sure you know she has many male fans even though she is a gospel artiste. How have you handled this part of fame?

Gbenga: Just like in your previous question, she gave me no reason to entertain fears at all! The truth is knowledge of your spouse would determine whether to rest easy. Lara exudes decency. From our dating days, KUSH was both recognised in the secular and gospel/inspirational settings, up till today, she remains in the limelight. I am grateful to God for a wife like this, her type is not a dime-a-dozen, they are not common, you probably don’t even pray for them. God just decides, out of His graciousness, to bless you, most importantly, not because you have been good yourself, it’s just the Grace of God. My wife is a rare gem. Whether or not I am with her at events, her safety is all that matters to me.

How do you both create a balance between your busy schedules and family life?

Gbenga: As you know, she is a weekend person and the week is usually free. The family enjoys free shows and my son gets to understand his mother’s job intimately and at a closer range. My daughter is still too young now to be directly involved. She is not disturbed by the sound of loud music when she is sleeping. I remember the early days when Lara was on stage, my son cried especially when she sang Ijoba Orun. I never understood why, but after growing a little older, he told me he cried because he thought the song was just too sad. Therefore, I had to explain the story behind the song.

If you had to change anything about your better half, what would it be?

Gbenga: I want to change the things that make us disagree and quarrel, my only problem is I don’t know what those things are! Immediately we settle, the only memory I have is the perfect woman I married. Lara is very difficult to get in a quarrel with. If you want to do that, you better have your facts and case well organised and your delivery very intact; she plays by the rules of true friendship.

How do you keep the fire of love aglow in your marriage?

Lara: We go out a lot! Especially trying out new places, hangouts, restaurants, etc. in any city we are in the  world. We have developed a system of putting the kids aside and preventing them from acting as contraceptives, we get on with our lives just like the dating days.

In what ways are you alike and in what ways do you differ?

Gbenga: Lara is an opposite of me, absolutely! She is a perfectionist, very organised, and her attention for details is unequalled. Now, these qualities I share with her, but Lara is gifted with them; I guess it comes with making music. I will also say she is more of a realist, I am very much of an optimist, I take it from the end and then trace backwards. But Lara would count the cost first, take it from the beginning, and follow through to the end.

What are your pet names for each other?

Gbenga: Babe! Moreover, when we want to sound comical, she calls me ‘baby bobo’ and I call her ‘bobo baby’. Generally, its ‘babe’ I still do not know why she calls me babe, though. Now, if for any reason she calls me by my name, or answers the phone with ‘hello’, my heart skips, and I begin to wonder what I have done wrong this time.



  1. aww!!!...lovely couple! I like the part he said '' she gave me no reason to entertain fears at all! The truth is knowledge of your spouse would determine whether to rest easy'' true!!

  2. Beautiful couple, she's my favorite out of Kush.

  3. I met this couple at an eatery in Abraham Adesanya estate, ajah. They were so warm n helpful . I had no idea who they were. Later that week, I saw them on the society pages of a magazine.....I screamed! Cos I knew her name. Really nice people.

  4. Cute couple. May God continue to bless your home.

  5. Aaawww....I love their story.

    Particularly love the end "if for any reason she calls me by my name, or answers the phone with ‘hello’, my heart skips, and I begin to wonder what I have done wrong this time"

  6. so sweet. I love the last pic. The dress and everything about them.


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