Saturday, September 21, 2013

Marriage Avowals - Audu Maikori on Meeting his Wife, Dr Zel and Putting God in His Marriage

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Audu Maikori doesn't like being called a Celebrity but that is exactly what he is. As the CEO of one of the most prominent music labels in Nigeria, he definitely has a large following. What many may not know is that he's a married man. Audu Maikori granted an interview to Love and Words blog about many things including his marriage of five years to Dr Zel Maikori. Here are some excerpts...

And how did you meet your wife?
We actually met at a GAP event. You see? I wouldn’t have met her if it wasn’t because of GAP. She was working at the State House Clinic and, basically, one of her colleagues who worked there invited her and said, “Ah, come! There’s this thing, really cool thing we do in Abuja every Sunday. It’s called GAP. You just hang out, you meet new people, blah blah blah. Come!” She said, “Okay. Cool”. It was Sunday, lazy day, so she came in. She just walked in and she caught my eye. I was like, “Wow! Who’s this chick?” [I really laugh at this.]

What was it about her that caught your eye?
Oh, she’s beautiful! She’s just a beautiful woman. She’s graceful; she’s tall; I mean, she’s just – Have you seen her picture?

Ummm, I think I’ve seen just one. I haven’t really, there isn’t much on her. You’ve done a good job of hiding her.
Yeah, I’m trying to hide her. [Jokes] Please, I don’t want to over-expose her as much as possible. [We both laugh.] Keep it on the low-low, okay?

Great! I’m guessing you don’t have any children yet, right?
No, no. Not yet.

Any plans to, eventually?
Definitely! We will. This year, hopefully, or next year.

So I follow you on Twitter and I saw an interesting quote that you put up [on May 18], and you said, “They say if love is a dream, marriage is the alarm clock. Well, I am awake but it still feels like a dream.” Is that yours or is that from a song?
No, that’s mine.

Wow! Great! Good job! Very original. So what is it about marriage that you love so much, and particularly, what is it about being married to your wife that you love so much?
[Pauses briefly] I don’t really think much of marriage, but I think much of my marriage. [Laughs] Because to be honest, before, thinking about getting married was a big issue for me because I was like, “Man, what if I get married and I don’t like the woman in 2 years’ time. I wake up in the morning like, ‘Oh God! This lady!’” [I laugh raucously at this.] Honestly, I was really scared. So, it was a “no-no” topic for me, especially [since] you know how women behave: scheming and stuff. So I was just like, “Oh God! I’ll just go and get schemed into some unhappy union and, then, I’ll pretend that I’m happy.

Geez! Wow! [I laugh]
Yeah! Women are schemers. Let’s be honest!

Oh my God! Come on, guy!
It’s the truth. It is the truth!

No comment!
Yeah. Don’t [comment]! [Laughter] But, yeah, I don’t know. You’re going to a territory I don’t want to talk about because people always say, “Don’t worry! He said this and blah, blah, blah,” but I simply think that every person deserves to have a partner that understands them, complements them, and that they truly enjoy a deep friendship with. The reason why I’m saying that is that some people base marriage on things like love, attraction and what the society thinks is the perfect match.

Many people do that – knowingly or unknowingly, sometimes. I don’t think that’s it; I think you need to find that right person– it’s like going into a business venture and you need someone who complements your skills: you’re good at this [but] you’re not good at some other things and, instead of you doing your due diligence, you just jump in say, “Oh, I like the way he looks! He looks intelligent! Let’s start a business together.” Two, three years into it, you find out that there is so much you don’t know about that partner that will affect this business. That’s why most marriages crash: because people just – I don’t think it’s just a spur-of-the-moment thing; I think it’s something you have to kind of look at ….

When I was dating my wife….there was just [no one comparable to] her really, in terms of us just complementing each other, in terms of being compatible. So, four years down the line – although in practice it’s actually about….eight years – I don’t regret it. I think it’s the best decision I’ve made in my life and I’m lucky.

The reason I don’t like to talk so much about this is when you say these things and people are just following you, they’re like, “Ehhh?? Let’s see!” People actually do all sorts of things to wish it fails.

That’s true, but I wanted to ask – well, this is why I started my blog in the first place, and I’m trying to cover Africa in general, but just as a Nigerian growing up in Nigeria, I just feel like [this] is something that’s not really represented enough. You hear too many stories about domestic violence or too many stories of – I call them useless men – [aristos] who basically chase other women or younger girls around in public, but they can’t be seen publicly loving their wives. So, that’s why I specifically seek people of your status out just because you have all this influence. [This is] just to give you an overall view of why I ask these questions and why I care about this.

I think that, from that context, you are absolutely right! I absolutely think that you need to also celebrate or, at least, even expose some details that people need to learn about in a relationship. I think that many people start off with too many expectations of the other person, and when the person fails, everything crumbles as well because they are hoping that that person is their Messiah. I feel that there is nobody that’s anybody’s Messiah, apart from God …. Some people live their lives and they base it on the success of their marriage [or] the success of how nice this one works. You know, you never know because in relationships, honestly, there are ups and downs; there are cracks in the wall and all that. It’s not always hunky-dory...

There are times that I know I do things to piss off my wife and I know – I know – I’m being an a**hole! I know it! But at the end of the day, I keep saying something about relationships which is, “What is the track record?” If I do one or two things and my wife knows that is not characteristic of me, then, she should reach into her memory bank and credit me with my past deeds. You get what I’m saying? So, if Audu is acting like this, something is wrong: there’s pressure, there’s [something].

I think that my wife applies that a lot; but for me sometimes, when we have an argument, I just forget about the old stuff: I’m just venting about one thing!

Over a period of time, you begin to – the first two years [are] difficult because you’re trying to understand. What am I saying? The first ten years, probably [We both laugh] trying to understand where everybody is …

The point, though, is that at the end of the day, if you persevere – and I remember that there’s something that, when we went for my traditional wedding, I remember that the man that kind of presided [is] called the Onowu of Onitsha. He said something: he said, “I want to ask you for only one thing for me. No matter what happens during the day, at night, you and your wife should kneel down together and pray to God. Every night!” Really, without that factor, there are two of you [and] this [God] is the arbiter between two of you. When all is said and done, you find out that, look, we do mess up because we always ask God for forgiveness anyway. Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m talking about myself. [I laugh.] If He can forgive us, then why can’t we forgive our partner or whatever?

So, do you [two] do that almost every night, if not every night?
No, we don’t do it every night o, to be honest with you; but we do spend time to pray. I can’t tell you how regularly but fairly regularly. I tell people that the secret to any success that I’m enjoying is definitely not some brilliance on my part; it’s definitely no great strategy or some fantastic education or some family connections: it’s simply God! It’s simply that!

Read the full interview here. Images from Bellanaija

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