Usually, there is an irresistible presence of a basket full of sunshine to chase away the gloomy scars of heartbreak. As Valentine’s Day draws near, Nseobong Okon-Ekong and Vanessa Obioha chronicle 10 couples who, like the phoenix, rose from the ashes of a broken heart or a terrible loss to find a life filled with true love
Stephanie Okereke-Linus: A Fairytale Love
Previously married to Super Eagles defender, Chikelue Illoanusi, model, Nollywood actress and producer Stephanie Okereke- Linus finally found her missing rib in Linus Idahosa. If there was one thing Stephanie was so sure she wanted in life, it was her acting career. She revealed this at many meetings with the media. Perhaps, there was a lingering feeling too to have a fairytale wedding. Not too long after, there were visible cracks in her three-year marriage to Illoanusi. The split was ugly. For a while, it seemed the rumour could not have enough of the messy details. Each day welcomed a new dirty linen of their private lives, clinically laundered by the media.
But all that changed in 2010 when Linus Idahosa, an international media mogul proposed to her. By then, she had fully recovered from the ghastly motor accident that left her with burns and a broken leg, and of course a broken heart. In 2012, Stephanie finally had the fairytale wedding of her dream in Paris, France. Everyone gushed about the panache of the wedding. From the decor to the couple, it was all praise and envy, and praise and more prayers for the newly wedded couple.
It’s nearly four years and their love has not waned, despite fears or prayers of many that the wedding would go down the drain like the previous one or like most celebrity weddings. Instead, the union has produced a cheerful baby boy, but more importantly, a union that has all the elements of an enduriing relationship.
Ituah Ighodalo: Love Cost a Thing
February is more than the second month of the year to the Ighodalos. It is the month they found love. Coincidentally, they found love in the month of love. Indeed, love smiled again on the savvy pastor of Trinity House, Ituah Ighodalo, 10 years ago when he took the bold step of walking former Lux soap beauty queen, Ibidunni, down the aisle.
It was his second attempt at marriage. Their love tale is one plotted around rejection. Ighodalo was formerly married to Lucy Ann-Summer during his sojourn in United States of America. When he met Summer, it was believed that their union was a product of love. However, it turned out that it was all a veneer, for as soon as Ighodalo boarded the next flight to his home country, the love also took flight out of the window. Nursing himself back to life, Ituah opened his heart to love again. But this love cost him quite a bit. It cost him a family.
After being remarried for two-and-a-half years, Ighodalo was asked to leave the Christ Church Parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God that he was famed to have nurtured. The news of his sack made headlines. Society magazines fed on it with relish. However, all that is in the past as Ighodalo has found his one true love, Ibidunni. What’s more, they are tending a new flock of worshippers (and family) at the Trinity House.
Regina Askia: A Tamed Heart
The on-screen diva of the 80s and 90s was a queen to die for. With her mesmerising beauty enhanced by her beautiful blue eyes, Regina Askia made many men adulterers in the confine of their living rooms. She was beautiful and sexy. Her beauty, however, came with a fear. Would she be tamed to leave the limelight? Charles Orie, her first husband tried but didn’t succeed. Then out of the blue, an American, Rudolph Williams, came and swept her off her feet. The rest, they say is, history. Today, Regina lives with her husband in the US with their two children. And she is a nurse!
Monalisa Chinda: Doing it Right the
Not all heartbreaks heal quickly. Some leave indelible scars that can only be erased by the caring hands of God. Nollywood actress Monalisa Chinda’s first taste of marriage was bitter. In 2009, news broke that the actress and her husband Dejo Richards had gone their separate ways. Monalisa accused Richards of domestic abuse. The union produced a daughter.
Nevertheless, Monalisa took a vital lesson from that marriage with Dejo Richards: If she walked down the aisle again, she would do it right. Did she? Apparently. And she did it in the month of love. She married her childhood friend Victor Tonye Coker in a star studded traditional wedding in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on February 20, 2016. Who would have thought that the love of her life would be someone she had known all her life.
But before she found her prince charming, she kissed Lanre Nzeribe. The media was agog with expectations of a possible union. The relationship only lasted for two years.
Monalisa finally sealed her love with her childhood beau in an exquisite white wedding in Greece in September, 2016.
Funke Akindele: A Second Chance
Popular comedienne and actress Funke Akindele who goes by the moniker ‘Jenifa’ didn’t find love like in the movies. When the news of her marriage to Adeola Kehinde Oloyede broke in 2012, not a few predicted that the union would not last. The reasons were not far-fetched. Kenny as fondly called was rumoured to be polygamous in nature. Many wives and children were attached to his name but like puppy love, Funke believed her love would conquer all. Unfortunately, 14 months later, the worse became the reality. Kenny posted on Facebook that he had separated with Funke due to irreconcilable differences. Shortly afterwards, the grapevines went to work, spilling juicy details of what might have caused the split.
Through it all, Funke focused on her career, scooping accolades here and there. Just when no one was looking, love found her again. This time, in the arms of rapper JJC Skillz whose real names are Abdul Rasheed Bello. They secretly got married in London last year.
Tchidi Chikere: Beauty is in the Eyes of the Beholder
When it comes to physical beauty, Nuella Njubigbo’s will drastically pale in comparison to Sophia Chikere, ex-wife of Nollywood producer and director, Tchidi Chikere. But beauty, they say goes beyond appearance and surely dwells in the eyes of the beholder. After nine years of marriage that was blessed with three children, the director found love in the arms of another actress. At first, Tchidi and Nuella’s relationship was viewed as one of those office romance between colleagues at work. However, they shocked the world when they had their traditional wedding in 2014 and legally sealed their love in 2015. Although, Tchidi’s breakup with Sophia was not void of controversies, the two former partners had found love in different places.
Richard Mofe Damijo: A Dream Come True
Those who worked closely with Jumobi Adegbesan at Daar Communications when she was an OAP on Raypower 100.5FM, would recall her dreams to be known as Mrs Mofe Damijo. Well, like the boy band of yesteryears Westlife sang in one of their hits ‘Dreams Come True’, Jumobi had the love of her life proposing to her shortly after the demise of his first wife May Ellen Ezekiel in 1996. Although, Jumobi went under the radar after the marriage, Richard seizes every opportunity to celebrate the woman who has brought so much sunshine to his life.
Adams Oshiomole: A Loss Restored
You may have been gobsmacked or probably envious of the marriage of former Edo State governor Adams Oshiomole and his Cape Verdean beauty, considering the age difference between them. But the couple’s union is a proof that when it comes to love, there is no barrier. In a colourful ceremony in 2015, Oshiomole took Iara Fortes as his bride. The couple’s love has continued to wax strong. Just recently, Adams and Iara returned from vacation at the end of Oshiomhole’s tenure as Edo State governor. Oshiomole lost his first wife Clara in 2010.
Ooni of Ife, Enitan Ogunwusi: The Queen of His Heart
It is not every day that a man achieves success even in royalty. Certainly, not every woman has the elegance of a majesty; thus, the oracle’s decision that Enitan Ogunwusi should pick a new wife fit for his royal status. Before Wuraola Zynab Otiti came into the picture last year, Ogunwusi was married to Adebukunola Bombata for eight years. Like any second marriage, rumours and scandals were rife, but the Ooni and his Olori are still intact.
Yeni Kuti and Theo Lawson: That’s the Way Love Goes
You can hardly see one without the other. They are always in each other’s company. That’s Yeni Kuti and Theo Lawson. Those who were unaware of their relationship status coined all manner of stories until they came out to clear the air.
Unknown to them that the couple had known each other for a long while but not romantically; in the beginning. Yeni was married to the late broadcaster Femi Segun. Theo was Femi’s friend and he was married, as well.
Then, Cupid aimed a perfect shot at their hearts few years later when they separated from their partners. They were finally free to explore the strings of love that was pulling them together.
After dating for over nine years, Theo, an architect and a gentleman surprised his beau, Yeni, a dancer, TV presenter and daughter of the Afrobeat Legend Fela on her 55th birthday last year, by throwing her a surprise birthday as well as proposing a lifetime with her in the presence of her family members. For his proposal ring, Theo gave Yeni his mother’s wedding ring, a ring he had worn round his neck. Now,,it rests beautifully on the finger of his ‘wife’.
The couple hinted they have no plans to throw an elaborate wedding ceremony, because they are married spiritually
Taiwo Odukoya: On Love’s Wings
Sometimes, the best way to overcome the unbearable grief of losing a loved one is to love again. It may take years but when the time is right, you need no conviction. Such is the case of the founder of popular Christian congregation, Fountain of Life Bible Church, Taiwo Odukoya who lost his admirable wife, Bimbo, in that tragic Sosoliso air crash in December 2005.
Few years later, a trip to London stirred his heart to a certain South African beauty, Rosemary Simangele Zulu. He wasted no time in showing his interest but the lady at the time was seeing someone else. As fate would have it, the lady’s relationship didn’t work out, paving the way for Odukoya to claim her heart.
On January, 2010, the clergyman took Nomthi as she is popularly called as his wife.
W.F. Kumuyi: We All Need Love
In 2010, when the General Overseer of Deeper Christian Life Ministry took a second wife barely 18 months after the death of his first wife, Abiodun, not a few were surprised at his decision. His new wife, Folashade Blaize was a spinster of 65 years-old who dedicated most of her life working in the vineyard of God.
At the time, she was also an administrator in Kumuyi’s church. It was speculated that Kumuyi was pressured to marry, as the importance of a wife in his life could not be overlooked.
Clearly,it was better for the Man of God to go with a bride who was closer to him. They were married in a secret ceremony in London and are still together.
From This day newspapers