Nollywood director, Patience Oghre and her husband, a movie producer and actor, Osezua Stephen-Imobhio, share their love story in this interview with Spice!
How did you meet your spouse?
Patience:We met at a Director’s Guild of Nigeria election over a decade ago. A mutual industry friend of ours introduced us. When he requested for my telephone number, I was not aware of his intentions.
Osezua: Before we met, I was used to seeing her name in major TV productions. As you would expect, I looked forward to meeting her in person.
What were your first impressions of each other?
Patience: He was and still is good looking. I was also intrigued by the fact that he was a producer because I felt that we could collaborate on a few projects. But when he began calling me frequently and made no mention of a production, I sensed he had developed some romantic feelings towards me.
Osezua: I saw a good-looking and industrious lady in her.
Were you seeing anyone when your paths crossed?
Patience: No, I wasn’t and neither was I searching as I had just come out of a bad relationship.
Osezua: I was immersed in a production when we met. By our second date, I already knew I was going to marry her. I called her the mother of my children.
Does it matter that you both work in the same industry?
Osezua: Yes, it does as it gives us so much to talk about. For instance, when we go to the cinema, we discuss as professionals and not like the average filmgoer. Our interactions have also enhanced our careers.
Have you both been involved in the same production?
Osezua: Yes, we have worked on several productions together as partners and also when we are contracted by an independent producer.
Patience: We were both on the set of the TV series, Dear Mother. I directed the series and when a role came up, I invited him to play the role.
How did it feel like directing your husband on set?
Patience: I pay more attention to his acting whenever he is on my set because he is my husband. On a particular instance, I wasn’t satisfied with the way he interpreted his role. At some point, I felt I was too hard on him and he was as embarrassed as my crew were. Even though many felt I was too stern with him, I did that because I wanted nothing short of the best. I have directed him several times and it is always a thrilling and gratifying experience for me.
Osezua: When I give my best, she doesn’tcommend me but I watch her compliment others who do not play their roles as well as I have. At such times, I begin to wonder why she acts that way. Ironically, she calls on me whenever she runs into a problem especially when it has to do with serious interpretation of roles. As a trained stage actor, I am well versed in the basics of acting.
How long have you been married to your wife and how did you propose?
Osezua: We have been married for almost 10 years.
Patience: He did not propose; he literarily harassed me to marry him.
Did you have the support of your families from the outset?
Patience: My husband’s family is warm and accommodating. My sister in-law also came around to talk me into believing her brother. My mother raised me because my father is late. She was also eager to see me get married but she was not desperate as to accepting just any kind of suitor.
Aside from physical qualities, what else do you admire in your spouse?
Patience: I admire his intellect and his humane nature. I don’t think we would have been compatible if he weren’t as intelligent as he is. He knows so much about everything and he is a voracious reader.
Osezua: I also love her intelligence and accommodating nature. She also nudges me to become the best version of myself. Like most good women, I treasure her ability to combine her career, keep the home and raise our four sons in the right way. She is also as culturally inclined as I am and I think that is a plus.
What would you love to change about your spouse?
Patience: I wish he could become a lot faster. As a goal-getter, anytime I want something done, I want it done right away. Even though he achieves his goals, I wish his speed could match mine. He recently turned 50 and has accomplished so much.
Osezua: Now that she has revealed my age, people will think I am old. I wish she could live up to her name-Patience. I wish she could just be a little more patient.
When you have to be on location for long, how do you ensure the home does not suffer?
Patience: Fortunately for me, my husband is an independent producer, so he has time for himself. He is able to plan his schedule to favour our family calendar. Whenever I have to be on a location, I do a lot of bulk buying. I also do not allow myself get carried away on set such that I would forget my family. I also pray for my family a lot.
Who apologises first after a disagreement?
Patience: My husband is first to say sorry because he is a peace-loving man. Most times, he is the reason why we disagree in the first place. I also apologise when I am at fault.
How would you describe your marriage?
Patience: He is my best friend, as I don’t keep so many friends. We always have so much to talk about and we relate with each other more as pals.
Osezua: I have so many friends, colleagues and acquaintances, some of whom I have known for over 30 years. Yet only a select few know where I live. Patience is not only my wife, she is also my girlfriend and colleague. Sometimes, when I am returning home and realise that she has yet to return home, I drive around for a while just to bid time. Even when I get home into the loving arms of our children, I still feel her absence.
Do you belong to the same groups or forums?
Osezua: Yes, we do and sometimes when she drops a comment on a forum, I try not to contribute around the same time. I do so to avoid turning it into a husband and wife affair.
Patience: Did you mention that sometimes, you delete me from some forums without my knowledge and permission?
Osezua: I do so whenever I notice that the forum is not productive.
Has marriage deprived you of your freedom?
Osezua: To a large extent, I give my wife freedom to pursue and achieve her goals. I also exercise some liberty within the confines of our marriage as a man.
What counsel do you have for intending celebrity couples?
Patience: They must do away with the celebrity status whenever they are with their spouse or at home. They must also learn to trust their spouse and get ready for the attention and fame that comes with being married to a celebrity.