Herbal slimming expert, Quincy Olasumbo Ayodele, has been married to her husband, John Oladipo, an engineer for almost 34 years. The couple share their love story with Bukola Bakare.
How did you meet?
Quincy: We met when he came to do a project behind our house in Abeokuta, Ogun State. He was working with the National Electric Power Authority in those days and I recall that he was building the power station behind our house. I used to just stand in front of the house to do my laundry and other chores. On one of those days that he passed by, he came to my house and made passes at me. I told him he would have to meet my father who would make enquiries about him. That was how it was done back then. So, my father went to his home town.
John: I met her during one of my field trips in the line of duty.
What attracted you to each other?
John: She was quite homely.
Quincy: I was fascinated by the fact that he was an engineer. Also, my father had said he wanted his three daughters to marry an engineer, a lawyer or a doctor. More so, I had always dreamt of marrying someone that is not from my home state, Ogun, because I always admired people from other parts of Nigeria. He is from Yagba West Local Government Area of Kogi State. He used to behave like a Hausa man and I would jokingly call him a ‘Gambari.’
How did he propose to you?
Quincy: In those days, he could not come directly to propose to me so he had to go through my father. He told him he wanted to marry me and it was after my father gave his consent that he used some sort of mathematics to propose to me. He cited an equation that x and y would always meet at an infinite point. I did not understand what he meant. I innocently said there was no way they would meet.
When did you get married?
Quincy: We got married on December 18, 1982.
How has the journey been for almost 34 years?
Quincy: It has been very nice, but there is no marriage that is a bed of roses. The institution has its ups and downs but to the glory of God our journey has been fruitful. We still live together as if we are still courting, we are lovers, brother and sister, father and mother in that order. We are each other’s best friend. With God, we have been able to surmount the challenges that have come our way because we pray together.
John: There is no marriage without its challenges but when one gets married, one must take God along with one.
Whenever there are disagreements, who apologises first?
Quincy: In most cases, I apologise first because I believe that my husband is my crown and he is the head of the family. In the first place, he is older than me and also, he is my husband. The Bible says, “Wives, submit to your husbands,’’ so I apologise first. My husband is a very nice person; he looks after me and the family. He fulfils his own side of the bargain.
John: My wife also makes me see reasons why I should apologise to her too when the need arises.
Do you have pet names for each other?
Quincy: We call ourselves ‘D,’ meaning Darling, but along the line, I started calling him ‘my lord’ because if you go back to the Bible, Sarah used to call Abraham her lord. Sometimes, he calls me my praise name in my local Egba language.
John: I call her darling, which has stuck over the years.
What do you think is responsible for marital breakdown?
John: I would say that prospective couples should study each other well before they go into marriage, especially during courtship. If there are character traits that one of the partners does not like, it is advisable to speak up rather than wallow in silence. The partner should not assume that the person may change when they get married. Couples must be able to understand and trust each other. They must love, tolerate and respect one another. They should avoid pettiness and not allow external influences. Above all, they must try to stay together no matter what comes their way.
Quincy: The problem is usually from the outset. If one does not have a clear cut vision of the kind of person one wants to marry and one eventually gets married just because it is fashionable, then there would be problems in one’s marriage. Like I said earlier, I made up my mind that I was not going to marry a Yoruba man and he had to be an engineer, a lawyer or doctor. He must also be God-fearing. One should set some criteria for oneself before going into any marriage.
These days, many people get married just for the sake of it and it is quite sad. One must involve God and one’s parents from the very beginning and everything will work out for good. If one does not get one’s priorities right, the marriage will not work.
Do you believe that women’s roles end in the kitchen?
Quincy: As far as I am concerned, being in the kitchen does not mean that a woman must remain there. Of course, I am educated and empowered, but I still cook for my husband and do other things. If I had been relegated to the kitchen, there would not have been Quincy Herbals today. As a woman, I thank God for how far he has used me to impact on the Nigerian society. A woman must always be in the kitchen, but at the same time, she must be empowered. The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, is a woman, but is she solely in the kitchen? Same goes for the British Prime Minister, Theresa May. Both of them are married but they are not relegated to the kitchen. Hillary Clinton is vying for the highest office in the United States, so my place is not solely in the kitchen because my husband supports me all the way.
How do you unwind?
Quincy: I spend time with my grandchildren; I swim and exercise as well.
John: I also do the same.
What fond memories of your marriage can you share?
Quincy: My husband took me to the US for the first time and it was my first time boarding a plane. He does many things for me even up till now. Those things remain memorable.
What is your life’s philosophy?
John: My philosophy of life is to serve God first, then serve my fellow human beings. They deserve respect, attention and understanding. They also deserve apologies whenever I offend them. That is how I see life.
Quincy: Life to me is a journey and whatever is worth doing at all, is what doing well. That is what my father taught me. I always ensure that the love between my husband and I is sustained. Marriage is one of such journeys and I thank God that I am enjoying it.
What was the feeling like when your first child got married?
John: I was very happy because it was a joyous day for both of us.
Quincy: It was a wonderful feeling because it was an accomplishment of a goal. For us to witness it elicited great joy as we looked forward to our grandchildren and the marriages of her siblings. We thank God that it happened in our lifetime. For me, I was the happiest mother on earth on that day.
Do you buy gifts for each other?
John: Yes, I buy gifts for my wife.
Quincy: My husband buys a lot of gifts for me and if he needs something, I get it for him too because he is used to buying everything for me. As far as my husband is concerned, it is all about me and the children first.
How do you complement each other’s jobs?
John: We complement each other well and there is no problem whatsoever.
Quincy: We complement each other well and there has been no friction because my husband supports me in my business and I support him in his line of work too. I understand that he has to travel sometimes and he understands that I have to do same too for my business. Our own definition of success is the ability to succeed in everything that we have started, without failing in any. He ensures that he does not fail at work and he encourages me to be a successful as well. We complement each other as a team.
What is your greatest wish for your marriage?
John: My wish is to see our children who are not married to do so in our lifetime. I also want my grandchildren to grow and get married in our lifetime and give us great grandchildren. They must stick together and not divorce under whatever circumstances. That would give us great joy.