Veteran gospel artiste, Funmi and
her husband, a journalist, Bola Aragbaiye, have been married for 40
years. They share their love story with MOTUNRAYO JOEL.
grace of God. We got married in 1977. If God is the foundation of one’s
marriage, that marriage is bound to succeed. Then one’s upbringing also
matters. If one grew up with disciplinarians, that character would
reflect in one’s marriage. One would be disciplined in one’s marriage.
My mother is a disciplinarian. She doesn’t appreciate quarrels. Whenever
I have disagreements with my husband, my mother is always on my
husband’s side. She does that even up till today. And when I question
her decision about supporting my husband during our disagreements, she
says that is the way in-laws should be treated.
Nigerian Herald, Ilorin. I was in the commercial department working as a
commercial representatives. I was in charge of advertising. Chief Segun
Osoba was my boss at Herald. My husband was the features editor at
Daily Sketch but he later became Chief Press Secretary to the late Chief
Adekunle Ajasin, a former Governor of Ondo State. He used to visit the
late Chief Peter Ajayi who was the editor daily at Herald. One day, he
was in his office when I walked in holding a file. He then told Chief
Ajayi that he likes me. Later that day, he came to my office to chat
with me. Before he approached me, some young men at Herald had one time
or the other approached me and asked for my hand in marriage. After that
day, he kept travelling from Ibadan to Ilorin to see me. Whenever he
came, I would leave the office because I wasn’t interested in him.
I let down my guards and accepted him. It took me sometime though
because I was deeply rooted in religious activities.
about it. And he also appeared to be the most responsible of them all.
His quiet and caring nature made me appreciate him. After my pastors had
prayed about him, they gave me their approval.
he set his eyes on me, he said God told him I was his wife. He made his
intentions known to me but I wasn’t interested in him until after some
time. It took me about two years before I accepted him.
gentle man. He is caring, loving, simple and honest. One can describe
him as an introvert, and I love that about him. He is different, and he
is more mature than I am. He would be 76 in November. I turned 63 on
your husband is quite pronounced. Wasn’t that an issue for both of you
at the beginning of your relationship?
Moreover, he doesn’t look his age. He looks like someone who is in his
60s. But when you talk about his years in journalism which is over 50
years, his colleagues and biography, you would know he is an elderly
lived a life that depicts the adage that says ‘cut your cut according
to your cloth.’ Moreover, I wasn’t attracted to lavish things.
Coincidentally, my last born studied mass communication. He had his
first degree at Covenant University. He was admitted into the university
to study another course but later changed to mass communication. When I
learnt about it, I was angry. It wasn’t until people told me to let
him follow his heart that I calmed down. Today, among other courses, he
has an MBA in Business Administration.
had our first child. I was excited to be called a father. I kept
breaking the news to everyone I met on the way from the hospital.
memorable moments, but the one that stands out is our wedding day. It
was a glorious celebration. Many people came to grace the event. It made
me realise that my husband is loved by many. Whenever we go for
programmes, people come to greet him. During his career days, he served
in many positions. That actually helped my music career.
dear.’ Times when I want to joke with him I call him ‘baba peeping tom.’
The name was spurred by his article in the newspaper.
Leone, he bought me a lovely gown. Whenever he travels abroad, he buys
me lovely gifts. He could spend his last dime on me.
wouldn’t even have allowed him. I don’t like the idea of men doing
house chores. That is a modern-day mentality. My husband doesn’t belong
to that category. I celebrate my husband. He is a big personality, a top
journalist in this country. I can’t do that to him. I believe such a
thing is dirty. Why would I allow him wash plates and do other house
chores? My upbringing wouldn’t allow him do such (house chores). I
believe it is ‘unafrican’ for men to do house chores. As a mother, you
need to put your house in the right order.
change the fact that sometimes, he is relaxed about things he should
fight for. For example, if he is entitled to something, he wouldn’t
fight for that thing. My husband doesn’t believe in fighting for one’s