Okeowo, and his wife, Sumbo, have been married for 21 years. They shared
their marital journey with TOLUWANI ENIOLA.
the Assemblies of God Church in Ile-Ife, Osun State in 1993. We were in
different branches of the church but we met during a joint programme.
conviction rather than vision or dream. We started a drama group and I
was very passionate about it. At the time as a young Christian, I was
lost in my vision. All I was thinking about was how to realise my
vision. She supported everything I was doing. That endeared me to her.
Even though I was convinced she would be my wife, I was a bit reluctant.
I was studying for my master’s degree and she was a secondary school
pupil, awaiting her results. There was a wide education gap. I was
admitted into the university as a teenager and even graduated as a
teenager at 19. I did my National Youth Service Corps programme at 19.
By the time I was 20, I was already doing my master’s degree. I was 25
and she was 22 when we eventually got married. What convinced me
eventually was a revelation I had that she did a project on the problems
and solutions of our current ministry and submitted the project to me.
That was how I knew she was the right woman for me.
to me, I was not even ready for marriage. The education gap, as he
said, was wide. I was not ready for it. I prayed and God gave me the
go-ahead. The only thing that attracted by his passion for his vision.
He was not even handsome (laughs). That is the truth. But he is handsome
now. He didn’t have much, not even a job. I saw the zeal to do the work
of God in him. I saw him as someone who has the fear of God.
her stories. I just called her after a programme in the church. I
proposed to her around in February 1994 and she responded around April
same year. She had been awaiting university admission for about two
years after secondary school. It was the day she agreed to my proposal
that she got her letter of admission. We eventually got married when
she was completing her education.
committed a blunder. I proposed to another sister in the fellowship
because she fitted into my perception of a good wife. I went to the
sister and proposed marriage to her. She said I should see the president
of the fellowship about my proposal. When I got to the president, I was
shocked by what he told me.
the 11th brother that has come to me to say God asked him to propose to
this same sister.” I said, “I am number 11? Waoh!” I hated myself when I
heard that. My ego was deflated because I thought I had prayed well. I
went into spiritual comatose because it meant that I did not see
correctly. I made up my mind not to talk to any lady again until I was
sure God was leading me.
was too young to get married. They believed a 22-year-old girl could
not make a successful wife. They also believed that I would not finish
my education if I got married.
late Chief Segun Okeowo, was not happy with me because I said I wanted
to pursue ministerial work. He was against the marriage initially. My
pastor at that time, Bishop Oladimeji, and one of his friends,
accompanied me all the way from Ile-Ife to visit my dad in Shagamu, to
convince him to support my marriage. When my father looked at the
calibre of those who came with me, he accepted. Pastor Oladimeji went
with me to the family of my wife’s mother too, to convince her. She said
if men of God could say yes, she would agree. But she gave us a
warning. She said, “You said God has spoken to you to get married. I
don’t want a situation where both of you will get married and come back
to beg for food from us.” It wounded me. My wife and I then had an
agreement that even if we would go hungry, we would never go back to her
parents for food. We didn’t even though things were rough.
together as a couple is the most difficult because we are two different
personalities. Blending in marriage takes a lifetime. I come from a
family that is quite different from my wife’s. When I was 12, my father
gave me a room to myself. I did anything I liked. My parents hardly
entered my room. I was independent. I got married to a woman who stayed
in her mother’s room until the wedding day. When we got married, that
became an issue. When I went out to play football when I was younger, I
threw my trousers anywhere I liked. When I got married, I wanted to
keep doing same thing and it was strange to her. When she sees my
clothes scattered in the room, she would say, “What kind of man is
this?” I would say, “And so what?” That became an issue. The first month
after our wedding, we thought it was all over. Despite correcting me
many times to put things in the right places, I still threw trousers
anywhere I liked (laughs).
a thug of war because we quarreled a lot. At a time, I kept calm. When
the room is scattered, he won’t complain so if he is on the bed, I would
pack the clothes and tidy up the room. I just have to live by it.
standing rule about quarrels although we broke it once or twice. We have
a 12-hour standing rule that if we have any quarrel, we must resolve it
within 12 hours. There was one that lasted for about 48 hours. We
heaved a sigh when we reconciled. Those 48 hours were tough.
are angry, I would wait for him to make peace. I would be expecting him
to apologise to me. When he does not and I see the quarrel is lingering,
and I want to pray and have peace with God, I would make the first
move. Sometimes, he would call me and apologise too. There were times I
apologised to my husband even when I knew he was the one that was wrong.
work, they require work. There is no marriage made in heaven and no
perfect marriage anywhere. Good marriages happen when both partners make
up their minds to make it work.
misunderstand compatibility. I want to say there is no compatibility
anywhere. We must make our marriages work, irrespective of the
differences. Some men and women want to change their partner and this is
where they get it wrong.
much of that in the Christian movie sector. We have secrets admirers.
When a female fan calls and asks for counselling, I direct her to my
wife. For women, don’t ever say you trust your husband and that he can’t
cheat. When it comes to such matters, no man is trustworthy. Even the
biggest general overseers are not perfect. No man is trustworthy. What a
man needs to do is to protect himself from such advances.
that marriage is a school where you matriculate and you don’t graduate. I
have learnt that marriage is a school where you collect certificate
before taking the examination.
together. We sleep in the same room as husband and wife. We are like
friends. Doing things together strengthens the relation. There were
times we wanted to quit the relationship, but a customer, client or
church member would call either for business purpose or for counselling.
I would then have to contact him. We knew we could not go to the pulpit
without settling our quarrel. So that helped us.
goal-getter. She is very passionate about her looks. I am not passionate
about how I look. She wants to see that things are done, especially
when it comes to matters of the home and our business. She is very
true child of God and a man of vision. Sometimes, I pray for God’s help
because when he has a vision, he is ready to pursue it even to a fault.
He is very strict and principled. He is also a giver. My husband is
harsh. I am softer. When he wants something, sometimes it is hard to
convince him otherwise. Such things may cause a quarrel. He may insist
on his view. To be candid, that side of him has really helped me too
because there were times I could not stand on the altar to minister.
There was a time I could not write a script but he persistently told me I
could do it.
couples to understand that no partner is so perfect. Every marriage
needs an elderly third party who both partners respect or fear. Someone
once said couples should not allow a third party but it is wrong. Every
marriage needs coaches.
minds for the marriage to work. If your husband has nobody he fears and
respects, don’t marry him. Don’t marry a man who fears nobody. A man who
does not have that kind of person in his life is not a husband
material. A young woman who just got married took the key of her room
in her parents’ house. The new bride’s younger sister asked her to give
her the key, since she was going to her husband’s house. The new bride
refused saying, “Just in case anything happens, I can have a place to
come back to.” One does not need a prophet to know that such a lady
would not last in her home. She had refused to burn the bridge.