One half of P-Square, Peter Okoye and his beautiful wife, Lola
Omotayo, graced one of the 2015 issues Motherhood In-Style
Magazine with their cute kids; Cameron (6) and Aliona (2) and shared on
being parents, their relationship, speculations making the rounds, and
so much more.
Major milestones as a couple
Lola: As a mother, for me, having our children has
been a major. Finding somebody you love and wanting to have children
with that person, that was a major for me. I had been in relationships
but there was none I really wanted to have kids with or thought about
settling down with. When I met him I kind of knew. I saw in him
qualities I didn’t see in other men I’d dated, so meeting him and
realizing that oh my God this is that person was a major milestone for
me. The most amazing was when we decided to tie the knot.
Lola: He’s a hands-on dad, especially when we are
abroad. He cooks, helps with the children; gives them a bath, changes
diaper and goes on school run. He was at Aliona’s delivery. With
Cameron, he had a show, so, he couldn’t make it. I wanted him to see the
process, so, I think for him, it was a massive reality check. I was
happy that he was there; the support was good.
Peter: I wasn’t at Cameron’s birth but I saw the
video, and wanted to have the experience. At Aliona’s, it was amazing. I
cleaned her up. The hospital bed was very large, so, it accommodated
all of us. Cameron and I were allowed to stay at the hospital. We spent
four days and within that period, my life changed. Whenever I see the
two of them now, it feels like a dream. I’ve got so much more respect
for women now. I’ve done plenty of campaigns for women, and I tell guys,
you don’t know what they go through. You should never lay a hand on
your woman. After that day, I had more respect for my wife, she noticed.
I think every man should be at their child’s birth.
So, what was his reaction when you got pregnant?
Lola: He was not ready with Cameron, he was shocked.
He was at the peak of his career. You know, he hadn’t hit 30 yet. I
mean, he was freaking out and I was like, you know what, you don’t have
to be with me, but I’m keeping this child. Not for any reason, but I’m
35, ready to be a mother. I love you, so it’s fantastic for me. I even
said to him, if you don’t want anybody to know it’s your child, no
problem. Just leave us, we’ll be fine. For like three to five months, it
was a major struggle with his family and everybody. I was like, you
know what guys, sorry, I’m keeping this baby. But it was a different
story when Cameron was born. Aliona’s was planned.
You seem to have a good relationship with your sister-in-law, Anita
Lola: Well, we’ve known each other for as long as
I’ve known Peter because she has been with Paul for quite long, about
the same time or maybe a year longer. We have been through a lot of
challenges together with the twins. You know, with their fame comes
plenty of stuff, so, we’ve stuck together and worked through things.
She’s like my blood. We do everything together, our kids; Aliona and
Andre, are in the same class and are best friends, like twins.
There were speculations that your mother-in-law didn’t approve of your relationship. Is that true?
Lola: Initially, yes. Of course, you have to
understand where she was coming from. She is an Igbo woman with famous
sons and every mother has expectations. I probably would be like that as
well; the age factor, the fact that I am half Yoruba and half something
else, there are so many factors. Initially, I thought this was not
going to work but Peter stuck by me. She was very cordial but you could
tell that she wasn’t too happy about the relationship and I understood
where she was coming from. I just hoped that we would have enough time
to get to know each other, so she would look beyond those factors. She
didn’t live in Lagos and would come only for a few days. But when
Cameron came, she became more receptive. We started bonding a bit more,
the years rolled by and she realized this woman is still here. We got
past that.When she fell ill, I was there with her at the hospital every
day and we bonded. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time but she was
so open with me, and we became close. The day she called me my wife, l
couldn’t believe it. I was like OMG, how many years? That was another
major high for me, I forgot to tell you earlier. It sealed it. I thought
maybe it was me but the sisters heard it as well. Then at my
introduction, Peter’s dad mentioned it again and I was happy. You have
to give parents the time to get to know you. If my son brings a girl, I
would observe first. Any human being would do that, so I never faulted
her. I just wanted her to be able to see me for who I am. That time came
and she did.
There were also rumours that you and your brother-in-law, Jude, aren’t cool. He wasn’t at your wedding…
Lola: Jude and I don’t have any issues. Brothers
have issues but people just assume that their issues have to do with me.
Jude and Paul had issues prior to our wedding, just business decisions
that they were trying to make and it just fell around that time and he
didn’t show up for whatever reason. They’re brothers. I don’t want to
get involved, but still remain cordial and respectful. Does he like me?
We’re very cordial with each other, I have no issues with him. He comes
to the house, plays with the kids, we’re friendly but brothers would
always have their issues. As a wife, I have to step back and not get
involved. When Peter didn’t go to his wedding, issues of pay back or no
pay back came up. I know that I begged my husband to attend. I’m sure
both of them regret their actions. They love each other, you know, blood
is thicker than water. Now, all of us are very close. They all have
kids now and it’s a different ball game. The wives are friends, we all
hang out together.
How did you feel being blamed for the P-Square break-up feud?
Lola: I think that was one of the lowest moments for
me. I was very depressed because the issues they had had to do with
management at work, but for some reason, it turns around and it’s about
Lola. So, that really broke me to bits because I remember saying to him,
‘Do you know that within a day or two, this is going to be about me?’
He disagreed and before we knew it, the press was talking about it and
my name came up. I was like, what did I do? I remember being at one
grocery store and a woman came to me and said, ‘You are a witch! You are
the one causing all these problems between these brothers.’ The
brothers know it has nothing to do with me but people just have this
fantasy about Lola wrecking P-square and I don’t know why. Peter and
Paul, Anita and I and our kids are together most weekends now, we do
stuff together, people don’t see that. Our children are close, why would
l want to break that bond? People just create this fantasy in their
heads that Lola has come to create problems.
Peter: People will talk but they don’t have a choice
than to give up; I’ve made it that way. I’m a man, and the fact is
that, I’ll be so weak to allow what people say affect me. People look at
you and say, ‘Oh, her age, she’s Yoruba, she’s mixed race,’ I don’t
care. Even if you’re my blood and you don’t want to understand that I
love this person, then it’s your own cup of tea. Today, everybody in my
family is cool and it’s so sad the way people put it like she’s trying
to separate my family. I met her way before P-square got established, so
why would she want to come between us now?