Ego, who is married to Niyi Ogbaro, was a back-up singer for masked musician, Lagbaja. The couple relive their seven-year-old marital experience
How did you meet and what was the attraction?
Ego: I met him through a friend of mine who is his younger brother. We were very close, he introduced me to him and I liked him. I had been seeing him but we actually started talking at a friend’s party. He was in school then and the relationship was more or less platonic. We drifted apart but met again, started dating for five years before getting married.
Niyi: We just clicked the moment we met. I was in school, far away from where she was. There were no cell phone and we could not keep in touch. When we met again, I started wooing her afresh and she did not give me any difficulty because I was too much for her to resist. When I married her, all my friends were saying how lucky! They said she would be singing for me in the house but she has not. She is hoarding her voice and waiting for me to bribe her first. SEE MORE AFTER CUT>>>>
What is the experience of being a manager to your spouse?
Ego: He became my manager after I went solo in 2006. He does the administrative job for the band. The experience is good because if I come home tired after a show, he knows the reason why I am tired. The fact that he understands what I do and supports me makes the job a little bit easier.
Niyi: I enjoy being her manager. But when one is managing a celebrity, one has to be hard because they are eccentric. As her husband, I make sure there is a clear demarcation between work and home.
What do you do to make life easy at home?
Ego: He wakes up very early and prepares breakfast before I am up. I am the kind of person who enjoys food more when it is prepared by somebody other than me.
Niyi: Just being my wife is enough. I like to cook a lot. Once in a while, I serve her breakfast in bed.
Did your parents raise any objection to the inter-tribal marriage?
Ego: Our parents are broad-minded. My father is Igbo and he married a Yoruba woman. His parents are Yoruba but his mother speaks Igbo language fluently.
Did they object to the fact that Niyi was marrying a musician?
Ego: At first, they were not so sure. But Niyi was the one getting married and he knew what he wanted. He assured them that there was no problem.
Niyi: Initially my mother and my sister were sceptical and not comfortable with the fact that she was a singer. But later, they accepted her.
How do you cope when Ego goes on tour for more than one day?
Ego: He is my manager and if I have to travel, we travel together. If it is something that I have to go alone for whatever reason, I don’t stay more than a day or two. It is really not an issue.
Niyi: I know the kind of job she does and the industry. That is not an issue as long as there is telephone and social media. We always keep in touch.
With all the men who admired you, why did you choose to marry Niyi?
Ego: He is somebody I can relate with; somebody I love and feel comfortable with. He is my paddy.
How did he propose?
Ego: It was special but not something I like to disclose.
Niyi: She is the only one who can say how the proposal went. It is her small secret.
What is the most romantic gesture you have ever shown towards each other?
Ego: When we got engaged, he bought me the biggest birthday card I have ever seen in my life. He also organised a surprise party for me and invited friends I had not seen in years.
Niyi: When she was on tour in Cyprus, she called me in the middle of the night, just to hear my voice.
Do you have pet names for each other?
Ego: No. I call him by his name. But on my phone, I save his name as ‘Bobo mi’
Niyi: I call her ‘Smallie mi’
You grew up in Lagos, is that why you are married to a Yoruba man?
Ego: Not necessarily. I could have been married to anybody. If you are the right person, I don’t care where you are from.
Niyi: If I was not married to a musician, I would still have married somebody in the entertainment industry. If she is on tour, I have to cope, knowing that she is not around. But if my wife were a banker, she would be in the same town with me and still close from work by 9pm.
What is the most annoying thing you have ever done to each other?
Ego: What most men do. They don’t take extra steps to arrange their shoes and put their stockings inside the laundry basket. They just throw their stuff all over the place.
Niyi: It is annoying when she takes the remote control from me, or tells me to drive the car when I am very tired.
When you fight, who apologises first?
Ego: We don’t fight. I can count how many times we have quarrelled in the past 15 years.
Niyi: A woman is never really wrong. The man is still the one who would apologise at the end of the day.
How do you resolve issues?
Ego: We have different ways of dealing with issues. But we always talk and play with each other even though we may be fighting.
Does he feel threatened when other guys are all over you?
Ego: I don’t think so. He knows that I am a tomboy. Most of my friends have always been guys. That is not an issue for him because I have never really given him cause to worry.
Niyi: I have never felt threatened by her male admirers. Marriage is really based on trust. I know the kind of person she is and I understand and respect the fact that in her profession, she is bound to have admirers.
How did the rumours that you dated Lagbaja affect your relationship?
Ego: We were just making fun of them and laughing about the rumours.
Niyi: Lagbaja and I joked about it all the time. I met a woman who even swore that she attended the wedding between my wife and Lagbaja. It was ridiculous!
Niyi was shot sometime last year, how was that period for you?
Ego: It was crazy. It was when I knew what being in shock meant. I had already changed to go to bed when his friend called and broke the news to me. I just became numb. When I got to the hospital, they asked me for the number plate of our car that the robbers stole. I tried but could not remember it.
Niyi: I thought about her as I lay wounded, wondering if she would be able to cope.
Are you still planning to have two children?
Ego: Yes. I want to have twins at once, as my first children. That way, I don’t have to bother with more children.
Niyi: If she wants double twins, I am all for it.