Singing couple, Tunde & Wunmi Obe (T. W. O), who have been together for 28 years (dated 10years before getting married in 1998) have one of the entertainment industry’s most successful celebrity marriages. As St. Valentines Day draw closer, the couple who are blessed with three lovely children in this exclusive interview (granted on behalf of the couple by the husband Tunde), shares interesting secrets of their long lasting relationship, opinion about the challenges of running a successful relationship in this social media age and more. Excerpts below
It’s the Valentine season again and I know you used to host a boat cruise at this time every year, are we expecting that this year?
We actually put that on hold about five years ago due to sponsorship challenges. We keep pumping our personal cash into it and the show keeps getting bigger every year and we always needed to spend more without sponsorship. However, we just decided to give back to a general audience who are our fans this February with a competition we’ve been running on social media titled “#ThingsThatTakeTwo”. It’s all about basically following us online and sharing with us what you think takes two, then try to get just 50 retweets and you will receive something really nice from us. I’m only on twitter @iamtundeobe, you can follow me to participate or follow Wunmi @wunmiobe on Twitter and instagram. The details are all there. The other day, a young man said it takes Garri and water to make Eba and we all bursted into laughter. We just want to give to as many people as possible this Valentine. As many people that want to play, we give them something. God has been good to us and we are grateful. We want to give back.
So, talking about things that take two, your marriage has been one of the reference points in Nigeria celebrity marriages that have stood the test of time, what’s the secret?
Like Wunmi and I always say, 28years together is not beans. If you don’t give it to God, then you are making a big mistake. We have to put God first because he has kept us together by his will. The second most important thing in a relationship is that the two parties want it to work. Because no matter what the case may be. If you really don’t want the marriage or you really don’t want it to work, it won’t work. So the two of you have to really make up your mind that you will stick together no matter the challenges. So after deciding that you really want each other, all the other things can begin to follow like communication, respect for your spouse, and following some timeless marriage wisdom. Like the Yorubas do say, what the husband doesn’t eat, the wife should not cook it and so many other little secrets and wisdom. But like I said, the most important I will tell anyone is to put God first and decide if they really, truly and genuinely want to be together. Marriage is even more difficult now in this Era of social media, only God can save the world.
Could you explain more on that social media thing?
I mean, It’s no longer a secret. There is even a Nigerian celebrity couple that got broken up recently because of this social media thing. There is going to be problem when you begin to communicate with other people in a way that is not appropriate and then your spouse finds out. And the challenge is that unlike in the past, social media has now made it easy to have access to all kinds of strangers. Anyone can now easily strike a conversation with a married woman or man. God helps you if there is a already loophole in your marriage and your partner is the very vulnerable type. You don’t even know the intention of some of the people your husband or wife has been developing closeness with online. The way it used to be back in the days is that you sneak out to cheat, but now everything has been simplified. Everything is smart now. Smart phone, smart cheating! Everything happens in smart ways. Even most times you find a couple both sitting in the same room and both of them, their heads are buried inside their devices and they can stay together in the same room without saying a word to each other because each person is communicating with his or her “fans” in quote.
So how do you bridge the gap between relationship and technology , do you now jettison technology because you want your marriage to work?
No, of course not! But both of you must develop the habit of opening your mouth and talk. A closed mouth, they say is a closed destiny. I would say that a closed mouth is a closed marriage. Learn to talk. When your husband for instance is getting too engrossed with that device, nudge him, “ol’ boy, it is our time now. Please drop that thing.” let him or her know that you are being deprived because of that thing. The mistake most people make is that they don’t speak out. Tell your husband what you want! Tell him how you are feeling it and ‘how it is doing you’. And the same goes for the man. You find a couple tightening up their face all the time in the house, they grumble up and down! If you feel like somebody is on their device for too long, tap him and let him or her know that “this is me and you time”. I won’t say it has never happened with us, but anytime it does, “I’d say babe please put this thing down, I need to talk to you. ” And really, a wife that loves her husband, obedient to him and respect him will drop it instantly. She won’t even say “let me finish what I’m doing”. Then you as the husband can now tell her “dear if there is something you are typing oh, please finish with it oh”, Just to show her that little respect. Thing is, whether it is work, social media or anything that distracts, just always make out time for that special person and make them know that they are special and that they come first in your life. Let them know you value them more than all those things.
What do you think about people saying that the reason they haven’t gotten married is because they have not found their ‘spec’ of man or woman?
For me I think you shouldn’t have a spec when it comes to marriage. Just like Wunmi was saying during a TV interview the other day. She said when she met me, I was much more handsome than this. Now imagine if she had come for me because I’m a spec, we probably won’t still be together after all this Years. What you need to go for in a spouse is his or her heart. If you find a woman with a good heart, you have found everything. If you find someone with compassion, you are the luckiest of humans. How do you find a woman with a good heart, it starts with the way she treats everybody around her. Just watch her. Not just how she treats you in the rationship but how she relates with everybody, how she empathize with others. When you are with a woman and she is talking about other people like “see what they are going through, what can we do to assist them?” that’s your wife! So I don’t believe in spec, because a woman with a good heart will work hard to be all those things you want.