Former radio personality turned Nollywood actor, Ejike Ibedilo, and his wife, Lillian, in a new interview with Punch Newspaper, spoke about the beauty of their five-year union. See excerpts below:
HOW did you meet your wife?
Ejike: I met my wife at the Silverbird Cinemas, on Victoria Island, Lagos. I was chatting with my close friends, when I spotted her waiting to get into the theatre. I couldn’t pluck up the courage to approach her so, I hid behind a pillar and observed her from a distance. Luckily, as I pondered on how best to approach her, I realised that Femi, one of the guys I was with, knew her.
Did you notice him?
Lillian: No, I didn’t even notice him; moreover, I was at the cinema with a friend. I only saw him for the first time when Femi introduced us.
How did the relationship progress?
Ejike: I waited outside the cinema hall up until she finished seeing a movie and I watched her drive off in her car. I was able to get her phone number and called her later in the night. She was quite receptive and very calm. We chatted often until we eventually went on a date. We began dating in April 2012 and I proposed in June.
Why did you act with great haste?
Ejike: I was convinced she was the right woman for me. I called my mum immediately after I spotted her to tell her that I had found a wife. Everyone was concerned that I had proposed too soon but I was sure that my instincts weren’t wrong.
How did he propose?
Lilian: He proposed to me at the same spot we met and I was very shy because I didn’t see it coming.I felt it was too sudden; I was only getting to know him when he popped the question.
Ejike: She didn’t accept the ring and the crowd that had gathered dispersed because she turned down my proposal. I understood that she reacted that way because it was a confusing scenario for her. She eventually accepted the ring after I convinced her to.
What qualities did you find admirable in your husband?
Lilian: I liked his voice and his gentlemanly nature. I also found his good sense of humour very attractive.
Ejike: She had a very kind heart. When you see your wife, you just know she is the one. She was very simple, approachable and a very beautiful woman. She is also very patient and a woman of faith. We have undergone a lot of trials in our marriage and she has stood by me through thick and thin.
What would you love to change about your spouse?
Ejike: Whenever I suggest she wears a particular outfit to an event, she thinks I am being compelling. I need her to understand that all I do, I do with her best interests at heart.
What are those things you have in common?
Lillian: We have a lot in common except football. We also love being together because we both prefer to spend time indoors.
Has parenting affected your relationship in anyway?
Ejike: No, it hasn’t affected our relationship because our relationship is very deep. I was and still am crazily in love with her. With the birth of the kids, we have learnt to cut down on certain things to be able to accommodate the kids.
Kindly relieve a memorable moment in your union?
Lillian: My husband was with me when I had our first child and his presence changed everything.
Ejike: Every moment spent with my wife is very memorable and inspiring. She underwent an appendectomy when she was about six months pregnant with our second son and had to go without food for a week. I shuttled between our home and the hospital each day caring for my son and my wife. It seemed as though I was dying slowly because she was in pains. I also didn’t know the condition of the baby. It was very intense two weeks for me.
How do you handle attention from your female fans?
Ejike: When you are happily married, it reflects in all your dealings, especially with the opposite sex.I acknowledge the pressure of staying married, especially if you are a popular face. I also think that fans need to be less judgmental of celebrity unions. Instead, they should pray relentlessly for the success of such marriages
How do you relate with his female fans?
Lillian: As a former model, I am familiar with the demands of his profession.I am not really cut out for showbiz but I have only just begun to pay attention to the entertainment industry because my husband is an active stakeholder in this sector.
Celebrity marriages can stand the test of time if both parties are committed.
How do you run the home?
Ejike: We are a very down-to-earth couple. I know that my job comes with a lot of attention so, I try to manage my career and family tactfully. As a celebrity,the public is quick to judge you and that keeps one in check.For instance, I might be unable to get away with a mistake that a banker will ordinarily get away with. I constantly remind myself about the fact that I am just like any other person. My family comes before my career because that is the most important aspect of my life.
Do you own a joint account?
Ejike: No, we don’t for now, because there is no need for that. She has all my account details, including my Automated Teller Machine cards and cheque books.
What part of your spouse’s body is your favourite?
Lilian: I love his biceps and voice a lot
Ejike: It is difficult to tell but I love her legs; they are like the legs of a bronze statue.
Describe your union.
Lilian: I thank God for leading me to meet my husband because we are very close and relate more like best friends. A few months before we met, I was single and trusting God to bless me with a man who possessed exceptional qualities. God granted my request in a very special way and I am thankful.
Ejike: I call her my dream girl. It has been a very exciting and interesting experience thus far. It is our desire that our union becomes a model in our society. Every marriage has its own share of challenges, which I believe aren’t just peculiar to celebrities alone.
Has being married to a celebrity put you under any kind of pressure?
Lilian: The view that celebrities cannot sustain their homes is totally false. It is left to these celebrities to ensure that they remain role models even in marriage. I am not under any pressure because my husband is very even-tempered and a responsible family man who carries me along. That way, I am confident and fulfilled.
How do you handle disagreements?
Ejike: We seldom have disagreements or fights; so, there is barely any reason to apologise to each other. We make amends with overtures because apologies are mere words but remorse can be felt by watching the attitude of my partner. The tone of my voice and language always reflect how sorry I am whenever we disagree.