Tunde and Wunmi Obe have blazed the trail as one of the best couples in the entertainment industry. They are both artistes and in this interview, they share the secrets of their 15-year-old union
When and how did you meet?
Wunmi: That was 25 years ago. I was in the University of Lagos and joined a campus band. Meanwhile, he had come from Lagos State University to rehearse with the band. Initially, there was nothing between us. We were just friends and we got talking. We discovered we had some many things in common. As time went on, we discovered our passion for music and television as well.
Tunde: We both became friends as a result of the band and when we began to talk, we understood we had many things in common. We became deeper in our thinking and found out we had more than an interest and that brought us closer.
When did you decide to marry her?
Tunde: There was no proposal. There is a way you bond together and you start thinking of getting married and moving in together. We were business partners and registered our companies together before we got married. I believe we were meant to be.
When you were courting, did it cross your mind that he could disappoint you?
Wunmi: Not once. If you know your partner, you would know what to expect.
Was there any opposition when you wanted to get married?
Tunde: Yes, it was my sister. We were very close and like most sisters, she was very attached to me and didn’t want another woman to have me. Ironically, she is closer to my wife than me now.
Wunmi: There was no opposition from my family. He was a very respectful and focused person and he didn’t show any negative traits. The only skepticism was from my siblings who kept asking how sincere ‘this fine boy’ would be. They thought he would be a playboy because of his looks but he proved he was not. They saw he was comfortable in his skin and focused. At a time when his mates were misbehaving, he was serious-minded.
How many years have you been married?
Wunmi: 15 years.
What has the experience been like?
Wunmi: Just like any other marriage, we have had our challenges but if you love each other and are determined to make it work, it will. It depends on how you view the marriage and your partner. Also, it depends on if you got married for the right reasons. We are friends and we enjoy each other’s company. We talk, argue, throw banters and make each other laugh. Every marriage face challenges but thank God, it’s been good and we remain each other’s friends.
Do you quarrel?
Wunmi: Of course. It will sound fake if we don’t quarrel.
Who apologises first?
Wunmi: I do.
Tunde: We don’t quarrel, we disagree. We devised a process, where we don’t use abusive words when we disagree. There are no shouts, no noise and each person makes their point known as if you are in a boardroom. We normally agree at the end of the day. I apologise too but Wunmi is always quick to say, “I’m sorry.” We thank God that our disagreement has never got out of hands. Nobody has seen Wunmi and I quarrel, not even our children.
Not even a third party?
Wunmi: We don’t allow a third party because there was no third party when we decided to get married. A lot of couples involve third party because they don’t know how to deal with each other. When you are determined that this marriage would work, you will take steps without inviting a third party.
You are always in same clothes…
Wunmi: Not always but when we do, it is because of the brand, T.W.O. The brand is different from us as a couple.
Are you always going out together?
Wunmi: No. We have our individual lives. Even when people see me in the malls or markets, they ask why didn’t I come with him. We do move about together but we still do things separately. We have same business but we don’t have to be together always. He could go for meetings outside Lagos and I would be with the children. We have our strengths which we combine for our benefits. We do different things at different times.
Any regrets been married to each other?
Tunde: No, not after 25 years of being together.
How do you handle your fans?
Tunde: There are some who prefer Wunmi and some prefer me. A lot more like us as a couple and they get inspired by our union.
How do you relate with female fans?
Tunde: I have learnt to deal with everyone with respect and dignity and they see me as a brother.
Do you get mad at some wayward female fans?
Wunmi: First, we are artistes and cannot erase the issue of having fans-male or female. Whenever I am with him, I don’t have nasty experiences from any fan. Moreover, I trust him to be able to handle such matters if they ever occur. He is mature and intelligent to handle it.
What gives you the assurance that he will not fall into temptation?
Wunmi: I have seen him react in the face of temptation several times and I trust him. We have come a long way.
What if anyone tells you something about him?
Wunmi: Women have to keep it at the back of the mind that idle talks destroy any home. Why is that person telling you something about your spouse? Even if it’s true, you apply wisdom and go about it carefully. My maxim is, what I don’t know would not hurt me. I don’t have to go through his phone to check call logs or read text messages. A man, who is inclined to adultery, when he is caught, will not change; rather, he will be more careful!
Tunde: If a lot of women had allowed certain situations to simmer, not fester and pass away, they would still have their homes. A man you put under pressure to the point of frustration will walk into the hands of another woman.
What are the most valuable gifts you have shared?
Tunde: The kids she gave me. I have bought some things which I know she appreciated but I believe it’s the thought behind the gift that matters and not monetary value.
Wunmi: Five years ago, I lost my engagement ring and one Christmas, he bought me another one. The ring had three stones on it and he said it represented our children. I was touched by the way he gave it to me because that was what he would have done if he had proposed. He went on a knee and put it on my finger.
Do you share same friends?
Tunde: We do have one or two friends.
Wunmi: It’s good to have friends as long as they are genuine but we have been stung a lot of times and withdrew. We enjoy our own company and are close to our siblings, acquaintances and adopted younger ones who we welcome to our home.
Who is stricter as parents?
Wunmi: He is but I take extreme measures sometimes.
Tunde: We are both loving parents and sometimes we warn ourselves to be strict with them.
Are any of them toeing your path?
Tunde: It’s our daughter but she has to face her studies squarely now. We allow them to express themselves musically but it’s not yet time to come near a microphone. They should face their studies and not allow any distraction.
Are there challenges working together as a couple?
No crisis over finance?
Tunde: When we started, we had nothing and every kobo made was worked for. We can’t forget those days now that our bank accounts are healthy. Money can never be an issue and we have arithmetic of sharing money when it comes in.
Any joint account?
Tunde: Yes, but that is the business account. We have our individual accounts, which are for our personal use. That has never posed a problem.
What’s your husband favourite dish?
Wunmi: Pounded yam. His mother told me before she passed on that an Ondo man likes pounded yam, so I learnt how to prepare it.
Do you have pet names for each other?
Wunmi: I call him Tee.
Tunde: I call her Wunmi