Like many other parts of the world, Nigeria’s showbiz industry has been characterised by scandals, headline-making relationships and of course failed marriages. The general feeling in most parts of the country is that marriages involving showbiz personalities never last.
A good number of the marriages broke up due to infidelity while many cited “incompatibility” as the reason behind their break-up.
It is believed in some quarters that the inability of many of the showbiz personalities to properly manage stardom affected them, leading to problems in the home front.
Street Journal tries to examine some of Nigeria’s showbiz stars whose marriages have crashed, what led to the crash and how they fared afterwards.
Kollington Ayinla & Salawa Abeni
Not many of those who were born in the late 80’s were ever aware of the union of General Kollington Ayinla and the Waka Queen, Salawa Abeni. When the relationship was in its early days, not only was Kolington Salawa’s producer, he featured in her “Indian Waka” video.
Both never hid the fact that they were proud of each other as each partner eulogised the other in songs. The much spoken about marriage lasted from 1986 to 1994.
In an interview on her 50th birthday, she was quoted as describing Kollington as one of the worst things that ever happened to her.
Segun Arinze & Anne Njemanze
The marriage break up was one of the stories many soft sell magazines found interesting way back then. As at the time it was contracted, Segun Arinze was Nollywood’s leading bad boy. Though the marriage was eventually dissolved last year, it had unofficially broken down years ago with both partners living apart.
Eucharia Anunobi & Charles Ekwu
Eucharia Anunobi then was one of the few actresses who could dare the impossible in the make-believe world. Not so long after she got married, the marriage took a nose dive with the husband abandoning the home. Apart from the messy divorce tales, the matter became a cause for litigation.
The marriage produced a son who she wants her ex-husband to be responsible for.
Regina Askia & Roddy Williams
Regina came into limelight when she emerged as The Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria; she also starred in Fortunes, a popular soap opera back then. With her beauty and status as one of the most popular actresses then, no one was surprised when she got married to Rudolf Williams, an African American. The marriage lasted a couple of years and was blessed with children. But sadly enough, one day, the couple woke up and just found out they were no longer compatible.
Femi Kuti & Funke
This was one story that shook the entertainment industry. Many found it unbelievable that Funke and Femi could separate. She was at a time one of the dancers in Femi’s Positive Force. In the divorce suit, incompatibility was the reason given, though those in the know agree that a lot of water has passed under the bridge.
Kingsley Ogoro & Esse Agese
By the time they got married, Kingsley and Esse had made marks in entertainment. While the former had earned himself a reputation as a great producer, his wife was not doing badly as a musician. It was alleged that not long after Esse relocated abroad, Kingsley who by then had veered into movie production started dating a number of actresses. That was the beginning of the end of the marriage.
Eddy Montana & Kenny St. Ogungbe
At a time, Eddy’s voice was the sonorous voice heard in the hits churned out by the group Remedies. That was before the trio of Eedris, Eddy and Tony opted for solo careers. From the day it was announced that they were getting married, there speculations started coming in about the lifespan of the marriage. Not a few people opined that they were dreadfully incompatible, Eddy sang hip hop while his wife to be was a known Gospel musician. It was a marriage most people never gave a chance. It reminded people of the Bobby Brown-Whitney Houston marriage. Some however viewed Eddy’s marriage to Kenny Saint Ogungbe then as a move that would help Eddy’s career, especially with Eddy as a big fish on Kennis Music label then. The postulation was that the management of the label would do anything to boost his career being an in-law to the CEO.
The couple eventually found out they could not really cope and some years later, the marriage hit the rocks. Each accused the other of infidelity among other things. It was even peddled that all efforts by the record label that had him to help his career proved futile.
At first, she was known as Clarion Chukwura, the suffix, Abiola was later added. Not many people knew what became of the relationship with a kinsman of the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 election. Clarion’s fans and friends however had reasons to be happy again as she got married to Femi (Egyptian) Oduneye on Valentine’s Day in 2004. Though they got separated along the line, it was rumoured that they had reconciled as Clarion once claimed that they did not get a divorce. The famous actress has however decided to keep mute over her marital status lately.
Saheed & Fathia Balogun
Theirs was another union that made the headlines. There was always something about them in the papers. The two famous actors were role models to upcoming actors and actresses and they appeared together in a number of movies before the first break up.
Like others, so many allegations including irresponsibility, domestic violence and infidelity flew about. They reconciled after Saheed had an accident on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway but not long after, the relationship nose-dived again. All efforts to bring them back together so far have proved futile.
9ice & Toni Payne
So much has been said between the union of 9ice and Toni Payne. Though “Adigun Alapo Meji” as 9ice is fondly called has put the past behind as he seems to be focusing more on his career and getting a university degree, the rumour mill was recently agog with tales that reconciliatory moves were on to bring them back together. After some time, tale bearers again came out to say the moves failed.
Black Face & Dayo
After about eight years of marriage, Ahmedu Augustine Obiabo, the member of the defunct Plantashun Boiz better known as Black Face and his wife are now separated.
Street Journal gathered that due to the dip in the musician’s career, he has found it a bit difficult to fend for his wife and two children. That made the wife move out of the home.
Sources also disclosed recently that Black Face confided in some friends that he wanted to abstain from sex for the next two years so that he can focus on his musical career.
Sikiratu Sindodo & MC Oluomo
The romance between the famed “Olu Omo ” of Oshodi and Yoruba actress, Tayo Odueke made headlines years back. The Olu Omo, better known as MC Musiliu, spoilt her silly with gifts and Tayo became the envy of a good number of colleagues in the industry. Many wished for her kind of luck.
The news that she had been sent packing from MC’s house came as a rude shock to her fans and followers of events in the industry. While some said she had overstayed her welcome, others alleged infidelity while some said she had some other bad habits that the famous transporter could not cope with.
Monalisa Chinda and Segun Dejo-Richards
Monalisa and Segun’s break-up too came as a surprise. At the christening of their daughter, she had stated emphatically that if another chance arose in the next world, she would choose Segun again. But not so long after, incompatibility set them apart. Tales of spousal abuse later started flying.
Shan George & Tony Nwosisi
After a number of failed relationships, fans were happy that Shan George had found love again. That was when she announced that she was getting married to Tony Nwosisi. They got married and one of the issues many knew they had to tackle was the distance as the man was based in England.
The marriage has since packed up and both partners have moved on.
Jibola Dabo & Binta Ayo Mogaji
At first, Ayo Mogaji had kept the identity of the man under wraps when it was announced that she was getting married years ago. Eventually, the man turned out to be the University of Columbia trained Jobola Dabo. Everything went on well or so it seemed until they suddenly announced a separation.
Many adduced the break in the relationship to the ways of life they led. Jibola has variously been described as an unrepentant polygamist while Ayo too had her own faults. A source who knows Ayo Mogaji well disclosed that “only a few men can cope with a wife that drinks the way Ayo does.”
Both have since moved on and Ayo has remarried.
Goriola Hassan & Ayo Adesanya
Ayo Adesanya has obviously proved her mettle as one of the best cross-over actresses. After her debut in Out of Bounds, the University of Ibadan trained actress starred in Most Wanted and while many were thinking she was all about English movies, she acted in Iru Oka. After that, she produced a number of other films.
Her marriage to Goriola Hassan lasted about eight years. Apart from allegations that she was regularly beaten by her former husband, it was also alleged that Gori hardly allowed her to feature in films, except the ones he produced.
Fred & Agatha Amata
Fred and Agatha were many people’s role models and they seemed to enjoy a very good marriage until the news of their separation in 2005. As an actor and producer, Fred is on top of his game while Agatha too is not doing badly. Her “Inside Out” programme won her a lot of admirers. There were allegations that they were both unfaithful to each other. Like others, both have moved on and are in new relationships.
Steph Nora Okere & Lanre Falana
Before the marriage eventually packed up, it had been trailed by rumours of break up which were denied. There were rumours that Lanre was having an affair with a certain lady in England but Steph kept telling all those who cared to listen that she was still in her husband’s house. She however got to know of the affair when she visited him in the UK as she saw things for herself.
She thereafter moved out of their matrimonial home. She described her time with Lanre as a “marriage in progress” that did not work.