His real name is Rotimi Martins but many refer to him as Alariwo of Africa. A musician cum entertainer, he is married to Sola and they have three children. The couple, talk about their 17-year-old union
How long have you been married?
Alariwo: We have been married for 17 years.
What attracted you to her?
Alariwo: She visited my friend alongside her friend and I was attracted to her conduct. Immediately, I knew she would be mine. I knew I would be comfortable with her for the rest of my life and I proposed to her on the first day.
Sola: I met him in Oregun. That day, I went out with a friend and we ended up at her boyfriend’s place. That boyfriend happened to be Rotimi’s friend and we started talking. In fact, he proposed to me the first day he met me.
When he approached you, what went through your mind?
Sola: I had just the normal feeling but I liked him.
Was he a star when you met him?
Sola: No, he was just a Deejay. It was after I met him that he went to the studio to record his first album. That he was not a celebrity or star didn’t cross my mind. I just liked him and agreed to marry him. When he became an entertainer, I didn’t mind as long as it didn’t disturb my marriage.
Are there times you wish he was not a musician?
How has the marriage been over the years?
Sola: Interesting but sometimes challenging. In all, our love for each other and our children has kept us going.
Alariwo: It takes the grace of God to be in a sustained marriage and be a father, a husband and a musician.
Do you get jealous when his female fans come around?
Sola: Why should I? That would be foolhardy of me because he is a musician. Entertainment attracts women and it would be unfair to send them away with my jealousy. I don’t get jealous because his kind of job entails women flocking around him. Besides, I know he is all mine when he gets home, so why bother with any woman outside?
In what ways has marriage changed the both of you?
Alariwo: Many ways. While we were dating, we never cared about any other person aside the two of us but now, we have responsibilities.
Sola: Some of the things we did while we were courting have stopped because of the children. Apart from that, I am not the outgoing type and I’ve never encouraged having a maid at home. When we go out now, we go as a family to see movies, eat out and party. We always observe a family holiday.
Were your parents happy that you wanted to marry an entertainer?
Sola: No, they were not angry but they were a bit apprehensive. Then, entertainment was no big deal and their initial reaction was expected. Later, they embraced the relationship and I don’t think they regret allowing me to marry him.
Alariwo: Initially, her parents were a little bit uncomfortable because I was an entertainer. When my parents met her, in less than an hour, they knew she was the right person for me.
When you quarrel who is the first to apologise?
Sola: Most of the time, I apologise first. I go on my knees and I tell him I am sorry.
Alariwo: If she is at fault she will apologise and vice versa.
Apart from apologising verbally, what other things do you do to show remorse?
Alariwo: I make it up to her by buying her gifts or I take her out on a date.
How do you spend time together as a couple?
Sola: See a movie or sometimes, we go out.
Alariwo: My schedule is very busy but I do create time to spend with them.
What are those things you dislike about each other?
Sola: I don’t like my husband’s temper. He gets angry easily. He’s hot-tempered.
Alariwo: She does not like my temper. I don’t like when she demands for moneyher timing is bad. This is a common feature with most women and I don’t like it.
What would you say has kept your marriage going all these years?
Sola: Tolerance, love and the fear of God.
Alariwo: Patience, tolerance, understanding and the grace of God have been keeping our marriage.
Apart from being his wife, what else do you do?
Sola: I am into business I buy, I sell and I make jewellery and accessories.
What are the best gifts you have given each other?
Alariwo: I have given her cars and she has given me three beautiful children.
What advice will you give to couples especially those who are in the limelight?
Alariwo: I will always advise that, ‘See but pretend you didn’t see. Hear but you pretend as if you never heard.’ That way, you are not influenced or controlled by external factors. This keeps your home in place.
Sola: First, I will advise the women. When you see anything, pretend as if you didn’t see. Whatever you hear anything, feign ignorance. That way, you will be at peace, your marriage is in place and you are happy. Moreover, couples should respect and tolerate each other’s shortcomings. You should know that you are from different background and had a different upbringing.
What kind of man is your husband?
Sola: He is very caring and loving as a husband. As a father, he is loving and second to none. He puts his family first in everything and he does not fail to provide for our needs.
Are there times when you are suspicious of your husband?
Sola: Yes, I am not a perfect woman and sometimes, such things bother me. But when I remember I am the only one in his life, I perish such thoughts.
NB: the lesson learnt here is that, there is no perfect marriage, the parties involved (husband and wife) strive to make it work, against all odds.
Kemi Ashefon of the Punch