He stayed true to this promise as he tied the knot with his wife, Temitope, at a very young age paying deaf eyes to those around him who did not approve of his decision. Today, he says he is enjoying the benefits of early marriage as their children are all grown up.
Their first daughter will be 20 in another two years when their union will be twenty years strong.
In the interview, Duker shared to Vanguard, how he weathered the storm of getting his wife pregnant before marriage, encountering difficulties as a married couple and how he was able to overcome them.
Here are excerpts from the interview:
Growing up with his wife after meeting her at a young age.
I grew up with her. And she’s complaining now that she never enjoyed her young age. That’s why she can’t wait to see her children finish their education so that those things she missed as a young girl, she wants to enjoy them now. She never had the opportunity to mingle with people as she went into marriage very early. The only friend my wife knew as a young girl then was me. It is very rare to see somebody who married at a very young age to keep the marriage. Even her friends then were very scared when we first got married.
Fear of losing her
It wasn’t really the fear of losing her to another man that made me to marry her at that young age. Sincerely, while growing up, I made two vows, one, that I would never live outside the shores of the country no matter the opportunity and, second, any woman that got pregnant for me would automatically become my wife; even if she was not be ready to marry me, I would insist on marrying her.
So, we courted for about a year and a half before she took in for me. Most of my friends who were not thinking of going into marriage then thought something was wrong with me.
When I made the vow that any woman I would date and later get pregnant for me would become my wife, I didn’t want to break the vow, even though I was dating other girls. At that time, I was a bit comfortable as I had started making films. I felt the only thing left for me was to get married. In fact, it was my car that I used on my wedding day. The economic situation was a bit conducive at that time in 1998. I was less than 30 years and you can imagine the kind of risk I took. But I was ready to go into marriage. I think I became matured very early.
When my friends and colleagues in the industry were not ready to go into marriage, I took the bull by the horn. I only worked for somebody in a computer firm for six months in my entire life.
Support from his parents
I think my dad was pretending, but my mum supported me. When I told her that my wife was pregnant for me, my mum asked me if I really wanted to marry her? I answered in the affirmative. Unfortunately, my mum died one or two years after our marriage.
For my dad, he was indifferent as he never really encouraged me. He wasn’t pleased with my decision even though he didn’t make it known to me. Also, my father in-law never wanted the marriage because my wife is the only child of her parents.
And she was still in school then. But like my mum, her mum also stood by her and ensured that she didn’t abort the baby.
Challenges of early marriage
Our first four years in marriage was one of the toughest part of my entire life. After our wedding, we lost our apartment, and my car was damaged beyond repairs by one of my friends who had an accident with it. My office was the only thing I had left. But the irony of it is that nobody knew what my wife and I were passing. I was practically living in my office with my wife.
Early in the morning, we would take our bath before staff would resume duties, and after work, we would stay back. Sometimes, we would stay with my friend who was then living in Yaba. While we were passing through the hard times, my wife didn’t give up on me, neither did my friends know our predicaments. For eight months, we were homeless.
Most of my friends will be shocked to hear this for the first time. Finally, we rented an apartment in Ijaye, on the outskirts of Lagos, and moved into the house. But all this while, my wife stood by me and never regretted her decision to marry me.
Hurting his wife
I have done a lot of things that hurt her. Apart from cheating on your wife, there are other things you can do to hurt her. Your wife might expect a gift from you on her birthday, and you forget to buy her a gift year after year. Definitely she will feel hurt.
But one thing I like about hurting my wife is that she’s quick to forgive and forget. She’s my best friend and my everything.