A lot of people have the impression that Sammie is a ladies’ man, a playboy. Is Sammie truly one?
Ah! God forbid bad thing! (General laughter). In fact, like I said, I am one of those people who like history. Because when you go back to history and you start the story, then you progress and get to the present day. You can see the progression and you can see the different junctions of changes a man’s life has gone through.
There was a time when it was oh, Sammie is a ladies’ man, single guy, pruuuu! He loves women, he doesn’t want to marry, he just wants to play. And those were my days of youthful exuberance.
Let me just pause and say this – I think every man should go through that whole process so that when you build a home and a family, there is nothing out there that has the capacity to come and even make you say you are packing out of your house or to scatter your home or to come and start giving your wife and your children trouble, because some of the guys who dive, and I’m not saying that early marriage is bad; some people dive into it and they have no experience of what the world is. They get in there and while they are married, they start saying hey, like say I know, I for never marry o! Before you know it, they have messed everything up.
The home is in crisis, the wife has packed out, families are meeting, bad PR out here and you are just messing up yourself. So, those days of Sammie is a ladies’ man are gone. I am so happily married to the woman of my dreams. In fact, it was my wedding anniversary on the 1st of July And I’m happy that I did not marry before I got married, because I probably would have joined all the headlines of crashed marriages in the entertainment industry.
We shall return to your marriage. At that time, you dated some of the finest and hottest babes in the industry. Now, when you see fine girls, what goes through your mind and how do you avoid the temptation of going back to your old ways?
My brother! You see, those days, we didn’t know better. We didn’t know better and I have been able to get around wise mentors and wise counselors who have used their own lives as experiences to teach me certain things. You know when you are just moving by yourself, nobody advises you, there’s nobody you can go to, to say please, what do I do? This, that, that, that is an issue.
That is why everybody, you must be accountable, you must submit yourself to people who can pick up their phones and call you and say Sammie, you are messing up, I need to see you right now; I heard X, Y, Z, where are you? Come to my house right now or come to my office now? And you will leave whatever you are doing, drive there.
I had to submit myself to those kind of people because my life was going in a kind of crazy direction and I didn’t want it to end that way. I had to do a re-think and put myself together and then somebody said you know what, be accountable. When you are accountable to certain people and you know that their eyes and their ears are on ground, they can hear anything, you will behave yourself. Those things restrain you from doing certain things. So, these people have taught me so many things that now you can look at beautiful women; because if beautiful women was the problem, I waited and I married a beautiful woman. So, it is not like when you go back home, what you are living with is not beautiful enough.
When you want to mess up, you are imagining the kind of abuse that is going to come. Like, look at his wife; you have this kind of wife, what are you still looking for outside, if something is not worrying you? So, I put myself under those kinds of checks and balances where people can advise me. Even when I have issues, they will say no, this is how you handle it and guess what? My wife is my best friend.
You moved effortlessly from one woman to another then. In fact, you were gliding and galloping (General laughter) – Kate Henshaw, Stella Damasus, Janet Fateye, Gloria Ibru and so on. How were you able to cope during those days?
It was mad! It’s a crazy thing that I did then. The industry just swallowed me. That’s the only way I can describe it because I was an up and coming entertainment personality, I was involved in all the media events, all the awards. They were calling me to be part of the theme songs, to do this, do that and I said to myself, my God, this is the life! The kind of ladies that you will not dare say good morning to; you don’t even have to say good morning; as you are passing, they will just say hi and you begin to wonder: am i the one they are waving at? Because I was in the limelight and I didn’t know how to handle it; I entered it gbuaaaa! And I was like my God; is this what these celebrities are dealing with? Where you don’t even have to say hello to a lady.
She’s looking for you, she’s trying to hang out with you. So, I didn’t know what to do with it; I thought that was the life and the thing just swallowed me and like you said, before you knew it, I was gliding and galloping from relationship to relationship. It was crazy! I didn’t know better. I didn’t know better, but I will balance that. I didn’t know better, but somehow, I am grateful that I had to go through that. Because that is what I appreciate now; because of what I have been through.
You know they say experience is the best teacher. When you have gone through some things, that is when you look back and you say ah! That was not a good experience. You will do all you can not to go through that again.
So, do you have any regrets about some of those things you did in the past?
In fact, I say this and people sometimes think I am crazy – I don’t regret anything! The Sammie Okposo you see today is a product of what I’ve been through. So, my motto is if you go back memory lane in my life to say okay, let us remove this, remove that, I don’t think what you see today will be complete, because a pot of soup is a combination of different ingredients and when you chop, you lick your hand and say kai! This one is sweet. Because if they take out one of those ingredients; if it was possible to take out one of those ingredients that’s causing you to lick your fingers, trust me, you will not lick your finger. Because it’s a combination, and by the time they remove anything, it won’t be sweet again. So, the good, the bad, the ugly have produced the Sammie Okposo that you see today. I don’t regret it.
You got married quite late. How is married life and how is marriage treating you?
Sweet! Sweet!! In fact, there was an article that said this is one celebrity that we see at almost every event with his wife, and I decided to do that deliberately because a lot of us think that we are too busy to take our wives to events and when you are not guarded, that is the protection. Anywhere you go, they are still saying hello, hello. So, right now, it’s a sweet union. 4 years! Somebody said ah-ah, e don reach 4 years just now? I said yes. July next year, I’m gonna be 5, then 6 and so on. And guess what? I am married for better, for worse because I didn’t go into it expecting it to be a bed of roses. Two different people have come together to form a union. Two different ideologies, two different backgrounds. So, as you go along, you will run against each other in unpleasant ways, but the best part of it is you are able to resolve it, the love is still glowing as you move on and the marriage and the family are still intact. I’m having fun as a married man.
Of all the beautiful girls you dated, why did you settle for your wife, Ozioma?
Em…without trying to discredit anybody, because any past relationship I have had, I respect, and a lot of them have moved into their own families, so I try my best to respect who they are now regardless of whatever we had in the past and that doesn’t make any of them unqualified or not a house wife material. No! It was a decision I made. All the relationships I had in my industry did not get me to that point where I could decide to say I do. Yeah, it went towards that direction, but it didn’t get there. So, I said to myself: dude, maybe you need to look away from this industry, maybe your life partner is not there, because sometimes people say if the person is in the entertainment industry, the person already understands how crazy your schedule is, knows that you would travel, you can be on tour for 6 months and because the person is in the industry, the person will understand. That’s what some people say. So, I thought that would work, but it didn’t work like that and it was not just a one-time thing. So, I decided; I said, take your mind away from the entertainment industry and look outside; maybe the wife you want to look for now would be out there and not in the industry. So, I deliberately took my mind away from the entertainment industry and I told myself that well, they are fantastic people, but I think one relationship, two relationships, three, four, five is enough to convince you that you know what, try it from another side. I decided to look out and it was in my looking out, away from the industry, that I met my wife in God’s kingdom. I went to perform at KICC (Kingsway International Christian Centre in London). Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo’s church. That was how and where I met my wife. She came with her sister. After my performance, I was signing my CDs for people. I was so busy, I wasn’t even looking up. People were on queue; they buy and I sign. But immediately I saw her hand, I looked up, saw a very beautiful woman, but couldn’t do anything because there were so many people on the queue. Later, when I left for my hotel, I still couldn’t get her off my mind. My heart was troubled. Then, a friend called to say he wanted to take me out because I complained of boredom. Along the way, he said we should stop over first at one exhibition going on, and reluctantly I accepted. Azuh, listen to this – when we got to the exhibition, it turned out that it was my wife’s sister that was organizing it and guess what? She was also there! And that was how we started. She refused to give me her number. She only gave me her email address and I started bombarding her with mails, sometimes 10 in a day. Haba! Na me now! Let me tell you another interesting story – during that time, I was getting shows almost every week in London. So, we were always seeing. My manager will call me and say there’s this show, but what they are offering is not much and I will say take it! Shebi they will take care of accommodation, flight and so on? Just to see my wife o! So, I was always going to London, seeing her till we got married. But you people, the press, didn’t know until we finally got married. My marriage was a big surprise to all of you, which I like. At least, una don leave me alone (General laughter).