Fidelis Duker as a movie producer has paid his dues in Nollywood. He met his wife, Temitope, 17 years ago, while running a professional programme at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ) and married her few years later. The couple shared their story…. The husband spoke first.
Was I ready for marriage? Not exactly as marriage was not my priority then as we were still dating, but I had made up my mind as a teenager that any lady that got pregnant for me was the person I would marry. As fate would have it, at the time my wife took in, I was already a successful film producer. So wedding wasn’t an issue and, moreover, of all those I was dating then, she was the most humble and very accommodating of me. I could be intolerant but she was and is still a very patient woman. Today, that child we did not abort, even though some friends wanted us to do so, is in the university.
How I met her We actually we met in school when I was running a professional programme at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Ogba, Lagos about 17 years ago. It was love at first sight when I saw her in the school hall. She was initially pessimistic about dating me but my insistence and show of affection drew her closer and I think she liked me but pretended.
What keeps marriage going I will say my wife’s patience, tolerance, love, support and determination to see me succeed against all odds has been the motivating factor. I have also loved and respected the sanctity of marriage which has been the reason several marriages have collapsed. There must be mutual respect for each other. She is also a go-getter who, when she sets her mind on something, she goes all out to get it.
Did I marry my dream woman? I don’t think I would have lasted with any other woman because we have had our turbulent times like you will find in any marriage, but we have used mutual respect and maturity to surmount them.
The journey so far Our marriage will be 16 years in May and we are blessed with three lovely children, two girls and a boy and, like I said, it has not been all rosy. God has kept us going, but I can assure you that the last 16 years has been the most eventful in my life as I have been with a woman who truly loves me and believes in me as her partner. Whether sex improves intimacy in marriage
Of course, couples must have sex or rather make love because I don’t seem to like the statement ‘have sex’. To me, having sex is casual while making love is intimate and cherished. And to a large extent, it has worked for us as we have it as often as any normal couple will have it. It improves intimacy and I see it as spiritual.
I shower my wife with love Any man who doesn’t love his wife is not a man. Every woman, not necessarily a wife, wants to be loved; so I see no reason any man will deprive his woman, not to mention his wife, of love. So it is an obligation or rather a responsibility for a man or husband to love his wife and vice versa. Anything short of that is not a marriage or relationship. So I show my wife love 24/7
What marriage taught me Marriage as an institution has taught me to be responsible, more loving, detailed, careful and a very good planner. As a bachelor, I hardly planned but with marriage comes responsibility and you are compelled to plan. Before I married.
I don’t think I broke anybody’s heart because I am still very good friends with my former lovers. I parted with them on good notes and they are married too. So what it says is that you must be able to prioritize and define how you intend to end a relationship on a cordial note. I tell people that one of my ex then attended my bachelor’s eve, another was at my wedding; so it depends on your approach.
Fond memories Several fond memories, the difficult times after my first daughter when we were homeless. The times we had all our children as each of them had its different fond memories. The trying times when things were so difficult after our second child and we slept on bare floor with the baby as there was no mattress and the day we bought a mattress was like buying a Bentley car for the family. It was all bad I remember when the entire family went on a vacation; it was a beautiful moment seeing the ecstatic children happy.
How many kids do you intend to have? We have three kids, the first, Fidelia, is in the university, the second, Frances, and the last, for now, is Fredrick, the only boy. Don’t ask me for now because we don’t know what God can do. (Laughs). We got married on May 23, 1998; so, in about three months time, it will be 16 years of an eventful journey which is just starting.
He is ‘Mr Nice Guy’— wife The attraction His simplicity and intelligence. He is also a very kind and loving man. Accepting proposal The circumstances of our meeting, which resulted in the pregnancy of our daughter , necessitated my accepting his proposal even though I was still very young at that time. Though I finished school very early, I was looking forward to enjoying my life, but, thank God, the baby came and, today, I am happy seeing my kids grow.
Belonging to the same profession with husband It is quite challenging considering the fact that we do same thing almost every day coupled with the fact that we shared the same office for 14 years until two years ago when I got my shop and felt I should do something else. But my husband has respect for our marriage and, by the grace of God, we have tried to be role models to young couples and even established ones.
What I do to make my husband feel loved? Simply support his career path. Respect, love, protect, advice and share always in his joy, sorrow, victory, losses and anything you can think of . I perform my role both in the kitchen and in the bedroom as a wife, mother, sister and lover.
What I would have done if I didn’t marry him? It was destined to be and there is no such thing like what would I have done. Ours is a marriage ordained by God. We have been through thick and thin when there was nothing and we remained as one. So, the question of other options does not arise.
What I don’t like about him His temperament is one thing I have tried to manage and he is getting over it. He is also very trusting and, most times, he gets hurt by friends but, in all these, it does not take away the fact that he is a very compassionate and nice guy . Sometimes, I sarcastically call him “Mr. Nice Guy” because people often times take advantage of his trust.