Nollywood Actress, Yewande Adekoya-Abiodun, popularly called Ednawey, has been married to actor and movie producer, Abiodun Thomas, for four years. The couple share their love story with BUKOLA BAKARE
How did you meet?
Thomas: I met my wife in March 2008. I recall that I went to see a friend in the hospital and she came to visit the same person. We got talking and I liked her personality. Unfortunately, I lost her contact along the line. A few months later, she returned to Ibadan for her youth service and I reconnected with her.
Yewande: I met my husband in the city of Ibadan during my youth service in 2008.
Was it love at first sight?
Yewande: Well, maybe and maybe not. I met him through a mutual friend that we both had. He came to visit some friends and that was where we saw each other. I guess he took a liking to me from there. Thereafter, when I came for my youth service, we ran into each other again and realised that we had met before and that was how we started dating.
Thomas:I was quite fascinated by the way she talked and comported herself when we met. From that point, every other thing fell into place.
How long was your courtship and when did you tie the knot?
Yewande: We courted for five years before we got married in 2013, so I would say that I have known him for nine years now.
How would you describe your marriage?
Thomas: The journey has not been easy but with God on our side, we’ve been able to weather the storm. Luckily, we’ve not been faced with situations that we couldn’t handle. Marriage is not a bed of roses; when you fight, you always have to make up and continue the journey.
Yewande: It’s been God all the way and I remain eternally grateful to Him for helping us to steer our ship in the right direction. As you know, there is no marriage that is perfect, you just have to keep working at it. If anyone is expecting a smooth sail in marriage, then such a person is not yet ready for marriage. For us, we were able to spend enough time together before getting married and that gave us ample time to know each other well. We both know each other’s likes and dislikes. When one partner is sad or grumpy, the other party has an idea of what could have gone wrong and know what solutions to proffer.There is a huge difference between courtship and marriage.
Are there some things that you’ve discovered in your marriage that didn’t manifest during your courtship?
Yewande: Luckily for me, I think I’ve always known him, so I didn’t really have much to deal with when we got married. I had an idea of what his character looked like and I didn’t have problems whatsoever. The truth is that it is not really easy to hide your behaviour for a long time. Even if your partner doesn’t know you in totality, he or she must have an idea of what you can do. When you eventually get married, you already have an idea of your spouse’s character and you must be able to handle whatever comes your way. Being together for five years before our marriage gave me enough time to study my husband, so there were no surprises or shocks for me.
How would you describe parenting?
Yewande: Combining motherhood with work has not been easy, but I thank God for my family. My husband is also very understanding and we are both hands-on as parents. Whenever we are out, our extended families cover up for us because they understand that we both have to earn a living.
Thomas: Parenthood is another phase of life and when babies are born, they come with their peculiarities. As a parent, you must be able to adapt to these things. It’s another kettle of fish when they begin to crawl and walk. Fatherhood has been quite an interesting journey for me and I thank God for the privilege.
How often do you have disagreements and who apologises first?
Thomas: When we have disagreements, I sometimes believe that I am not at fault and being the good wife that she is, she always comes to my rescue and apologises. However, we don’t allow our disagreements to roll into the next day so, we just have to find a way to settle them before we go to bed.
Yewande: We do not quarrel too often because we understand each other’s temperament so, it is easy to stay off confrontational situations. You know the way we behave as Africans, no one wants to make the first move after a disagreement, even though you know that you are at fault but at the end of the day, I’ll apologise and he’ll also come round and do the same.
What are some of the problems people encounter in marriage and what do you think is responsible for break-ups?
Yewande: In the first place, people must realise that no one is perfect. While no one prays for a broken home, it can happen to anyone; a celebrity or any other person. I think it takes the grace of God to sustain any marriage. Secondly, before couples go into marriages, they must also be determined to make their union work against all odds Problems could arise from families on both sides, the work place, friends and the society so, it is up to the both of you to mutually agree that the marriage must work. If one person is working towards the success of the marriage and the other party puts up a nonchalant attitude, it can’t work and that’s the simple truth. You’d just be working in opposite directions and always meet a brick wall at all times but if the both really want to make it work, if you are having challenges, you should quickly realise that going your separate ways is not an option.When you put God into the mix and constantly pray too, you would be able to surmount the challenges that come your way and make your marriage a model one.
Thomas: The first thing people should realise is that nobody is perfect, so you need to get to know your partner very well. If there are certain character traits that you cannot condone, you will know from the beginning. The problem is that most people recognise these shortcomings but they just turn a blind eye. They delude themselves that they might be able to change that person but it’s not that easy.
What advice would you give to couples who are just about to get married?
Yewande: They should not expect their partners to change after marriage because what you see is what you get. In other words, the character that you’ve seen when you were dating is what you’ll get after the marriage. Don’t expect your partner to change overnight in marriage. They should also be prayerful at all times because nothing can be done without God. Couples must also be content with what they have because contentment is the key to happiness and the way life is structured, you’d always find someone who is better than you in so many ways and if you dwell on that, you’d never be happy, even in your marriage.
Thomas: My advice to intending couples is that they should stick to God and put him first in all things, they must be prayerful. More importantly, they should study each other and know themselves well before getting married. They must be able to ask themselves, ‘‘Are we really good to go, Is this person really good for me?” Once they can answer these questions, they should back it up with prayers because God is the ultimate.
How would you describe your personalities?
Yewande: I am a workaholic and I think that sums me up.
Thomas: I’m simple and down-to-earth.
How do you unwind when you are not working?
Yewande: I am a homely person I go out with my husband sometimes and those moments are priceless. I don’t have to be taken aboard a yacht or something before I can unwind with my husband so, once I have some time to spend with him, I’d be relaxed.
Thomas: I like football, so you would find me watching or playing the game. That’s a form a relaxation for me.
Your fourth wedding anniversary was on Valentine’s Day, how did you celebrate it?
Yewande: Since it coincided with Valentine’s Day, we celebrated it in a special way. We didn’t go out, we were just at home.
Thomas: This year, we just decided to stay indoors on our anniversary day which was different from the norm. Last year, we travelled to Oyo from Lagos and we went there two days before our anniversary date. It was an avenue to unwind and get away from the hustle and bustle of Lagos.
What’s your husband’s favourite meal?
Yewande: He likes native food such as semo, eba, amala and the likes.
Thomas: My wife knows that I relish these meals. For me, rice is just there so, I prefer to go the traditional way.
What are your likes and your dislikes?
Yewande:I like people being honest with me and I like those who are good at what they do. I also like proactive people and I hate liars; and people who are friendly when they see you and say something else behind your back. I cannot stand such people.
Thomas: I like people who have no airs and I loathe fake people. I also like truthful people; it’s not as if everyone says the truth 100 per cent but try as much as possible to be at least 80 per cent truthful.
You both work in the same industry. Does it come with disadvantages?
Yewande: I think working together is an added advantage for me because we both understand the terrain and would be able to articulate our thoughts well. When I say something, he understands. Whereas if he was a doctor, lawyer or belongs to some other profession, he may not understand my line of argument and it’s better for me. For instance, we’ve been on the same set several times and there is nothing to it. At that point, I am able to detach myself and know that I’m working with a colleague.
Thomas: There is no big deal working in the same industry with my wife. As a matter of fact, it’s fun and when we are on the same set, we just get straight to business like the professionals that we are.
Can a marriage survive solely on love without finance and vice-versa?
Yewande: That’s a tough question, you need to have both if you want to have a successful marriage. Love is very important because when you have the money and everything and there is no love, you’ll lose the excitement and sparkle in your marriage. In the same vein, a marriage cannot survive without finance and couples may go their separate ways as a result of its non-availability in the home.
Thomas: I think both elements are significant in marriage; you don’t have one without the other because they both work together. It’s not as if one must have a huge sum of money but something must always be available for the running cost of the home to avoid frictions.