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‘My wife is a rare gem’

Family angle Sept.Venerable and Mrs Olumuyiwa Obanla both hailed from Idoani in Ose local government area of Ondo State. They have been married for twenty nine years and the marriage is blessed with children. Venerable Obanla is a cleric at St. James’ Anglican Church, Owo. In this interview with SEUN OBANLA, they explained how they overcome challenges and advised couples on how to have a successful marriage.

Excerpts:

Briefly tell us about your background?

Husband:  My name is Venerable Olumuyiwa Samuel Obanla; I was born in Idoani few years ago into the family of llate Pa Bolanle Obanla, I am from Iyayu quarters in Idoani. I attended Holy Trinity Primary School, Idoani, Irekari Grammar School, Idoani and New Church Grammar School, Owo. I did my university years at Ogun State University and then did my NYSC at Emmanuel College of Theology, Ibadan. I later proceeded to the same college for my ordination courses and completed it about twenty eight years ago. I was a deacon in 1991 and priest in 1992. I did my second degree at the University of Ibadan. I have been in the ministry for about twenty years.

Wife: My name is Mrs. Mabel Solape Obanla; I was born in Idoani into the family of Chief and Mrs Agara, I hail from the same town with my husband but I am from Amusigbo quarters. I attended Holy Trinity Primary School Idoani, LA Modern School, Idoani and St John/Mary Teachers Training College, Owo. I retired from my teaching job in 2016 after serving for thirty five years.

How did you meet?

Husband: I met her for the first time in the church; I came home during my university holiday. I attended church during that period and she was the one leading the choir (the choir mistress) and I got attracted to her. I then traced her to her house through the help of my younger brother. When I got there, I was warmly accepted especially by her mother because they all knew my father who was then the local doctor (dispenser) of the town. And since then, we have been moving together till we got married on December 23, 1989.

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Did you experience any opposition from family?

Husband:  Not at all. There was no opposition from neither my family nor her family. As a matter of fact, when my father first saw her with me, he asked me who she was and I told him she is from Agara’s family. He then called his own senior sister who was living with us to confirm from her if she is of good behaviour and since then he accepted her and also support our relationship. My father always called her “My wife”.

Wife:  Like my husband said, there was no opposition from my family; they even accepted him as one of their sons.

What attracted you to her?

Husband: I got attracted to her because of her participation in the church’s activities.  I actually never knew I was going to become a priest, but I still got attracted to her. I studied her and I knew she was going to be a great leader and mother.

Wife: I got attracted to him because of his quiet and gentle behaviour. It is very rare for you to see him talking much or get angry easily. And that makes him the direct opposite of me.

What have been keeping you going?

Husband: It is the power of God and his grace. Let me tell you a secret, my wife prays more than me. I can also say that the power of prayers have been keeping us going and stronger.

Do you quarrel and how do you resolve it?

Husband: Well, there is no way two people can be living together without quarrelling, but they will surely look for a way to settle it. We quarrelled and also resolved it within ourselves without involving any third party. We talked things over.

How do you cope with children alongside your career, calling?

Husband: First of all, I want to appreciate her because left for me, I will not be able to cope, because we priests do not earn salaries, but we are given what we call stipends just to take care of ourselves. If we are to consider the nature of our job, she is a salary earner, a government worker and the mistress of the house. She always takes care of the children when I would be so busy and with the power of God, we have been coping. In the area of provisions for the children, she provides for them. In fact, I hardly think of buying anything for the children when they were young, but we thank God for seeing us through. Whatever little I have, I always add. If she provides one hundred thousand naira I might only be able to provide twenty thousand naira. She pays the children’s school fees and not one of them knew she does. She never complained about it even when I have little to provide.  She is a rare gem.

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Who disciplines the children more?

Husband: My wife disciplined the children more because I have a soft heart. I find it difficult to raise up my hands to beat them, but my wife is a no nonsense woman, though if they offend her, she will just warn them not to do it again, but if they repeat the same offence, she flogs them. That is why if you call my children especially my last born and ask who they love most, they will tell you their father and the reason will be that mummy beats us a lot.

How do you handle issues with in – laws?

Husband: I never encounter any issue with my in – laws because we all live far away from each other and none of my or her brothers and sisters have the time to disturb us because everybody has a lot on their minds. They are busy people.

Any lesson learnt?

Husband: In my marriage, the lesson I learnt is cooperation and prayers. We cooperate with each other, she knows what I like and I know what she dislikes. She taught me the act of being prayerful.

Wife: I learnt how to be patient and soft; my husband is a patient person and a soft hearted man. You may think my husband is a person you can easily cheat, but I can assure you, before you finish your plan of how on cheat, he already knows what you are trying to do.

What is mummy’s best colour, food?

Husband: Well, I cannot really say what her best colour is due to the nature of my work as a priest, our job makes us like different colours, but I think she likes blue because she is a member of the Mothers Union and their colour is blue. And whenver I buy her anything, I always make sure they are blue in colour. In the aspect of food, she does not have any favourite food because she hardly eats, but I know she dislikes pounded yam and she has never tasted it before.

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What is daddy’s best colour, food?

Wife: Like my husband said, his job does not permit us to like a particular colour, but I can say he likes black and white and dislikes anything red. His favourite food is pounded yam and “ila asepo” (okro soup).

From your experience, what makes marriage not to last?

Husband: Lack of love and understanding is the major thing that makes marriage not to last because if there is no love and understanding, the marriage crumbles easily.

What do you think causes domestic violence?

Husband: Like I said earlier, absence of love and understanding causes a lot a loopholes between  couples and through that process, the husband resorts in beating up his wife.

Your advice to young couples?

Husband: My advice to young couples is that they should be patient and understand each other. The wife should respect her husband and should not allow anything to cause problem between them. For instance, if you earn more than your husband, do not let that be an issue. As husbands, you must also respect your wives because they are your better halves.

Wife: My advice to them is that they should be prayerful, because with God, you will be able to overcome all problems and challenges.

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