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People said my marriage to a Yoruba man won’t work — GT Da Guitar Man’s wife tells how they met

 
Musician Gbemiro Tokunbo, popularly known as GT da Guitar man, and his wife, Annie, share their seven-year love story with ARUKAINO UMUKORO.

How did you meet?
GT: I first met her
some years ago at a dry cleaning company where she was the new
secretary. I had gone there to do my laundry. I gave her my number and
asked her to call me. I was attracted to her; that was why I had to give
her my number hoping that she would call. But she didn’t call me until
after five days when she ‘flashed’ me.
Annie: We first met
eight years ago before I gained admission into the university. Then, I
worked at a laundry firm as a secretary. He had come that day to dry
clean his clothes and I was the person that attended to him.
What qualities attracted you to each other?
GT: What attracted me
to my wife the first time I saw her was her beauty, then her simplicity.
She was humble enough to want to be a secretary in a dry cleaning
company. When I got to know her, I realised she was an amazing person
and I fell in love with her character and everything. Her head is
swelling as I say this (laughs).
Annie: I was attracted
by his realness. He never tried to be what he was not.  Also, he is hard
working and a charming guy. But before then, I had a huge crush on him
as an artiste.
When did you get married?
GT: We got married on April 23, 2016.
Annie: Yes, but we had our introduction in March, same year.
You courted for six years before you eventually got married. How would you describe the journey so far?
GT: It’s been amazing. But it has also had its challenges, there have been ups and downs, but we always surmount them.
Annie: The journey has
been a beautiful one, although we have our differences, we always find a
way to resolve them. And now that we have a beautiful baby, it is even
more wonderful and amazing.
How often do you have disagreements in your home and how do you handle them?
GT: Very often, because
we are two different people with different upbringings and views about
life. There is to every possibility that we would clash at some point in
terms of ideas and how we view life and issues. At the end of the day,
what is important is always reaching a middle ground, including the fact
that we love each other genuinely and want to make our marriage work.
We consider each other’s point of view and settle for the best logical
solution. We always settle it. It is normal for people to disagree and
be angry at each other for a few minutes.
Annie: First and
foremost, I don’t see having disagreement as a bad thing because the
best decisions are often a product of a heated debate. Gone are the days
when the opinions of women are thrown in the thrash. As a sociologist, I
have strong and conservative opinions on certain issues. But, also as
an African woman, I know how to express my views without being
disrespectful. If it is intense, we give each other space as long as it
won’t exceed a day. But then, he apologises first.
Yours is an inter-tribal marriage, how would you describe the experience?
GT: For some very funny
reasons, I find myself being friends with people who are not
necessarily from my tribe or of my religion. My best friend in secondary
school was a Muslim and most of my best friends are Igbo. That said, I
didn’t know I would marry an Igbo woman. It wasn’t that I was looking
specifically for an Igbo woman. But then, I fell in love with her and
couldn’t help but to marry her. Travelling all the way to Anambra State
was tedious but it was worth it.
Annie: It has been good
so far. Being in love with a Yoruba ‘boy’ got so many people talking.
They asked questions like, “Didn’t you see an Igbo man, as beautiful as
you are? Do you want to ‘waste’ your beauty on a Yoruba man?” And I was
like, “What has beauty got to do with who I waste it on?” This is the
person I love; so I don’t play inter-tribal or ethnicity cards. I have
wonderful parents and they didn’t see a problem with our relationship,
because they believe that we are one Nigeria. They gave me their
blessings.
How do you unwind as a couple?
GT: Sometimes, we go to a local bar to eat catfish and pepper soup, or we stay at home to play chess.
Annie: I play chess with my husband or we watch television and Mexican soaps. As a nursing mother, I relax when my baby is asleep.
How would you describe your role as parents?
GT: I believe parents
are custodians of their children. We have been given a responsibility to
look after and take care of them and breed responsible youths in the
society. Being a dad for the first time was one of the most wonderful
feelings in the world. I don’t think I can go a day without seeing my
daughter’s face. The job of parenting is a tasking one. I would also
like to appreciate my wife; she does most of the sleepless nights. The
funny part is she wouldn’t bother to wake me up to support her, and she
just allows me to sleep. It’s amazing.
Annie: My role as a
parent has been a multitasking one. But I couldn’t have asked for
anything else; having baby to nurture and cater for. I believe I will be
the best parent and role model to her. Although at times, I feel I am
not doing enough. It’s not easy, but at the same time, it’s really fun.
Do you think couples should operate a joint account?
GT: It all depends on
the couple. I and my wife don’t operate a joint account. But it is
something we would love to do. It’s not compulsory. I’m indifferent to
it.
Annie: The man’s money
should be in the joint account while the woman’s money should be in her
individual account (laughs). I’m just kidding. I’m also indifferent to
it.
What are the misconceptions people have about marriage?
GT: Let me start with
the entertainment industry. They say it would affect your marriage and
all that, but for me, when I got married, that was when I even started
to get more serious with my career. My wife has been very helpful and
supportive. Sometimes, when I feel like not doing certain things, she is
the one that ‘gingers’ me. When I write a song she is the first person
that listens to it, and she would say, ‘no, I don’t like the way you
sang it this way or that way. She points out all those little things
before I record them. She sees all those little things. Also, another
misconception is that some people feel inter-tribal marriage do not
work. My father-in-law and mother-in-law have been amazing. It’s fun all
the way. The only thing different is that I get to enjoy more of other
people’s culture and their delicious food.
Annie: One of the
misconceptions is that people believe inter-tribal marriage cannot work.
When I was getting married to my prince charming, some people said all
sorts of negative things about Yoruba people and that it won’t work,
that it was always best to marry from one’s tribe. But they were wrong.
I’m very happy in my marriage. Also, most people believe marriage is a
bed of roses, it is not true. One needs to be well-cooked before
entering the institution called marriage. Lastly, most people believe
marriage can destroy one’s career, which is false. Even though I am yet
to start working, I have dreams of being a career woman, and not just a
housewife, with my second class upper degree in sociology. I’m waiting
for the right time and opportunity.
How do you cope with his female admirers and do you get jealous?
GT: My wife doesn’t get
jealous. She trusts me and knows what I can do. Also, she definitely
knows the business side of music and she can separate the person from
the personality.
How do you handle your husband’s female fans?
Annie: I don’t think
there is any cause for alarm. I trust my husband; he is very sincere and
truthful to me. That is all that matters. The success of any brand can
be measured by the love and appreciation he gets from the consumer. My
husband, being a soulful singer, definitely attracts lots of attention
and I’m excited about that. I’m not in any way jealous because the
brand, GT da Guitar Man, is what we’ve nurtured together. GT da Guitar
Man is the business, while the man behind the business is my husband.
Can you share some memorable moments in your marriage?
GT: One of them was the
wedding. I had to travel to Anambra State and the whole Igbo ceremony
was amazing, from the introduction to the whole traditional rites.
Another memorable moment was when we gave birth to our daughter in
August last year. It was definitely one of the most memorable, if not
the proudest, moment of my life. Every moment from then and now has been
most memorable for me, because waking up to see two of them has been a
dream come true for me.
Annie: I think my husband has said it all.
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10 new tricks of car snatchers in Nigeria today (must read)

 
MOTUNRAYO JOEL writes about some of the methods car snatchers employ to carry out their activities.
Cases of car theft have become common in
Nigeria. Though not a new trend, car snatchers have continued to devise
new methods to carry out their nefarious act. Below are some of the new
tricks to watch out for:

Ladies as bait
In this method, car snatchers use ladies
to lure men into giving them a ride. The lady tells the man that she is
heading to a location. There, some men, who are her accomplices, will
be waiting at the location to snatch his car.
This was what allegedly happened to 65-year-old Mr. Ganiyu Jimoh, who was killed after being robbed of his vehicle.
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