How my marriage to Toyin Aimakhu has affected my career – Adeniyi Johnson opens up

In this recent interview with the Nation newspaper, actor Adeniyi Johnson opened up on his marriage to Toyin Aimakhu. See excerpts below:

 Was it easy scoping her?

Bros, no be small thing o. It wasn’t easy. Then, there was the difference
in status. She was a celebrity while I was an up and coming (actor).
But we became very good friends. We were so good that we hardly could
not do without chatting a day on BBM. The feelings started developing
for me, but you know, initially, you have to be very careful. One way or
the other, things led to her deleting me off BBM at some point and adding me back. There is a whole lot of story to it.

On the challenges of  marriage

Secondly, after my marriage, it became challenging for me in my career. A lot more was expected of me because everybody knows my wife is a fantastic actress. They expected me to match up with her standards
so I had to step up my game. Also, in a whole lot of programmes I was
doing, they (producers) started running away from me saying, Oko Toyin
Aimakhu (Toyin Aimakhu’s husband); how will we pay him? But now, I have
been able to strike the balance. We are moving on. It’s been smooth.

Are you trying to say marriage affected you career negatively?

I have to be candid, it has been positive. It is like a journey. You know where you are going and you envisage that you will get
there in about five years but getting married to someone helped you
arrive a couple of years early. It has affected me positively, I must
confess. I thank God I married the woman I married.

Sometimes do you feel intimidated by her status?

I have always been her fan, even before I got married to her. She knows.
When people talk about her and how good she is, I kept telling them she
is interpreting her role well and that they should leave that to the
husband. I never knew I would be the husband. I never knew I was going
to marry her. I kept defending her.
So when the opportunity came for us to become friends, I saw the part of
Toyin when she is off camera. I have never been intimidated by her. I
have always been the one campaigning for people to vote for her. I want
her to win as much awards as possible. My brother, there is no joy in
meeting a woman who is driving an SUV and then she meets you and starts
driving a very small car. It is not a thing of joy. I would rather she
goes from there to flying and then keep soaring high. It motivates me to
move too. I am her number one fan. Even when I see some of her movies
that she is not happy with, I tell her she is the best.

 But people are of the notion that she is older than you are

Toyin is one of the fortunate celebrities we have in Nigeria. She got
known early, so people started mistaking stardom for her age. Most of
our girls are just plump. They have acting age like they have football
age. So when I came into the picture, her real age had to come out. She
graduated in 2006.
She complained about how she kept getting bigger, so I asked her not to
worry and that she can work on it as a lady. I became a friend. I was
almost like a gym instructor, advising her on what to do.  

 When you made your intention known, did you receive resistance from your family?

Naturally, you should expect that, being an African and a Yoruba man. And then, based on the role that Toyin plays,
people judge her by what she does on screen. When they got to meet her
one-on-one, they saw a different person. I didn’t really have to
patronise my family or sell her to them. It was my decision. It is my
life. It is who I want to spend the rest of my life with, although they
have a say to a large extent I
made them realise this is who she is and I am getting married to her. So
far, nobody has regretted ever supporting me. I don’t think there has
ever been a cause where family had to come in to settle our disputes. I
am not even a fan of family settling disputes.


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