Nollywood actor, Emeka Ossai seems at peace with his union to Jumai. Their marriage will clock a decade by December 28 but it faced infertility challenges for five years. Now blessed with a set of twins, the couple in this interview with Kemiashefonlovehaven, opens up on how they overcame
How long have you been married?
Jumai: We have been together for almost 10 years now.
Where there oppositions to your marriage before it took place?
Jumai: No, none.
So, what was the attraction?
Jumai: It was his impeccable command of the English language. He is also intelligent. I would not deny the looks too— he is a handsome man. The fact that he has a lot in common with my father, who is a very thorough person, endears him to me. Emeka is a very transparent person. He is also very English in his behaviour. I love my father dearly and meeting him was a case of seeing him as my father.
Was he an actor when you met him?
Jumai: Yes he was an actor but I didn’t know. I just loved what I saw and I wanted to keep and own him! In the process of dating him, I got to know he was an actor/producer and I enjoyed all the attention we got whenever we went out.
But most women want to have actors for keeps. How did you ‘catch’ him?
Jumai: Yes a lot of women want to have men in the entertainment industry but the question is: do the men want to own the women? So, it’s not how I ‘caught’ him, it should be how did catch me? I am not blowing my own trumpet but I am an asset, a full package, a goal getter and I have the most beautiful heart in the world. On the home front, I am a sustainable wife ‘material’. Tell me, will any man in his right senses let me go? I don’t think so.
Where did you meet?
Jumai: We met at a friend’s baby christening in December 2006, he dated me for a year and we were married in December 2007.
What is the experience like being married to an actor?
Jumai: Well, it is a beautiful thing but when you don’t have kids, it doesn’t really bring out the best of both partners. In the beginning, it was heavenly bliss but when the challenge became obvious, we started taking each day as it came.
Emeka, what has marriage being like with Jumia?
Emeka: Marriage to her has been wonderful. We have had our fair share of challenges, especially in our peculiar circumstance, but we have overcome with God’s help.
Is your wife coping well with your schedule as an actor and producer?
Emeka: My wife met me, dated me and married me as an art practitioner. So, she is accustomed to me and what my work entails.
Does your career affect your marriage?
Emeka: Yes, it does but very positively. It has created a reasonably sufficient income stream for a proper upkeep of my family (laughs)
But during the challenge, as an African man, were there pressure to marry someone else?
Emeka: Anxiety about having children in a marriage, for people who desire it, is not peculiar to African men or women. It is universal. I can say this certainly with a benefit of experience. My mother was worried but it was expressed positively by the level of support and proactive steps she took with my wife to achieve results. She was very supportive of our numerous efforts to overcome.
Jumai, were there pressures on you?
Jumai: Surprisingly, for five years there was no pressure from both families. Rather, we put the pressure on ourselves because we both love kids and we wanted them badly. In fact, my father and my mother-in-law played a great role on the journey to fruitfulness. They counselled and gave us all the reasons why we should be patient. They just kept on assuring us that the kids will come but only at God’s time.
So, how and when did the babies come?
Jumai: In December 2011, I called my mother in-law and told her that she is the mother of my husband and I am his wife. So, we should kick off the year 2012 by praying and praising God very well. This, I believe, would propel fruitfulness. We did. We prayed together and even fasted 21 days with members of Winners Chapel. I also praised God from midnight till 1.00am and I had my babies’ clothes in my hands (male and female). I had all the praise and worship CDs in my house. In fact, you would think I sell them! I would have added the 70 days prayer and fasting of the Redeemed Christian Church of God but I was so weak! I just had faith that it was going to happen that year. I knew God would answer me because I did those prayers and praises rigorously. I was expectant. When my father clocked 70 years old, I begged God to let him see his grandchildren from me before he dies. Indeed, God answered me and I thank Him. When I tested positive to the pregnancy test I went for, my husband and I cried.
Can you recall the day you had your babies?
Jumai: We travelled to the United States to have the babies and when my husband called my father from the theatre to tell him I was delivered of a set of twins— a boy and a girl, my father cried profusely. When I asked him why he was crying, he said he was crying for joy! At that point I looked at my husband and he was also crying. In fact, I had to put off the phone because I didn’t want to cry too. They arrived September 2012. Thank God, we have a different story today.
Have you have regretted marrying an actor?
Jumai: Never! I will marry him a million times over and I will never trade him for anything in the world not even for a billion pounds!
Do other women pose threats to your marriage?
Jumai: As I am now, the woman that will pose threats to my home has not been born! It didn’t happen when I was childless; so why should it happen now? He is too involved with us, he loves us too much and rushes back home every day to play with the kids before they sleep.
What will be your advice to couples who have your kind of challenge?
Jumai: I pray that God will change their story the way he did ours. There is hope as long as you are alive. Let God be your focus.
Emeka: Pray hard, believe in and wait on God as you work diligently to achieve results.