How has Mrs. Ehi Adenuga, wife of Wale Adenuga, the filmmaker and entrepreneur managed her emotions very artfully in doing away with jealousy over the hordes of women her husband has to do business with everyday? They have been married for 34 years and have remained in the same type of business ever since.
But her revelation that no bad blood ever brewed between her and the husband was quite stunning given the way homes of celebrity people collapse everyday.
She let Saturday Sun into her little secret that has sustained the relationship and what other couples may make out of her experience to enjoy lasting marriage especially today when divorces seem fashionable.
Mrs. Adenuga’s views on issues on marriage, indecent dressing and immorality are strongly reflected in this revealing encounter.
How did you suppress the spirit of jealousy naturally embedded in every woman?
I think it is just about trust and believing that he won’t do anything wrong. The way you believe in your sub-conscious and even in your conscious, you know that the man will not do such a thing. I am not saying he is a saint. He might have his people out there, but I know he respects me a lot to be discreet about it and somehow, I just trust him that he won’t have anything with these ones that come around. If he is going to do something, it is going to be out there. It is not that as a human being, you cannot react, once in a while; I can call on him and say, I don’t want this lady on set anymore. It does happen and he will respect it and she won’t come anymore.
What would make you ask a lady not to come around him, even during productions?
Behaviour of course. When someone comes for location and you see her going beyond location mannerisms, it is not just to stop her coming around my husband alone but her general attitude might definitely have bad influence on others.
By the time you see a lady, say an actress coming to your sitting room, sitting in one corner feeling so special or swollen headed or I notice that she is on a high horse feeling big and just wouldn’t relate freely with her mates and others, it is on such instances that I have had to express my feelings to my husband and because he respects my opinion and knowing too, that I do not complain irrelevantly, he will act on my observation.
Are all the children used in Wale Adenuga Productions from Binta School ?
Not at all, but we try to use 75 to 80 percent of our students. Once in a while, we use some star kids from other schools. We just try to get the best. Parents are highly excited when they see their children on the screen. Their family members, friends are also happy to see them and many parents have come to say “mummy thank you, I saw my child on screen”. We use the star kids but Binta and Ajasco are our students.
What about some schools that do not have PTA?
There was a time we cancelled ours. The point is that some executives of the PTA want to run a parallel government with the school. Whereby you discipline a teacher, he or she goes to the executive and they would insist that you take back the teacher. You cannot know a wife more than the husband or the other way. It is the wife or the husband that knows the other party more. So, you cannot be there and dictate that we take back the teacher because I know the teacher more than you. When they want to run a parallel government with the school, you can say to hell with them and you cancel it. We cancelled ours for 2years until we got a responsible PTA. Our current one is quite good because the then vice president was very rude to my husband in a meeting, we just managed to conclude that meeting and we dissolved it there and then.
We dissolved it for many years though they came back to apologise. It is the attitude of the executives that make some schools run their affairs without PTA and of course when you don’t have PTA, you do whatever you like. There will be no check on the school.
How can the high rate of immorality in the society and among students be curbed?
We need to pray. The Bible says if the foundation is faulty, what can the righteous do? All we need to do is to pray as we have never done before. Because when you look at the generation we are going to hand over to, they are terrible. A boy was punished and his friends threatened they were going to call the police. Once the SSIII students are through with their examinations, we march them out of the school without wasting time.
The parents believe that it is by pampering the children that you can show them love. They believe in buying expensive things for the children. In my school, we don’t allow handsets. If you bring your handset to the school, we will seize it till the end of the session. These are the ways we curb their excesses. Some parents will come and ask us why we seized the handsets and I will tell the child to go to another school.
What about the teachers, what can they do to curb these excesses?
We all have roles to play. The children are in the school for eight hours, the remaining eighteen hours they are at home with their parents. That is just one third of the day that the children are in the custody of the teachers and management. What are the parents also doing? I think we should go to the basics of everything. The mothers today shirk their responsibilities. Many a time, we send for parents they won’t come.
Even when you tell them what their child is doing, they still will not come. Once or twice, parents have brought police to arrest a teacher for beating a child. What correction can you make towards the child anymore? The parents too are not disciplined. We sent for a parent to make a report about the son in SS111, we reported to the father that this boy is not serious with his studies, he said yes, his fingers are permanently on the computer that even while asleep, he has to remove his fingers from the computer game. Even when he was going, he said Bob, raised his one finger and the boy responded. What can you tell that kind of child? Another mother came, the child misbehaved, his hair was carved into four steps with different colours. We called the mother that the boy’s hair was bushy. She expressed surprise that we could call her for that. For her it was okay. These are some of the things we see.
What is your take as a mother and school administrator on indecent dressing?
The mothers too are not dressing well. How can a child dress well when the mother dresses carelessly? A child got home late and we were alerted, she did not come to school and she was not at home. When she eventually came, we took her to a counselor and she told the counselor that her mother used to do it. She said in her presence, the mother used to call her boyfriends.
The most surprising thing was that the father came to the school and told us that their pastor said they should not beat her so that she doesn’t run away. If the parents could not beat or discipline her, will I be the one to do that? Absolutely not I. Children are emulating and imitating their parents, so, learning proper dressing has to start from home.
How do you handle cases of children from broken homes?
That is another case we handle here. Some mothers will say they don’t want the father to have access to the children. We heed to that so that the fathers don’t come to steal the children and the problem will be on the school. Some fathers too will come and say they don’t want the mothers to have access to the children but we don’t accept that. We always tell them no, because I am a mother. I know the pains. The only thing is that we don’t accept edible things from them.
Whatever they wish to bring we ask them to convert it to money and we give to the housemistress. Severally, God has used us to unite parents after talking to them. Right from the school, both will go straight to their home. The unity of a marriage lies 85 percent on the woman. That is why the Bible says that a wise woman builds her home. It is the woman that owns a home so she should build it. It is not that the man does not have a role to play but love begets love. You cannot receive what you don’t give out. If you give him love, you will receive a lot of love. If you give him love and he is not paying back, some day, some how, somewhere, God will arrest him and he will become a slave of love. I believe so much in it and it has been working for me.
What is the secret of your marital success?
I have always been very selfless in marriage. I know we can turn around to say many women have helped their husbands and the men when they become rich, they forget the women.
There are some problems. When a man is climbing, you too climb, if he is climbing ten steps, try to climb at least four. I am not saying you should compete with him but make something useful out of your life. If you don’t, and it gets to a level of tolerance, he will dump you anytime. But when you are indispensable to him, he can’t dump you. He will always come back. Like my husband will always do,
Make yourself an asset instead of a liability.
You find some marriages, the man will have school certificate when they married even both of them. At a time, the man will get A Level, first degree, master’s, Ph.D and the woman is there breeding and breeding. You are not thinking of upgrading yourself. What do you want the man to do? On a very serious note, there are some outings he can’t take you so that you don’t mess him up. So he will start looking for who will cope with the newly acquired status. You too should work on yourself, improve and develop yourself.
The woman’s place is no longer in the kitchen. We are everywhere. We are now proper helpmates, no more stomach because for the men the only way is no more through the stomach. Time has gone when the men are the only fenders of the home. They say the way to the man’s heart is through the stomach. Not anymore because sometimes, they don’t have time for food. Women should try to make themselves relevant in the marriage as indispensable assets by contributing financially, morally and spiritually.
How would you advise young women now that marriages are recording failures daily?
There is something missing in this generation. We carry the financial assistance too far. Because everybody is also financially equipped, we have dropped respect for each other. The respect thing is gone. Some wives don’t even want to cook anymore for the family. If you see false nails, even washing of their own undies is a problem and most of them have resorted to wearing disposable pants. The younger ladies should learn to respect their husbands. Let’s do it the way God said we should do it. A woman should be humble and reverence the husband. To be submissive and the husband is to love the life affectionately. A submissive wife will make the husband love her. It is a sure bet.
Learn the mood of the man, not when the man is angry, or maybe he has had a very frustrating day, he comes home, you also give him a greater frustration. He will run into the arms of the next woman who will give him comfort. Let the younger ones be more organised. Making a home is more than just being a career woman. If it is possible, let the younger wives stay with their children when they are still having children.
Later, they can jump on their carrier. Lack of contentment contributes much. When I married newly, for quite sometime, I could not buy anything for myself. The younger ones do not want to be contented and would not understand what it means to wait. Let’s do it the Oyibo way. While they are nursing their children, they don’t look for a time consuming career. A few hours, they are back to their homes. There are few other things like small day care, add more children to your own and take care of them and realize money from there.
You can also take a teaching job; until the child reaches a certain age then you can go out. If you acquire millions and the children are not there to give you peace, what is the joy in it? That is why we have so much cultism, stealing, and prostitution in the society