Foluke Daramola-Salako is a Nollywood (Yoruba) actress. She is married to Kayode Salako, a businessman cum activist. In this interview, they talk on their five-month-old union
How did you meet?
Kayode: I met her officially on February 13, 2012. I run Change Agents of Nigeria Network, and Fasholamania Movement. They are nonprofit organisations and I am also a proprietor of a group of schools in Lagos. I needed a popular face to help develop the initiative of one of my organisations and a friend suggested Foluke. We were introduced to each other. Foluke is also an activist and she became a stakeholder in the organisation. She accepted to be the national publicity secretary and we worked together. Along the line, we discovered we had so many things in common and the chemistry of attraction started building.
Foluke: Before I met him, I was a single mother and was already planning to relocate to Canada because I had secured a scholarship to run my post graduate programme. A friend introduced me to him and I saw he had a lot of laudable ideas. I have always been an activist and I felt we could work as a team.
But did you know he was married at that time?
Foluke: Yes, and I remember I was introduced to his wife at the initial stage of working together. We were friends until he started talking about the problems he had with his first marriage. I didn’t know he had issues with his marriage but he is quite an emotional person and as a friend, he told me his experience. I understood the wife left him on her own volition and I knew he made attempts to resolve the problem. At a point, he told me to step out of the picture because he needed to sort out the problems in his marriage. Later, he called again and said we needed to move on.
Were there oppositions from both families?
Foluke: Initially, my mother was against it but after her spiritual convictions, she allowed us.
Kayode: A lot has been said about Foluke and I; but I must state that my first wife packed out of our home on her own volition. When I was getting serious with Foluke, I told everyone in my family to go all out and make inquiries if she is my destined wife or not. In fact, I consulted about 65 pastors before I made up my mind on her.
So how did you propose to her?
Kayode: I didn’t propose to her but the only one I made to her was on February 15, 2013 when we got married. She has everything I want in a woman.
Foluke: He wanted to propose to me on my birthday and give me an engagement ring but he changed his mind and decided having a quiet engagement. We got married on February 15, 2013.
Were you not sceptical about marrying an actress?
Kayode: Before I met her, I never fancied any Nigerian actress. I had known some of them through my organisations and I had nothing to do with any of them. But when I met Foluke, she proved me wrong! She is very reasonable, mentally upright, focused and an ambitious woman. She is godly and she has a deep knowledge of God’s word. In fact, she can recite over 25 psalm chapters off hand! She is not materialistic; she is a very good cook, homely and washes my underwear. We share a lot of things in common among which is the spirit of activism. Its fun being with her and till date, we still live as friends.
What about the children from previous marriages?
Kayode: We have five children. I have adopted her two kids and mine are three. She loves children and sometimes, I get jealous about how she dots on the kids.
Foluke: I was in my first marriage for almost five years and I was single for another five years. Over the years, I have been accustomed to my children and built my world around them. Then, I made up my mind that I would have relationships but no marriage. When I met him, I knew I needed to detach myself from the kids and create time to build my home. I have started that and it’s working. My kids, especially my daughter, love Kayode dearly.
How was transiting from divorce to remarriage like for you?
Foluke: First, I will say divorce in Africa is a horrible experience. I recoiled into my shell because there was rejection, mockery and you didn’t know who was saying what. So, I built a wall around myself and I have come to realise that when you are in a marriage, which you want to keep, you don’t keep friends. I don’t have close friends now.
Kayode: It was difficult after my first marriage because I was scared. What if this one turns like the first one? Wouldn’t I be embarrassed again? Marrying Foluke was not in the agenda because we were just friends and working together. It was difficult to accept but after praying, we were convinced about each other.
Don’t you get jealous when she mixes with her colleagues and fans?
Kayode: From the outset, I knew she is an actress. I am proud to be associated with her but I don’t get jealous. I am mentally mature to handle that aspect of her life. I love her dearly but I don’t want to gag her because she would not make it in her career if I do. Sometime ago, we went to an event and a man saw her, ran to her and gave her a full-mouth kiss! We were all shocked because the man came from nowhere! Not even her husband could kiss her publicly like that but I waved it off. I know my wife and trust her. No rich man can buy her with money because she believes in love. I know a lot of men who were on her neck even before we started a relationship but she prefers me. People cannot understand our love and they are waiting to read our divorce on the pages of newspapers. They said our marriage cannot go beyond six months. They will wait forever because there will never be a divorce (Foluke nods).
What do you do when alone?
Foluke: We talk about everything. There is nothing I don’t tell my husband. When the lady who introduced us to each other started a media war and said all sorts about me, I was not embarrassed because Kayode knew everything about me. I can leave my phone with him without fears. To me, true joy is having someone who loves you.
Kayode: We talk about everything. Foluke is an open book- no secrets.
If you talk this way, why do celebrity marriages fail?
Kayode: This marriage will work because we have made up our minds to make it work. Most celebrity marriages fail when the man does not allow his wife have inputs. When he starts to behave like an emperor or allows insecurity and inferiority complex to set in. We have decided to create fun within marriage.
Foluke: I don’t think celebrities fail in their marriages. We are human and have challenges like other couples. In fact, we go the extra mile to make our marriages work. Most female celebrities do the unusual and make their men feel special. We just need men who are confident. When we were about getting married, my father-in-law and some of his siblings were sceptical. I made everybody realise that acting is a profession, which I happen to find myself and I am going to be a good wife.
Whenever there is a disagreement, who apologises first?
I was in a marriage before, so making amends when there is a wrong, poses no problem for me. Most of the time, I say, I’m sorry. Fortunately, he does not suffer from inferiority complex.
What are the secrets of a successful union?
Kayode: Maintain that channel of communication. Secondly, understand each other and be friends. Moreover, a man should learn to overlook things especially if you are married to a celebrity. If you attach meanings to every issue, marriage will head for the rocks. Even when you want to scold her, let it be in the confines of your bedroom. Let the man be mentally mature too and be confident. A man should not allow his wife do all the work and share her money. She is not your slave.
Foluke: Don’t stop doing those things that attracted him to you. He loves my legs and I wear short skirts at home for him. Also, men should pay their wives compliments.
Are there pet names?
Foluke: I call him Ade mi (my crown) and Ayinde. He calls me Folu, when he is angry.
Kayode: I call her Ibadi Aran.
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