BY DAMILOLA FATUNMISE, RITA OKOYE, IHUNENYE AMBLESSED IFEOMA & EMUEKPERE CHRISTOPHER
DUE to the nature of their jobs they are always in the limelight and whenever they sneeze, it makes headlines. And while some have found fulfilling relationships talking about marriage and commitment, a good number of them are not that lucky. Little wonder the entertainment industry in Nigeria has been plagued by high profile breakups. Today, Entertainer brings you some of the biggest celebrity break-ups.
Tiwa Savage and Tee Billz
Indeed it was with shock that Nigerians received news of the messy break up between sex siren and songstress, Tiwa Savage, and her estranged husband, Tee Billz (Tunji Balogun) amid allegations of battery, abuse, infidelity and drug addiction.
However, even before they got married, there had been reports that Tee Billz and Tiwa Savage were facing challenges. But determined to make the relationship work, the couple had denied the reports at any given opportunity. And with the arrival of their son, Jamil, music buffs felt the couple were finally on the right path to marital bliss and so it was indeed with shock that Nigerians received news of their dramatic break up as the union came crashing like a pack of dominoes after Tee Billz dropped a suicide note on social media and attempted to leap into the Lagos Lagoon in a botched suicide attempt.
Funke Akindele and Kehinde Almaroof Oloyede
Her marriage began with a pre wedding scandal that she was about to settle down with a married man and today, her marriage holds the record of being one of the shortest marriage ever coming out of Nollywood. Indeed, it was Nigeria’s most talked-about wedding in 2012 but the couple had scarcely said ‘I do’ when cracks began to appear on the wall and within a year, it was all over! On Monday, July 15, 2013, it was reported that the actress and her husband had gone their separate ways. In fact, while Funke did all she could to conceal the break up, Oloyede had taken to facebook and broken the news.
Stephanie Okereke and Chikelue Iloanusi
When actress, Stephanie Okereke married her ex footballer husband, Chikelue Iloanusi in 2004, it was a union made in heaven but little did movie buffs know that the couple were sitting on a keg of gun powder. Within a short span of three years, the couple were at each other’s throats trading blames which culminated in their eventual divorce in 2007 amid accusations of infidelity. In fact, Stephanie had accused her ex-hubby of having another wife in America and also accused him of abandoning her while she was hospitalised after her accident. Iloanusi blamed his mother-in-law for the break up. Today, they have both successfully remarried.
Toke Makinwa and Maye Ayida
Indeed it was with shock and surprise that Nigerians received the news of OAP and vlogger, Toke Makinwa’s wedding to her fitness instructor lover, Maye Ayida. However, Toke’s joy was short-lived as it soon emerged that barely two months into the marriage, Maje had impregnated his former girlfriend, Anita Solomon and she had travelled all the way to the UK to have her baby. Indeed it was a trying time for Toke as the news went viral on social media and she became the butt of jokes because she blogs on tips of how to keep your man. Eventually, the marriage ended in a bitter separation and both of them went their separate ways.
Mona Lisa Chinda & Dejo Richards
It was love at first sight when Dejo Richards and Mona Lisa Chinda met for the first time in the early 2000s at a private gig in the UK and instantly fell in love and before we could say Jackie Robinson, they walked down the aisle and held a lavish wedding. However, if there was ever joy in the union, it only lasted for a while as the couple’s relationship began to crumble amid allegations of infidelity and battery. Despite having a child together, the distance between Mona Lisa and Dejo only grew wider and eventually the marriage broke up after a stand-off that lasted a couple of days which culminated in the police wading into the crisis.
Joseph Benjamin and wife
One news item that made major headlines in 2012 was the break-up of actor, Joseph Benjamin and his wife. So secretive was this actor nobody knew he was married with three kids until the breakup. In a chat, the thespian had stated: “My marriage has been going through crises which I prefer not to talk about. That is why I have kept it away from the public to wave off controversies. I am no longer in my marriage. We are separated. I have two wonderful children, a 10-year-old daughter and a seven-year-old son. They are an integral part of my life. Their mum and I have a very good arrangement on how to balance their lives to make sure that psychologically, they are stable and unaffected by our separation.”
Frank Edoho and Catherine Obiang
After seven years of marriage, they eventually had to call it quits. Indeed, it was one of the biggest break ups of 2013 no doubt! With the following words, at the climax of the crisis, presenter of popular TV show, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Frank Edoho, had announced to the world that his marriage to his ex wife, Katherine Obiang, was over: “Hey people, just want you to know that I would never do anything to hurt my family but sadly, I am separated from my wife and its irreconcilable.”
Reacting in an interview a short while later, Katherine had stated that they should never have become husband and wife in the first place because of their differences. They have since moved on and Edoho has remarried.
Saheed Balogun and Faithia Balogun
Another prominent breakup was that of Saheed and Faithia Balogun. Back in the day, the pair was the poster couple of the Yoruba sector of Nollywood and Saheed never stopped gushing about how much Fathia was a blessing to him. That was until crisis hit the marriage and they both started singing different tunes in early 2009. Though they have three kids, that was not enough reason for the couple to reconcile. Among others, notable veteran actors including ACN National Leader, Sen. Bola Ahmed Tinubu waded into the crisis but all was to no avail as too much water had gone under the bridge. Recently, actress, Mercy Aigbe Gentry went out of her way and featured both of them in her movie entitled, Victims. However, obviously still bitter towards each other, they avoided each other like a plague on set. And a while ago, Saheed instructed Faithia to stop bearing Balogun, his surname.
Femi Adebayo and wife
Law graduate turned actor, Femi Adebayo, also has his own story to tell as far as breakups in Nollywood is concerned. Trouble began for the actor and father of three kids in 2009 when he and his wife parted ways because he insisted on pursuing a career in acting contrary to the promise he made her before they tied the knot.
In a recent interview the actor declared that seven years after his wife left him, he was ready to remarry stating that his ex-wife remarried two years after they broke up.
Recounting why the breakup was inevitable Adebayo said: “When we got married, acting was paying my bills than Law and I tried to let her understand but she wasn’t happy about it. The major reason we started having issues with the marriage was the fact that I went deep into acting while I promised her I will do more of Law than acting. She couldn’t stand or marry me again because I was too deep into acting. I tried all efforts to stop her from walking out of the marriage but it proved abortive.”
Daniel Ademinakan and Doris Simeon
They were the perfect couple of the industry. While Doris Simeon was one of the most-sought-after-actresses in the Yoruba sector of Nollywood, Daniel Ademinekon was a prolific movie maker and together they could have conquered Nollywood. And for a long while, it all seemed to be the perfect union and when the marriage eventually crashed, nobody saw it coming. In 2012, movie buffs received the news with shock that the perfect marriage broke up after Daniel took their only son, David, and left the country with Daniel’s new found love, Stella Damascus.
Toyin Aimakhu and Adeniyi Johnson
The break-up of actress, Toyin Aimakhu and her ex husband, Adeniyi Johnson, is also worthy of note. Married twice in 10 years but still in her early 30’s, Toyin was once Mrs. Sholanke before becoming Mrs. Adeniyi Johnson. However, her second marriage lasted for two-years after it broke up in February 2014 as a result of infidelity on Niyi’s part. Trouble began after Niyi was caught cheating on social media and the issue was resolved and Niyi had jokingly posted on his facebook profile that the storm in his marriage was over but eight month later, Niyi was in the news after he was caught cheating again. An angry Toyin had declared that she preferred to be single rather than spend the rest of her life with a cheat. Obviously, still very much in love with his wife, Niyi took the bold step of going on social media and publicly apologizing and pleading for forgiveness. He even called on friends and fans to help him plead with Toyin but all his entreaties fell on deaf ears and Toyin exited the marriage.
lni Edo and Philip Ehiagwina Even before the marriage, there were reports that Ini Edo’s Texas-based-husband-to-be already had a wife named Ruth but this did not deter the popular actress from walking down the aisle with Phillip Ehiagwina. However, a short while after the marriage was consummated, it fell apart! Among others, her ex accused her of cheating on him with a state governor. In fact, it was Ini Edo who took to her twitter account to announce the brake-up. Ini vehemently denied infidelity on her part and declared that she was seeking divorce from her husband due to irreconcilable differences. According to her, there was a conscious and malicious attempt at tarnishing her image.
Commenting, Ini had stated: “My marriage was an experience I will never regret. My husband was the last child of his family so his family interfered in our marriage. He interfered in my career as a good husband but along the line, we couldn’t find common ground.”
Chika Ike and Tony Ebiribi
Popular actress, Chika Ike’s marriage to Tony Ebiribi hit the rocks after five years amid allegations that she got married for money and that she was not loyal to her husband. However, the actress, after finalising her divorce had come out to declare that the reason for the break up was because she was a victim of domestic abuse.
In a statement she posted on social media, Chika had heartbreakingly opened up on her nightmare while the marriage lasted. Hear her: “The past three years have been a very emotional period for me, I focused my energy on work and to build back my self esteem. It’s been really hard for me to come out straight and talk about this because sometimes, I pinch myself to wake up and not believe that I was a victim of domestic violence. I’ve been through a lot in my life, faced a lot of challenges but this is one topic I’ve tried so hard to avoid and have been waiting for the right time but I have come to a resolve that there’s really no right time because every second of the day, lives are being lost due to domestic violence. I was a victim of domestic violence in my marriage and that was the singular reason I left my marriage aside other reasons.”
The union did not produce any child. They got married in 2006.
Uche Ogbodo and Ato Ubby
Another break up worthy of mention is Uche Ogbodo’s break up with her ex-footballer husband, Ato Ubby. They got married on October 2, 2013, few months later they parted ways despite Uche being heavy with child.
Commenting on the break-up, Uche had this to say: “It was a marriage but we didn’t do any wedding. We didn’t do any court marriage or church wedding. We did nothing. We didn’t even do traditional marriage but in my culture, there are many processes to getting married and I did a few of those so you can say I was married. In Igbo land, there are rites you adhere to before you can say this is my wife and I did a couple of them.
“My marriage was full of lies. It’s a pity it didn’t work out. I didn’t go into the marriage to crash it. I wanted a family; I wanted a loving home and a loving husband. That was why I went into it in the first place but as nature would have it, I didn’t get any of those. I still thank God my head is intact.”
Ann Njemanze and Silver Ojieson
Actress and ex-wife of Segun Arinze, Ann Njemanze is single again.
Ann’s second marriage to a Unilag lecturer, Silver Ojieson, lasted barely two year before it crashed like a pack of dominoes. However, before the union crashed, Domitila, as she is famously known, was a constant wailer on social media, lamenting how her heart was broken for the second time.
Silver Ojieson, who is younger than Ann tied the knot with her on November 9, 2013.