Mr Yusuf Buba, former General Manager, Radio Nigeria, Peace FM, and currently a medial consultant with Gotel Communication, Yola, Adamawa and his wife, Mrs Uwani Yusuf Buba have been married for almost forty years. In this interview with our correspondent, BILLY GRAHAM ABEL, they share with him the secret of their long-lasting marriage.
Tell us how you met your wife before you eventually got married.
Husband: We met at Mubi, Adamawa State, immediately I was employed and posted as a Clerical Assistant at the Medical Auxiliary Training School, Mubi, in 1980. Initially, the marriage was not properly planned because I was in school and there was no job to support myself. It was hard for me because I was unemployed after the completion of my basic studies. I was also hoping to go to the university. However, I was supported by my father (now late), Alhaji Hamma Michika, who personally bankrolled the married and made my dream a reality. Looking back today, it’s been thirty-eight years.
Was it the same thing with you, or are there details you would like to add, at least on your own part?
Wife: Well he just approached me and then proposed marriage the moment we met. Maybe that’s what you call love at first sight. At first, I thought it was a joke or that he was joking. Well, but he was kind to me and my parents and that meant a lot to me. I told him God would take care of situations and he complimented me saying, he thinks I will be a good housewife. I laughed of course and asked him to pray so that the marriage would be a reality.
Was there any opposition from anywhere – relatives, friends, etc, against your marriage?
Husband: My relative did not oppose the marriage in the beginning. Rather, they felt happy when I told them of my intention to marry.
Wife: You know relations and what they would not do especially in a situation like this when you have a husband who is unemployed. Some of my relatives opposed the marriage because my husband was newly employed and feared that he could marry an additional wife.
What made you decide to go for your wife out of the many ladies available for a pick within that period?
Husband: She was beautiful, tall and kind.
What qualities made you choose him above other eligible bachelors or suitors of that period?
Wife: His kind words and care for everyone he came across; he was a complete gentleman and my parents admired his sterling qualities.
How did you propose to her? What exactly did you say to her as to make her accept to marry you?
Husband: I told her that my love for her is everlasting and that I wanted her to be my wife. She laughed and pondered over it and over and over again.
What did you say when he proposed? What was your reply?
Wife: I just laughed and laughed. I told him to meet my parents, as I had already fallen in love with him. I also had no second thoughts beside about him.
What do you remember most about your wedding?
Husband: It was a memorable moment in my life, to have a kind, compassionate and respectful woman as my wife. She is a woman who easily makes friends because of her cheerfulness.
Wife: I was happy to have him as a husband because of his simplicity in life and care and hard work.
What’s your husband’s favourite food?
Wife: He likes tuwon masara and okro soup with fish.
What’s your wife’s favourite food?
Husband: She prefers tuwon shinkafa with fish.
Could you remember your first misunderstanding in marriage and how did you handle it?
Husband: It was quite dramatic, one day, I returned home late from work and there was no food for me. I scolded her and it almost led to a fight but then I have to control myself. We identified the problem areas, because as a man I have to go out to work and come back home late.
Wife: Well, I deliberately refused to keep some food for him on that fateful day because I was angry and I wanted him to learn a lesson and the need for him to come back home early from wherever he went. Well, he understands me and began to come back home on time, unlike in the past.
What do you like most about her?
Husband: She is down to earth kind and humble and respects everyone.
What do you like most about him?
Wife: He is the easy-going type, who accommodates everyone.
What areas would you like to see her improve?
Husband: She should be herself now that both of us are aged and what we both need are comfort and care.
What areas would you like to see him improve?
Wife: He should not rest on his oars (laurels) but keep on kicking to keep the family alive after his early retirement, with zeal and total commitment.
What advice do you have for a young bachelor who intends to marry?
Husband: Before choosing a woman for marriage a young bachelor should first do his homework and try knowing as much as possible about her background, parents and relatives and personality. We cannot know everything but do your best and be sure you are compatible.
What advice do you have for a spinster who intends to marry?
Wife: A spinster should not be in a hurry or desperate to get married: she should take her time to look for a man who loves and respects her and someone who matches her reputation and need.
In light of rampant cases of divorce these days, from your own personal experiences, what pieces of advice would you want to give newly married couples on how to make their marriage last as long as your own has lasted?
Wife: Couples should love each and try be frank, open and respectful to each other and to keep faith with each other and have an effective family communication. Especially the spinster, she should decide whether she is actually ready for marriage or not. Additionally, she should know whether the man she wants to marry is the right person for her.
Husband: Newly married couples should live and respect each other as one. They both need each other that is why they are married and they should avoid any kind of bitterness at home. Couples must come together and decided what the future holds for them as they progress in life because marriage is meant to last and last long.