Pa Gabriel Olatinwo and Madam Olufunke Tanimowo recently celebrated 50 years of marriage in Lagos, at an event organised by their six children, Alhaja Oluremilekun Adefolabi, Chief Babajide Tanimowo, Olugbenga Tanimowo, Mrs. Olubukola Basorun, Mr. Olawale Tanimowo and Mrs. Folake Oluwafemi.
The Tanimowos said their marriage was a fulfilment of hope and destiny, adding that the 50-year union was founded on a firm footing.
Part of the lessons from their marriage was to advise new and young couples to build their union on trust and fear of God.
“Young couples should be prayerful. They should show love, they should be hopeful and contented with whatever they have. Marriage is all about patience, tolerance and submission to the will of God and that of the husband.
“We thank God for this special grace. One of the most important lessons in marriage is to seek the face of God. For us, God has been the pillar that sustained our union because marriage is neither about wealth nor beauty. Sometimes, all these go with time because they are mostly transient. A successful marriage is all about love, unity cooperation and endurance.”
Pa Tanimowo, who is also an elder in the church, said: “Proposing to my wife was a bit difficult at the beginning because the popular notion then was that an Ibadan man wouldn’t marry an Egba or Ijebu woman.
“That old belief was like a caveat placed against our wishes at the time. But I married my wife against all odds. We lived in the same house then in Lagos. It was my friend, Adegoke, a lawyer, that initially proposed to her on my behalf even without my knowledge. That was how it all started till the time we got married, and God has really blessed the relationship till this moment.”
He said his wife had been a reliable partner, a strong pillar and manager of the home. He asserted that their marriage was as new as that of newlyweds.
“She is a woman after my heart, a special gift from God and my life partner. My wife is a typical home material because she is always supportive. For those 50 years, our relationship was never a bed of roses. Now at 80, I am retired, but not tired. I am comfortable with my grandchildren. I eat and watch television. That is all I do, especially now that there are no church activities,” he enthused
In her remarks, Madam Tanimowo said if there was another opportunity, she would gladly marry her husband again because of his love, loyalty and commitment to the family.
“Before we got married, I prayed. I asked God for a man that would be like my father because I grew up in a family where there was abundant love between my father and my mother. And I learnt all these from them. My parents were so close and faithful to their marriage.
“It is sad that the rate of divorce is high these days. Couples should tolerate each other; nobody is perfect. We should not discourage young people from marrying people from other states or tribes. The bond in marriage should be without limit or boundary.
“The fact that we are celebrating our birthdays and 50 years of marriage doesn’t mean we don’t have issues. There are times we disagree but it does not last. We usually find the meeting point, where all issues are resolved without anybody knowing. That is how it has been.
“My husband is devoted to our marriage. We brought our children up in the most interesting way, teaching them all the tenets of the Christian religion.”
One of the children, Chief Babajide Tanimowo, Atoloye Aareonakakanfo of Yorubaland, said the union was a blessing to the children.
“I am happy for my parents because they are alive to witness this special day. We had planned to make the day very elaborate by inviting a gospel musician to perform at the ceremony but because of the coronavirus pandemic, we had to make it lowkey.
“What I learned from my parents are majorly about integrity, consistency and the fear of God. They will never see white and call it black. They were from traditional religion backgrounds, but today they are elders of the church. They both went to Jerusalem the same year,” he said.