Nollywood comic actor, Ime Bishop Umoh a.k.a Okon Lagos and wife, Idara, in a chat with Punch, talked about their union, see excerpts below:
How did you meet your wife?
Ime: She was a bridesmaid at a wedding I anchored in November 2012.I spotted her at the wedding and I couldn’t get my eyes off her. Since I felt I wouldn’t have any other opportunity to get to know her, I approached her. I was in an emotionally tumultuous relationship at the time and I wanted to opt out as soon as possible. I wanted to roll over to the other side of the lawn where the grass is greener.
Idara: When he asked me out, I was in a relationship but he persisted. I didn’t really take him up until later. I was busy with my bridesmaid duty at the wedding and didn’t even notice his gaze. He confessed later that he could not take his eyes off me all through the wedding ceremony.
How did he propose?Idara: He didn’t really propose the conventional way but I accepted after asking him to speak with my mother. I did this because I was unable to tell if he was serious or just looking for a poster girl that he could just be taking around to show off on set and then dump when he must have had his fill. After he spoke with my mum and she approved of him, I did too.
What was the attraction?
Ime: She is a very pretty woman and that attracted me. I needed some bright faced person that I could talk to and would smile back at me. I needed someone to calm my nerves a little.
Idara: He was and still is a very caring man with an impeccable sense of humour that I love so much.
Could the fact that you both hail from Akwa-Ibom State play a role…?
Ime: Irrespective of religion, tribe or race, I don’t hold such prejudices or sentiments. What matters most is your peace of mind and happiness.
Are you bothered about the spate of crashed celebrity marriages?
Idara: When we got married I used to pray to God to make sure my marriage works and never breaks up. I would pray that I would rather die than see my marriage break up. That way, the only reason why he would have to remarry was because he is widowed, God-forbid though.
How long did you court?
Ime: We courted for about 10 months but I had plans to get married to her from the first day. When the time came, I didn’t hesitate to make her my wife.
How do you keep romance alive?
Idara: I love cooking for my husband because he loves good food. Sometimes, he prefers I wash his clothes in the washing machine but I insist on using my hands because I just love doing that for him.
Ime: I ensure she lacks nothing within my capacity and surprise her with gifts from time to time. I also surprise her pleasurably. Also, versatility; patience and above all, grace of God are the ingredients for a lasting union.
What was it like when you met his family for the first time?
Idara: I nursed no fears at all because I have total confidence in my husband. At some point, during our meeting, he kept answering all the questions and never allowed me talk at all.
Ime: Her family members were very warm and very receptive to me the first time I met them.
Is there anything you will love to change about your spouse?
Idara: His temperament. When angry he can go to any length but would later apologise. I am praying and seriously helping him work on his anger.
Who apologises first after a disagreement?
Idara: He is also very good at apologising and never wants to see me frown.
Ime: I apologise first because I don’t have the energy to bear fury for a long time. I will have emotional constipation if I try it.
Would you have married a celebrity if you hadn’t met your wife?
Ime: No. I would not have settled down with a celebrity because paradoxically before you can have a decent family, you must have a balanced life. I cannot be running from pillar to post and my wife is doing the same- she has to be on a low key and I can be in the public eye. The two of us cannot be as busy as bees and then expect to train our children well.
As an entertainer, have you ever had issues concerning trust with him?
Idara: I love my husband’s job and have absolute confidence and trust in him. His job or female fans do not threaten me. I am his number one fan and seeing him on screen playing the stupid roles gives me so much joy. God has implanted something in him that is so different from other comedians and I don’t think he should be in another profession. This is the best job that he can do.
Ime: There is no contesting the fact that you have to respect your wife. You do not have any choice in this regard. Anyone that says I slept with a woman under the influence of alcohol is lying because if you do not nurse the intention in the first place, it won’t happen. I draw the line because I believe that life is all about prioritising. My marriage is prior and I can’t jeopardise that for anything in the world. I can’t cheat on my wife.
Do you run a joint account?
Ime: We don’t run a joint account but our accounts are tied to each other and we know how much comes into the family. Our phone numbers are tied to my account and we both get transaction alert anytime there is a deposit or withdrawal.
With the birth of your daughter, any changes?
Idara: Now that we have a child, there is divided attention and sometimes he can just take our daughter out and leave me alone in the house.
Ime: I have seen my wife move from giving me sole attention to sharing it between my daughter and I. Because, it is a girl child, I give her so much attention as well. Before I go out, I kiss her on the lips and then gave my wife a peck on the cheeks. She complains about this even though jocularly. I am blessed to have someone who shares my DNA at the end of the day.