Nollywood actor, whose pregnant wife showed up at his attempt to wed another woman, tells own story
By Damiete Braide
*I loved Ezinne, my first wife, but she was deceitful, greedy. * If I hadn't left Lillian, my second wife, I would have committed suicide. * Uloma gives me true love, inner joy
On Saturday, April 13, Nigerians were shocked when the supposed wedding of Nollywood actor, Mr. Solomon Akiyesi, to Ms Uloma Agwu, turned into a major scandal in Lagos.
The 'wedding', which was taking place at the Overcomer's World Outreach in Aguda, Surulere, was truncated when Solomon's authentic wife, Lillian, stormed the church with some family members, creating a scene and accusing the groom-to-be of abandoning her at home in Port Harcourt while he was busy, plotting an illegal wedding in Lagos.
It took the intervention of policemen to restore sanity. The wedding was eventually cancelled by the General Overseer of the Overcomers Church World Outreach, Bishop N.E. Moses.
Since then, many Nigerians have taken to the social media, raining unprintable invectives on the Nollywood actor, who was said to have been married twice before his latest failed attempt. In a chat with Daily Sun, Solomon tells his own story, explaining why he decided to take the actions that he took, concerning his marital life. Excerpts: Over the last one week, hell has been let loose on me.
I've not only suffered verbal attacks, but also vituperations and near fisticuffs, all because of another futile attempt of mine at my journey towards achieving that which I honestly and passionately desire – a peaceful home and family. Social network sites and blogs have been awash with how I left Lilian, my "pregnant" wife, to marry Uloma, my Lagos "mistress" whom they also claimed was pregnant for me. Nothing can be farther from the truth.
Only a mad or cursed man would simply leave his pregnant wife and elope with another one. And lest I forget, I urge you, as you read this, to have an open mind to listen to that which is true instead of taking sides and jumping into wicked conclusions with its attendant wicked insults and uncouth commentaries about how Solomon is running his life and how he is not. I'm not asking for pity or trying to buy anybody's love at this time.
This is my life. If at my age I don't know what I want, then I may just remain the dumb ass that I've been called over and over again. I don't think I need anyone to give me any lecturing on how I should exercise my privileges.
For the record, I never planned on marrying more than one wife. And unlike the serial husband I've been labelled, I had dreamt and planned a lovely home and family.
And my quest for this dates back to 2003 after I had moved into Port Harcourt. I soon settled down with Ezinne, my university days girlfriend, whom I ran into in Port Harcourt during her National Youth Service. As fate had it, we couldn't help reliving old times and one thing led to another. One fateful, rainy Thursday evening in October, 2002, Ezinne came to inform me that she was pregnant.
It was as far as I was concerned, a devastating blow to the new life I was living; rap music, cars, money and women. So, I told her the pregnancy was unacceptable to me. Besides, I only just started working and needed stability. But months later, Ezinne was to inform me that she was carrying a baby girl.
And knowing my attachment to baby girls and not wanting to ever have a baby outside wedlock, I repented and changed my thuggish ways and asked her to marry me, more so that I was mature enough in every ramification. Or so I thought.
And so, sometime in April, 2003, I hired a hall and invited a pastor to come officiate at my marriage with Ezinne and bless our rings. All done, we went home and started as husband and wife. God, the creator, knew how glad I was and looked forward to a happy home. However, five days after that marriage, I called my new wife on my way from work to ask what was up for dinner and she told me she had been in the hospital.
I rushed to the hospital and was told by Ezinne that she lost the baby. I got her discharged and took her home. But I was completely broken at the loss of a baby I had expected so much. Four days later, I asked my wife if she actually saw the dead baby. She responded by saying the doctor brought it but she gave instruction for it to be buried because she could not behold the sight. Instinctively, I called the doctor – both to thank him and to confirm because he wasn't around when I went to pick her home. After thanking the doctor, I asked of the sex of my dead baby.
The doctor didn't talk for like six seconds. I asked him the same question again and he said he's been restless in his spirit and that he could no longer keep the fact that there was no baby inside Ezinne and that nothing like miscarriage happened in his hospital. I challenged him again and asked if he was not the same person, who confirmed her pregnant and that Ezinne had been attending antenatal in his hospital.
He responded that he had not set his eyes on Ezinne since October of the previous year. Meanwhile, Ezinne had always taken money from me for antenatal and had even shopped for the baby! It then became clear to me that this was a fluke all together.
Sadly enough, Ezinne denied any wrongdoing. For three years, I exposed opportunities for Ezinne to simply tell me the truth but she never took advantage of any of the opportunities. Alas! She was not pregnant. I decided to investigate myself and took her for HSG where it was discovered that there were no fallopian tubes in her and that there was evidence of previous surgery of the uterus. I independently probed further and found out with evidence that Ezinne had a life-threatening abortion in 1992 that resulted in the rupture and subsequent removal of her womb and tubes.
My biggest pain was not what I found out but the fact that Ezinne hid all this from me all these years and was still being economical with the truth even when confronted with hard evidence! In frustration, I moved out of the house but not before taking her to her mum in search of the truth.
Even the mum corroborated what Ezinne gave as excuse for the scar that runs from her navel down to her pubic region, i.e. she was operated upon due to menstrual irregularities. I then decided to stay out for good. While I was out, my relationship with Lillian whom I had known years earlier grew.
I was always going to see her in Enugu. I then got me another apartment and Lillian came around quite often too. Gradually Lillian grew from that little girl I was merely helping in her schooling, into a mature, witty and intelligent young woman. So, having taken my people to Ezinne's place for the dissolution of the marriage – since we did only traditional marriage – I proposed to Lillian.
And, in 2007, we proceeded to the registry for marriage. And that was the day her father started troubling me. He insisted Lillian was not supposed to go home with me. For two years, he cut communication with me. Shortly after the marriage, my businesses ran into a crises and my entire life nose-dived.
There was tremendous loss in my finances. In my travail, Lillian's father went to the police and told them to deal seriously with me because I was an "irresponsible son-in-law". When the challenges kept mounting and seeing my life was at risk after I was badly shot, I left town to sojourn elsewhere. In 2010, I gradually re-emerged and we started finding our footing again.
Even though I tried to settle down again, I found that the centre could no longer hold, as Lillian had metamorphosed into a nag and had acquired a fire tongue with which she talked me down and reigned curses on me at any little provocation. There was no week we didn't have a major fight, whether I was home or not.
At some point, she became religious. And having found her way into Winners Chapel, she suggested to me one day that it was necessary we took our marriage to God since we hadn't a proper wedding. She said her church pastors were willing to help in blessing our marriage so there could be a turnaround. To this, I obliged. She said she would love for us to wear wedding costumes for the purpose of photographs. To this I also consented. And so, to Winners Chapel we went and were blessed and certificated.
But it was as if that blessing was what someone was waiting for before they would blow the whistle that would usher me into the hall of pain. Lillian became insatiable.
You would see tiny ingredients of marriage only when I could ensure her comfort. Once Lillian's comfort was compromised, she would lampoon me and tell me my life history in graphic details and lecture me on what Mr. A and B have done for their wives that I'm not able to do.
It's even worse when I try to remind her of the recent past that I laboured tenaciously to keep her happy. Once she told me that there was nothing I had done in the past that anybody couldn't have done. Imagine sacrificing all you've got, including almost your life, for someone who would tell you it's no big deal and that any other person could have done what you did. And then, suddenly, she wanted me to quit my acting career or she would divorce me. My phones were always her best companions at night. If she was not reading my texts, she was in my facebook or BBM.
I had no peace. My best moment was whenever I had to leave home for work. And after work I never wanted to go back home. On a trip back home sometime ago, I was praying that my aircraft should crash and I die instead of going home. Even when I was driving home, I was under strong temptation to ram into oncoming vehicles instead of going home.
It was either that a long list of demand would be waiting for me or an equally longer list of questions about whom I had been online with and whom I had been calling and not calling.
Then on the side was a supposed father-in-law, who claimed he regretted the marriage because he wasn't getting anything from it and that I only came to destroy the love that existed in their family before the marriage. So, my joy knew no bounds when Lillian told me last year that she was pregnant. For me, it was a good thing. Maybe the baby would take her attention away from me at last. Then the heat started again. I must provide N2 million for her to deliver her baby, even though she knows my income and its source. When her pressure got to a head and to avoid the same road I travelled with Ezinne, I took Lillian to a gynaecologist. A scan was run on her and the result was declared before the two of us that she was not pregnant.
This was after she told me that she had done an independent scan and that she was carrying triplets! Even with the medical confirmation, Lillian never stopped her push for N2 million and money for baby shopping. I ended up suffering a partial stroke in January. Yet she would wake me up at 2am to ask me of my plans to raise N2 million for her, even while I was bedridden with stroke.
I knew then that I was going to die in that marriage and had to do something about it. Ladies and gentlemen, this is about my life. If what greeted the Internet and press was that I died, trying to please Lillian and my marriage, people would still insult me and ask why I didn't take a walk. And taking a walk I tried to do but I did not do it right.
I tried to skip due process to avoid hurting anyone. More so, I did not have the political and emotional will to ask for divorce. Pray, people, divorce is not like going to a grocery store where you go to pay your money and come back with a bag full. What would have been my ground for divorce? I should also confess that I could not find an answer to what would happen to Lillian if I asked her to go because I was more than a husband to her.
So, I foot-dragged to the point of taking the easy way out. And the easy way is not usually the best way as I found out on Saturday, April 13.
Uloma did not just jump into the picture to "snatch" Solomon from Lillian. Uloma has been my friend since 2006. We met again in 2009 at the peak of my business crisis and have been seeing each other afterwards. Candidly, I was swept away by the love, understanding and the peaceful disposition Uloma proffered even as a friend, far from the opposites I was getting back home. The way Uloma treated me was the exact desires any man longed for in a wife. So, I was always running to her whenever Lillian lit her fires.
So, I asked myself why I couldn't marry her. Far from the evil rumour that I wanted to marry Uloma because of her money, I wanted to marry Uloma to fill a vacuum in her life and make her happy and fulfilled because this woman with a heart of gold who has impacted many lives deserved to be happy.
If that was what I could ever do to plant some comfort in her life. If there was going to be any immediate gain for me, it would have been peace of mind and its attendant long life, not her money or any physical or material gains. I'm not a lazy man.
Apart from being an actor, I have been in business for almost fifteen years. Years back, when I poured millions of naira on exotic cars and a posh house in Port Harcourt, Uloma was a seventy thousand naira recovery staff in Sterling Bank. Today, even if Uloma gave me all her salary from where she presently works, it won't be enough to put Internet credit in my tablets and phones. Someone even posted that I said I would have 'hammered' if I had married Uloma.
What could I possibly gain? Uloma wasn't frustrated to the point of desperation to pay a man to marry her. There was no award for anyone who married her. She does not own an estate or anything willed to her by anyone that I was running after. Uloma is not the daughter of any rich man or top politician. She's as much a hustler as I am.
Ok, yes, sincerely, maybe I actually would have 'hammered' long life, happiness, inner joy, a sense of being loved and long life. I also would have 'hammered' having her sisters as my sisters because they love me like their own brother – a far cry from what my own people give me.
If I had married Uloma, I know I would have had a good burial whenever I died because I've always been scared that at my level of loneliness, whenever I die, my corpse would probably have decomposed before my people would find me. I beg to be loved and appreciated. Nobody to call my own.
No one ever cared about me. I have always been alone and hardworking too. From way back, my joys, my sorrows I have always swallowed alone. But Uloma was the only person who truly listened to my heart and understood where I was coming from. So to say any of my failed marriages was for money is simply stupid and unreasonable. The first car Ezinne ever drove and financing for her first attempt at business all came from me.
Lillian was not born with a silver spoon. Her father is only a retired naval officer and the last time I checked he had no wealth ascribed to his name. On her 18th birthday, I bought Lillian an exotic Corolla car. At 300 level in school, I gave her a Mercedes Benz.
Then she graduated with an LS400 Lexus. This is apart from a lush apartment and school bills that God used me to help her take care of. So, who amongst these would I have married for money? Uloma stood out because she's shared my pain even when it was because of me and that explains why it was a difficult task telling her Lillian was still in my tracks.
I couldn't have deliberately gone out of my way to hurt Uloma, because that will be simply committing suicide. Hurting Uloma is like waging war against a nation. Is it her legion of admirers I will have to contend with or her nation of die-hard lovers who will be tumbling over each other to get a pound of flesh?
I wouldn't give hurt for the love and hope Uloma and her family gave me. Unfortunately the same scandals I thought I was preventing by not doing what everyone is saying I would have done is now the same thing staring me in the face, and everyone is worse hurt.
And above all, my own life is now seriously at risk because I feared hurting anyone. I ask all concerned to please sheathe their swords of anger and find it in their hearts to forgive me. I will make restitution as much as the mercy of God permits me. It's never too late to begin again as far as God keeps us all alive.
I'm a man on a mission for a peaceful marriage, a good home and family life. I guess my desperation took good reasoning off me. Again, I am humbly and truly sorry. I thank my friends who have stood by me through this trial. Your comforting words are like lights on my dark path.
And for the judgmental few, I urge you; work with the truth while the Almighty fixes that which went wrong in my life.