by Anike Jacobs
It is said that ‘behind any successful man is a woman’ and this applies to Barrister (Mrs) Caroline Adeneye who dotes on her husband, Dayo Adeneye, fondly known as D-One.
In a recent interview with The Nation newspaper, she opens up on their marriage and more.
How do you feel when your husband openly refers to you as his partner?
I feel very wonderful and I will say there is nothing more than a husband appreciating his wife and openly acknowledging same. What you mean to him and how he perceives you, go a long way. We women don’t actually ask for much. We only ask for the commitment and the assurance from our husbands, that, ‘Look, you mean a lot to me and I love you so much, thank you for tolerating me.’ With that, what else can you ask or wish for? So, I am very happy and I am very privileged to be alive with my whole family. It is a God-given privilege.
But then, why do you think your husband shows open admiration for you?
Yes, he openly says that I am a strong force in his life, but I don’t think I am that force really. God is the force behind our union. He is the ultimate force for the career of my husband; I am just the vessel He uses to achieve that great aim in D-One’s life. Of course, I support my husband hundred percent. I support him to achieve anything legitimate that will keep him going strong as the head of our family. I adore him as my head crown and the patriarch of our family. He is my husband and my role as his wife is to support him and give him all it takes for him to manage the pressure of running the home front. I think I am very fulfilled to have been described that way. But ultimately, God is the founding Father of our love life. Our appreciation goes to Him.
What do you admire about your husband?
So many things but I will mention three: My husband is focused, calm and very forthright. If you hand a project to my husband, you can rest assured that he will do it within the shortest of time. He is much focused. I have never seen a man like that. And because he is calm, he equally gets on board before everyone else and signs off earlier than every other person. Then, his forthrightness marvels me so much. He is sincere to a fault. These are the qualities I find in him and I think that is the hallmark of his manliness. He is a great man.
What do you dislike about D-One?
He is too strict. My husband is too strict; you can’t be lazy and find comfort around him. When he says no, he means it. And when he says yes, he means it. People don’t know this because he keeps a celebrity outlook. Though some people are mistakingly taken in by his celebrity outlook to be just anyhow person, but far from it, my husband is strict and he could just take you to the extreme. He is almost a perfectionist in everything he does. Most times, I am tempted to think that it has to do with his teaching background. He was a teacher way back in the United States for a period of seven years and today, some of his students run big corporations. I think he has a knack for excellence and mediocrity does not sell with him. Maybe because I am the closest to him, and then the children too; so, he expects nothing but excellence from us. He is very strict.
What lessons has your marriage taught you?
Our relationship has taught me how to be positive and how to manage people. I am a lawyer by profession and most times, even though I relate with people more than him, I easily get put off if the person does not match my temperament. But my husband was the one who taught me how to see the positive sides of people and maximise that side. My husband believes that for every man, no matter how defaulting he is, there is always a better side that one can explore to his benefit. He is the one who told me that I should always look out for the 30% goodness in any human being and should try to use that 30% to nullify the 70% negative. You know, I told you my husband is very calm, he can tolerate you even for a decade, no matter how bad you turn out to be. He has this excellent spirit of long-term relation. If my husband gets off with you, that could mean that you are a terribly bad person. But even at that, he can tolerate you for a while.
He is the main assessor when it comes to human relations in our businesses. Secondly, my husband is a happy person by attitude. He is the one who taught me how to make a day positive. He usually tells me that if you wake up in the morning and shout or get angry, then the entire day may be messy for you. But if you wake up with a booming attitude or a happy attitude, the entire day will turn up happy for you. He strongly believes that everyday is amazing and on that note, you can make the week amazing; you can make the month amazing; you can make the year amazing and even you can just make an entire decade amazing. That is him for you.
So, how do you handle the fact that he is more popular?
Yes, I am more on the quiet side socially. You will never know this but I can tell you that in terms of attitude, he is quieter than me. Surprisingly, I make friends more easily than my husband. He is shy and reserved. But most people don’t know this; they often look at the showbiz side of my husband. Unfortunately, that is his job and not his personality.
How do you handle his absence due to his nature of work?
I think he is in a better position to answer that question. I think the good thing that happened to me was that I married Dayo Adeneye. I didn’t marry D-One. So, we are like normal couples. D-One is the showbiz personality everyone sees and craves for, while Dayo Adeneye is my husband and father of my children. We go through what normal couples go through and we get over things together. Yes, as a family, we have more of his absence than his presence. It is a bit better now. I remember when I was having kids, he was not always there. You will discover there is eight years gap between Nicole and Bryan, the first and second child.
Those days when I went to the hospital, my doctor will say, ‘I don’t know why you are coming here because your husband is never around.’ The man will say, ‘The day you start travelling with your husband, you can come back to see me. Stop coming to give me your money; I am not interested in your money.’ That was what my doctor told me and true to his word, it was when I travelled with him D-One, that I got pregnant with Bryan because he was never there. He was always travelling to cover one event or the other across the world. So, I went with him on that particular trip because the doctor said if I don’t go, I should not come back to him; that I should not say I am not pregnant when my husband is not always there.
That is that; I think in all these years of knowing Dayo, I think I can count how many times we have celebrated Valentine’s Day together. So, maybe that is why when our birthday comes, he tries to celebrate it for me in a modest way. Then, I celebrate him annually because most times, he is not always around.
Your husband is a ladies’ man, how do you handle women around him? Do you feel bad when you hear tales about women dying to have him since he is a celebrity?
No. There is one thing I have to appreciate my husband for; I have to give kudos to him for one thing, he respects me and he would not go out of his way to do anything he knows a wife won’t like to see. But you can also understand that female fans are crazy; they go all around him and all that, but when we go for public events and they do their stuff to him, I don’t really care because he is going home with me. That is the most important thing.
Have you ever checked his phone and stumbled on some crazy text?
I don’t think there is, because my husband knows I don’t have the time. I don’t check his phone. Why should I desire to give myself unnecessary headache? You check today, you see a female name; tomorrow you see another female name. It is unnecessary; a man who loves you will do everything necessary to protect his home and like I said, I give kudos to my husband; he tries to make me happy. He tries to avoid things that will make me unhappy. So, what else would I ask for? Snooping around? That means I am not busy.
Why do you think your marriage has lasted these 18 years?
The secret of a successful marriage life rests in three things; they are patience, patience and patience. Those are the three things you need to secure your marriage. My mum told me this when I was getting married. My parents had reservations for showbiz people. They believed they don’t keep good wives; they don’t keep good homes and all that. I insisted that it was Dayo I wanted, but they refused to honour our proposal for two years and I had to have my baby before our marriage. My daughter was almost two years when we had our marriage because there was resistance from my parents. But when they finally succumbed and gave their blessing. My mum said to me, ‘My daughter, you have to wear a garment of patience because we that are not even married to people in the public arena, we romance patience, not to talk of people like you who are marrying stars. So, patience and friendship matters. When you are friends, you build trust and trust becomes the tripod on which patience will stand and with patience, you will be able to do anything.
Secondly, you must be able to communicate; it is a very powerful weapon for a successful marriage. But I equally found out that in Africa, majority of the men are not too open for communication. They think you want to know so much. But I will tell you that whatever your husband feels you should know, just accept it. Later, he will start opening up to you. Don’t force him because Africa is a man’s world, it is the West that harbours the opinion that women are strong. If you want to succeed in your marriage here, you must be very humble and understand how it works here.
You must put upon yourself a permanent garment of peace so that your marriage can earn a silver jubilee, a golden jubilee and if possible a diamond jubilee. Patience is the key word and that is what I tell women of nowadays; don’t even believe what you see in the film or read in the novel. The one in the film is film trick and the one in the novel is fiction. Reality is different from film trick or fiction. The man you live your entire life with is not only your father but your teacher and chief instructor.