Happily never after, said these ones.
Mercy Aigbe and Lanre Gentry
Nollywood actress Mercy Aigbe’s seven-year marriage to Asiwaju Larry Gentry collapsed spectacularly amidst allegations of battery, domestic violence and infidelity. Their ‘’he said-she said’’ was messy and played out shamelessly in blogs and tabloid columns. He said she cheated, severally. She said he beat her up, continuously. She had pictures to prove. He didn’t. She left the home, he slept in prison. She got a restriction order and the Lagos state government stepped in somehow. No reason for them to put us through all that, come to think of it.
Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi and Zaynab Otiti-Obanor
The seemingly picture-perfect royal marriage between Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi and his former Olori, Zaynab Otiti-Obanor came crashing to the ground. Both parties have opted for a dignified exit and save for a cryptic long winded Instagram post from the former Olori, mum has been the word. The message called out the patriarchal habit of shaming women with labels of infidelity following failed relationships such as hers and expressed her desire to move on. The Ooni meanwhile promised to comment at the appropriate time.
Chris Attoh and Damilola Adegbite
They met on the set of Tinsel, the Nigerian sweetheart and the Ghanaian heartthrob. We rooted for them on screen, and off too, where their real life played out like a fairytale. He proposed to her on a boat cruise in Manhattan, and they tied the knot on Valentine’s Day. The fairytale lasted barely three years. That sound you hear now is the sound of our collective hearts breaking when news of their separation was finally made public, confirming months of disturbing rumours that all wasn’t quite well.
Muma Gee and Prince Eke
After meeting cute in church, while both were attending a naming ceremony, Port Harcourt based singer, Muma Gee and Nollywood actor, Prince Eke tied the knot in a splashy ceremony back in 2011. In December last year, the state of their union appeared to be shaky when Eke took to Instagram to declare that his wife had abandoned their home and was frolicking with different men at nightclubs in Abuja. Muma Gee filed for divorce this year amidst accusations of restlessness and fetish practices.
Ibinabo Fiberesima and Uche Egbuka
Former President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, Ibinabo Fiberesima in a lengthy Facebook post celebrating her birthday in January, announced the dissolution of her marriage with Uche Egbuka, which occurred in 2014. The post was essentially a prayer of thanks for how far she has come and her victories over various life-altering events. Fiberesima whose last major appearance on film was a supporting role in the film, ’76, wrote about dealing with the pain of singleness once again.
Tonto Dikeh and Oladunni Churchill
This breakup was far from amicable as both Nollywood actress Tonto Dikeh and her businessman hubby, Oladunni Churchill proceeded to drag each other through the mud, on the blogosphere and in the pages of the tabloids. They shared intimate details of their lives, uncovering layers of domestic abuse, psychological torture and physical violence. They even managed to rope in journalist, Azuka Ogujiuba, a veteran of reporting troubled marriages in their messy drama.
Femi and Ibitola Branch
Celebrity weddings are rarely civil. Such was the case of character actor Femi Branch and his estranged wife and mother of his two children. After the story of their separation broke, Ibitola gave an interview in which she narrated a story of financial deprivation and physical violence. She accused the actor of repeatedly failing to meet his financial responsibilities to his family and choosing instead to live a life of recklessness and debauchery.
Peter and Paul Okoye
This one wasn’t a marriage in the proper sense but it might as well have been. How else do you explain the phenomenon of twin brothers singing and dancing their way to global reckoning for the better part of the last decade? After many failed attempts at reconciliation, the Psquare chapter came to a rocky end. Peter made this official via a letter to his lawyer requesting the termination of the group’s agreement. Both brothers have since gone on to start solo careers.
Wilfred Okiche is a medic, reader, writer, journalist, culture critic, and occasional ruffler of feathers. One of the most influential critics working in the Nigerian culture space, his writing has appeared extensively in platforms like YNaija.com and 360nobs.com. Okiche has provided editorial assistance to the UK Guardian and has had his work published in African Arguments, Africa is a Country and South Africa’s City Press. He has received trainings and acquired experience in multimedia and online journalism. He also appears on the culture television show, Africana Literati. He has participated at critic programs in Lagos, Durban and Rotterdam.