The world is witnessing something of a ‘revolution’ in marriage matters especially as they concern the rich and the powerful. Marriage is a social contract mutually existing between a man and a woman (husband and wife); it involves a supposedly everlasting relationship solidified by a church wedding. Even God, the Supreme Being, had commanded us in the Bible to marry and multiply and fill the universe! So, doing so is only in perfect harmony with His wish and will!
The crux of the matter, ladies and gentlemen, is this: if the Almighty God in His infinite wisdom and celestial grace had not deemed it wise creating Eve out of Adam’s rib, you and I would not have been here — here as glorified visitors to this universal village. We must collectively, therefore, seek to discourage, through good conduct and personal moral example, those hell-bent on destroying an orderly world as we were born to know it. Homosexuality, against this backdrop, is evil and it must be seen as such from, at least, the African perspective!
In Igboland, where I hail from, marriage is loudly celebrated and deeply respected. Every adult of marriage age always looks forward to the day he would take his soulmate to the alter answering ‘Yes I Do’ before a priest or a pastor in the presence of friends and relations. Marriage is very blissful when it is anchored on sincerity and true love. In the place of my birth when one sees a couple whose marriage has endured the wear and tear of times memories of paradise here on earth is evoked.
The marriage institution is generally on the decline in many parts of the world. With the advent of the modern world and the modern man loving just only a woman (a wife) is becoming more and more challenging in a new world of possibilities in which the internet has revolutionalised the way we relate with the opposite sex. Besides, it might be in order to insinuate here that the beautiful ones are now born! Daily, these ‘angels’ try out every possible means to seduce us sometimes reminding us that one cannot afford to ‘eat’ only one ‘sauce’ at home! By their seductive comportments they inadvertently encourage infidelity and promiscuity. wittingly or otherwise.
In high society levels marriage is easily contracted and easily dismissed with or without consequencies. The rich and the powerful among us go for big ladies, some previously married, who they desired out of lust or driven by their riches. It happens often in the United States in particular and the Western world in general — especially among professional entertainers and stars. Now we have such issues in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa. Back home in Nigeria it is no longer surprising to hear about one celebrity (especially Nollywood actor or actress) getting married and weeks or months or years later divorcing for reasons often not disclosed.
Elizabeth (Liz) Taylor, the late British-American actress and socialite in her hyperactive sexual life had eight failed marriages! She even divorced one husband at a time and had to remarry the same man, Richard Burton, a year after! She was the quintessential beauty that captivated men with her stunning natural endowments! When she passed away last year the whole world had mourned her exit bringing back fond memories of her modest beginning and her eventful life filled with amorous adventures and philanthropy.
The golf living legend Tiger Woods got his marriage into the ‘woods’ sometime ago when his wayward sexual lifestyle was exposed leading to the wife, Swedish-born bombshell, Elin Nordegren, leaving him. Woods’ sexual escapades dated back years but luck ran out on him as the truth was revealed of his extra-marital engagements with women. The gifted golfer was a smart ‘away’ lover smartly concealing his amorous relationships outside wedlock while pretending to be a good husband at home.
But the golf Tiger recognised his “moral failings” and “irresponsible behavior” admitting he had been “unfaithful” to his ex-wife apologising profusely and asking for forgiveness in a released statement soon after the scandal broke out in the States. Sometimes we play games with our wives but whenever these ladies get to know of our philandering ways they are often shocked and depressed. We must endeavour to curtail certain transgressions in our marital lives.
But Woods cannot be said to be alone in this game men play with other women outside wedlock neither should his case be considered as one in isolation. In the US and elsewhere men have had to confess their womanising streak and others have had to bow to their cheated partners’ wish for divorce. Name them: Hollywood megastars, Bollywood superstars and Nollywood stars have all had one embarrassing experience or the other concerning their extra-marital relationships. The great former wrestler and film actor Hulk Hogan, the iconic ex-pugilist Mohammed Ali, the hard-hitting ex-boxer Mike Tyson and popular actor Eddie Murphy whose penchant for divorce and new marriages is legendary.
In Nigeria sexual scandals are nothing new in Nollywood circles and elsewhere. Many actresses have had to be accused (rightly or wrongly) of sleeping with film directors and/or producers to obtain prime roles in movies! And in political circles we often read or hear about couples going their seperate ways because of involvement in politics. Politicians in ‘Naija’ are generally bad lovers and bad husbands frolicking with young students on campus to the detriment of their wives. Recently online I read a report of one bitter politician in Edo State telling a court in town in a divorce case that one night his wife came back home drunk with her pant nowhere to be found!
Reverend Chris Okotie is a Nigerian flamboyant new-generation pentecostal preacher of the Gospel. His church, Household of God Church, is based in Lagos and it has some high-profile Nigerians as members. Like Pastor Chris Oyakhilome based in South Africa Okotie is a good-looking man of God with gifted power of the tongue and deep intellect. Nigeria, despite her mounting socio-economic challenges, is not short of rich and powerful pastors delivering the children of the living God from the principalities and powers of darkness. Some of these pastors are reportedly wealthy to the extent that they feature in Forbes list of the most powerful and richest men in the world.
Reverend Chris Okotie surprised some members of his church and his friends and foes alike when he unexpectedly announced publicly late June this year that his four years marriage with the beautiful Stephanie Henshaw had hit the rock! Though the divorced couple had, according to the funky Pastor, vowed to keep mum over what led to the break up the glamorous marriage crumbled because of “irreconcilable differences”. It is worth recalling here that Okotie and Stephanie got married on 7 August 2008 in a glittering wedding in Lagos. Rev. Okotie had previously married and seperated and Stephanie had equally married three men before the man of God came into her love life!
Rev. Okotie, a former pop star turned pastor, is also a politician much like the radical Pastor Tunde Bakare of Latter Rain Assembly in Lagos. During his musical career Okotie released a hit song “ABC 123”. I had listened to that song when I was doing my secondary education in Benin City. Pastor Okotie whose political platform is called the Fresh Party has sought to become the President of Nigeria on more than one occasion but the fact is self-evident that the Nigerian treacherous political terrain may not accommodate someone like Okotie or even Bakare because of their brutal frankness and charismatic Christianism.
In the Christian community the Catholic priests or reverend fathers are forbidden to marry as they struggle (amid scandalous sexual revelations around the world) to maintain their Vatican celibacy imposition. But in the pentecostal fold new generation pastors and bishops have had to be in the news — sometimes for wrong amoral reasons. Sometimes we hear and read about pastors and ‘men of God’ com
mitting adultery, defrauding people and serving both God and satan by way of praying and fasting on behalf of morally-corrupt politicians.
After the Okotie/Stephanie seperation announcement with tongues wagging as to the real cause the mother of three reportedly took out her frustrations in a Facebook posting recently where she tried to explain her own side of the story, apparently trying to convince whoever cared to read of her new-found status of spinsterhood and to correct the erroneous impression people have of her being a ‘bad wife material’. She directly accused her rivals in Okotie’s church of bringing the marriage down saying some of the members had labelled her “a witch and a mermaid” — a wicked charge she strongly denied!
Rev. Okotie in his flamboyant grammar-spewing pulpit seems destined to be ‘wifeless’ in his life? (But) the recent collapse of his marriage is somehow a metaphor for a failed nation we all live in in search of re-birth. Nigeria, like Pastor Okotie, has an option left: for Nigeria she must fully embrace the fight against corruption and terrorism to free her denizens from the clutches of evil her leaders are putting her through. And for Rev. Okotie he only have to look inwards, yet again, searching for ‘mrs right’ within his congregation to be able to break the apparant satanic ‘curse’ in his marital life. Potential ‘candidates’ abound!
And for the charming damsel Stephanie it is not the end of the world, sister! Wipe off your emotional tears! We know what you are passing through now after previous failed marriages! Age is still on your side and you can still hook up with yet another man if only to satisfy your sexual needs and be seen by the public to be a good wife under a man. You deserved Okotie but he thought otherwise perhaps out of the desire to ‘taste’ another ‘pudding’! You can never tell with famous people and the spirit firing them on!
Ms Henshaw might be innocent in the whole marriage collapse saga because of Okotie’s status as a popular handsome rich preacher of the Good News. Other spinsters out there might want to try their own luck marrying the former musician if only to attain certain celebrity status such union guarantees. But one thing is sure though: Okotie is every woman’s ideal man! So no tears and no sorrow whenever he uses and dumps the daughters of Eve in his quest to fulfill all ‘righteousness’.