Introducing: The Williams: The Debola & Kenny Love Story
In the greatest love stories of all time, you’ll find that fate has often played a huge role in creating moments that upon reflection, define the very course upon which the romances were built. Debola Williams and his bride Kehinde found a love in each other that was literally written in the stars. Everything about their whirlwind romance and happily ever after simply emphasizes the fact that everything good will come to those who are ready to receive it. The couple who will be sealing their union with a church blessing and Nigerian wedding in a week’s time, opened up their home to DOWNTOWN Editor, Latasha Ngwube for an exclusive afternoon conversation filled with a lot of jokes and laughter as we talked about their love, romance and the grand wedding.
Transcribed by Kehinde Fagbule.
How did you both meet?
Debola: We met in Abeokuta. I had to go under the rock. It took me three nights of travel, seven days of fasting, moving my schedule from Accra and Abuja to be able to be in Abeokuta. I had to go all that way because God had a purpose for it. I had gone into the year 2020 saying to God: I was ready and this was the year. I had said that before but I wasn’t sure if I was through and through about it, but last year I was certain. However, whilst I was here worrying about where I would find my wife, I didn’t know that God had a plan and a diamond waiting for me far away out of Lagos. I went to Abeokuta for a wedding in August last year where I was the Best Man. I went to the wedding against all odds knowing I had to be there because the groom and I have been close friends for 17 years. You know one of those moments when you think you’re being good to someone, not knowing that the goodwill would come back ten fold. So we went up to take pictures with the groom and as I descended, I saw the chairman of the group, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, and I couldn’t decide on time if I should approach and greet him or not. I had met him before at the 90th birthday of Chief Ayo Adebanjo where I gave a speech and he walked up to me, commended my speech and said we should keep in touch and all of that, but it never happened. I eventually decided to greet as courtesy demanded of me as the Yoruba boy that I am. I reminded him of who I was, and I wasn’t sure he heard me clearly because he was quite warm towards me. I remember being confused and thinking the quick meeting didn’t warrant that kind of warmth so I made myself believe that perhaps he had me mixed up with someone else. So I went to sit down, and he called my attention again asking me what I did for a living. I told him, we got familiar and exchanged numbers – he invited me to dinner. I thought that perhaps he wanted to do some political consulting so I was quick to talk about my work; I didn’t realise that God had better plans for me. I immediately sent him the company’s profile on WhatsApp (which he never read until about 3 days later). He then called me to tell me he wasn’t sure if the dinner would happen anymore; this made me sad as it seemed like I had just lost a work prospect, so I started trying to move on. Just as I was moving on, he called me again and was like “You know what, let’s go ahead and have dinner.” Dinner was at his hotel, I was seated at the table, I greeted his wife and we were about to get into it when suddenly, I saw the rising of an ebony beauty in denim on denim. She joined the dinner. At the dinner table, every question I was asked, I threw at her, just because I wanted to hear her talk, wanted to hear her views on life and position on different things. What they did not know was that the assignment had changed for me. I went to the meeting thinking I was going to have a business consultation demand, but on the way, I allowed myself to be distracted. I was also trying to figure out if there should be a second date or not, trying to decide whether to dive into the family conversation? The dinner was almost done and I still hadn’t made up my mind on whether to actively pursue a second date or not. At that point, her mum left. Not too long after, her dad followed. I then invited her to join me for the wedding service the next day; it turned out she went with her parents to Abeokuta but had no intentions of attending the wedding. She claimed not to have travelled with wedding clothes, so with the help of her mum, I managed to convince her. We left for a boutique in the hotel around 11pm to go look for clothes unknown to us that her mum had sent the driver to go get her one. She came to the church wedding the next day and I was there as well, performing my Best Man duty. During the ceremony, we kept making eye contact and I was being my goofy self. Apparently, her mum was watching as the shenanigans unfolded and then teased her about it. After the wedding, I had planned to leave for Lagos by 1 pm, she by 2 pm. I suspected that I might no longer be going by 1 so I asked her, “If I end up going by 2 pm, will you ride with me?” To which she replied that she’d get back to me as she wasn’t sure. She got back at 1pm and I we left back to Lagos in my car. While on the road, my car was freezing but I always carry a blanket and so I offered it to her and told her I wanted to eat and sleep if she didn’t mind as I was tired. Kenny always carries around her laptop with her so I think she kept working. I woke up when we were almost at her home but we didn’t make any concrete plans to meet again; I called her two days later. At the time when I met her, I was talking to other people but that soon quickly changed.
Kehinde, what was your first impression of Debola?
Kehinde: He was clean and well-manicured. He looked like someone who took good care of himself. He was also a gentleman.
That was it? Did nothing pique your interest? Not even the conversations he was throwing back at you at that first dinner with your family?
K: It’s nothing new that I sat at dinners with ‘strangers’ with my dad. So I just brushed it off like my dad has brought one of his meetings to dinner again. I didn’t read anything to it other than that.
How about the shenanigans that went on at the wedding the next day?
K: It was cute. Instead of him singing praise and worship, he was doing devil work *laughs*. It was cute.
Tell me about your first date.
K: He was late. I think he was 5 minutes late.
D: No, you were super early. I was on time, but you always arrive super early.
K: We went for lunch at Ile Eros, it was nice, even though it felt like an interview as all the questions he asked were very intense. It’s like when you’re trying to eliminate a candidate and you ask certain questions like “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” and a host of other family-oriented questions. It was a nice lunch but I didn’t leave there thinking I found ‘the one’ because like I said, it wasn’t a conversation of us getting to know each other in a ‘playful’ way. However, the questions would spiral to various conversations that made our alignment evident and it was comforting that at least we were on the same page. So lunch was okay.
It wasn’t until after lunch when he started toasting me before I began to see his romantic and playful side.
Tell me about Waje’s birthday because I remember that was the first we (some of Debola’s close friends) were meeting you and from several indications a milestone in your relationship…
K: He didn’t tell me it was Waje’s 40th birthday beforehand. He just invited me to his “friend’s” birthday. We were still working from home then and I remember I kept thinking who hosts a birthday party on a weekday at the beach? I came here (Debola’s house) very early and as usual and someone (Debola) hadn’t even showered. I really enjoyed Waje’s birthday. It was really nice that he introduced me to everyone in such a nice way and they were all nice and friendly. I almost felt like his girlfriend that day. It ended shortly however when he had to run for a meeting. He wanted to leave me behind to keep having fun but I wouldn’t allow him. I followed him and it was very nice how he told Bovi to make sure that I got to my car safely because I had parked in Lekki but the boat was headed towards Ikoyi. Waje’s birthday was the defining moment of our relationship.
In your first memory of Debola, what did you think about the red cap?
It’s actually funny because I knew of a Debola Lagos, but it wasn’t until the meeting day that it sort of clicked. I was familiar with his style and had seen him on my Instagram explore page a few times. The reason why it’s funny is that in January, I was having dinner with a colleague and he walked in to meet someone and I remember just taking note of that like “Oh! That is the guy who’s always wearing red and white.” It wasn’t something that was in my subconscious, however, so I didn’t really think anything of it.
What are some of his qualities that you love the most?
First of all, he’s God-fearing and he really takes care of his own; so if you’re his person, friend, staff member, he’ll die on the line for you. He’s very selfless, always putting people first, and very sensitive to people’s emotions and how he makes them feel. He’s very intentional about people and emotions. I love that about him. He’s kind and smart too. Also, a lot of people would assume that he’s a very serious person who doesn’t laugh or smile but I like that he has a very playful side as well.
Were there any moments where you played hard to get?
K: I don’t think I played hard to get. I knew what I wanted in a guy and I was very deliberate about it. It is not every day you meet someone who ticks all the boxes. My list has never changed; even though it has evolved and I’ve added a few things. I’m the kind of person who knows what she wants so if I’m talking to you and maybe you’re missing one out of say, the five things on my list, you’re automatically cancelled. So when I saw that he fit my list’s description, there was no playing games. Everything I wanted was and is right in front of me.
Debola, you’re considered by many to be one of the most eligible bachelors around and for a while everyone’s eyebrows were expectantly raised. Why did it take you so long?
D: I always said I would marry when I want and I think I got to the point where I was ready. I remember there was a day Kenny and I were driving home and I had to make something that I consider the sacrifice to be able to be there with her that day for us to do all the things we did; then we were driving home and she was staying the weekend. I didn’t feel for a second as though there was someone in my space making me feel uncomfortable. I’m a welcoming person generally, I’m always happy with people coming and leaving because thanks to God I’ve managed to live in spaces where I can accommodate people. However, I’ve never been the one to share my own room for a long time with anybody, but I have not felt like I have someone disturbing me in my space. This is important to me because I know that if I share my bed a day or two with anyone, I feel some type of way by the second day. I told her that day like “Wow! I’m really ready. All the things that I’ve had to do, the sacrifices I’ve had to make to restrain myself from so and so, they’ve come to me with ease. Not because the pain and deprivation are not there, but just by the fact that I don’t mind doing it.” I always wondered with the way I am with people,’ what more can I do for someone who’s my wife? Now I’ve seen it; and with her, I’ve never doubted or wanted not to do it.
I remember I wanted to get married at 18 and people thought it was crazy. I remember I even told the girl at the time. Then I said okay, I’d get married at 21, and at 21 they thought I was even crazier. So I just held off on it till further notice. However, I wanted to get married before my 35th birthday, it was important to me that I was married before I turned 35. More importantly was the fact that in a year that was dark for a lot of people, it happened to be my best ever because I found a life partner.
You met in August and proposed four months later, in November, what does that tell you about life itself?
D:In the beginning, I thought I was unique until I found out that a lot of my friends got married after even shorter courtships. They are all three months or less. I was in doubt however, I kept thinking if I should wait a bit longer, but there are a few things I’ve come to learn from my past relationships; one, you will never be perfect for each other, there will always be imperfections, but you will then choose gratitude and find perfection in them. So you’d always live with a human being with differences and you’ll grow together and figure it out.
Number two was to figure out the things that are important to me in anyone I’m with. If I could get the things that are important to me for the kind of family I want to build, then everything else will be secondary. That’s the interview she was talking about earlier. I was just asking those questions of the kind of thinking that I wanted my wife to have.
It was so funny that in 2019, I had said that I didn’t want to date anyone in the industry anymore because I’ve had a few relationships with people in the past. I just wanted to date in a different circle. To date more of a 9-5 professional, because I thought I needed the stability they provide in comparison to my kind of work. I remember stating specifically that I wanted someone from KPMG, PWC or McKinsey and it was such a coincidence when I asked Kehinde where she worked and she said KPMG.
The time of being single is a time to know yourself. It is a time to write down the kind of woman you’re looking for and pray for it. It is a time to write down the kind of standards you want in your family or home and a time to be at peace with yourself. By the time I was dating Kehinde, I was at peace with myself.
Kenny, what do you do in KPMG?
I work in advisory, transaction services. We do valuation, due diligence, business plans, financial modules, just assisting companies to have a smooth transaction process from start to finish.
How long have you been there?
I’ve been there since 2017.
Being the daughter of quite a prominent politician, how have you managed to stay out of the spotlight for this long? I mean you are a looker without a doubt, how did you stay off the radar?
Naturally, we are very private. We don’t really follow my dad out to places that he goes. We have a very small circle of friends. Also moving back to Nigeria in late 2016, starting work in 2017 took over a lot of myq time, so it was just the people that you see at work and maybe the odd weekends here and there where you go for a wedding. I think it’s just how we naturally are as private people and keeping our circle close and tight.
Debola, speaking of work, tell us a little bit about what you do.
I run a consultancy company: marketing, behavioural change, governance communication, and crisis management. In summary, we help organisations, individuals and governments build perception capital that they use in expanding their businesses, fanbase, and following. We also help international organisations, as well as local organisations, focus on behaviour change either with education (girls’ education) or different behaviours that you want to change in making society better. We work with top corporate companies, banks, FMCGs, and also Governments in Nigeria and across Africa; we do elections where we do storytelling for presidential candidates in different countries across the continent as well. Also in my free time, I do teaching and speaking.
How are you both going to manage your clearly busy schedule and work? Where do you find time for both your ships to cross?
D: My wife does a great job of making us find time; she guilt-trips me. She will carry face and tell me I haven’t been at home and sometimes I get frustrated but at the end of the day, she’s just trying to make sure that the bond continues, so I do my best to reciprocate andclear my schedule, which she also understands. I try to be as available as possible.
What are some of her qualities you admire?
Several actually. From her sense of the importance of family to commitment to her fixation on planning, to her ability to juggle and her dedication to her work. I actually find that very inspiring. I like that she’s committed to her work and she tries to find solutions for them. Sometimes I am quite unhappy at the reciprocation as I feel like they don’t get the deserved credit for the work that they do and she also never wants to talk about it. She’s also coming into her own in terms of owning a home and leading and managing a home with staff and several moving parts; she’s come to own that space. She’s also always ready to learn. That’s not to mention the regular loving and caring nature she possesses. She knows how to have a good time too. I also like the fact that she has more energy than I do actually, she’s my energy ball even though sometimes it’s hard to get her to start but if you get her to start, she can keep us going for a long time.
Kenny, Debola famously hosts a lot. Do you find any similarities between that and the home you come from being an ex-Governor’s child? Is it a role that you have slipped into seamlessly?
It’s actually funny because I enjoy hosting. It’s one of those things I enjoy and I’m good at; it comes effortlessly, I would say. I think it’s also because as you’ve said, where I’ve grown up, we host a lot and my mum is very hands-on. So from a young age as the only daughter, my brothers could afford to run off to play video games and whatnot, but I was always next to my mum. It comes naturally to me and I enjoy it. I’m also the type of person that when people come into my home or space, I want them to have a good time, be comfortable, well-fed, well taken care of, and just feel like they didn’t waste their time leaving wherever they were to come to me. I think on that note, we have that in common. We’re going to be the kind of household that both ensure the table is set, it’s nothing like those gendered households where the man is just upstairs and it’s the lady’s job to cater to the house; we do it together. If I come back a bit late, he has done it. Some days he has missed out, I’ve done it as well, so it’s been very seamless on the hosting part.
It’s also been said that girls marry their dad in some sense. Do you find that Debola has some characteristics that remind you of your dad or is that just a myth?
I don’t think it’s a myth. I also don’t think it applies to everyone. However, with my dad and my husband, they have similar qualities bar that personal touch. They really understand connecting with people and other similarities include the nature of their work, travelling, continuously on calls from daybreak to nighttime, so the things that he’s doing aren’t exactly outside of the norm for me because I grew up seeing them in my dad. The constant travelling doesn’t necessarily equate to less love because whenever he is around, my time is created for sure. I’m not bothered about that. If I’ve married my father, I’ve married a more handsome, younger, smarter, richer (by God’s grace), kinder version.
Typically, couples meet each other’s parents much later after getting to know one another. You guys did that backwards; he met your parents right off the bat. When did you get to meet his family and what was that like? Were you nervous? How did that go?
I met his parents in the first week of October. I think I was nervous but it wasn’t nerve-wracking because they were very nice, accommodating and they treated me as their own; like they’d known me for some time. It was nice.
D: For me, meeting her parents first, one of the interesting things that made it clear that this was where I was going to be was that usually, a lot of the things I do come from the top. I always get access from the top. Like whenever I’m trying to get a company to work with us, I meet the CEO and go from there. So meeting her dad first before chasing her was the usual pattern of the way things work out in my life. Also, one of the few things that were interesting to me was that when I arrived at her house, I entered through the front door and we both teased because usually when her friends arrive, they go through the side door where she has an entrance to her own living room on the side. However, I went in through the front door which is her parents’ door and we both teased because usually I should be coming in quietly *laughs*. Those were the little things that put a spring in my step in terms of “Boy! If you like this woman, just go for it.” It was really unconventional because even when I asked her out, the night I knew that she was the one was when I asked her for her birthday and she told me 4th of November and I had always joked that I was going to marry or propose on November 4 and this was going to matter a lot to the woman; it was just a joke around November 4 and birthdays. So earlier in the year, I had always joked around with a friend of mine that I was going to marry or propose on November 4, way before I met Kehinde.
What did November signify for you?
It was just a conversation between the person and me. So when she said November 4, I had goosebumps. This conversation happened in the first week of September. We spoke a lot at the beginning of the relationship. A whole lot. You know all those conversations you have in a lifetime, it was like a crash course in the beginning and I was praying at the same time as I was checking. That night, I just knew that was it and I decided to pray on it one last time when I heard it clearly “Why are you praying again? You asked for something, you’ve already gotten all the signs you were asking for. Just thank God and move ahead,” so I just did a Thanksgiving dance.The next day, I asked her out. I was away in Ghana, so I wrote her a letter. Now, before that, we’d had a conversation saying her mum was the queen of the house and that she too would someday be the queen of someone else’s house. So I wrote to her asking her to be my Queen; I sent that with a framed picture of Queen Nefertiti, asking her “Would she come on this journey with me and be a queen in my home?” I wrote the letter and sent it to my brother in Nigeria to print it on my letterhead: it wasn’t signed. Of course, she was blown away *laughs*
K: How did you know? *laughs*
D: She didn’t reply to me.
K: I didn’t know it was you. How could someone write you a letter and not sign it? How was I supposed to know it was you who wrote it?
D: Although she told me it was cute, she still didn’t reply to me. So I matched the energy and requested a reply by phone to which she told me I wouldn’t get one until I got back to Nigeria. I wouldn’t be in Lagos until Friday as I still had to go straight from Ghana to Abuja. I’m not going to lie, my ego was a little bruised seeing that I took my time to write a letter of that magnitude and I was slightly hurt.
K: He called me almost every day. Every time we spoke, he was like “How far, you did not respond.”
D: I was like just tell me if it’s a ‘No’, let me mop my wounds and move. I said that jokingly but I was incredibly hurt. My ego was on the line. This was on the third day after a lot of texts I had written and erased. I felt desperate. It was tedious. The next day, she gave me a temporary ‘Yes’. When I came back, she then gave me the physical letter. That was how I asked her out. The week I asked her out, I went to see her dad to thank him for introducing us. I know it was a little dramatic but here was my thought process: after I asked her out, I knew we were going to have a short courtship so I didn’t want it to be that the next time I’m seeing her parents was when I’d go ask for their daughter’s hand in marriage and it’d come as a shock to everyone. I told him she said “Yes” and he was really surprised like, “How can my daughter say yes, she’s not that easy to get. She must really like you. My daughter is very stressful.” So I asked for his advice on meeting someone and knowing they’re the one for you so quickly. I then took advantage of that segue to hint that I might just be coming back to knock on his door again soon. I had even consulted some elders (some of them in the industry) before I went to meet him. One of the people I asked for advice was Mo Abudu and she was very helpful. She was the one who advised me not to outrightly tell him that I’d be coming back and to rather ask him what his thoughts were on short courtships, perhaps if he could share his own life story and I take it from there. Interestingly, he shared his personal story with his wife, Kehinde’s mum. He didn’t answer my question if it was too early or not, but he told me his own story so he left it for me to make of it what I would. That story of course basically insinuated that the road was clear and that I was welcome. What I didn’t know was that he had even told Kehinde and her mum I was coming to see him, I thought it was a silent visit. That day, I took a very nice gift to the dad, and also to the mum as well; a big basket of fruits and flowers. Because she had told them, they actually expected me; I didn’t know that. Kehinde taught me that because in the beginning when she’d come here, she’d always bring me a lot of things including stew, soups and food. It’s who she is. Even when I invited her to Waje’s birthday at the beach, she came with plantain chips and drinks. Also, the day she came to see my parents, she brought salads, a basket of fruits, stew, soups, and everything. I think those are qualities of a good mother because, between her and her mother, she also exhibited the training of a woman that comes from a good home. I might sound crazy but I’ve always said I always wanted to marry someone who lived with their family and my sisters who lived alone were always trolling me for it. Also, I wanted someone who came from a home where they trained them well and the training was evident. Those were the things I had written down. They were very important to me.
I was talking to her mum after the proposal and she was telling me how she had always told Kehinde that she would have a short courtship before her wedding.
The proposal was quite elaborate, to say the least. Are you really telling us that Kehinde had no idea?
We had talked about rings; it started from one day when I saw her saving a ring. She couldn’t hide it, I saw the kind of ring she liked, then we were going back and forth on rings, so she knew that the ring was coming, she just didn’t know when. She sort of expected that the proposal would be in December because her brothers weren’t around until then. I had ordered the ring, it had arrived and she didn’t know, I hid it from her. Every night, I’d turn off all the lights in my room and admire it, it was so beautiful. I’d call a few of my friends, we’d look at it together and gist, it was nice. I’d put the ring back and hide it again, she’d come to the house and not notice. I was trying to sort out the proposal. My first pick was to propose in a garden, I had even designed what it would look like, only for me to see the week before a guy that basically looked like a clone of me (even dressed like me) had already done something similar, so I had to cancel that. Then the next idea was to have it on the beach. Unfortunately, the beach houses I wanted to use were booked. The one I found, I just wasn’t happy with. So on our way back from the beach (I went with my planner Debola Lewis of Yventkouture as his company was tasked with planning the proposal), I told them and said “What if we do the proposal on the boat?” Then I went ahead to narrate the plan: to have one boat where Kehinde and I would be in, and another boat that would have Timi Dakolo in it. Timi would hold a megaphone and apprehend us that we had violated a law being on the water at 7pm and we were going to get arrested; the only way to escape an arrest was if Kehinde would agree to marry his (Timi’s) friend (me). We obviously didn’t go through with that, so I thought to finally discuss it with my wife.
I still didn’t tell her it was going to turn out to be a proposal, I just told her we were planning a nice time out, so we started exploring different options. She suggested bowling and arcade as she likes high energy stuff; I don’t, I’m very boring – dinner, movies, and that’s it. I suggested dinner and she opted to have it on the boat and I thought that was nice so we started planning. Keep in mind she still didn’t know I was going to propose but she was on board with going all out with this dinner in terms of bringing a photographer and videographer aboard with us and also a few friends. My event kept adding on the extras and Kenny was excited to go bigger and have a fun evening.
K: I even said to him that “Babe nawa oh! All these decorations and somebody will just go into the boat and come out, no ring” *laughs*. I posted a snippet of the date on my Instagram and someone was teasing me that it was about to happen and I just brushed it off jokingly that no, it was just a fancy date.
D: So we got on the boat and Johnny Drille was on the lower deck waiting but she didn’t know it. Everything was set up and when the moment arrived, she was blown away. We had fireworks, Johnny Drille serenaded us and it was all just so gracious. I was very happy that we pulled that off in Nigeria; many people thought it was in Dubai. I’m proud of us. I like big moments and I was proud we were able to achieve a big moment for the proposal.
Kenny, what is your take-home from that proposal?
It is the surprise element of it for me because I was really taken aback. Also the thoughtfulness of all it, having our friends there to share that moment was really nice. I was even mad at him earlier in the day that I almost didn’t go. I remember I was talking to one of my maids of honour that I didn’t feel like going anymore and she convinced me to just go not knowing that she knew exactly what was going to happen and she was in America. Everyone knew except for me. Anyways I’m no longer mad. What came out of it was more than the deceit *laughs*.
This is being termed one of the Weddings of the year…
K: I think people should just look forward to a day of love, to be honest.
D: But what’s my business with people?
K: People are excited now.
D: It’s like pressure, so I’m going to just focus on you and our family and friends; and together we will celebrate love and get a beautiful moment of love, honour, and fun. I’m not sure about what the world should look forward to because it’s our wedding and not a show. Because usually when the world is looking forward to something, you need them to glorify what you’re doing then they can criticise what you’re doing. Really it’s about myself and my wife; mostly about my wife. Then our family and friends and all of you guys coming together to celebrate with us. Eat, drink but most importantly register your presence. I’m excited about this journey that’s about to start.
You talked about conversations that you’ve had, with reference to Aunty Mo (Abudu). Are there any other conversations of note or significance that’s sort of prepared you?
Several, but I don’t want to share. However, the bigger point to just note is that I grew up at the feet of several elders, so many things I do, I consult experience and I merge the energy and innovation of youth. Before I made such a milestone decision in my life, I engaged quite a bit of older people; way older people, and even up to the guys who are in their late 40s because it is a varied experience. It gave me a wholesome perspective to make my decision.
Kenny, you’re going to seal it in a matter of days before God, friends, and family at large. What are you looking forward to the most about forever with Debola?
I am just looking forward to having an amazing life partner who has my back and I have his, whom I’m able to grow a family with and the love of my life.
Kenny have you had conversations with other married women or maybe older people for advice, guidance? What’s that been like?
I don’t have a lot of older women in my family that I’m privileged enough to ask for advice but my mum has been very helpful. I mean no one is ever prepared for what they’ll see in marriage, everybody’s marriage is different. However, we’ve had several discussions with her just trying to guide me on how to be more patient and more understanding. Since my husband and I have been officially married for a few months now, we have met with a few of his friends who have been married. Some of them semi-newly wed, so they’ve been married less than a decade, some more than a decade, and they’ve all been very helpful with their guidance by just sharing stories and their personal experiences as well.
Are you the first of the Daniel children to be married?
No, I’m not. My brother got married last March. I’m the only girl and the middle child with 4 brothers.
Debola, you’re older than Kenny, you’ve been on the market much longer too. Technically, you’ve been on the market since you were 18 years old, seeing as you’ve been trying to get married since then. What are you going to miss the most about single life?
I guess the ability to just get up and go. Also, I used to be in a room with just one AC and it’d be too cold for me sometimes. My wife however sleeps with two ACs and a fan. So now I have to sleep in this room that is chilling; like I’m frozen… And when I go out to the gym and come back and enter the room, I’m like “Jesus Christ! Is this Russia? What is going on here?” I think the biggest thing you’d miss is the ability to just be by yourself but sometimes you also enjoy it because it comes with the responsibility at the centre of commitment to somebody else and being able to know that there’s someone who’s responsible for you and who you’re responsible for and accountable to each other and all of that. So it’s both a blessing and a blessing.
What are your honeymoon plans?
We’re figuring it out actually. I’ve wanted to do Africa all along. I didn’t realise that my wife was also keen on doing Africa, so that’s what we’re looking to do. Between North and East Africa.
Apart from indoor temperature choices in what ways are you guys most different?
I plan way ahead, while Debola is more last minute. I could plan something for two to three months and my husband starts planning two to three days prior. Not that he would not get his desired result, but I think he just works better under pressure. I’m the opposite as I work better if I’ve been allowed to take my time and do things.
Do you guys know how many children you want to have?
K: If you leave it to some (sly dig at Demola), they will say one but God forbid. So we’re thinking of three minimum.
D: Ah! Please two for me!
Debola has a very wide network of friends. Who are some of the ones that really endear themselves to you?
There are several of them. If I start mentioning names and miss out on someone, that would be improper. They’ve all been amazing. Sometimes I even wonder to myself if we really just met a few months ago because I mean I met some just two to three months ago and we’ve gotten along so well like we’ve known each other for a while. His friends have all been lovely, all of them.
Do you have messages for, about or to her and vice versa?
K: For me, he’s just gonna have to wait *laughs*
D: *Laughs* Like I tell her every day, she’s beautiful, she’s powerful, she’s great and again, I just want to remind you, baby, you are special, you have all that you need to be all that you wish to be. You’re a wonderful friend, a great wife, an amazing mother, a beautiful gardener building a home that is more beautiful than the garden of Eden and you have wisdom beyond your years, you have knowledge and understanding and together we’re going to do great things for our family, Lagos, Nigeria, the continent and the world. We’re going on this journey together on this ship and this ship is going to berth in a good place. I love you.
To everyone who’s reading, thanks for reading. The most important thing to know is to enjoy your time being single. Do all the things you need to do with your freedom, with the fact that you can get up and go, you’re not thinking about the kind of house you need for a wife and children; you’re able to still live in something cosy and comfortable, you’re not spending too much on rent, you’re not buying something huge yet. So just use your time and money to travel, learn, and be prepared for that time of marriage. Most importantly also save for your kids, save for your wife, and make investments now that will make getting married easier for you. Finally, pray for a good woman/man. It happens. It happened for us, it can happen for you too.