INTERVIEW: How we met, married, Okon Lagos, wife speak
Popular Nollywood comic actor, Bishop Umoh aka Okon Lagos, has brought laughter into many Nigerian homes through his hilarious roles. Beyond his persona as an actor, not many are aware that he has been married to his lovely wife, Idara, for four years.
PT: How did you meet your wife?
Bishop: She was a bridesmaid at a wedding I anchored in November 2012. I spotted her at the wedding and I couldn’t take my eyes of her. I felt I wouldn’t have any other opportunity to get to know her so I approached her right away.
I was in an emotionally tumultuous relationship at the time and I wanted out as soon as possible. I wanted to roll over to the other side of the lawn where the grass is greener.’
Idara: When he asked me out, I was in a relationship but he persisted. I didn’t really take him serious up until later. I was busy with my bridesmaid duty at the wedding and did not even notice his gaze. He confessed (laughs) later that he could not take his eyes of me all through the wedding ceremony.
PT: How did he propose?
Idara: He didn’t really propose the conventional way but I accepted after asking him to speak with my mother. I did this because I was unable to tell if he was serious or just looking for a poster girl that he could just be taking around to show off on set and then dump when he had had his fill. After he spoke with my mum and she approved of him, I did too.
Bishop: We courted for about ten months but I had plans to get married to her from the word go. So, when the time came I didn’t hesitate to make her my wife.
PT: What attracted you to each other?
Bishop: She is a very pretty woman and that is what attracted me to her .I needed a bright faced person that I could talk to and who would smile back at me. I needed someone to calm my nerves a little.
Idara: He was and still is a very caring man with an impeccable sense of humour that I love so much.
PT: Could the fact that you both hail from Akwa-Ibom State play a role..?
Bishop: Irrespective of religion, tribe or race, I don’t hold such prejudices or sentiments. What matters most is your peace of mind and happiness.
PT: Are you bothered about the spate of crashed celebrity marriages?
Idara: When we got married, I used to pray to God to make sure my marriage works and never breaks up. I would pray that I would rather die than see my marriage break up. That way the only reason why he would have to remarry was because he is widowed, God-forbid though.
PT: How do you keep the romance alive?
Idara: I love cooking for my husband because he loves good food. Sometimes he will prefer I wash his clothes in the washing machine but I insist on using my hands because I just love doing that for him.
Bishop: I ensure she lacks nothing within my capacity and surprise her with gifts from time to time. I also surprise her pleasurably (laughs). Also, versatility patience and above all grace of God.
PT: Would you have married a celebrity if you hadn’t met your wife?
Bishop: No. I won’t settle with a celebrity because paradoxically before you can have decent family you must have a balanced life. I can’t be running from pillar to post and my wife she has to be on a low key and I on the high key. We two can’t be as busy as bees and then expect to train your children well.
PT: Following the birth of your children has there been any significant changes in your marriage?
Idara: Now that we have a child there is divided attention and sometimes he can just take our daughter out and live me alone in the house.
Bishop: I have seen my wife move from giving me solely attention but now it is shared between my children and I. I am blessed to have someone who shares my DNA at the end of the day.
PT: Do you ever have trust issues as a result of your husband’s profession?
Idara: I love my husband’s job and have absolute confidence and trust in him. His job, or female fans do not threaten me. I am his number one fan and seeing him on screen playing the stupid roles gives me so much joy. God has implanted something in him that is so different from other comedians and I don’t think he should be in another profession. This is the best job that he can do.
Bishop: There is no contesting the fact that you have to respect your wife. You do not have any choice in this regard. Anyone that says I slept with a woman under the influence of alcohol is lying because if you do not nurse the intention in the first place, it won’t happen. I draw the line because I believe that life is all about prioritising. My marriage is priority and I can’t jeopardise that for anything in the world
PT: Is there anything you will love to change about your spouse?
Idara: His temperament. When he is angry he can go to any length and later apologise. I am praying and seriously helping him work on his anger.
PT: Do you run a joint account?
Bishop: We don’t run a joint account but our accounts are tied to each other so we know how much comes into the family. Our phone numbers are tied to my account, so we both get transaction alert anytime there is a deposit or withdrawal.
PT: Who apologises first after a disagreement?
Idara: He is also very good at apologising and never wants to see me frown.
Bishop: I apologise first because I don’t have the energy to bear fury for a long time. I will have emotional constipation if I try it (laughs).