Sir Victor Uwaifo is an accomplished artiste, a music maestro, sculptor, inventor and academic. In this brief chat with him in Benin City, Edo State during the celebration of his 30 years marriage to Princess Osaretin, the Joromi exponent noted that an artiste always sets new standards.
Some people believe that celebrity marriages don’t last. What is the secret of your marital success?
The secret is the secret because life is give and take. It is not just about take all the way and give all the way but when there is unconditional love, at that time, you will know that the best is yet to come. In the award I presented to my wife, I said it all that ‘my honour and pleasure to celebrate you for your very sincere and unconditional love and support for the special and personal acquisitions, bride price’. She didn’t enjoy her bride price; I paid it to her parents. But here is that bride price paid to her this day 8th of April, and I said ‘just for you Osatetin, the sum of N1m’. That is the only way I can show my appreciation. It is not I love you always, though it’s okay and fine, how much? What is the depth? And this is to encourage women in marriage to stay in it and the young ones to see the beauty of staying long in marriage; and husbands to celebrate their wives for whom they are as they deem fit. All I know is that an artiste sets new standards.
Sir Victor Uwaifo has duo personalities: a musician and a husband, which one of these personalities is more egoistic?
Egotism does not come into love or marriage but in every situation there must be a head and she is also aware of that because of her upbringing. She comes from a traditional home. The husband is the head of the home and it does not mean that one is going to be a slave. No, no! It doesn’t hold because she wouldn’t even love a slave. She encourages people to develop and build themselves. She is a graduate of English and French while I’m a music maestro, sculptor, intellectual and academic so we found ourselves in the same realm of thoughts, and we have now come to see ourselves not only as husband and wife but one inseparable family. And by the time any marriage hits 25 to 35 years, it is like forever; there is nothing that can put it asunder.
When there’s quarrel in the home, who first says ‘I’m sorry’?
The quarrel cannot go beyond the foundation. It cannot grow before it gets to the heart. What would bring the quarrel in the first place? In a day or two, we’ve gone over it. It is not even a quarrel because the tongue and teeth quarrel atimes. But they still settle because they cannot live without each other. So, I have never had such quarrel that would invite external body to come and settle, it has nevertheless happened and should not allow such to grow.
What advice do you have for up and coming artistes on keeping a good marriage or those whose marriages are on the brink of collapse?
To keep a good marriage is not a one-way traffic but a two-way. There is no way one can weigh someone’s love or appreciation or one who actually loves you until you experience it. Experience is like the sweetness of sugar, which is different from honey but they are all sweet. It is the same way honey is different from mango, the latter is different from orange; which is also different from guava and so on. But if you know a woman that you love and she gives it back in equal measure, matching your own love, you’ll know it. Oftentimes, people go into marriage by infatuation. They just want to belong and have fun but when you see a woman whose heart is more beautiful than her personal outlook; beauty, you’ll know it.
When I said love in equal measure, I meant feeling fulfilled whenever I see my wife, and when she sees me, she is equally fulfilled. There are some expressions that fuel love and would encourage one to know who a woman that loves a man is, and he begins to see beyond just love; almost like brother and sister. That is true love not one that is demanding. If I say we have never quarreled before, I’m not sincere to the relationship, but the fact is that, she wouldn’t give you the reason to quarrel. By my standard, if I wanted to love all the women in the world, I would have loved them but I have a good home. I’ve never had children outside my home: love is also built on discipline. The man has to be disciplined, ditto the woman – personal, physical, spiritual and mental discipline built on love.