Hello everyone, most of our readers objected that the interview was too long, so we have decided to syndicate the testimony. We are starting with Femi Fani Kayode's experience with women and marriage. He has never commented publicly on his private life but he just felt really comfortable with us and he let it all out and we give God the glory for that honor.
www.mytestimonys.blogspot.com: What is the ministry of a wife in a Christian marriage? Please tell us about your own marriage, your wife and the many experiences that you have had with women. We are sure that our readers can learn one or two things from you? Has your heart ever been broken? How much do you rely on your wife?
FFK: I have never spoken publically or in detail about my wife, my marriage or my private life though there are all sorts of speculations and disinformation about these matters all over the place. Yet today I will do so today for the first time since I got married to her 16 years ago. I will do so only because I want you and other young people to learn and appreciate what it is to be married to a wise, virtuous, humble, God-fearing, powerful and loving woman who has enough faith to move mountains in both my life and hers and who dares to believe and trust God for anything and everything. I will also do so to prove to you and others that I am not infallible and that I have made so many mistakes in my private life that you and your readers can learn from and can avoid making.
That is why I will talk about these sensitive and deeply personal matters and for no other reason. I am a public figure and have been so from a very young age. Yet ever since I met my wife I have tried to guard her privacy and that of all my children and keep them away from public glare and scrutiny. This is especially so with my wife because she is an intensely private person who never speaks to the press and who has very few friends. She is very circumspect, reticent, inward-looking, discerning and she is very sensitive to and about people. It is part of her calling and training and now it has become her nature. She hardly talks to strangers, she keeps to herself and she prefers to be virtually invisible to those that are not close to her. She is also aware and very sensitive to the great evil that exists in this world so she is very careful indeed about letting her guard down or exposing herself or our daughter to that evil.
She did not chose a public life, I did. So she has always told me to keep her away from all the publicity and public scrutiny because she hates it and because she is very sensitive and protective of our daughter Remi. Yet today it is fair for me to extol a few of her virtues and expose a few of my warts and weaknesses and talk just a little about the blessing that God gave me in Regina. The truth is that to have put up with someone like me for so long the lady really is a saint and I appreciate her so much. I do not and have never taken her for granted even though I have slipped and failed her more than once in the past. It is her ability to love even the unlovable and very complicated, volatile, complex and unpredictable soul called FFK that moves me so much. She never judges me by my actions because she sees my heart and she knows that I am a good person despite it all. She loves me just the way I am and no matter what happens to me, unlike anyone else on this planet of 7 billion people, she will never forsake me or turn her back on me no matter what. That is what gives me strength and that is why I cherish her today and I always will.
Now let me just start answering your question by saying that I am not an angel. Like most married men I have made mistakes in the past and I have let down my wife on a number of occasions. Yet despite that I never stopped loving her.
Not many people will admit to that. So I am not an angel but neither have I ever considered the possibility of leaving my wife though on many occasions she almost left me. I have been close to her since 1994. We got married in 1997 and the only way that I would ever leave her is if she says that she does not want me anymore and that she loves someone else. That is the only circumstance under which I would release her. I pray that it never comes to that but the truth is that the last few years have been very tough for us both in terms of our marriage and this saddens me deeply.
Yet only death can stop me from loving my wife and even after that I will still continue to love her because I know what she has done for me in my life. We have been apart for quite some time now but that doesn’t mean anything to me. My relationship with her transcends the physical. We have been apart only because I have kept her out of this country because President Umaru Yaradua wanted to lock her up and lock up my eleven year old daughter for doing absolutely nothing. I have never said this publicly before. They just wanted to spite me and I swore that as long as my case with the EFCC is on I will not let my family come back to this country. I won’t let them come back because I will not allow them to suffer or be humiliated simply because someone here hates me and wants to take it out on them. I have gone through that pain of being separated from the one I love more than life itself for a number of years now yet it does not in any way affect my relationship with her. I trust her absolutely and she understands me very well. Even before a thought crosses my mind Regina knows what it is because she knows me even better than I know myself. Most importantly she caused me to start believing in myself again even when I lost all confidence in myself and my future and when I didn't even want to live anymore. My enemies and detractors tried everything under the sun to destroy my marriage but when you have a soul mate that is your wife, true love transcends boundaries and every circumstance.
If you want to know the people that when I hear their voice I will stop whatever I am doing and I would always listen, there are just three of them. The three are firstly my wife Regina- if I become too difficult to control you know what to do. That’s a deep secret I have just shared with you. She is the only person that can make me change my course once I have decided to take a particular position on any issue. She has never been wrong over any issue since 1993 when I went to Ghana and first met her. This young girl (as she then was) was praying for me from as far back as that time. She’s a woman of God- A Daughter of Zion that comes from the distant land of the kente cloth. The first time I ever laid my eyes on her in 1993 she was preaching passionately and eloquently in a packed all night service in a place called Dzorwulu in Accra. She was moving hearts and winning souls for the Kingdom of God and I remember thinking to myself that what on earth is this stunning beauty like this doing on the pulpit? She has come a long way since then and for the last twenty years she has been a full time pastor and an insightful, compassionate and gifted intercessor.
She is a servant of the Living God. That’s her calling. She’s never been wrong about anything that she has advised me about ever since I met her and she has just managed me all these years even as difficult and as complicated as I am. She loves me unconditionally just as I do her. So she is the first person that I always listen to. The second is my spiritual father Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams. A great warrior for the Lord and a very strong and powerful man. He is indeed one of God’s end-time generals on the planet today and a man that moves very powerfully in the prophetic realm. He has done more damage to the kingdom of darkness and the agenda of the devil and his agents here on earth than any other man that I have ever met and I love him dearly. The third person that I always listen to is my political leader and my boss President Olusegun Obasanjo who I just love and admire. He is an inspirational leader. A man of great courage and strength and his love for and faith in Nigeria is beyond human understanding. So these are the three people that I trust and that I always listen to.
But as I was saying earlier some relationships transcend the normal boundaries. It’s just a unique peculiar relationship that I have with my wife. Yet having said that I have, like every other married man, disappointed her once or twice. Once or twice I have misbehaved and let her down and that’s an admission of failure. It is shameful and nothing to be proud of. I share it with you only so that you can appreciate the danger and futility in doing such things. It wounds the soul and brings so much pain that it is just not worth it. A lot of men think it’s a sign of virility for them to have many extra-marital affairs but I see it as failure. My weakness is that I tend to love deeply and fall in love easily. Most men have the ability to guard their hearts and they believe that the more women you sleep with the stronger and better you are. I don't believe that. I am a romantic and people like me often get hurt and wounded when they make the wrong choices.
My heart has been broken five times in my life. Badly broken. It almost killed me each time. I can feel the pain of people that are suffering because I have been there. I am talking about emotional suffering and pain and each time I have come through and healed only by the grace and power of God. The only woman that has never betrayed me, that has never ever forsaken me and that has stayed with me through thick and thin is my wife Regina. It’s a fearful thing to lose her because that’s the only person that I can really trust with my deepest and most ugly secrets. She is not just a wife but she is also a mother, a sister and most importantly a friend. We discuss everything. If you come and tell me she did something wrong I will tell you, ‘it’s a lie, I know this person’, I can take that to the bank any day, anytime.
Five times my heart has been broken. You want me to go through each one? I have never spoken about these issues publicly before but today I will do so. I want people to hear about my experiences and learn from them so that they don’t make my mistakes.
I was married twice before. The first time I was married to a wonderful person by the name of Saratu Atta who is the mother of my first daughter Folake. Folake is a big lady now. Today she is a lawyer in one of the top firms in the U.K. She’s twenty five years old now, a brilliant young lady. I was married to her mother but things didn’t work out. That was in 1987. After two years we split up and she went back to Ghana. Her mother is Ghanaian and her father is a Nigerian by the name of Alhaji Adamu Atta who was the former governor of Kwara State during the Second Republic. I loved her then and I still love her today. She’s a good friend of mine but when the marriage failed I was totally broken and shattered. We had wanted to come back together again but at that point hearts had hardened, one thing happened after the other and that was the end of it. Yet I never stopped loving her and till today there’s a small space in my heart that’s just for her. There’s a little corner of my heart that belongs to her alone. We are very good friends and that’s a good ending for that one even though the marriage failed.
Then came Yemisi Adeniji whom I got married to in 1990. The marriage was stormy right from the start. It didn't go too well and unfortunately after struggling to make it work for four years we eventually separated and later divorced. Though she had three beautiful children for me the marriage did not last and we did not part on the best of terms. It was very bitter and unpleasant. I was not an easy person then and the truth is that I put her through hell with all my strange behaviour, strange habits and strange ways. To make matters worse we were both very headstrong and very tough- she was a lawyer and so was I. I hope that I have not said too much here because it is not my intention to hurt anyone with this interview or to rake up old wounds. I just feel that it is time to open up just a little and settle all the misconceptions and speculations about my private life and what happened in the past. This is the most difficult interview I have ever given but I will go ahead since I gave you my word. Nam (that is what I used to call her then) and I parted ways under very acrimonious circumstances because I felt that she just deserted me at my time of need and things have never been good between us since then. We married in 1990 and we separated at the end of 1993. Yet despite the failure of our marriage and the strained relationship that we have always had, I thank God for our special moments together and for the fact that we at least brought three beautiful children into this world. Despite all, she too still has a little corner of my heart and when our marriage crashed it wounded me deeply. I often hear about the bitter and painful things that she says about me everywhere but I will never respond. She can say that I am the devil incarnate and I will never respond. You know why? Because we were once married and I loved her for 3 turbulent yet wonderful years. I still love her to a certain extent because she is the mother of three of my children. I will never forget that. I will never hurt her. I will always wish her well and God will continue to bless her even though I honestly believe that she hates me. There is a thin line between love and hate and she just flipped over it at some point. What happened in those two failed marriages was that I was a different person. I take full responsibility for the failures of both. I was not the easiest person to be married to then and I was not the best of men. I went through a transformation process when I went to the Bible Seminary in Ghana in 1993. So everything about me pre-'93 was very different to post-'93. Post-'93 I was a different person. My values were different, my outlook to life was different, my politics was different and my attitude to people was different. I didn’t know God before going to the seminary even though I hail from a long line of pastors.
I was a very difficult person then and I just loved to enjoy the good life, to party, to play polo, to drive fast cars, to do politics and to drink champagne.
Worse of all I was a chronic womaniser and for some reason women seemed to love me so much and I loved them back with equal passion and depth. I was a wild young man that had everything that money could buy and I assure you that this was nothing to be proud of. I was good, I was smart, I worked hard and I did well at school and at my job but I just didn’t believe in the power of God then and that was my greatest mistake. I was an unbeliever- an intellectual barbarian. I didn’t understand these things until I had my encounter with God when I went to Ghana in 1993. The point I am making is that I wasn’t the easiest person so I do not blame those twoo ladies for anything that went wrong. I blame myself. They had their own fair share of issues and complicated behaviour but I will never say those things publicly. I am the man and I have to take full responsibility for everything that went wrong and I wish them well. So those were the first two times that my heart was broken.
Thankfully I met my real wife Regina in 1993 in Accra and we got married in 1997. She stood by me through thick and thin. Through the most difficult times and through the best times. Then a few years later I failed her and made a terrible mistake which had terrible consequences for my marriage and almost destroyed it. I got involved with a young lady and had what the French describe as an ''affaire de coure'' with her. I take no pride in what I did or even in sharing it with you here but it is a matter of public knowledge so I am telling you nothing new and I hope that when your readers hear what happened to me they will not end up making the same mistakes that I did. For a couple of years I became deeply attached to this young lady. I will refer to her as ''Omo C''. I got very close to her and we fell in love. Eventually things did not go too well for us because I was not prepared to take a second wife and then she took one or two steps which disappointed me and that was it. That is how it all ended. Even though I felt deeply hurt by her and that we may never speak again, I have to say that she was a wonderful person, she worked extremely hard, she was very loyal to me up until the end and I will not say anything ill about her publically. A lot of things you see about her on the internet today, the things they wrote about her are not even true. It was an error of judgment on my part to have any kind of affair when I was married and it’s something that I regret deeply but the truth is that for some time that young lady brought joy into my life and I fell deeply in love with her. That was the only time in my life that I ever came close to taking a second wife and I pray that it never happens again. Thankfully my wife prayed me out of that situation, continued to love me, forgave me, helped me to heal and saved our marriage and family. She forgave me and I haven't looked back since. I have nothing bad to say about that young Igbo lady as an individual. She made her choices and we will leave the rest to God. As far as I am concerned a lot of things you see about her on the internet are not true. I won’t even go into those things or discuss them here but we should cut her some slack. She’s just a nice person who wants to live her life quietly and move on with it and I wish her well.
Yet the pain of our break-up was terrible though it was the right thing to do. And whether anyone likes it or not the truth is that she still has a tiny corner of my heart as well. She will always be a friend even if we never see each other or speak to each other again.
I was involved with somebody else through the years when I was alone here in Nigeria and separated from my family though it was something that did not in any way threaten my marriage. A good friend of mine became very close to me. I will refer to her as the ''God-Sent Child'' and she came from the Mid-West though she had lived in Lagos all her life. We were very close for a number of years and she was a great source of comfort for me throughout that period but the time came when we had to part ways. I had to consider the implications of our friendship on my marriage and she had to move on with her life and go and do her master’s degree in the U.K.. She’s finished now. She did very well. She’s back in Lagos now, doing very well and moving on with her life. I hardly see or hear from her these days but I am proud of her, I am happy for her and she’s a wonderful person. She will always be part of me as well and again a little portion of my heart still belongs to her. That’s four. The fifth one, the only other woman that I ought to mention, I will not say much about publically for a number of reasons. She is somebody that I will refer to here as ''Tranquility''. She is an enigma. She is a good friend of mine and I am telling you that she is what they call a smooth operator. More importantly wherever she goes she brings peace and tranquility and she is one of the kindest souls that I have ever met in my life. I will not say anymore about Tranquility than that. So now you have heard it all I hope you are happy. I hope that you will learn from my experiences and mistakes instead of making yours. These are a very serious issues and the emotions and memories that they invoke are powerful and deep. The general point is that I have made my own fair share of mistakes and I have learnt a hard lesson from those mistakes. I have made my peace with my God and with my wife and that is all that matters to me. I suffered plenty of heartache and caused enormous pain to others as a consequence of these series of events, my actions, my behaviour, my choices and my clandestine associations. Such complications are best avoided and such actions are best avoided. Being a real man is about loyalty, faithfulness and fidelity to the one you love and not about jumping into bed with different women.
If my choice had been to leave my wife and settle down with any of these other women I could have done that three times over now but I have chosen not to do so but rather to stay with my wife. I made that choice even though I do not deserve her. That’s the point I am trying to make. I could have followed somebody else but no I made that choice rather than say I am going to break my marriage or betray my wife by taking a second wife. I will be loyal to my wife and let the other person move on to a better life for themselves. That for me is the triumph of love because if you really love somebody you have to let them move on to a better life and not put them in a situation whereby they are second wife to you. And if you really love your wife you will never toy with the idea of taking a second one. These 5 women all have a tiny portion of my heart but my wife has the rest of it and trust me when I tell you there is plenty of it left. She has at least 95 per cent of it and on top of that she has my body, spirit and soul as well.
I hope that your readers can learn from my mistakes. If you have a good woman or a good wife please hold on to her at all costs and never let her go no matter what.