STAR actor and Lagos chapter chairman of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, Ernest Obi, has found love again. He tied the knot the traditional way with his long-time lover, Eki Oki Efajemue, on Sunday, May 30, 2010. The traditional marriage was attended by a lot of actors, film directors and producers. ENCOMIUM Weekly was at the bride’s family house, off Alaba International Market Road, Ojo, Lagos and now serves you all the gists and cut aways from there.
THE IMPRESSIVE GUEST LIST
Nollywood turned out en masse to support one of their own. From actors to producers, directors and even location hands, nobody was left out. Here are some of the couple’s guests:
Olu Jacobs, Joke Silva, Justus Esiri, Segun Arinze, Emeka Enyiocha and wife, Stella, Ufuoma Ejenobor, Chinyere Nwabueze, Livinus Nnochiri, Fred Amata, Empress Njamah, Chigozie Atuanya, Emma Ehumadu, Tony Ani, Chidi Nwokeabia, Charles Inojie, Chinny Chukwu, Andy Chukwu, David Mekenzie, Akeem Rahman, Paul Adams, Emma Ogugua, Steve Eboh, Acho Ugoenyi, Dupe Adetuwo, Bobby Ogoloma, Stella Samugaha, Obi Madubogu, Dickson Iroegbu, Franca Brown, Oby Edozie and Uche Sam Anyamele.
ABOUT THE BRIDE
Dark in complexion, Eki is a beautiful lady by any standard. She is from Isoko, Delta State. A Delta State University, Linguistics graduate, she’s currently doing her Masters. Eki also combines work with business and acting. Her dad, Prince Oki Efajemue is a retired military officer, while her mum, Mrs. Omeshamisu is a teacher.
THEIR LOVE STORY
Ernest and Eki have been dating for eight years. He met her when she came to register with AGN. They hit it off from there and like the world would say, the rest is history.
THE TRADITIONAL DOWRY
A typical Isoko traditional marriage ceremony, the Obis and the Efajemues retired upstairs to formalize their marital union. Ernest was supported by his Nollywood colleagues, with veteran actor, Justus Esiri (Don) acting as his father. This lasted for about an hour, not before guests were served local delicacies and kolanut. The groom presented sundry items like 20 tubers of yam, tray pan of garden eggs, two bunches of plantain, etc.
CHARLES INOJIE WAS THE ANCHOR
Nollywood may soon lose one of its members to a sister genre of the arts, comedy. The man to go is Charles Inojie, who keeps improving as stand-up act and compere. Inojie was at his best at his friend’s wedding. Reeling out jokes, throwing deadly punches at his colleagues, he made sure nobody got bored at the event. Even when it was time to say the opening prayer, he also did well.
STEPPING OUT WITH THE BRIDE
The payment of dowry over, it was time for the couple to be officially introduced to the public. And they did this with a dance. Elegantly attired in a sky blue native dress, Ernest and Eki looked resplendent in the attire designed by one Tope. Talking about their dance, the couple did not disappoint their friends and families as they danced out their heart.
Dancing time, spraying time is the best way to describe the show of love as the couple were dancing. Actors and VIP guests were actually struggling to ‘out-spray’ each other. And the smile of appreciation on the new couple’s faces was more than enough sign they were happy with them.
THE OBI SISTERS
There were about four of them attired in the same aso ebi. Beautiful and light-skinned, they were almost everywhere, making sure things were well done. Even when guest had gone the quartet were still around to ‘run things’.
ABOUT THE FAMILY GIFT FOR THE COUPLE
The typical Isoko bride, we were told, is sufficiently set up before she goes to her husband’s house that she won’t lack anything at home. And Eki was not left out of this noble tradition. Her people presented her with a full range of kitchen utensils, sewing machine, refrigerator, amongst sundry domestic items to kick-tart motherhood.
WHY THEY CALL IT A CULTURAL CARNIVAL
How best would one describe the pot pourri of sounds and bands at the wedding? Mainly cultural music, we counted about five lined up to entertain revelers. A particular Isoko-Delta band was the delight of all. In fact, they won more admiration with their vocal rendition of their native songs and dance steps. There was also a deejay in the house who played only Nigerian songs.
A TABLE WELL-LAID
There was enough to eat and drink. In fact, there was a buffet. Originally meant for actors and VIPs, it, however, got to a point it became an all-comers affair. There were mainly native cuisine (rice, egusi and vegetable soup).
The cake was simple. It had just a layer, but a complex traditional symbol. There was a calabash of wine, kolanuts and N500 and N1,000 notes imposed on the background. All of which richly re-enforced the cultural element that dominates traditional marriage. Just there for more of its symbolism, it is unlikely that the cake was cut.
To be objective, the bride’s family house was not spacious enough for the kind of crowd that graced the traditional marriage. In fact, it got to a point when seats, particularly for actors, were arranged outside the canopy. The narrow path to the arena didn’t help matters. But the ‘show’ went on fine despite all these.
THERE WAS WATER TIGHT SECURITY
Expectedly there was a perfect security arrangement in place. It was organized around plain-cloth private security guards, the police and military officers. And because they knew their job, the undesirables were kept off the joyous scene.
OLU JACOBS, WIFE AND SON STEP OUT
Surprise, surprise, you would say. As veteran actor, Olu Jacobs shunned location and stepped out with his actress wife, Joke Sylva and son. The family man in Uncle Olu was obvious for all to see. We also spotted the celebrated actor’s romantic side –he never left Joke alone for once. And when it was time for the buffet, they also walked to the table together.
NGOZI EZEONU TOO
Ageless actress, Ngozi Ezeonu did not also stay to the end. She probably left early because of the distance and Sunday deadly traffic. But she didn’t really miss much since she was around early enough.
CHINYERE NWABUEZE AND EJIRO OKURAME LEFT IN TIME
The couple had barely settled down in their corner when the inseparable duo of Chinyere Nwabueze and Ejiro Okurame left the arena. We understand they left for another equally important engagement. Not before dropping their gift for the couple though.
MEET CHINNY CHUKWU AND HER NEW FRIEND
Alice, My First Lady actress, Chinny Chukwu came in the company of a guy many believe should be the man that now rock her world. They walked in and out together, and sat together at the event. It wasn’t long that busy bodies put one and two together and concluded, the two are in a serious relationship. (Chinny separated from her hubby months back).
JUSTUS ESIRI, FANS AND OTHER ISSUES
Respected actor, Justus Esiri (OON) was at home with his fans that cut across the sex and age. They came from right, left and centre asking for phone numbers and permission to take pictures. Uncle Justus obliged them all. He was also ‘throwing’ money about to singers and women groups who recognized him. The national awardee had earlier played a fatherly role in the traditional marriage.
ARINZE OKONKWO LENDS A HAND
Newly married Arinze Okonkwo was busy at a time. He was sharing souvenirs. He was so careful about it that nobody complained he/she missed the gift.
UFUOMA EJENEBOR WITHOUT HER NEW HUBBY
Though she wasn’t lonely, many thought the wedding was an opportunity for the newly wed couple to step out together. However, My Mum and I actress disappointed her fans. She bonded freely with her colleagues.
FRED AMATA IDENTIFIED HIS PEOPLE
He came to the venue all alone. Btu he sought good company in his colleagues. Fred also appreciated his people’s singers and dancers, just as he was dancing to their beats. The actor is from Delta State.
MEET THE GROOM’S BEST FRIENDS
There are three guys Ernest always works with. And the trio were there for him when he needed them most. We are talking about the master of ceremony, Charles Inojie, Emeka Enyiocha and Chidi Nwaokobia. Call them friends indeed, they stood by their buddie, making sure that things went well.
ABOUT CHIGOZIE ATUANYA AND BOBBY OGOLOMA
Up and about actors, Chigozie Atuanya and Bobby Ogoloma enjoyed themselves thoroughly. After they showered cash on the couple, they settled down for their choice wine. And all eyes were on them because of their hippy attire and colour combination.
HIS VOTE OF THANKS
“I will like to say thank you for coming. I want to thank all my friends who were there for me even when I was a nuisance, I love you all. You know that Ernest will always be there for you.” With these words, Ernest Obi on behalf of his family, thanked all his guests for attending his wedding. And that note signalled the end of the eight-four traditional marriage that would still be on the lips of many for a long time to come.
WE spoke to Ernest Obi and for the first time ever, he opened up on how he met and fell in love with his new wife.
How would you describe your feelings today?
It’s exciting. I can’t really explain how I feel, because I am overwhelmed by the turn of events.
Can you tell us your love story?
It started like eight years ago. By the way, today is her birthday. But I haven’t time to wish her a happy birthday (he does that and Eki replies, I love you, darling). Today is her birthday and we thought it is also an ample occasion for us to express our love.
What was the attraction?
I think it is her presence. I am one of the luckiest actors.
How did you propose?
That was a long time ago. Though she said yes, I had to wait for her to round off her studies. But I didn’t allow her to finish her Masters.
What kept the relationship stronger in the last eight years?
Sincerity of purpose. I took her as my friend, partner and confidant.
Of all the qualities of hers which is the one you cherish most?
Can you tell us your love story?
Waoh! I used to hear people say actors can’t marry their female colleagues. But I met Eki when she came to register as AGN member. I knew she was my wife.
Have you decided on the size of your family?
It depends on her. My mum had nine. I am an Igbo man and a titled chief at that. So, we will have as much as we can train.
She’s into acting so to say, would you stop her from it?
No. Why should I look for what I already have? As a film maker, if she’s good for a role I will use her. She would be doing her thing as far as it doesn’t disturb her other desires.
What’s next after this traditional marriage?
We are starting our marriage counseling tomorrow (Monday, May 31). That’s in the Catholic Church. We are looking at the month of June. We are looking at having it on my birthday. We want to be celebrating every birthday as part of our love life.
‘I didn’t marry an actor, I married my husband’
ERNEST Obi’s wife, Evi Oki was overwhelmed with joy on her wedding day. Frank to a fault, she also revealed to us how she sees the man she will spend the rest of her life with…
Congrats on getting married today…
So, how does it feel?
The very first day I met him something told me we can get along. But I needed time to decide on the kind of relationship to have. I also had to finish school, but having waited this long, I know I deserve a day like this. It’s not about being a star, I don’t see him as a Nollywood star, I see him as Ernest Obijiofor, the name his parents gave him at birth. I love him and I will love him forever.
What do you cherish most about him?
Everything. Ernest loves me.
What is the greatest gift he has given you other than the gift of love?
That is our little secret. I can’t tell you. He knows. I am confident about myself and the man I got married to. He is a hard working man. I believe we are going to live together forever to see our children and our grandchildren.
Your husband was talking about having nine children like his parents, what do you want?
It is in the hand of God. But because of the love we have for each other, we should even get more children than his parents, maybe 24 (laughs).
What do you do?
I work. I am also in school. I read French (Linguistics) at the Delta State University. I am now doing my Masters programme in International Relations.
‘Initially, I thought he was a playboy
- Bride’s father, Prince Oki Efajemne
WE also heard from Evi’s dad who described her as the pillar of the house. He equally spoke on their relationship…
Your daughter just got married today, congrats.
So, how does it feel?
It’s a pleasure. I am happy about that.
How would you describe Eki?
She is a pillar in our family and she will continue to play the same role in her new home. When you give your daughter away in marriage, you are entering an everlasting contract. So, I am sure of where my daughter is going.
Any reservation initially about the personality of your daughter’s husband?
Yes, when they started I asked her if she was going for a playboy, but she said he is a nice guy. I asked are you sure, you know what celebrities do? She assured me she was okay.
What is your prayer for them?
That God should guide and bless them abundantly.
‘My daughter is blessed’
- Bride’s mum, Mrs. Omeshamisu Oki Efajemue
MRS. Omeshamisu is the bride’s mum. We had a chat with her and here is what she said about her daughter…
How does it feel to see your daughter, Eki getting married?
It delights me. Getting married to a star at that is a privilege. I am really happy for her. To be a star is not what anybody does. It is God that makes a star. So, for my daughter to be married to one is by God’s grace.
How would you describe your daughter?
She is blessed and she will continue to be blessed. God will give her the grace to continue to receive more of His blessings.
Did you see the relationship growing to marriage?
Yes. From day one, I knew they are in love. You know all these stars one don’t always trust them, but I never had any doubt of Ernest’s sincerity. I believe in marriage. Marriage is honourable.
What’s your prayer for them?
My prayer for them is that they would continue to be blessed. They would live to see more of God’s blessings which would be showered on them.
- This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, June 1, 2010