STANDARD Alliance Group chairman, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor and his wife, Chief (Mrs.) Rita Emerhor, on Saturday, September 22, 2012, celebrated 25 years as a couple. The event held at the prestigious Ikoyi Baptist Church, Ikoyi, Lagos. Later in the afternoon, guests were treated to a moderate reception at the Harbour Point Event Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos. The who is who in the corporate world turned up for the elegant ceremony.
A NEW BEGINNING
It was a fresh beginning for Olorogun O’tega Emerhor and his beautiful wife, Chief (Mrs.) Rita Emerhor as they celebrated 25 years in marriage and also renewed their marital vow. The Ikoyi Baptist Church, Ikoyi, Lagos, bubbled with high profile personalities stepping out for the ceremony. The event started at 12 noon and came to a halt around 2.15 p.m.
A NEW LOOK IKOYI BAPTIST CHURCH
The Ikoyi Baptist Church, Lagos new sanctuary has finally been completed. The edifice on Lateef Jakande Street, Ikoyi, Lagos, on about 10 pillars, is shielded by a large black gate. The property has an underground parking space that can accommodate over 100 cars. The church was dedicated in July, 2012.
IFEOMA, RHE AND ONAJITE ON THE TRAIN
The three daughters of Olorogun O’tega and Chief (Mrs.) Rita Emerhor, Ifeoma, Rhe Iwuagwu and Onajite were solidly behind them throughout the ceremony. The three wore the same dress for the church segment and later in the afternoon changed to another one for the reception.
PERSONALITIES AT THE THANKSGIVING
An impressive number of high profile personalities made it to Ikoyi Baptist Church, for the anniversary. Chief Felix Ibru, Mr. Cosmas Maduka, Senator Remi Tinubu, Lagos State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope Adefulire, Mr. Gamaliel Onosode, Mr. Oba Otudeko, Eunice Efole and a host of others.
THE PHOTOGRAPH SESSIONS
The less than one hour session took place in front of the church. The Emerhors, who came out of the church first were joined by others for a lovely photo session after which everyone moved to the reception venue.
K-SQUARE MEN ON DUTY
The Kayode Komolade-led security men manned the gate at the venue of the reception. It was a no invite, no entry affair. Those who came without the silver and blue colour invite were turned back. They were also at the entrance of the beautifully decorated hall where guests were thoroughly screened before moving inside the hall.
THE EVENT MANAGER
Zapphaire’s Funke Bucknor-Obruthe showed up for the event. The entrepreneur had her team on ground and ensured everything went on as planned.
EBITIMI BANIGO WAS THE CHAIRMAN OF THE OCCASION
Former chairman of the defunct All States Trust Bank and one-time minister, Chief Ebitimi Banigo was the chairman at the occasion. The individual gave few words of advice before he settled for the business of the day.
WHEN THE CHOIR DAZZLED EVERYONE
The Ikoyi Baptist Church choir was on top of their game all through the ceremony. They dazzled at the church proceedings and at the reception where they rendered some soul lifting numbers.
ENTERTAINERS IN THE HOUSE
Comedians Koffi Idowu Nuel, Akpororo and their female colleague, Mandy anchored the reception. The trip set the hall ablaze with rib cracking jokes. There was also in the house Helen Paul, female musician Omawumi Megbele wrapped up the night with her performance.
SHOWERS OF BLESSING
Later at the reception, the heavens opened up for showers of blessing. Few undeterred guests still made it to the ceremony under the rain.
THE ELEGANT RECEPTION
At the reception later in the day, drinks of all sorts were surplus, just like the dessert. It was not a day to fill one’s stomach with heavy food.
O’TEGA SPOILS WIFE SILLY
For their 25th wedding anniversary, Standard Alliance Group chairman, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor dazzled his wife with a new Rolls Royce Phantom. The couple rode in this wonderful ride to the reception. The white Rolls Royce has a special registration number, MG1E.
‘God has been our strength’
- Olorogun O’tega and Chief (Mrs.) Rita Emerhor
What has kept your marriage going over the last 25 years?
God has been our strength. My husband is a very wonderful person, my best friend, my confidant, my mentor. I always look forward to be with him and I am happy we will be together forever.
What will you say to those who have come to celebrate with you?
They are wonderful people, I am thankful.
Can you still recollect how it all started?
A young lady walking along the street, I heard somebody called me and I looked back. We became friends from there. The wedding day was tedious, I was so tired that I slept with my wedding dress. We had an elegant reception, it was great.
The first time you became a grandmother, how did it feel?
Great, because I realized I was still young and I could play with them. They are like my babies now.
OLOROGUN O’TEGA EMERHOR
What has sustained your marriage for 25 years?
God has kept us strong. My wife has made it work. She is such a wonderful woman, she is everything a man would ask for. She is beautiful and what does a man need more than that? She takes care of me and God has blessed us with wonderful children. We quarrel at times, but we make up easily. We argue a lot. We have understood ourselves very well over the last 25 years and we are happy today.
What are the lessons you have learnt over the years?
A lot. I have learnt that without God nothing can work. No other than God and I pray more couples will have our kind of grace.
Can you recollect how it all happened?
It was in 1979 in my village, I saw a young lady walking down the road. I was direct, I told her, ‘I want to marry you,’ and that’s all.
‘They are my hero’
- Onajite Emerhor
How does it feel, your parents celebrating their 25 wedding anniversary?
It’s exciting, it’s inspiring and wonderful. God has really blessed us with abundant love and they are an inspiration to us the children. As a girl, I know what I am going to look for in my husband, my husband will buy me a Rolls Royce like my father did to our mother.
He just bought the Rolls Royce?
Yes, that is the anniversary present.
What are those things you have learnt from their lifestyles?
They taught me to be patient, they have shown a very good example of true love. They taught me to respect God and to respect life. They are wonderful people.
Should we expect the wedding bell toll for you soonest?
God’s time is the best.
What do you do at the moment?
I just got my Masters degree and I am waiting for my NYSC. I studied Economics and International Development. My undergraduate was at University of Bristol and my Masters was at University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom.
‘Their advice help me in my marriage’
- Rhe Emerhor-Iwuagwu
Your parents just celebrated 25 years in marriage, how does that make you feel?
I am so excited. It was a surprise. My dad just said, ‘Oh, let’s do a party,’ because he was so excited about the 25th anniversary and he wanted to show my mum how much she meant to him. So, he just decided to do something special. That’s the reason for this party. I wish them 50 more years together because I want the same for myself.
What will you say you have learnt from their lifestyle?
Patience, tolerance, unselfishness. They are generous givers, they don’t withhold anything from each other, they are very good friends. Marriage is not about having children, it’s about having companion because the children will grow old and leave and we are just doing that now.
You work in your dad’s company, Standard Alliance Insurance, what is your vision for the company?
We are looking to consolidate insurance business in Nigeria because right now there is growth in other sectors and insurance is the driver of most developed economies. Nigeria has not gotten to that stage where they understand that you have to get rid of risks associated with business. When risks are passed on, banks will open up to lending and things will move. I love my work. I believe in many years from now, Standard Alliance will be greater. We are also into property at Standard Alliance Group.
You got married four years ago, how has it been for you?
It was exciting and also terrifying because me and my husband were very young. We love each other a lot. Now, we have learnt from our parents. We have very good support system. People always advice us and I like the fact that me and my husband are willing to learn and keep open ears. We thank God.
What do you feel about your mum?
I wish I had her character because I am a bit quieter but she is so full of energy, confident and full of life. I think that’s what attracted my dad because he is so conservative and when you have a wife that is so vibrant, life becomes more enjoyable. They balance each other.
- This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, September 25, 2012