It was another day of joy and celebration for Hon. Rotimi Olowo of Lagos State House of Assembly and his wife, Atinuke, when they rolled out the drums to mark their 20th wedding anniversary. The joyous occasion which was held recently started with a church service at African Apostolic Church, 3, Akinbanjo Street, Somolu, Lagos. This was followed by an elaborate reception at their palatial Ikeja, GRA, Lagos residence. ENCOMIUM Weekly was there and had the opportunity of interviewing the wife, Mrs. Atinuke Olowo.
How do you feel celebrating your 20th wedding anniversary?
I feel great and I am grateful to God.
How did the relationship start?
It started all the way back to our university days.
Which University is that?
Ondo State University, now Ado-Ekiti University. He was in part three then when I was in part one. We were both into sporting activities then. In fact, he was the Director of Sport then. Our first contact was inside the university bus. I think he couldn’t find a seat and I stood up for him to sit. That was how the relationship started.
When did he propose?
We first started as boy-friend and girl-friend. We courted for about five or six years and we got married in 1997.
How will you describe the journey?
It’s been interesting, but not without the usual ups and downs of marital life. But all the same, we thank God for where He has taken us. As husband and wife, we need to manage ourselves and with a lot of patience you will get there.
When would you say was the best moment of this 20 years of marital life?
As a Christian, I will say every day. Every day is my best moment, because I have taken everything easy for myself. So, I am stress free. If there is a problem, you learn how to manage it and by the grace of God here we are today.
When would you consider as the happiest moment of this 20 years marital life?
Happiest moment? You know I am a Christian. So, I will say every day of my life with him has been my happiest moment.
What about the saddest moment?
I don’t think I have any. Of course, there were moments you felt like living alone or you wanted to leave him, but I didn’t see such moments as saddest ones. I count such moments as trial. Such trials are part of the journey. If there is a problem or challenge there must be an end to that problem.
Who apologises first between the two of you?
You know most times, men usually accept they are wrong. But at times he says I am sorry.
At times not always.
Yes, not always, You know men. Even if he is wrong, he will manage his ways round it. A man will always be a man.
You did not marry him as a politician?
I did not.
When he told you he was going into politics, what was your reaction then?
Initially, when he told me I was a bit worried. But as a Christian, I took it to God and God said I should allow him to go ahead.
So, how would you describe your experience as a politician’s wife?
The journey has not been rosy, but I give God the glory.
Was there a time you wanted him to pull out of politics?
So many times, he will tell me that ‘I am tired. I wanted to pull out.’ But people will come again and they will resolve everything.
Going by the number of years that he has been in politics, would you say politics has been a blessing or curse to your family?
It’s a blessing.
How many children has the marriage been blessed with?
How many boys and girls?
Two boys and two girls.
How old is the oldest and youngest?
The oldest is 20 (years) and the youngest is 13 (years).
What more do you want God to do for this marriage?
I want God to continue to guide us, give us that strength to continue to forge ahead, give us the grace to continue the race and His mercy to continue to be upon the family. It’s by His grace.
Did you ever nurse that fear that he could get married to another woman now that he is a politician and very popular?
Every woman will have such a thought at the back of their mind. But, I Atinuke Tina Olowo, I know my husband. I know him very well.
He wouldn’t dare do it.
Not that he wouldn’t dare, but he is a man that fears God. When a man fears God, trials will come. There are so many trials out there for the politicians but when he gets home, sees his Atinuke, he will change his mind.
What would you consider the best thing he has ever done for you as his wife?
Loving me is the best thing he has ever done for me.
In what way has he shown you that love?
In so many ways. Taking good care of my children and me.