CHINAGOROM Onuoha, popularly known as African China, recently tied the nuptial knot secretly with the woman he has decided to spend the rest of his life with. In this interview, the London Fever crooner bared his mind on the woman that means the world to him and why he opted for a secret wedding and much more.
Congratulations, how does it feel being a married man?
It feels great. Most times, when I send my boys out for jobs and all that I feel lonely at home. I could remember when I was a bachelor, I would start making phone calls. But this time around, I no longer do such things. There is always something to do at home. Like this morning, I had to help her sweep the house. As a bachelor, you always spend time in the beer parlour, but when you are married you have responsibilities. She tells you that she needs money for this and that. You think about the upkeep, so you feel fulfilled especially when you have a baby coming. I can’t wait to see who the baby looks like, me or the mother.
Is there any aspect of single life that you are going to miss?
Yeah, bachelorhood. I miss hanging out. Now, I have a time table.
How did you meet?
We met six years ago, I went for a programme for children, Blue Band time stuff for kids. I happened to be the major artiste that day, so as I was performing, she came with her nephew. I saw her and liked her. I pushed on and gave her my number and I took hers. After performance, the ovation was massive. I came with security men and you know when you leave the security and walk up to a woman and tell her I like you, you are so pretty, can I have your number? She was like what for? I was like let’s be friends, she gave me her number and after that, I called her. She was like who is this? I said African China, she said, Hey! I told her that I would talk to her later. I been wan chop and run, I come hook (general laughter).
What are the qualities that attracted you to her?
Actually, I came across a whole lot of girls, pretty and good behaved girls. Pretty ones with bad character, so there is one thing that I am up to. I needed a show lady by my side, a girl I could take out anytime any day. I mean a girl with a class, and also Godly. There were so many girls, these were the criteria that I was using. She was the only person with those qualifications. But then I was not still convinced. There was one girl who was in deep competition with her and she was ready to relocate.
Is she a white lady?
No, she is a mixed breed. I invited her to Nigeria, she came. We spent a couple of times, if I hadn’t married my wife that would have been the girl. But I needed a Nigerian girl. Don’t get me wrong, the other girl is a Nigerian. If no be Panadol, e no fit be like Panadol. If no be salt, e no fit resemble salt.
So, how did you propose to your wife?
I took her to the Galleria to watch a movie. After the movie, we wanted to watch another movie, I wanted to propose to her way back but I said to myself let the will of God be done in my life. On that day, we were just standing at the front of a jewelry store in the Galleria window shopping. It now occurred to me, I walked in there, she asked me what I wanted to buy, I told her that I wanted to get myself earrings, so I called the sales girl. I told her to check her size for the ring. But I knew that she would know what I was up to, so I told her to pick anything that she liked. She asked me if I was serious, I told her yes. She saw one ring that doesn’t even look like engagement ring, she picked it and I said no, I am not paying for this one (laughs). She said that I thought that you asked me to pick anything, I replied anything, but not this type of ring. She said those ones are engagement rings I said yes. I encouraged her to pick from the engagement rings. That was when she knew what I was up to. She actually picked the one I wanted her to pick, so I bought it.
What would you want from the marriage?
I want peace, rest of mind. Some marriages, at the beginning is sweet and the end is something else. I want my marriage to be an example to other celebrity. Something to rejoice for, something that would make people rejoice, something to thank God, something to glorify the Lord and bring kids into this world that would make myself and their mother happy.
Have you planned the size of your family, how many kids would you like to have?
I am looking at 15 oh (general laughter).
You can’t be serious?
God will decide.
Why inter-tribal marriage?
My name is African China, I preach the way forward for Nigeria. Our parents are always putting this impression into us, you are an Igbo boy, you are a Yoruba girl. I don’t see anything wrong in getting married to another tribe, as long as there is love and understanding. And we keep preaching one Nigeria. It is only when we learn to tolerate one another and learn to inter marry that is when this country would move forward because we now know that we are related somehow. That you are related to the west, north and south. So, it helps, we don’t get divided anymore.
Was there any form of opposition initially?
Definitely, there would be, but at a point both families discovered that there was this strong bond, they had to let it be and they are happy.
Where is she from?
Why did you opt for a secret marriage?
I did it because I didn’t want to make a loud noise. But for the traditional to the white wedding, trust me. But this one, I just wanted to make it a family thing.
When is the traditional and white wedding coming up?
Next year, is just around the corner.
Why next year?
For reasons best known to me.
Describe her personality?
She is beautiful, humble and from a good family. Her father is a Moslem, her mother is a Christian, they both live under the same roof. They are in love. My wife’s mother is from Delta. Their family is understanding, she is a woman with class, beauty and understanding. She is every man’s dream.
Is she into showbiz?
No, but I intend introducing her to it. She would love it, I don’t want to go contrary to her wish but if she would love it, I don’t mind. But if she doesn’t want it, I would let her do what she wants to do.
Showbiz personalities are always attracting attention, doesn’t she complain at times?
She likes it.
So, what’s new?
I have a single that is on air. If you love somebody featuring Faze, I am working with 2Face. The album would drop by next month.
– JUSTINA NWEKE
– This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, June 22, 2010