Gospel music star and Glo Ambassador, Sammie Okposo has opened up on how he was almost pressured into pre-mature marriage and the ordeal he went through at the hands of those who believed their ideas for him were the best.
In an exclusive chat with The Entertainer, Okposo declared that at a point, the pressure was so much he actually caved in and started an affair just to get people off his back.
“Before I met my wife there were a couple of ladies that I would have loved to marry but it just did not work out. I get along with the female folk a great deal. Till today, my female fan base is large. And there was a lot of pressure especially from the media and my pastor friends. They were like ‘Sammie, marry now’.
“The pressure was so much so I said to myself, ‘okay, let me just try so that people will leave me alone and those were the times I got heartbroken because I tried to make it happen by myself. I was trying to force it but it just did not click,” he said.
A mother’s advice
The pressure was so much on Sammie it finally attracted the attention of his late mother who called him aside and advised him to wait on the Lord and that proved to be a very important advice.
“Before my mum passed on she was my number one fan in the world. My mum said to me, ‘my son, no matter the woman you want to marry, if she is not the woman for you, it will not work. My prayer for you is that, son, that woman that is your wife, no matter how long it takes, God will bring her to you.’
“After my mum’s advice, I reslised that I had been putting too much pressure on myself and so I decided to just let go. It was during this period that God finally revealed my wife to me,” Sammie explained.
The musician said the first time he met Ozioma, his wife of three years; it was love at first sight. They met at a church concert in the UK where he had the opportunity to be one of the few African artistes to perform on the same platform with the likes of Ron Kenolly and Cece Winans.
Sammie recalls: “It was a big concert. The place was blazing. We finished the concert and there was a long queue for autographs. Just as I was signing autographs I just saw her and I said, ‘my God! This is my wife!’
“It just dawned on my spirit that this is my wife: that I was finally home. I looked at her and she looked at me and I felt that intimate connection. I signed the CDs and she left, there was no time to chat her up because people were waiting to buy my CDs and get my autograph. I just prayed and said ‘God, if this is my wife, I will meet her again.”
It would seem the Spirit was at work. The next day a friend picked Sammie up to see a movie but they decided to see an exhibition first and as they walked in, Sammie was speechless as he beheld his future wife again. Her elder sister was the organizer of the exhibition!
If Sammie thought he would just stroll into Ozioma’s heart he was in for a surprise. From the outset it was obvious that Ozioma was not impressed by his superstar status.
“I was surprised. It was her elder sister that was holding the exhibition. We were introduced to each other and got talking and my wife, being the well brought up girl that she was, she was not carried away with my celebrity status.
“My wife no send me o. She was very well spoken, accommodating and polite. She was very calm and confident and that was killing me the more! You know in our line of work, the ladies are always very nice and always there. But she was calm, cool, collected and confident. I asked for her number and she said a flat no! But because she did not want to be rude, she said she will give me her e-mail because she didn’t know me well enough to entrust me with her number,” Sammie stated.
Did he feel rejected? Sammie responded thus: “Strangely, I did not feel rejected. I was like wow! This is a great lady. And as God would have it, after I met her, all through the flight back to Lagos I was only thinking of her.”
For some reasons Sammie could not explain, he was swamped with invitations from the UK to perform during that period. It was like London had just discovered him and that created more opportunity for him to interact and spend more time with Ozioma, and they were getting to know each other during the back and forth trips. During one of those trips he finally got her phone number!
How did it feel when he finally got the number?
“I screamed eureka!” the musician cried out loud. “And we started talking and it went on and on but then it was very quiet and she said to me, ‘listen, you know you’re a celebrity, I cannot change that fact, I can’t change what you do but how are you going to be able to keep your work and keep your home?’
“I said ‘trust me, there will be no unnecessary announcement’. I promised her that nobody would know that we were getting married. I dated my wife for three years; it was a quiet romance. She was scared that one day, journalists will call her from Nigeria and harass her but it never happened. I had no choice but to keep it secret; this was my home, my family. I believed that as an entertainer, your work is public but family is sacred.”
Sammie disclosed that when her family heard that she wanted to marry him, there was uproar! “They were like, ‘this guy loves women a lot and women love him too. Are you sure you can cope?’ But she still married me because she knows that after the show we will both go home together,” he stated.
Married at last
The lovebirds finally got married in a fairy tale wedding in Lagos that attracted the crème de la crème of the Nigerian society including politicians and high networth individuals.
In retrospect Sammie said: “I have been heartbroken as a guy. And when I look at my wife now I am happy that I was heartbroken because if I had married any of those I met earlier, I wouldn’t have married Ozioma. Pain is necessary for everybody at one point in time or the other.
“That’s why I tell my colleagues; marry a woman that understands your work and things associated with your work. A woman should love you for who you are and not because you’re a celebrity. Some ladies marry because they want to marry a celebrity and that is a problem.”