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The veteran iconic highlife musician turned evangelist (who now ministers from God’s word) Ebenezer Obey, in an interview revealed why he finds it difficult to marry another woman since he lost his wife.
He said, “Because my wife was loyal and wonderful to me, she made my profession very easy, she did not trouble me in anyway and that is why I have refused to marry since her death. Anytime I sit down in my parlour, I see her picture because it is positioned right in front of my chair. She did not live to see my 70th birthday. So I opened a town hall in her honour on her birthday on March 23. On the same date this year, I built a police post in her honour.”
It’s surprising that almost six years after his wife’s death, legendary musician, Ebenezer Obey, now 75 years old, has not remarried.
Known as Lady Evangelist Juliana Obey-Fabiyi, the deceased died at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital on August 23, 2011.
She was aged 67.
“I met my wife when I was struggling. Her parents actually told her not to marry me. I was still a young musician then. I met her in her brother’s place because her elder brother was my friend. When I met her, we greeted and that is how we started.”
Still on his wife, the former Baba Miliki said, “God gave her to me. And if God gave you a thing, you will have much to say about that thing. I know everything about Olaide. She was the pillar of my success. I think she deserves a full musical album to her appraisal. I met her through one of her brothers, Vasco Ola. We were both tenants at Mushin, Lagos where I was living then. Thereafter, I toasted her and sooner we got married in 1963. I loved her so much as a beggar would crave money. The following year, precisely on March 9, 1964, she had her first child, Oluwashina. My wife hailed from the Olufade family in Ibara, Abeokuta. I was open to her. She was also open to me. With her, I didn’t have any secret, I told her everything. And whenever I did something wrong, I would come to her and confess, and also apologise. So, she knew me as an honest husband.
“Olaide was very supportive, understanding, loving, passionate, caring, and enterprising. She stood by me when there were travails and turbulence. Right from the time I lived in one room apartment in Mushin, she had stayed firm with me. She knew everything about me. I used to see her as my mother.
“My wife understood my body language and gestures a lot. If I looked at her eyes, she would know what I wanted her to do. She cooked my food. And I don’t eat food cooked by someone else. If she didn’t cook, I would prefer to remain hungry. Anyway, I have a habit of not eating at shows or any other place I go to. And if I went on a journey and didn’t have the opportunity of eating her food, I would prefer taking snacks and anticipating my returning home to eat from her pot.”
On why music artistes need to marry peace-loving women, Obey advised:
“Every musician needs a peaceful and serene environment so as to meditate well and give room for inspiration to flow. Creating a peaceful atmosphere is necessary for good performance by a musical artiste. Lack of this often results into failure of many artistes in the music industry. For most musicians, their wives always create commotion and disorderliness in their homes. But in the case of my wife, she gave room for quietness which had always enabled me to compose meaningful and valuable songs. Marrying her had enhanced my music business so much.”