- Has anybody told you that you don’t look 50?
I thank God that all my life, I have been told I look younger than my age. Of course, I hated it then but now, I find it hilarious sometimes. I have been asked for my identification in the US and UK before I could purchase alcohol as recently as two years ago. Meanwhile, I was sure I was old enough to give birth to the boy asking me. Then again, my daughters’ friends ask if I’m their sister. I don’t like it. I tell people in firm tones I certainly am not. But it’s good genes. Both my parents look very young and my siblings too.
- As a young girl, if anybody had told you your marriage would break up, would you have believed it?
No, I would not have. That is why even after three children, I knew I would remarry. I don’t know if it is that love of being a wife or to run a home. Whichever, I love being married.
- Can you still remember those days you were with your ex-husband, Femi Fani-Kayode?
I have no fond memories of then except having my daughters, as I am sure he would say same if asked. What people do not seem to realise is that we were together for only a very short while. The marriage itself lasted less than three years. The fact that I have three daughters makes it seem longer but I left just when I was pregnant with my youngest daughter.
- Did you decide to marry him because his family was influential?
I don’t know what that means because I grew up in a home where I had all I wanted. There was nothing I got there that I didn’t have before. Actually I had more at home.
- What was the attraction back then?
It was a long time ago but I think at the time, all the men I knew were clubbing like I was but he was already serious in politics. He was a national youth leader of his party and the proposal was very direct as he said, ‘I am in politics and I need a homemaker.’
- Since the marriage produced beautiful kids, would you ever say you regret it?
No way. In fact, I always say if I came back in another life, I would do it again to have these same beautiful and dramatically intelligent daughters. I would just have a better exit plan.
- How did you meet Mr. Wada?
Dahiru and I met at a party in London. It’s funny how we met. I thought he was someone else and planned to tease him but his incredible wit got the better of me and in the end, the joke was on me. He actually insinuated that I was a airhead!
- What do you love about him?
He’s gentle, he is patient and he is kind. He has a wicked sense of humour and he can gist. He has an infectious laugh and like me, he loves to entertain. Like me also, he is a very good cook. He is the king of roasts and curries. He is an amazing father. He loves his kids to bits. I am always complimented about how well behaved my boys are but it is because they live with a gentleman father and they live by example.
- How is life being Mrs. Dahiru Wada?
It’s very interesting. My father in-law loves me very much and my husband has many brothers who are like him, very loving. So you’re living in an atmosphere of love. It’s a very nice feeling. The best description of my husband is that he is a gentleman’s gentleman. He is also very cultured and well travelled. He loves good food and travelling. He is very well read and extensively knowledgeable in all things. He is very generous and for us kind almost to a fault.
- How do you feel having a daughter who is getting married?
I am ecstatic. My daughter is getting married in July by the Grace of God. I got married at 24 and I am reaping the benefits as I have had the opportunity to grow up with my girls. I feel it has made us closer. I am happy because people are different and in her case, she is mature enough to take up that role. She has also found a good man by the grace of God from good stock and surely that must be every mother’s prayer.
- What has life taught you at 50?
At 50, life has taught me a lot. I have lived through so many experiences that at times I wonder what guided my thinking when I was younger. I have learnt that truly, patience is a great virtue. I have learnt that I need to do what makes me happy and not wait to derive happiness from others because it’s a tough task especially in an atmosphere where survival is tough. I have learnt to feel pity for people who go out of their way to hurt you because the truth is, it is because they wish they had peace. I have learnt that in truth, money can never buy you happiness or fulfillment but a relationship with God has amazing dividends. Many people get it wrong making assumptions of other people’s lives and they are bitter and unhappy because they feel they are worse off. They make assumptions or listen to what they are told and set ridiculous standards for their partners.