Ireti-and-Patrick-Doyle

Yes, Patrick Doyle thought being married to a diva would be magical. Hence he sought the hand of his belle Ireti Doyle in marriage. Ireti agreed, out of love and presumed loyalty to the man who reportedly discovered her. Patrick was full of enchanting song.

Butterflies flit around his stomach and the fireflies danced in his eyes like the orbs of the eastern muse. Everything was falling into place. He was marrying the woman of his dreams. But marriage isn’t movie. Years down the line, like most of their celebrity peer, they couldn’t juggle the demands of marriage with the rage of their celebrity status.

Marriage became one great furnace to Ireti and like a rodent of the cesspool, fleeing the ambush of an unrelenting sewer cat, she walked away from her matrimonial home. Since news broke that the couple had called it quits, neither has said a word, giving rein to conjectures and assumptions on what could have gone wrong, not whether the union was still intact. Patrick, a renowned broadcaster and compeer, on the other hand, had tactically withdrawn from the limelight in the last couple of years.

Thus, waiting to run into him at events to see whether he still has his ring on may be longer than the wait for Godot. Patrick and Ireti Doyle have been married for about 20 years. According to Patrick, they met on the set of a movie he was producing and Ireti, a Theatre Arts graduate of the University of Jos, came to audition. A few years later, now properly integrated into Patrick’s artistic and production family, he lost his wife and she made her shoulders available for him to cry and lean on. At the time, she was a single mother, having sired a baby girl at the age of 19.

The baby, Bimbo, got married last April. Patrick was the father of the day. And he played his part well. Perhaps one of Nigeria’s most bankable actors in recent time, Ireti’s fame shot through the roof when she resurfaced in the MNET production, Tinsel, after many years in the cooler. Then came media mogul, Mo Abudu, into the mix. Also a broadcaster with stints in NTA Network and STV, Ireti starred in some of the Ebony TV founder’s productions like the critically acclaimed Fifty and the recent box office wonder, The Wedding Party 1 &2.

The two movies especially placed her on a pedestal yet to be rivalled. And the new level of success came with a new breed of single, wealthy friends; feminists, who don’t believe in the marriage institution, one is tempted to say. It is now being argued that she might have envied and been influenced by the freedom being enjoyed by her new friends. For a 50-year-old mother of five, Ireti and Patrick can’t keep mum forever, lest the little legacies they have worked hard to build over the years would be vaporised on the altar of rumours.