Through the fire to the limit, they have risked it all to stay true to their marital union. At a time when marriages are short-lived, some celebrity couples have proved true to their marital vows.

 Vanessa Obioha writes about them

Ituah and Ibidunni Ighodalo: Always Together

Today marks the 13th anniversary of the Ighodalos and in the usual tradition of Ibidunni, the beauty and brain behind Elizabeth R Events, she will shower praises to the man who walked her down the aisle 13 years ago. It is not uncommon to see posts eulogising her husband on her Instagram page. She never misses an opportunity to share mementos of them together or inspire her over 70,000 followers with their journey of love. But she doesn’t do this in an ostentatious way. It is her own way of telling the world that she got a man who got her back.

The story of the Ighodalos is an inspiring one for newlyweds or couples going through challenges.

Their love story is one plotted around rejection. Ighodalo was formerly married to Lucy Ann-Summer during his sojourn in the United States of America. Then, he had not assumed the role of a clergyman. As a carefree man who cared little about salvation, he was the ladies man (and still is). Armed with the right looks, he made many damsels hearts’ flutter. So it was not a surprise that he would capture the heart of  Summer.

Their union had all the trappings of true love but when a rough wind blew, their ship couldn’t survive the storm. Ighodalo’s decision to return to Nigeria automatically ended the marriage as both couldn’t sustain their relationships over the long distance.

Notwithstanding, Ighodalo found love again when he met the former lux beauty queen Ibidunni. His union with her however cost him a family. After being remarried for two-and-a-half years, Ighodalo was asked to leave the Christ Church Parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God that he was famed to have nurtured. The news of his sack made headlines.

But all of that is in the past as he and his heartthrob are tending their own flock of worshippers at Trinity House.

The beauty of their union is how they have stayed glued and true to each other despite the challenges they have faced, particularly struggle with fertility. The Ighodalos have in no way worn their problems on their sleeves, instead, they lift each other up (and also others) through words of encouragement and love. Their home is one full of laughter and joy of their children which is visible in the lovely posts Ibidunni shares on her Instagram page. In her words, she and her beau are two hearts beating as one, two heads but one thought, two bodies but one soul!

Richard and Jumobi Mofe-Damijo: Still Loving

If you ask the prince of the silver screen Richard Mofe-Damijo about his marital life, his prompt response will likely be “19 years no be beans.” Indeed, not all couples in Nollywood can boast of such lasting relationships. Formerly married to May Ellen Ezekiel, who unfortunately passed on in 1996, Mofe-Damijo found love again in the arms of the former presenter on Raypower 101.5FM and AIT, Jumobi Adegbesan. Those who worked closely with the latter would easily recall her dreams to be a Mrs. Mofe-Damijo one day. With love, anything is possible. It was only a matter of time before Cupid brought their hearts together and the rest, they say is history. The lovebirds are happily married and are still growing strong every day. Though Jumobi chooses to work from behind the screen, her husband seizes every opportunity to celebrate her on Instagram. If he is not sharing their cute pout photos, he is probably telling his Instagram family how blessed he is to such a ray of sunshine in his life.

Olu Jacobs and Joke Silva: Always Evergreen

Their love story has been told over and over again but we are never tired of hearing it. We love good old love stories like veteran actors Olu Jacobs and Joke Silva to remind us that neither career nor age differences can quench the flames of true love. They command such respect that whenever there is a list of successful marriages in Nollywood, their names will inevitably be on top of that list.

The love story goes that Jacobs met Silva at an Independence Day celebration and he fell in love with her immediately. The story is as simple as that. Yet, the couple are seen as exemplary figures to emulate when it comes to celebrity marriage. On Instagram, Silva calls her husband Sir J and never fails to comment on his good looks. Although Jacobs’ Instagram feed boasts few posts, you can bet that half of the posts celebrate his wife and her career.  Perhaps, the magic of their love is how they treat each other professionally both online and offline.

Yinka and Temitope Ayefele: Always Believing

It is often said that when life gives you lemons, make lemonades. Musician and media entrepreneur Yinka Ayefele has done exactly that since a ghastly accident that affected his spinal cord confined him to a wheelchair over two decades ago. But beyond his accident, Ayefele is blessed with a beautiful and kind-hearted woman who refused to abandon him at the nadir of his life. Temitope who met Ayefele before his accident  chose to stand by him through the thick and thin, even when the possibility of having children was almost nonexistent. Yet, they endured, encouraging each other, staying true to their commitment to be together for better or for worse, in sickness and in health. Their home was finally filled with the laughter of babies last year when Temitope delivered triplets. The joy of the couple knew no bounds. At first, they were scared of losing the babies who were born prematurely. However, the children survived and the couple have become a point of reference for those who are experiencing childlessness and waiting for their own bundles of joy.

Soni and Betty Irabor: Perfect Imperfections

This year, media personalities Soni and Betty Irabor will be marking their 37th wedding anniversary.

Their enviable union is one that understands that marriage is a learning experience; that no matter how much you have spent with someone, there are still new things to learn about the person. Their magic is sustained by the mutual understanding that none of them is perfect. Soni and Betty married in July 1983 and are blessed with two children. Working in the media industry, the couple are very protective of their privacy except in rare occasions where Betty showers her ‘champ’ or ‘le boo’, depending on the mood with love notes. Whether you believe it or not, the couple are very optimistic that they will mark their 70th anniversary in health and in mind.

Dare and Deola Alade: Friends Forever

When news of the marriage filtered in over a decade ago, not a few wondered if the union would last. This is partly due to the seeming age difference between the couple. Deola is said to be eight years older than Dare. Despite the unnecessary fears and speculations, the couple keeps waxing stronger in love each new day. They support each other in their shared vision to curate top-notch events in the showbiz sector through their company Livespot 360.The two have maturely stayed away from public sentiments, guiding each other with so much love and respect that it is hard to see the age difference between them. In an interview, Dare revealed that it is friendship that has kept them together as a couple and business partners. The couple will mark their 14th anniversary this year.

Fela and Tara Durotoye:  Sweet and Spicy

Recently, Fela Durotoye took to his Instagram page to announce a webinar for singles titled, ‘Before Saying I Do: Secrets to Enjoying Marriage’. It is not unlikely that Durotoye who participated in the last presidential election and is a suave motivational speaker will hold such a seminar having had an enviable marriage with lawyer and make-up artist guru Tara.  Both couples are often seen as the ideal couple due to their synergy visibly seen by all. They are not shy about sharing their experiences with their fans on social media. From their humble beginnings to their elevated status, the couple always dish out relationship ideas to anyone who cares to listen. Not too long ago, they were featured on a TV commercial by seasoning brand Maggi where they displayed their culinary skills. The couple married in 2001 and have three children.

Isaac and Nneka Moses: Stuck to Each Other

You may be forgiven if you thought Nneka and Isaac Moses were siblings. The two lovebirds are always seen together. Whether on screen presenting their award-winning travel show Goge Africa, or off screen attending events, they are always together like Siamese twins. The couple who met on the set of a movie in 1996 are rare examples of couples who have good working relationships. Their love was put to test after more than a decade of marriage, they had no child. However, in 2012, the couple finally welcomed a child. The couple tied the knots in 1997.

Charles and Diane Oputa: Crazy in Love

They are not your conventional couples. Charles Oputa, the entertainer and activist who is known as CharlyBoy or Area Fada is not one that is easily pressured into following societal norms. His eccentricity has always stood him out. Finding a soulmate that understands his personality is truly a blessing to Oputa. Lady Diane fits into the role perfectly, accommodating his beauties and flaws. Though they have been living together for 40 years without an official wedding ceremony, Oputa finally walked his beautiful bride who had successfully tamed his libertine nature down the aisle in 2018. Lady Diane has three children for Oputa but extends her motherly duties to nine other children Oputa had with different women.

Tunde and Wunmi Obe: Partners in Crime

These two entertainers were fans’ favourites at the now rested Charly Boy Show. Their chemistry on screen was very infectious and this is equally seen off the screen. When Tunde and Wunmi met over three decades ago, they had more than one thing in common. They were both musicians, lost their respective fathers and were undergraduates. Their passion for music and entertainment ignited a spark that has stood the test of time. Ten years later after they met, the couple became husband and wife. In 2018, the couple celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary in an elegant occasion and released a remix of ‘Without

Your Love’, one of the couple’s hit singles from their 2014 album ‘T.W.O. Plus’.