Monday, 14 May 2012

STORY! I Married My Husband Out Of Sympathy – Ara the female drummer

One of Africa’s leading female drummers and singers, Aralola Olumuyiwa popularly known as Ara, will certainly not live to forget her past in a hurry. Few years ago, she got married to her ex-husband, Prince Nurudeen Olalekan Saliu, a marriage she described as her “greatest undoing.”

In this interview with Showtime Celebrity, Ara explains the circumstances that led her to go into that marriage, her present predicaments as well as the plans she has for tomorrow.

Motherhood seems to have tamed you. You’re more relaxed than the last time we saw you before your marriage.Yes, it has.

So how has it affected you?
Before I had my son, I had always loved children and I used to visit orphanages to spend time with the kids. So, when I had my baby, it softened me and made me appreciate life and God the more.

So whenever I’m down and losing hope because I’m human, I look at my boy and realize I have a reason to go on in life because God has given me this gift for a reason. I asked God for a boy and I got everything I asked from Him.

So, you probably asked God for a husband too?
I didn’t.

You didn’t ask God for a husband?
No, I didn’t ask God for my ex-husband. At that point in time, I didn’t see any need to ask and that was the greatest mistake of my life.

You walked into it with your eyes shut?
Yes, I did.

You were at the peak of your career and all of a sudden one heard that you were getting married and nothing was heard of the guy before. What did you see in him?
There’s so much I can’t talk about on the pages of newspapers. But at that time, some things were programmed and you can’t walk away from it. The major thing was that I was leaving things with my management for years and was shielded from the world.

I had no friend, I didn’t socialize. And I wasn’t allowed to do so not because I didn’t want to. Even my parents did not have easy access to me during that time.

It was that bad. At a point, I was told he was the best for me, that nobody loved me and wished me well, that the only person that wished me well was my management.

And of course, I bought the story. It got to a point that my mother fought her way backl into my life as she refused to go and I really appreciated her coming into my life at that point in time. I tried dating during that period but it didn’t click.

This guy was somebody I’d dated between 1994 and 1995 before he left the country. He messed up in the process, causing our break up. Later, he returned to me and I forgave him. But he messed up again and I forgave him again. After a while, he left Nigeria and I told myself that I was done with the relationship.

But it then came to a point, when I needed a shoulder to lean on and he was the only one who could stand the pressure from my management. So, I found in him a friend again, somebody I could naturally share my problems with.

But naturally, he would never have been my choice in terms of my kind of man. It happened that he was the only one around me at that time I could talk to because I realized a lot of things went wrong with my management deal and set up. So, naturally, I gravitated towards him.

So you married him out of sympathy?
Yes that was part of it but there’s more to it that I can’t talk about.

So finally, it ended. How did that feel?
It hurts for one reason because I never prayed for my child to come from a broken home. I regretted the marriage and everything but I don’t regret my son. My son came to me at a time I needed someone of mine. But now, he can’t see his dad the way I would have wanted him to because I’m separated from his dad.

But you’re still very good friends
I wouldn’t say we are good friends at the moment, but we tolerate each other because sometimes he needs to speak with his son and I wouldn’t deny him access to the boy. Recently, he had another baby from another woman and I cut off from him totally because this is Nigeria and I need to protect my son and myself.

I wouldn’t want a situation where his new woman would think her man is coming back to me. She ’ll see me as a threat to having her way in the man’s life. The moment he had another son, I warned him to stop calling my son the way he used to, not because I don’t want him to but because I don’t want to have problem s with any woman.

Does he take responsibility?
Not at all. I’ve been the sole provider for my son.

You talk like someone who isn’t interested in any relationship again?
I wouldn’t say I’m seeing anyone at the moment. I wish I could. I want to but I don’t know who to trust and I can’t allow anybody into my life because I’m answerable to my son. I can’t afford to allow him see many men in my life.

I want him to grow up knowing that I’m a responsible mum who did everything to give him the best in life. The father isn’t there so I’m both the father and the mother. I have so many men who are saying they love me but I don’t know them. I want to know them but I sense that they are not genuine.

They just want Ara but people would say how would I know them if I don’t give them a chance. But the thing is that I smell a rat. My heart was broken and I’m a very emotional person. I’m sensitive and naturally show so much love and I want it too. But I find it difficult to see love around me.

I keep saying that my sister-in-laws are lucky to have my brothers because I see the way my brothers treat their wives but I don’t see most of it out there. And because I look younger than my age, I get more of younger toasters and I can’t do that.

Talking about love, is it that while growing up, you lack love?
There was love in my family. I’m my father’s ‘last wife’ because I’m very close to him. Like I said, my sister-in-laws are lucky to have my brothers because they saw a love-filled environment My brothers understand what it means to take care of a woman.

So what it means is that, let me just say that I find it difficult to trust. I’m not trusting and anyone shouldn’t blame me. There’s so much pressure on me from men but I’m just not seeing it now.

You’re not available for now?
I am but I’m not trusting...

What were you telling up and coming female artiste?
I was telling them what I experienced in my marriage. Even the men I opened up to couldn’t believe I went through all I did and I’m still able to do all I do on stage.

Was your experience that bad?
Yes it was bad.

Was he a wife beater?
I don’t want to talk about it. You’re recording so I can’t talk.

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