Ondo state-born Nollywood star actress, filmmaker, serial entrepreneur and mum of four, Dr (Mrs) Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde (PhD, MFR) is one of the few Nollywood actresses that early marriage favoured and her marriage is still standing strong till thy kingdom come. She got married at the young of 18 on 23rd March 1996 to her Edo state-born husband, Captain Matthew Ekeinde.
A lot of people would’ve screamed – what da heck was an 18 year-old girl doing with a man who’s almost twice her age when she knew next to nothing about the marriage institution? How exactly was she gonna cope when she was barely inexperienced? Young Omotola obviously knew what she wanted from her man hence, her decision to still get married to him.
Almost around same time, her acting career kickstarted and, not too long after, the newlywed Ekeindes welcomed their first child together (a girl) – Princess Ekeinde. Imagine how the then 19 year-old Omotola was juggling between her new career as an actress and her newly born baby; that must’ve been such an herculean task for her, trying to combine both.
Within a short while, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde had gradually began to gain momentum in the film industry and, this automatically meant more time at her career. Two more young kids joined and, the Ekeindes were saddled with more responsibilities. You’d begin to wonder how the young couple were managing to keep up with the enormous responsibilities and their busy careers.
Juggling marriage, motherhood and a career as busy as that of an actress and filmmaker just like Omotola’s can be very burdensome; especially when you didn’t have everything all planned out. Omotola’s early marriage, in a million ways, helped her to settle in properly, have her kids on time and give maximum focus to her career. If there’s one thing that helped her get to stage, its the fact that she got married very early. Imagine what the scenario would’ve been of it were to be the other way round. She definitely wouldn’t have been able to cope because, the stress alone would’ve just drained her completely.
Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde has been married for 25 solid years and, her marriage is one of the few that has survived more than a decade. We live in an era where celebrity marriages don’t last beyond 5 years and, you’ll hear most of them site irreconcilable differences as the reason why they had to go their separate ways. Assuming Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde was married to a narcissist as a husband, motherhood and career would’ve stressed the living daylight out of her.
There are quite a few mothers in the movie industry who do the most to balance motherhood, marriage and career but, Omotola’s case is a uniquely different one. Juggling all three of motherhood, marriage and career will be less straining if the woman in question is married to a supportive partner. Both man and wife have to work hand in hand to make their marriage work.
By: Nonye Uwandi