The whole truth about my marriage —Muma Gee
By MERCY MICHAEL 08/04/2012 00:00:00
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Delectable Afro centric singer Muma Gee is back, a year after she took a break from the music scene, to tie the knot. Known for her outspoken persona, Muma’s new album and single entitled Motherland and Port-Harcourt respectively has started to generate controversy on the internet. In this interview with MERCY MICHAEL, she opens up for the first-time on her fairytale marriage to her hubby, Nollywood actor, Prince Ike. The singer clears the air on issues surrounding her latest single and also talks about her experience on Gulder Ultimate Search reality show, among other issues.
HOW is family life? What has the transition been like?
The transition is just the fact that I have to work double hard to make up for the family and also for my fans. I have been in the studio. I did not get married in order to forget about my career. I have been working on Motherland which is my latest album. It will be released very soon. We have a new single, it is not in the making but we are not ready to push it out. In a few days, the video will be out. It is a world class video. We are ready for Muma Gee to be out now.
This is the first time I am speaking to the press after like a year plus. I have refused to speak to the press or grant interviews. I have been the hiding (laughs) not because I chose to hide or shy away but because I was weighed down and overwhelmed with the traditional rites of my wedding.
Was the marriage ceremony tasking for you?
I had to be physically present to go through all the traditional rites, which took about a year. My marriage was like a project. It was a year plus project. My traditional marriage was about six stages and I did all. I was married properly and at a stage I was wondering if my husband won’t get tired and give up but he stood by me all through. My marriage can be packaged as a documentary because the procedures and protocols were enormous. I enjoyed it as an Epeye girl, now an Ibo woman. And for the first time in my life, I was seeing a traditional marriage happening in two different states. In the morning, we had my traditional marriage in Rivers State and in the evening we were in Imo State for the second leg. So we had the traditional wedding in one day in two states.
Did you think your husband was ready for all of that? Before then did he know all of the procedures?
He didn’t know. If you are a princess or a queen you have to go through all the rites. It is a rite of passage that you have to fulfil to get married properly. And at the end of all the traditional rites, I was wedded in the church. We recorded the activities from day one to the last day. It is on record, so when I die, the generations to come can go to the archives and see what it is like to marry an Epeye woman.
Now that Muma Gee is back, what should fans expect from your latest album to be released soon?
Motherland is about my community, where I come from, and most importantly, my roots. Accordingly, that is why I have songs like Port-Harcourt is back, because as soon as I got to Port-Harcourt, I was wooed. The video is on the internet but the audio is not out yet. Basically the album is going to be hot. It is a come-back album.
The titles of your album and single sounds as if you are going political? Could that assumption be right?
Why does everyone think I am going political? Some people seem to have that notion on the internet thinking that I have gone political, especially with the title; Port-Harcourt is back. When I landed in Port-Harcourt Airport for the 17th All States Sport Festival, to do the theme song for the opening and closing ceremony; I was shocked to see everywhere lighted up. I was happy because of the development. I had no choice but to talk about my experience. As an artiste it is my civic role to let the people know that there is a breath of fresh air and that is why I did the song.
Twice you cancelled your wedding date or so it was rumoured. Why?
It was actually once. We had to shift date from 18th of November to December. We wanted to have it done on my birthday. My husband wanted to honour me with that but the task to shoot the video Port-Harcourt is back overtook that because we brought in cinematographers from the UK and the team was ready. And the other reason was that expectations were high from people, so we needed to reduce the number of guests to 1000 persons, restrictly by invite. The first invite we sent out was cancelled. We had to print another one which became the real invite. As a result, instead of 18th of November, it was held on December 23.
You were evasive about your marital status during the Celebrity Guilder Ultimate Search competition. Were you married at that time?
No I was not but one of the contestants laid so much emphasis on marriage, and bragged about it. And that made me joked that I was married and she asked about my ring to which I responded that it is not everyone that will wear their ring to the forest.
Where you engaged at that time?
I was not engaged. During the Guilder Ultimate Search competition, people speculated that I had an affair with Emeka Ike, which God knows it is a lie. I have suffered a lot in the hands of the press. Emeka Ike won and I was invited to his church, The Redeemed Christian Church of God for his thanksgiving service, where I met my husband. My husband happens to be Emeka Ike’s best friend. He introduced us and that was it. And the same moment, he proposed. I didn’t date my husband. We did not have carnal knowledge of ourselves until we were married because we are born-again Christians. I did abstinence at some certain stage when I gave my life to God and that was when I met my husband. I won’t deny that I was emotionally attached to Emeka Ike as a friend and as someone who makes sense when we discuss but not as per dating, no.
Have you made up with that particular contestant?
I have not seen the contestant since then. We do not have similar lifestyle. Probably if we have similar lifestyle we would have met one way or the other and we don’t attend the same events. Besides, I have been spending time with my family and my career. Since after Guilder Ultimate Search, I have not engaged in public outing that much too.
What did you do to find out if he is the right person for you?
From the day I met my husband and he said to me, I am not looking for a lover or a girlfriend but a mother and that I see in you made me ask a few questions about him. I investigated him. The first question I remember asking him was, what he studied in school; because most artistes do not have formal education. He had his first degree in Psychology from the University of Ife and Masters in International Communication from IMSUTH (Imo State University), so I felt there was prospect. He looks decent and he is the most handsome dude on earth. I have just my first degree even though I’m going in for my second degree in Business Administration, I read Theatre Art.
You said you didn’t spend much time studying him before you got married to him. Why take that kind of risk?
I was ministered to by God as well. You know this thing that when you meet the right guy, you don’t make mistakes, trust me! As a man when you see the right woman to be your wife, you will have the hunch divinely especially if you have prayed. One, I am not so tall and I needed a guy whom I will look up to. Two, I wanted a guy whose degree is above mine. Thirdly, I wanted a guy who is extremely intelligent, and when he opened his mouth to speak to me, I was convinced. We left Emeka’s house where we were having the reception to his family house in Lagos and he introduced me to his family as his fiancée, same day, few hours after we met. Afterwards, we travelled to see his other family members. At that point, we hadn’t gone to see my people. Well, I was just going with the flow. I remember we had to travel from Enugu to Asaba then to Owerri, and came back again to Lagos. All the while, we abstained from sexual acts because he is a Christ Embassy member, I too, a Christian. He proposed twice. First he proposed in Emeka’s place without a ring and with a ring in Asaba after visiting his family.
How did his family take it, considering the bad press at one time or the other?
You know as an artiste, people don’t get to know our family background. Surprisingly, he comes from a family of 8 boys and a lady, and he is the first child. Every member of his family is married and responsible. They have a magistrate and various professionals; so everybody is civilized. They weren’t in anyway against it and some even haven’t even heard of Muma Gee and all the bad and good press, they simply didn’t care. They were just surprised; perhaps they felt their brother hooked a big fish. In fact, the family calls me Gift. They don’t call me Muma Gee. Trust me; no matter how big you are in life when it comes to family issues, you will be normal.
Apart from Emeka Ike, you have been linked to other men in the past. Was that why you decided to take that chance…
No, I realized I’d taken my music career to a certain stage and decided it was time to get a life. It came and I had to just do it. As an African woman, you are not acknowledged unless you have a man. You have to be answerable to somebody.
Was that the first time you were falling in love?
I was not even in love before I got married, the love grew. I will be honest with you; this was somebody I didn’t know. The only thing was that I had confidence; Emeka was my pal, so he could not have seen fire and tell me to put my hand. Emeka Ike played a very vital role in given me confidence in this stranger I did not know but now, I know him more than anyone else in the world. Being a close pal of Emeka, if Emeka is a success story then he is not far from it and that was how I saw it. That thought gave me the confidence at first to say yes. So after that stage, I didn’t fold my hands and just watch, I studied him as well and also prayed. When it comes to settling down, you do not relax. You have to pray probably until your knees peel. In my tribe, if you see what I went through before getting married you won’t talk of divorce, the letter ‘D’ will not come out of your mouth. After going through the rigour of taking a wife from my place, Epeye land, you will be mad to send your wife away.
What has changed about you now?
What has changed categorically about me is my rate of working. Now, I work double hard to satisfy my family, and also satisfy my friends and fans out there. As a single woman it was just me, my career and my fans but now there is a lord in my life that is in charge and he has to be in charge. Before now I don’t cook my food. Well, I love cooking but due to my schedules, I do not have the time to cook. Now it is mandatory because my husband does not eat outside unless he is not in the location where we live. Even with maids in the house, I still cook his food. Even when you play games and make the food when he is not around, he comes back and tells you that the food is not prepared by his wife. And you cannot force him to eat; in order not to make him starve I have to get into the kitchen.