Toni Paynes Full City People Interview
Since her sepration Toni has granted her first major interview explaining her own version of how and why the marriage crashed. She opened up to City People Publisher Seye Kehinde on why her marriage crashed. -
Q: Did u hear d gist making d rounds dat a lady in Abuja just delivered twins for ur husband?
A: Yes I did
Q: Rumor has it that 9ice went into that affair because you went into a new relationship, how true is that?
A; That is not true, he has been in that relationship before we seperated. In fact the day I found out about it, I confronted her over the phone and she reported me to him. He came to fight me because of that and later called his parents (Alhaji Azeez Akande, Tawa Oshodi) to come and pack me and my son out of the house.
Q: Some ave alleged dat she was d one who broke ur marriage. Is this true?
A: yes she was the main reason along with issues with his family. All that ruggedman story was rubbish, I'm not even attracted to ruggedman cos he is like a brother to me. Aside that, his manager was feeding his parents false stories about me cos he wanted me out of the picture cos he thot I wanted his job and also his brother Dr Wale Akande convinced them I was after his property because I stopped d brother from continuing with building our house after noticing some monies where unaccounted for. Mind you I met my husband when he was struggling, none of his family members sent him then. We were staying in my family house and his apt with Jahbless in Ikorodu and I loved him regardless, so what property could I have been after? I toiled night and day with him so why would I want to cheat him. The parents would come to the house to fight me, yelling curses, trying to frustrate me out of the house, the mother tore my dress one day and I ran for mine and my sons safty. This caused a lot of tension in our relationship but instead of him to stand by me he ran to another woman.
Q: What was ur reaction to the twins news wen you heard it? Were u angry? Did u call him to ask about that news of a woman having a child for him?
A: Yes I was understandably angry because from day 1 he knows I don't want polygamy for my children if I can avoid it and also cos I felt he shud have divorced me first and married her before engaging in such. Like what example is he setting for his son. Lastly I felt if he would impregnate anyone it should not be the woman who broke our home.
Q: Why have u been quiet all this while about your marriage break up?
A: I tried very hard to protect him even when people rubbished me. I never said ok he was the one who messed up because I felt he would be wise and consider my sons interest, when taking life changing decisions that could affect Zion. A part of me wanted to believe he would never put his own bloods future at stake for cheap thrils. I changed my mind about talking when I read a recent paper and noticed his manager was already trying to twist things to make it look like he moved on and got someone pregnant cos I'm engaged, I'm NOT engaged, so I just felt enough is enough, I don't know why they must always bringg my name up to justify their mistakes. I had to ask myself, Why am I protecting a man who continues to make me look bad to protect himself. I felt it was time to be true to myself and quit deceiving myself that he will soon feel remorse for his actions.
Q: Was it because you wanted reconciliation?
A: No, I just felt I should protect him because I guess a stupid part of me still loved him and felt he would come to his senses and at least do right by my son even if we never reconcile. At d end of the day I'm human and have emotions too, guess I never predicted things would get this bad.
Q: For the very 1st time, can you tell me what broke your marriage?
A: Simple: 3 things broke my marriage: His family's interferance, His Manager's interference and His affair with Vicky Godis
Q: Whose fault, your or his fault?
A: I can't say I was perfect, but I NEVER cheated on him. I was pregnant and later nursing the entire time we were married. Also, before I got married I knew what being loyal is, I also knew there is no way I would ever cheat on my husband. Its not my way. Yeah I would get angry when he cheated on me, I felt it was a normal reaction when you love someone and they are doing things to hurt you but still I never left him. The seperation was not my idea. My son was 11 months old, a week before his 1st birthday, his parents threw us out. My son spent his birthday in a hotel. I was sitting in my house when his parents came, they packed my things and my sons things into my car, I have pictures I took as evidence and I drove off with my son to a friends hotel in VI where I stayed for 3 weeks. Meanwhile he was with Vicky in abuja while it was happening.
Q: Is it true you have asked for Divorce
A: Yes, I have. He is yet to file. If he is so sure he doesn't want to be married he should have no problems divorcig me. Allow me move on and give my son a family life he deserves.
Q: Do u see room for reconciliation?
A: I am not God so I can't say yes or no but he has hurt me too deeply to just go back. It would take a lot of healing, although iv moved on forgetting the pains is not that easy. At the end of the day, only God know where our future is headed.
Q: Some accuse you of forcing yourself on him and that you are older than him and that he couldnt just say no
A: I never forced myself on him. He did all the chasing, even when I said I can't marry a musician, he never stopped, he kept assuring me that if he got famous he would not change and I trusted him. What people don't know is we got engaged in November 2007, even before Gongo Aso became a hit, some said its because I was pregnant, that is not true, I got pregnant 5 months after we picked a wedding date. I am not older than him, that report is also false. He is older than me.
Q: Can you let us into how u fell in love wit 9ice? Who toasted who? Did u make the 1st move or he did?
A: He toasted me, I resisted in the begining because I did not want a musician boyfriend, I later agreed because I felt he was sweet and sincere. How he changed so much is what I'm not sure of. Maybe bad advisers around him.
Q How did you feel when the news broke that you are dating ruggedman/ Did u ever date him?
A: I have said this hundreds of times, I Never dated Ruggedman, I was never caught with Ruggedman or any other man. At first I did not take it serious because I knew it was a lie. Iv known ruggedman longer than any guy in the industry, we have always been friends but never dated. Till date, we have been and still are like brother and sister. That ruggedman story was a terrible attempt to destroy my reputation. I'm not loose, I don't sleep around, I don't jump from man to man, I know the concequences of cheating so why would I engage in it. Why would I build with a man, when I know I still want to play around. Why would I destroy my home carelessly. I'm not stupid. That makes no sense to me. I thank God I have a fighting spirit because I did not let the lies or insults bring me down.
Q: How did u meet 9ice? For how long did you date before marriage?
A: I first saw him in Oct 2006, he came to back ruggedman up at Gbenga Adeyinkas Anniversary. We dint hook up till the following year. I went back to the states and we would chat online and talk on the phone for hours. We got married in July 2008.
Q: How true is the story that you were too overbearing on him?
A: I do not think I was overbearing. I wanted the best for him so yeah I may push him to strive for the best. I don't think that's a bad thing or something worth breaking a marriage over.
Q: How come it didn't work out
A: It takes 2 to make a marriage work, if one party insist they dont want it to work it will cripple any effort made by anyone. The mistake I made was entering with my heart and not my head. I should have taken his family background seriously and made 100% sure he had the same family values as me.
Q: Let's get to know about ur growing up years Where were you born?
A: Though my family decend is Ogun state, I'm a lagos baby. My childhood was fun, grew up and only child but had a lot of cousins to play with. Let's say I had a sound childhood.
Q: How about your growing up years and Schools attended?
A: I shuttled between america and naija as a child and till now so I attended primary n secondary in both countries but finished my university education at california state university northridge
Q: Having studid in the US, what professional/education courses did you take?
A: I studied video digital art
Q: Your parents how did they influence you, It seems you are closer to your mum?
A: they taught me to be very open in all I do. Yes my mum and I are close, shez always been there for me.
Q: Your career choice, Why showbiz?
A; Showbiz is something I stumbled into since about 1999. I started it as a hobby and eventually turned it into a business. I'm happy I did.
Q: You are into Modeling Music and Beauty how did u find yourself in all these?
A: life has drawn me into everything I do now. Something always transpires that leads me to my calling. Plus I'm a business minded person, very driven and don't mind getting my hands wet in new ventures.
Q: How do you cope with managing artistes? People say that can be wild
A: I am blesed with artists that don't engage in bad activities so I count myself lucky.
Q: Tell us about your label. How many artistes do you manage?
A: I currently manage three artists; Adol, Zara and Olamide and all three are focused people. Olamide and Adol just released their albums titled Rapsodi and Orin, respectively. Zara is currently working on her debut album
Q: Did you ever manage 9ice How did you cope fitting the 2 roles?
A: I took care of his international relations as well as some PR. I did it because I wanted him to succeed not because he hired mee or was paying me. Its what I love doing plus I was very passionate about his music so it came easy
Q: Marrying a star means u coping with his female admirers. How did u cope?
A: Well, I'm in the industry as well so I know it comes with the territory. It didn't bother me so far he kept it professional.
Q: What are your full names? Toni Payne sounds oyinbo, How come?
A: (laughs) Toni is short for Antonia and Payne is my last name. My yoruba name is Seun
Q: How come you and his manager don't get along?
A: he disliked me because he felt I wanted his job. I believe it was ignorance disturbing him. I wasn't interested in his job. I just wanted to be helpful to the process by contributing my knowledge. Guess he knew he was horrible at his job hence the insecurities. For me I dint care who managed him so far the person was doing a great job.
Q: When the news broke dat you were marrying 9ice in 2008 many felt you rushed him. Did you?
A: in 2008, no we did not rush. We were engaged before he got popular so because the marriage took place around the time people started appreciating him, they felt it was a new decision when it wasn't.
Q: Then Zion came isn't dat a rush?
No, I was of age and so was he. We discussed it before, its just because everything was happening around the same time people wanted to know more about him. It wasn't a new decision at all or something that just happened. No.
Q: Is it true that this lady that had kids for 9ice has always been 9ices girlfriend before you came into the picture?
A: (laughs) No, that is not true. My husband met her a few months before our seperation. I believe in September 2009 or thereabouts. Her name is Vicky "Bukky" Godis. She works at ECOWAS in Abuja.
Q: What did being a mother change in you
A: it made me more tolerant at the same time more protective. A mother son love is unique. Very special feeling.
Q: Any regrets about how your marriage went?
A:In life there are always two sides to things. People never gave me a chance before judging me. I received so many insults, hate mail over something I did not do. It was painful knowing I was innocent yet a lot were quick to crucify me. Ill just say to those who judged me blindly, may God forgive you. Next time find out facts before castigating an innocent person. In Nigeria women are usually judged unfairly and this act has to stop. Its very very unfair.