By Ebun Babalola
Onyemaechi, Nneka Isaac Moses
Onyemaechi, Nneka Isaac Moses

Nneka and Moses are Goge Africa presenters. They confessed that for more than ten years, this uncommon African cultural programme has come to stay. This unbeatable couple also revealed that their lives revolve in their chosen field and it gives them every reason to enjoy and carry on with life. Ebun Babalola took them in separate interviews and this is the result of that encounter. Nneka was the first to speak.

Onyemaechi, Nneka Isaac MosesWho is Nneka Isaac Moses?

She is the one that co-presents, co-produces Goge Africa TV programme with her husband, Isaac Moses.

Family Background

I was born here in Lagos. My father is a lawyer and my mother is a school teacher and a tailor. My parents were the directors of a school called St. Gees College, Ihiala, Anambra State and it's still existing till today.

My siblings are very wonderful and I can tell you with all boldness that I have a loving and wonderful family.

I came from a family where there is enough love and that makes me a very loving person and the love that I have in me is what I share and spread.

It goes along with joy and that is what I share in my programme and give to my husband and friends and anybody around me because if you want something, you have to be willing to give it first and because I want to be loved, I try to give love in return. Just like friendship, you must be friendly before you can get the same response back.

What was your life as a single lady like?

The truth is that there is no difference in the life I'm living compared with when I was single. The only difference is that right now, I'm more consumed with my family and work. When I was a spinster, I was consumed by family, education, and my friends that I visit and spend lots of time with but today, not that I do not have friends, but I do not spend as much time as I would want to with my friends now because my life revolves around my work and immediate family. And again, I am more adventurous now as a married person.

I travel more now and do a lot of things that when I was a spinster, I wouldn't do because I was trying to preserve myself. But now, I think with the kind of husband that I have, I'm able to explore life more, do dangerous things like riding on a boat for an hour without a lifeguard which I know is a line of duty.

How did both of you meet?

We met on the set of a movie. He was acting in the movie, likewise myself and providing costumes for the movie. He was my boyfriend in the movie.

What is the name of the movie?

Love In Vendetta

Can we say that was the beginning of your relationship?

No. People play such role as husband and wife in movies but that does not mean they must date or get married. The basic fact is that we got attracted to each other for different reasons and it worked out fine and we are still together till date.

The journey so far?

The journey has been very good because we have so much to be thankful for and we are grateful for the grace of God in our relationship, our work, life generally because without the grace of God, we wouldn't have made it this far.

I say that with every humility because that we love each other so much, that love also came by the grace of God. So the journey so far has been wonderful. There is a lot of understanding, sacrifices, that we have done for each other.

The mutual respect because I value his idea and he feels the same way about me too. We had our ups and downs, the hard and the good times, when there will be no fun and when there will be lots of fun, when there will be no money and when there will be lots of money, ultimately, we have managed to stick together all through.

What was the word he used to convince you?

Well, most of the time, the best thing that happens does not really have to start with words, words as in vocal words. There are many ways of saying things without saying it verbally.

There is body language, there is intuition but I can't remember the exact words if it was words he used because I know Isaac is not the type that will come and say, “I want you to be my girlfriend”. I don't think it worked like that and he wouldn't come and say I want you to be my friend and start going out. If I remember vividly, we just started dating.

Like “oh I'm going down there, could you come with me? or I'm buying a bottle of drink, do you want to drink or can we go out Saturday night?” It was just friendship that developed and from friendship, he proposed.

The first time he took you home, what was the reaction of the family?

He took me home after he had already told them that he was bringing me home so I was being expected and they received me very well. It was in Zaria that his parents were staying and that was where he took me to. Although he hails from Anambra State, his parents were living in Zaria then. He told them he was coming with a girl he wants to marry. I'm still their wife and they love me so much and I know that.

How long was the courtship?

Approximately a year. We met like this year and married the following year.

Where are you from?

Ihiala, Anambra State and my husband is from Enugu-Ukwu.

How is your husband?

Well, leave him to tell you that.

The Goge Africa journey?

It has been challenging. It is something we have always wanted to do. It is not everybody who wants

to do a particular thing that ends up doing it but ours has been a dream come true. I'm living up my hobby. As we are producing Goge Africa, we are also educating ourselves. It is a continuous journey and we are learning each day.

What brought about the idea?

The idea was born when my husband wanted to promote African music on a radio show and he wanted to promote African music because he had managed artistes in the past but it was difficult for him then to have the music of his artistes played often on radio. So he said since people will not take pride in promoting African music on their show, he was going to dedicate a show on African artistes only.

The only contribution I made was when I suggested it could be done on TV so that people can also appreciate the visuals. Play their videos, talk about them, possibly interview them and so in putting it up as a TV show, other ideas started coming in. We decided to promote music in totality not just contemporary music but promoting those music that do not get help link; music and dance that are truly African but not in videos.

Traditional women in the village that dance, you will never see their dances unless you go to their festivals/events. So we decided to package such and put them on TV so that people will know, see and learn from our culture as well.

What are the difficulties?

The difficulties are mainly finance, communication, as well as travel. But for the fact that we enjoy what we do, it becomes less of a challenge and more of an adventure.

Did the Goge Africa idea come before or after your marriage?

It came after we got married..

How long has Goge Africa been going on?

We started the idea and collection of footage in 1998. We went on air in 1999.

Could you rate the entertainment industry in your opinion?

It's vast and has grown tremendously in the last decade. Artistes are recognized within and outside the country and they are making lots of money. Good programmes and shows are springing up here and there but there is always room for improvement.

What we do not have is packaging. We have talents and a viable entertainment industry but the industry is not well packaged and that is the area that needs serious attention. If you package your idea and your artistes very well, you make more than double what you are making now.

Filming Goge Africa?

In Goge Africa, there is no take two, three, one has to be at the top of the game. Get it as it is happening.

Goge Africa is a documentation of life as it is happening. It means you have a technical crew that knows what to do; that is why it is difficult to employ other people to direct Goge Africa.

The knowledge and the experience that I have gained, the contacts we have made with the programme, the friendships we have established with various government bodies, NGOs etc, money cannot buy. We have won several awards; one of the most outstanding is the one from Nigeria Broadcasting Commission as the best TV programme and overall programme in 2006 because it is not easy to be recognized in your own country.

We have been trying to draw attention to African culture and make people understand that our culture is not fetish. We are not saying it is bad but rather, we are projecting it. Goge Africa has been able to make a statement between culture and tourism.

Who are your mentors?

There are so many reasons for me to have a mentor but it depends on my stage in life.

How do you cope with your husband?

I don't cope. I enjoy his presence because he is easy to be with. He is a sincere, honest guy, easy- going. He has a conscience and it is easy to deal with someone like that. He is not a selfish person by any means.

What does he like and what does he not like?

He doesn't like people carrying sad faces around him. He likes people to be happy all the time. He loves to read to me in the morning, and I listen. He doesn't like people lying, or clumsy. He has a lot of admiration and respect for intelligent people. He loves helping people. He loves vegetable soup and semovita. He loves football and dancing.

He doesn't swim but I'm sure he will like to swim. He likes exercising. He likes to go out, talk to and listen to people talk, discussing issues and watching movies.

How old is he?

He is in his early forties

Is he a womaniser?

Hmm, I don't think he is because we have been together for ten years and he has not given me reason to be suspicious. Our marriage was ten years last year October and in all the ten years, most of the time, he is always with me and whenever he is not with me, I can almost say I know where he is.

But what does a womaniser mean anyway. Someone that likes women. Ha, he likes women because I'm a woman, he likes me, he loves me, loves his mother but I don't know if he takes advantage of women.

How close are you to him?

Very close and I don't think we can be closer than we are now.

Do you think he really loves you?

Ask him, for me I am very comfortable the way I am now with him. We might not be able to define love in its totality but I think love goes with caring and he cares a lot about me. He feels what I want and what I don't like and he goes out of his way for me. Some families keep separate bank accounts, but if there is any money I want, if I like I tell him, if not I shall go and get it.

Do you have the same account?

Yes. Some women will say their husbands give them a lot of money, but they do not see them. If he is working I'm there. We are always together except on rare occasions.

Onyemaechi, Nneka Isaac Moses
Does he tell you, “I love you”

He says it practically everyday because there is always a reason for him to say it, and I also say it to him. It is important to reaffirm, and to confess it.

What is his attitude to life?

He is a carefree person. He is not in competition with anybody. He doesn't have to wear this because everybody is wearing it or do this because everybody is doing it. He sets his own targets and goals and he takes things as they come.

Does he take you out?

We are always out.

I mean outside the job?

Our lives revolve around our job. Always the two of us. Sometimes we go out of our way.

His favourite food?

He loves vegetable soup, fresh fish and semovita but he is choosy.

When is his next birthday?

August 3rd, mine is 14th. We are both Leo.

What is his favourite type of cloth?

He is a jeans person. Casual wears. African clothes. He is not a suit person. But if I buy suit, he will wear or agbada but he likes to be free.

Is he a social freak?

He is but he does not go out of his way to be at every social gathering. He is not begging to belong. He has his own class.

Can we say you are fulfilled?

Hmm, I know fulfilment is a lot of things but I tell you yes, yes, yes. As at today, I feel very fulfilled. I know there is more I can do and if God wills it so, I will do them. I'm fulfilled because I have a family that I love very much. I have a job that I love very much. I'm living the life of my dream. I don't have to have a private jet to be fulfilled, I'm happy with the life I'm living. I have no regret.

My wife is all I need in a woman — Isaac

Your name?

Onyemaechi Isaac Moses

Tell us about your wife?

She is a loving person. Fun to be with. She is a good negotiator, bargainer and good wife. Takes care of the home front as well as when we are out of the home. In fact, we make a home out of wherever we are.

Of course we can have disagreements on the job but above all, she is fun to be with. She cooks well when she decides to cook because most times, we are always out. When we are home and she has to cook, oh, boy, I look forward to the meal. She is very caring. She does my hair. Sometimes she makes me pay, generally she is a home package.

How does she make you pay for the hairdo?

She says, 'I want to do this hairdo today and I need one thousand naira', I have to comply. She does my hair with lots of love, care and that is what I'm paying for.

Her favourite food?

She likes rice, she likes swallow, she doesn't eat much. She likes white soups. She likes banga and starch. She likes ukwa (breadfruit). She is not particularly choosy but, those are the meals she requests for when we are out, if they are available.

What was the first thing you told her when you met her?

That is a long time. All I know is that we were on a set, she played a role of being my girlfriend. What I said to her may probably be what has to do with the movie we were shooting or script we were rehearsing. It is about the script but I know the name of the movie was Love in Vendetta.

Can it be concluded that the role you both played led to your relationship?

Well, the role we played (could have contributed) but the fact is that we got attracted to each other.

How often does she go to her family?

Almost every time especially with our kind of job. And she established the contact with her family.

What do you do at your leisure time?

Do we really have leisure time? Most of the time, our job is our leisure. If we are not working, we are watching a film together. We discuss the job and see what the next script will look like. Basically, we enjoy our rest. If we are not working, we rest but the work is fun. I can't imagine any other leisure. For me, I watch football, and try to talk her into enjoying the game because she does not really