I don’t like my husband cooking — Hyacinth Idibia’s wife
Hyacinth Idibia is an artiste and Tuface's younger brother. Married to Sana, a Sierra Leonean actress, they talk about their seven-year-old union in this interview
How did you meet your wife?
Hyacinth: I met her in Nigeria when she came for a movie production. I was at the movie location to see someone when our paths crossed.
How did the relationship develop?
Hyacinth: We went through all the usual stages boys and girls go through when they meet for the first time; we kept going back and forth until we finally decided to get married. If something is yours, it will always come to you.
How long did you court for?
Hyacinth: We courted for about a year, but six months into our courtship, I knew I would marry her. It took me another six months to propose to her because I lived in Nigeria and she lived in the United States of America. We had to travel back and forth to see each other and our families. Also, we are both from different nationalities and I needed to fix an appropriate time for our wedding.
How did you cope with the long-distance relationship?
Hyacinth: It was easy for us because we are both in the entertainment industry and we were able to travel back and forth. Distance is not a barrier when two people are in love with each other. We always found a way.
What was the proposal like?
Sana: It was in Nigeria; it was not a surprise because I saw it coming. It was just both of us and we did not have people around us.
What were the initial attractions?
Sana: He is a handsome guy. Women know what they want. When they meet a guy, they know if the guy is a match for them or not. The first day I saw him, I knew that he was my kind of guy. I was attracted to him. After we started dating, I found out he is respectable. Everything about him is perfect. He respects women and knows what a woman wants.
Hyacinth: She is beautiful and when I approached her, she responded to me in a nice way. She was down to earth and that got me attracted to her.
Would you have talked to him if he did not make the first move?
Sana: No, I would not have done that. In as much I live in the US, I am still African. I would not say it is a bad thing for a woman to approach a man, but it is not common in our culture.
How would you describe the marriage?
Hyacinth: When we were younger, people used to scare us and give us false notions about marriage. My marriage has been the most wonderful experience I have ever had.
Do you miss anything about bachelorhood?
Hyacinth: I could say yes, but those are selfish things.
What has made your marriage successful?
Sana: I would say we are blessed. What keeps us together is the attraction. Being married to someone you are not attracted to raises an issue. I am attracted to him in every single way and I do not feel I am married to an old man. Also, we understand and respect each other.
Hyacinth: We have the fear of God in our lives and apply His principles in our marriage.
How do you cope with running the home and working in the entertainment industry?
Hyacinth: We understand when to be away and how long we have to be away from home. Also, we make sure the family always comes first.
How do you cope with your cross-cultural marriage?
Sana: My husband is open and not rigid, even though we both live in the US, he is still a Nigerian. It is a matter of understanding and working together. When you are in love with someone, nothing is a big deal.
Did you learn to cook Nigerian meals?
Sana: All I did and still do is get the recipe and I would cook the food. I am African and I love to cook.
Was your family against your plans to marry a non-Nigerian?
Hyacinth: My family is liberal. I believe you can find love wherever you go. When I took her to meet my parents, their concern was her background- if she is from a good home and has a nice character.
How do you handle fans of the opposite sex?
Hyacinth: It is much easier for me as a married man to handle the opposite sex than when I was single. As a single guy, I had to do a lot of explanations but right now, I don't have to do that.
Sana: It is fine for fans to send messages or emails, but some people do not know their boundaries and that is when I give them a disgusting look. They understand what I mean without saying a word. Once they know you are married, they know their boundaries.
What would you like to change about your husband?
Sana: My husband is extremely stubborn. When he exhibits that trait, all I do is walk away and he realises it. Other than that, he is calm and gentle.
Does he help with chores?
Sana: He does not. What he likes to do is take the trash outside the house but he likes to cook sometimes and I get upset with that. His mother taught them to cook; he has no sister, just brothers.
What advice would you give to married celebrities?
Hyacinth: They should not get married because of the fame or looks. Also, celebrities should not let their career get into their head. Careers come and go, but family stays and should always come first. What would they gain if they have all the money and lose their family?
Sana: Couples should learn to communicate. It is a key thing and they should not let people into their personal life. As a celebrity, you do not have a personal life, but some things need to be kept personal. The more you put out, the more the controversies, issues and questions you will have. You have to respect yourself and know that people are watching.
Do you operate a separate bank account?
Hyacinth: We have our separate accounts, we have a joint account and we have accounts for the kids.
Would your marriage have turned out differently if you lived in Nigeria?
Hyacinth: Marriage in the US, Sierra Leone and Nigeria are different because of the cultural diversity in Africa. In America, the law does everything but the good thing is that the state will not run your marriage. It depends on how the couple wants it to play out. But if you want to go by all the laws in the country, it might be difficult for the marriage to work out.
What pet names do you call each other?
Hyacinth: Calling pet names depend on our moods. Sometimes, I call her by her first name or I call her Mrs. Idibia.
Sana: I call him Anebi, which is his middle name, but he is not fond of it.