“I Met My Wife, Omotola, a Virgin” – Captain Mathew Ekeinde
•Husband Opens Up On Their Love Story
+The Story Of Their 20 Year Marriage
Tall and handsome are best words to describe Captain Mathew Ekeinde who is the husband of star actress, Omotola Jalade . Theirs was love at first sight and they have been married for 20 years which is seen as a rare feat in the nollywood industry. Despite been married to an award winning actress, Captain Matthew is a loving father to his 4 children and a dotting husband to his wife, almost scandal free marriage for the past 20 years despite the 10 year age difference between them. He became a pilot at age 16 and started flying since that age. Ekeinde spoke to Society Editor, TAYO FAJORIN- OYEDIJI on why he chose Omotola, and married her at an early age and what has kept their marriage for 20 years. He also spoke on his career in the Aviation industry.
How does it feel being been married to sexy actress, Omotola?
Well, it has been great, the past 20 years that we have been married now. It has its own good and bad sides, the good side is that you get favours and the bad side of it is that you don’t have privacy. Apart from that, it has been fun.
How do you cope with her busy career schedule in fulfilling her role as a wife and mother?
We have a work plan or ethic that anytime she is on location or she is out of the house for few days or few weeks, I try to schedule my flights to ensure that I am around, so if I go on flight, I make sure I return home that very day or the following day, so we have been able to juggle it. Sometimes it does not work out because I am out and she is out as well and our kids are always alone, but most of the time, it has really worked out. That is how we have been able to juggle it over the years and it has been working.
Can you tell us what got you strucked to Omotola before you decided to marry her at a relatively young age.
I have always believed and still believed it was God’s arrangement, I met my wife when she was 16 and married her when she was 18 so I knew her for 2 years but she has always been a lot older than her age in terms of her maturity, her physical structure, and the way she thinks. She is way ahead of her peers in her IQ. Of course I am older than her for 10 years and that was never a barrier, it was just something that just happened, I saw her and I fell in love with her and of course because I had always wanted to marry a virgin and she had turned 18 then and she seemed to fit into every item on the list I had written I wanted in a woman, for me the age difference was not an issue, the age of consent in Nigeria is 18,infact that was why I waited for her actually so it just happened, I can’t tell you why, nothing really specific but its heaven’s arrangement.
How did you career as a pilot start?
I had always wanted to be a Pilot since age 5. My Dad used to be the Divisional Police Officer incharge of Ikeja way back in the 70s, one of these independents day, it was his duty as the one in charge of the Ikeja, Airport to patrol and make sure most of the men are at the right place because the capital then was Lagos and they used to have the march past at the Tafawa Balewa Square, we used to have air force pilots taken off from the airport to fly over the Tafawa Balewa Square, so he often took me to the Air Force hanger because he had some air force officers that were pilots. we got there and they put me into the cockpit of a fighter airplane, yes it was on old one way back then I was 5 years old, that was like 1973/74,so you can imagine a 5 year old in a cockpit of a 5 year old plane, it blew my mind away and from that time I decided I was going to fly, so all through my primary and secondary school, I got stucked to that idea that I was going to be a Pilot, my parents tried to dissuade me, giving me reasons why being a Pilot will not work for me and all that but I just would not be deterred, that was how my aviation life started and when I finished secondary school at the age of 16,I went to the Aviation school, I got my license at age 16 and started flying at that age.
How did you rise through the ladder in your career?
I started flying in England and then came back to Nigeria in 1991 and joined Aero Contractors. I have worked for most airlines since then, I worked for AIC airlines owned by Chief Harry Akande, I worked for Bellview, I flew for Sosoliso, I have flown for Air Nigeria, we started Arik Air, I m now with Bristow Helicopters (Pan African Airline) so I have actually gone through the ranks.
What has kept your marriage for 20 years?
I believe it is God. My wife and I understand each other very well. We are well grounded in the bible, we both understand the words of God, we have an agreement and an understanding that no matter what the issues are, we sit down and we talk about it. For us Divorce is not an option, it does not even come in to play so we try to work things out no matter what it is and by Gods grace, our marriage has lasted this long.
Is any of your children taking after you?
Not really, it is quite disappointing actually, my 1st son, MJ, Mattew Junior wanted to be a Pilot and towards his last year in secondary school, before he was going to sit for jamb, he switched and says he was going to go into the Entertainment industry because he has started doing filming and recording in school and he seem to like it and decided he was going to continue although he still says after a few years, he was going to come back to Aviation but I doubt it. For me I am a bit disappointed, but no big deal, I am there to support my kids in whatever they want to do. I am there to support them because everyone has a God giving talent and it is not for parents to choose for their kids , it is for the parents to discover what their kids talents are ,and to encourage them. Like the bible says, your talent will make a way for you and bring you before kings, and that is what I am doing, I am encouraging them.
What is your opinion about people saying actresses’ marriages don’t last and it is not a good profession but yours has lasted 20 years?
That notion was way back in the 80s and early 90s, not anymore, I remember when I was growing up in school playing football, people felt that footballers are wayward, they don’t have a future because they cannot make their academic marks, and that’s why you are playing football but these days even people in the university want to play football because there is so much money in it and it is now seem to be a glorified job so to speak so it is same thing with acting and singing, I don’t think there is any parent out there who thinks this profession are wayward. It is just for the individual to put their head straight and know their plans and also what they are doing.
Can you tell us about Omotola as your wife and a mother?
One thing is that she is a terrific cook, yes she is a yoruba and I am Igbo, I have always believed that Yoruba’s don’t have different types of delicacies like the igbos that has all kind of soups. When we got married, she had a lot of igbo friends who taught her how to cook all the Igbo soups and so she is an expert, she cooks very well. I don’t smoke and I don’t drink but I eat a lot and my kids love food as well. At home, she is just like anyone else, she is very simple, does her own house chores, makes sure the kids tidy up their rooms, help in the kitchen, tidy up the living room , yes we have house helps and people that help us but not all the time that we use them. So she is normal at home.
Can you tell us about your background?
I am from Edo state, precisely Sabon Gida Ora of Owan Local Government , I understand a little bit of Yoruba, I went to Emmanuel College Owerri, I actually grew up in the east, my primary and nursery was in Lagos, and because my dad used to be a Police Officer, we got transferred around the country especially in the east so my secondary school, all 5 years was in Owerri. My Mum is Igbo, precisely Abo in Delta State. They are alive and doing well.