While he calls his wife, “Hani”, she calls him “Bulus”. They reveal quite a lot in their new interview though.
Read excerpts below:
How did you meet your wife?
Paul: We met at the University of Abuja. I was a final year student and she was a freshman. I had a crush on a certain girl who I was supposed to meet with. But, when I called her, she told me she was at a friend’s place and invited me over. When I got there, I met Anita who was also visiting and somehow, I managed to get her telephone number. Everything changed from that moment.
How did the relationship develop?
Paul: I travelled to Lagos that day and while I was there, I constantly pestered her with telephone calls. I paid Anita a visit when I returned to Abuja, but she did not even let me into the house. The first Valentine’s Day gift I ever got her was a movie, which starred Genevieve Nnaji, because she was and is still a big fan of hers.
What qualities attracted you to each other?
Anita: I was blown away by his humility, kindness and genuine character. He is very funny and there is no airs and graces to him. He is an amazingly humble, reserved and compassionate man.
Paul: I have always liked light-skinned girls but aside from that, I have always desired an intelligent lady to complement me. She is very proactive and has the ability to produce fantastic results from simple ideas.
How long have you known each other?
Paul: We have been together for about 11 years and still counting.
Anita: Paul and I have known each other since I was 16 years old and we began dating when I was 18. I am married to my best friend and I know him much more than he knows himself and vice versa. It is such a fun-filled marriage and our son is a big blessing.
How did he propose marriage to you?
Anita: Paul took me to a jewellery store and asked me to pick any diamond ring of my choice; there were 10 rings before me. I did, and right there he dropped on one knee and popped the question. It was sudden and such a spontaneous romantic gesture. I was completely floored and all I could do was cry.
Did you date other ladies before you proposed to her?
Paul: She is the only woman I have ever loved. We started off as friends before we became partners; I don’t consider us to be in a relationship and that is why I describe her as my partner and a very important part of my life.
Did any member of your families oppose your relationship?
Paul: Not really, but her dad did not show any enthusiasm the first time I met with him. He did not say anything relating to my looks but I knew he was not happy that I had dreadlocks on and wore earrings. I had already established a relationship with her mum because she always visited while Anita was in school. Today, we have become really close.
Is there anything you wish you did better at the outset of your relationship?
Paul: I wish I was rich when I was in the university. She did quite a lot for me while I was in the university and that is one of the reasons I do all the things I do for her.
How did you adjust to life as a married woman?
Anita:There wasn’t much of an adjustment really. We have always been inseparable and that helped to solidify our relationship.
Do you have access to each other’s phone and social media accounts?
Paul: We have our phones and I do not know what she does on social media. Mistrust is one the reasons marriages break down. She answers my telephone only when I ask her to and not at her discretion.
What would you like to change about your husband?
Anita: I don’t think there is anything I want to change about my husband. He is a wonderful father and husband. No matter the flaws he has (that is if he has any, as I can’t think of one), that is what makes him Paul Okoye.
How do you spend time together as a couple?
Paul: We have regular lunch dates, especially after church on Sundays. We always spend time together when I am not in the studio or on tour. We also like to travel during festive seasons. Sometimes, my wife and son travel with my brother’s family, so that Peter and I can work.
What hobbies do you have in common?
Paul: I sing and she does not. I play musical instruments and she does not. However, she has her way with food and cooking. We have different preferences when it comes to food.
Anita: We are quite an active couple. We love sports, riding bicycles, beach volleyball, running around with our son, niece and nephew and generally just goofing around. We also love watching CNN, Comedy Central and crime channels together.
Do you operate a joint bank account?
Paul: We have our separate accounts, including my son but my wife is aware of very single transaction that takes place in these accounts. However, I remit a certain amount to her every month.
Do you get jealous of her male admirers?
Paul: It is normal. Sometimes, when we go to the club, some guys try to woo her and I have a way of warding them off just with a stare. But that shows she is beautiful. No one will approach you if you are not beautiful. My wife has her fans and she knows I have more fans than she does.
Why do you think most celebrity marriages break up?
Paul: To understand the reason, you must understand the woman’s reason for getting married to a celebrity. People must be aware of the consequences of getting married to a celebrity, so they have to face it. Some celebrity marriages do not last because the spouses try to take the career away from their celebrity spouse. There are things I do that get my wife angry but all I do at times like that is apologise to her and talk things over. Marriage is a sacrifice and you have to prepare for it.
What are the major reasons why you both disagree?
Anita: We have very different views when it comes to fashion, style and interior decoration.
How do you make up after a misunderstanding?
Paul: I always apologise first, whether I am wrong or not. I do not like to keep malice. I would rather leave the scene of a heated argument than continue talking and end up bitter. I would return to talk things over, when the environment is calm.
Anita: We usually laugh it off, but because I trained as a lawyer, I always want to make some very valid points.
What pet names do you call each other?
Anita: It is for our ears only.
Paul: She calls me Bulus and I have asked her to stop it. I call her Hani‑— a fusion of Honey and Anita.
How do you manage the fame and attention that comes with your current status?
Anita: For a very long time, I tried to stay away from the media. Our engagement and wedding finally put a face to the name ‘Anita’. When people ask if I am P-Square’s wife, I just laugh and tell them I am Paul’s wife. At work, I’m a regular employee until my husband decides to surprise me during lunch and my colleagues go crazy and take several photographs. So far, I have managed being his wife very well. I have my little group of friends and still do everything I did before the P-Square ‘takeover.’
What does Valentine mean to you and how do you intend to celebrate the day?
Paul: For us, every day is Valentine’s Day because we never fail to express our love for each other every day. Today, I will simply reassure her of my unflinching love and support in more ways than one.