Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Life as Mike Awoyinfa’s wife — Bukky Awoyinfa | Says “I am his first editor” | Reveals best kept secrets of King of Tabloid


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Bukky Awoyinfa with the Love of her life Mike Awoyinfa

Mrs. Olubukola Oluwatoyin Awoyinfa an international business woman  is the beautiful wife of  Nigeria’s  Super journalist and King of Tabloid Journalism, Mike Awoyinfa who is the twin brother of late Pastor Dimgba Igwe who died last year September 6th after he was knocked down by a hit and run driver near his Okota, Lagos; South West Nigeria home while carrying out his early morning Jogging exercise.
This coming Sunday, September 6th, it will be exactly a year since this great media genius passed away. On Tuesday, September 15th, a book “50 World Editors: Conversation with Journalism Masters” jointly authored by Mike Awoyinfa and Dimgba Igwe will be launched in honor of the late former DMD of The Sun Newspaper and founding editor of  the defunct Weekend Concord Newspaper .
The two journalists have jointly authored over 7 books with this new one being the greatest work they ever published together as they wrote the book for ten solid years.  In a rare encounter sometimes  before the demise of her husband’s closest friend and partner of over two decades we got some very interesting insights from Mrs. Olubukola Oluwatoyin Awoyinfa, the mother of Mike Awoyinfa’s 5 boys. We interviewed her during a public event she attended with her husband in Lagos. She told us what it means to be the wife of such a creative and mobile news man of Mike Awoyinfa’s caliber. For the purpose of the coming book launch, this blog presents the super exclusive of Mrs. Awoyinfa for your reading delight. It is exclusively for our readers on Asabeafrika. Enjoy!

Mum with the Awoyinfa Twins and Babajide Awoyinfa who now works with NAN


My Twins never knew their father!
Madam, how would you describe the lifestyle of a journalist husband like Mike Awoyinfa?
He is always being missed at home. He has always been a man that goes about and comes home anytime. As a journalist, that is his way of life. I remembered when I had my twins, anytime he returns home; the twins will scream that a stranger has come home. So, I used to force the two of them on him, telling them, this is your dad. So, anytime he comes home and he is like feeling tired, I will tell him, ‘look you have to carry these children so that these children will know you as their father’. So, invariably they got to know him. But before then, anytime he comes home, they (twins) will cry, they will run from him. So, that goes further to describe him as someone who does not stay at home because of the nature of his job. He is so passionate about his job and the job had so much influence on him. But that was then, now, he is a bit older and more reserved and close to the family. Of course he still works but not as restless as then. 
“I remembered when I had my twins, anytime he returns home; the twins will scream that a stranger has come home. So, I used to force the two of them on him, telling them, this is your dad”.
The Awoyinfa twins giving Mum the best kiss in the world
Which moment will you describe as the most challenging one in your marriage?
There were so many of such moments when we had challenges, challenges like missing him at home, challenges like, if you want to talk to him you cant get him for a one-on-one, you might hear his voice on phone but you cant see his face. Challenges like when you need someone to solve sudden emotional problems, he is never there and that is just it. Every good woman will love to see her husband regularly but in his own case, he is not always seen regularly in the house. And anytime he suddenly returns home, even to see him is difficult because he has to lock himself up. You know he is a creative person; a journalist, a writer, a thinker. And as a writer you have to really give him time in order for him to be able to write whatever thing he want to write because at such a moment, you will know you don’t need to talk to him because he is thinking. At times, you have to leave him in his own world. So, those were the challenging moments of one’s life with such a busy journalist husband. You expect such; that a very serious journalist does not stay at home. And as the wife of a journalist you have to bear, it is not easy to marry a journalist. But the grace of God kept us through all those periods.
How I fell in love with my husband
How did you met and fell in love with Mike Awoyinfa?
He was my senior in school.
“Every good woman will love to see her husband regularly but in his own case, he is not always seen regularly in the house. And anytime he suddenly returns home, even to see him is difficult because he has to lock himself up. You know he is a creative person; a journalist, a writer, a thinker”

Bukky with the wife of her husband's best friend, Late Pastor Dimgba Igwe, Mrs. Obiagheli Igwe

Which school was that?
We didn’t attend the same secondary school anyway.  I was in my own school and he was in his HSC class. So, he came to do his HSC in my school that was Ijebu-Ijesa Grammar School in our home town. I was in class one. He came to do his upper six exams then. I think that was 1973, I just knew him then as a senior. We used to call him “Bros Ghana” then. He was really good in sports; I was good in sports as well. So we used to go for sport exercise together but there wasn’t anything between us until when I passed out. I finished my HSC; I went further to Oyo State College of Education. I later discovered we were from the same state, we are even from the same street, he never lived there, I never lived there as well. We only schooled in town.
The Awoyinfa twins
Is that Ibadan?
No. it is Ilesa, in Ijebu-Jesa. I was at home one weekend and he came around. He just got to the entrance of the church, it was after service and he said to me “you are my wife and that was it”.
No toasting, nothing?
We were just going out of Church service, it was like a man and a woman was just going out of church service, and he just said to me “You are my wife”. And I said “No, how can you just see me one day and declare I am your wife”. He said “But I have been seeing you before but I didn’t know you will be my wife. If I had known, I would have proposed to you earlier”. I said “no, they don’t do things this way” and we ended it there. But “Lo and behold, I got home, I just saw his parents in our house, his father especially. He came personally to meet my parent.
“I am Mike Awoyinfa’s best critic. Anytime he writes an article, he reads to me and if I say ‘remove this’, he would remove it. If I say ‘ok, go ahead he will obey. I am also his first target audience. Anytime he writes his article, he will say ‘listen, listen, listen’, he will read on like a crazy man”.
The Late Pastor Dimgba Igwe, Mike's best Pal

What is his father’s name?
Late Pa Gabriel Awoyinfa; I just saw him; he said they brought wine for my mother. My mother also came home for Christmas. So they just came and the father said “You are my in-law”.
What is his mum’s name?
Her name is Mrs. Sinatu Awoyinfa. She happens to be a very devoted Muslim. A very good Muslim while his father was a devoted Christian. That was how it started and the thing became a reality.
Are you saying they just bump on you and captured you?
Well, maybe I will agree with you that they (In-law) just bumped on me and captured me. I was like ‘Sho? That is not the way o. he was in Kaduna then, he was working with the News Agency of Nigeria. So, he left for Kaduna while I returned to Ilesa for my final year at the College of education. That was it and today we have moved on; we have created our own experience and our 5 boys are good enough testimonial
How would you describe his personality as his wife of over 25 years?
He is a very, very quite man. A quite man but very strong with his biro; with his pen. He is very quite, easy going, intelligent and cherishes his integrity. He minds his business; he is not an Owanbe kind of person, very reserved. And he is a very good father of ours; I used to call him Ajibola Oko mi that is my pet name for him.
Bukky with hubby and Mrs. Oby Igwe
How would you describe his Weekend Concord and Sun Newspaper days in your life?
The same role of keeping the home going; it was challenging but very rewarding with the special help of God.
How old is the marriage?
28.
What advice do you have for women who married journalists?
 I will advise them to put God first, be prayerful and try as much as possible to understand the man in the marriage. Once you understand him, the marriage will be smooth by the grace of God.
Which of his literary works trips you?
I am Mike Awoyinfa’s best critic. Anytime he writes an article, he reads to me and if I say ‘remove this’, he would remove it. If I say ‘ok, go ahead he will obey. I am also his first target audience. Anytime he writes his article, he will say ‘listen, listen, listen’, he will read on like a crazy man. I would say “no, remove that one, this one is not good” and he would remove. I will say ‘go ahead’ and he would call Dimgba (RIP) “Dimgba o, madam has approved”.

Bukky Awoyinfa with Hubby at a Social Event in Gbongan
You are no doubt his goddess?
I can’t say that. I am his faithful wife.
Which of his article ever made you trip for his creativity?
Every thing, because he puts his efforts in everything he does, articles, books and literatures. I just have to support him. I love all his works.

Gbenga Dan Asabe

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