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Sunday, 27 July 2014

'Divorce is The Worst Punishment Any Parent Could Subject Their Children To' - Annie Idibia


Annie Idibia is wife to popular Nigerian music artist, Tuface Idibia. She opened up in a recent interview about her marriage, motherhood, career, her parents' separation and growing up in a broken home. She said: 'Divorce is the worst punishment any parent could subject their children to'. Read excerpts below and go here for full story.

Your parents separated 20 years ago. How did it affect you?
My mother bred us from childhood to adulthood because of the divorce. I was almost a tom boy growing up with my brothers. It’s heartbreaking when you live with your parents happily and suddenly, they part ways. Sincerely, we were terribly affected emotionally. It was especially tough where it was only our mother that was attending functions in school and taking care of our needs. It was emotionally sapping and my brothers have their own fair share of memories. It affected me so much while in secondary school because I was always sad going home after school hours to see my mother living without my father. But mum tried her best to make life meaningful for us; she is my hero. And I appreciate God for being there for us.

How old were you when your parents divorced?

Maybe, nine or 10. I was in primary school when it all happened and I remember everything but it is irrelevant talking about it now because we have moved on.

Could you talk about the sacrifices you made as a kid to support your mother financially?
I was always running home during lunch break to prepare lunch for my younger brother but unfortunately, we lost him at 15 years of age. It was really tough! I had to assist my mother in her shop which was very close to our house after school. She was also working to make ends meet.


Where did you grow up?
We lived in Ibadan with our parents when my father was working with Mobil and my mother was a house wife. She remained a house wife until they separated. I was born with a silver spoon but I didn’t grow up with it. After their divorce, my mother got a job with Mobil working as a cook to support us. Thereafter, we moved to Jakande Estate, Lekki, Lagos. From there we moved to Thomas Estate, also on the Island. After the entire struggle, God has blessed us tremendously. I am the last child. My eldest brother is married and my elder brother lives in Atlanta; he is also married.

How did that experience shape you?
It made me stronger and independent as a woman. As the only girl, my mother taught me to do domestic chores. Today as a married woman, I have domestic staff but I still cook and do house chores. I started working immediately after I graduated from secondary school at age 15. I worked as a sales girl in a boutique and two other places before I got admission to study, leading up to my diploma. I also worked part time as an undergraduate of Computer Science at the Lagos State University when I was 18-years-old. Thereafter, I got admission into the University of Lagos where I bagged a degree in Theatre Arts. Growing up wasn’t easy, my sister. I have never shared this before in the media but I think God wants His name to be exalted in my life.

What is your advice to couples on divorce?
Honestly, divorce is the worst punishment any parent could subject children to because it’s the children that will face the consequences of their actions. Divorce shouldn’t be considered as an option when couples face-off. It is advisable to settle rather than divorce. Why did you get married if you cannot forgive and reconcile with your partner? I don’t wish my kids to pass through my experience regarding divorce. I always use my parents-in-laws as an example and I try to emulate them in my marriage. After all these years, they are still deeply in love with each other. Even at their age, they still enjoy each other’s company and that is amazing.

Have you reconciled with your father?
I have reconciled with him. I did seven years ago. Our mother always encouraged us to forgive our father and love him regardless of the past. I have a very good relationship with my father now.

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