Popular comic actor, Hafiz Oyetoro, aka Saka, recently celebrated the 16th anniversary of his marriage. The ever-smiling and charismatic actor, who also teaches English and drama at the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Ijanikin, Lagos, in an interview with our correspondent, disclosed that he met his wife, Olaide Saidat, when he started teaching at the college in 2001. She was a final-year student of the institution at the time.
“The day I met her for the first time, she came to submit her final year project to her department. She studied Mathematics at the college. She looked very quiet and composed. Immediately I felt that she might make a good wife. I had never felt that way about any woman before. The more I looked at her, the more I told myself that I would like to make her my wife.”
Sixteen years after, the actor still could not tell if he had fallen in love at first sight on that occasion.
“I can’t really explain what happened, but I just knew that she was a good wife material. The first thought that came to my mind was to marry her.
“When I made some inquiries about the lady, I learnt that she was the quiet and introverted type. Later I did a little digging into her background. It took some time to attract her attention and to talk her into starting a relationship with me. We eventually got married in 2003,” he said.
Before Saka met his wife, he was already involved in a relationship with a woman, who was so materialistic that she agreed to marry him only on condition that he would buy her two cars.
“I didn’t need anybody to tell me that she was not my wife,” he said.
Like most actors, especially the types with the ability to make women double over with laughter, Saka was naturally drawn to women in his days at the university. Although he lays claim to having a number of girlfriends, not one of them was willing to dabble into a romantic relationship with him.
“In those days, I had quite a number of girlfriends, but my relationship with each of them was not romantic. As a theatre practitioner and one who was quite popular at that, I made friends easily with both men and women. But when it came to asking them out, the women never took me seriously because of my position as an artist,” he said.
By the time he met his wife, the comic actor added, he was already 37 years-old and ready to settle down to married life. “As a matter of fact, I had searched for a wife without any positive result. At a point, I got tired of searching and prayed that my future wife should begin to search for me herself. That was the period I met my wife,” he said.
Asked why he did not get married before the age of 37, Saka explained that he was too busy getting education, struggling between jobs and building a successful career to bother about marriage. “I wanted to get to a position in life where I would be able to take care of my responsibilities without troubling other people,” he said.
Saka also had his fair share of heart-breaks in the past and one particular experience taught him a hard lesson about life. Describing what happened, he said, “I was in secondary school and involved in this relationship. My girlfriend and I was quite an item in school. We were so close that people always talked about us. Once, we had a little misunderstanding and I asked a friend of mine to talk to her about it. Little did I know that he had a different agenda. The boy ended up snatching my girlfriend from me.
“I really felt bad about it and it took me some time to recover emotionally. That experience taught me to be very strong and to always prepare myself for any situation in life, good or bad.”
On the success of his marriage, Saka said, “The best thing that can happen to a man is to get married to a woman that shares his vision. My wife shares my vision. We have almost the same views about life and she allows me to be in full control of our home. Another important factor is that since I got married I have never had an extra-marital affair. I have never slept with another woman.”