Veteran actress, Rachel Oniga was married until her husband took another wife. Disappointed, she left her marriage and concentrated on training her three children.
In an interview with Olushola Ricketts of Punch, she shares her joys and regrets..
My first born, Olamide, was four years old when I left my marriage. I had to put them all in boarding schools. That is one of the most painful things I have had to do. Whenever I talk about this, it always brings me close to tears. My children paid the price for something they knew nothing about.
Children don’t beg parents to have them; we ask them to come to the world, so we should be able to take good care of them. It is not all about money, but I had no choice. I had to work; I had to be a mother and a father to them. I had to make sure that they had all they needed to have.
While they were in school, they didn’t lack anything. I got them all the things rich children had. I understand all I did was not enough, but I thank God for the children He blessed me with. I think God knew I had nobody but Him. In a way, he saw us through and I thank Him for that.
The factor (her late husband married another woman) that led to the end of my marriage made me determined to prove to him (ex-husband) that I could stand without any man. I was not ready to give any other man the chance to be a hindrance to my children and me.
I also made up my mind that I would dedicate my life totally to my children. I toughened my heart and blocked every opportunity to go into any relationship. I saw myself as equal to any man, regardless of how much money he might have. I give God the glory because I can pay my bills. I dedicated all my life to my job and my children. I became so busy and I was not ready to take any nonsense from men.
Sometimes, when a woman closes her heart, she will not give any relationship a chance. I was always on the defensive. I didn’t want any man to treat my children badly. I was working for my money and I put my kids in good schools. So, what do I need a man for? I felt all men just wanted was to see the beauty of a woman and walk away.
With what my ex-husband did to me, you expect me to trust men again? Before we got separated, he was a good and ideal man. But he married another woman and I moved on. I do not regret leaving him because I sacrificed my life for my children, which makes me fulfilled and happy.
But I miss the whole union thing, friendship and sharing things together. I have missed it all. My advice to young ladies is to keep and fight for their marriages. Perhaps, I was naïve; I never fought for what was mine, but I still thank God. We are in Africa, you fight for your life and that of your children first. Maybe that is why God has been merciful to me and my children.
If her late husband made attempts at reconciliation
There were many failed attempts. He knew the type of person I am; that when I say no, it is no. I tell people that I am like a coin with two faces. I could be stupid and forgiving. In fact, I don’t think there is anyone who forgives as much as I do; I am yet to meet such person. I could forgive or ignore anything, but once I turn my back, I would not go back there. Before death took him (ex-husband) away, he called many times and he came to the house to see his children. Once he arrived, I would pick up my bag and head to movie sets. I didn’t stop him from seeing his children though.