It was indeed a shocker when in the early hours of Monday, July 15, 2013 it was widely reported that actress Funke Akindele and her husband Kehinde Almaroof Oloyede are no longer together. What started on blogs and social media soon spread to national newspapers. Akindele remained silent for days, and many fans hoped this was yet another “wicked” rumour.
But to the disappointment of her fans, the actress emerged in the evening of Friday July 19 to confirm she’s actually separated from her husband of one year. Nigeria’s most talked-about wedding of 2012 is over. Gone, in one year, and on record as one of the country’s shortest celeb marriages ever.
Below is what NET investigations revealed on how the estranged couple’s problems started:
It started few months ago and got to its peak only a few weeks before the Facebook announcement by Oloyede. While Funke Akindele was trying to achieve a quiet separation and eventual divorce with little or no public coverage, hubby Oloyede took to social media to broadcast the break-up.
He wrote, ‘It’s with heavy heart that am announcing the separation of me and ma wife Mrs Olufunke Akindele, we’ve both agreed to go our separate ways coz of irreconcilable differences. we still best of friends nd we 4ever remain gud friends. Am doing just fine, gettn along without u, don’t need u anymore in ma life. u d greatest mistake av made in recent time.’
Funke’s decision to marry the real estate businessman in 2012, was severely criticised by her fans and the media who wondered why she should get involved in polygamy. She rebuffed critics and went on to have one of the most glamourous weddings of last year on May 26, 2012, leaving days later for a honeymoon in the UK.
Months after the wedding, Mr Oloyede was reported to have impregnated a certain lady,Modinat Nike Dada. The couple did all they could to cover up the mess, but it was out in the open.
Apart from Modinat, there was the eldest wife, Fadekemi, who felt betrayed by Kehinde’s marriage to Funke. Sources maintained that Fadekemi and Modinat neither supported Funke’s marriage to Kehinde and even though he went ahead to marry her, they firmly objected the union.
NET gathered that there were issues from Funke’s family too, especially from her immediate family. But the lovers went ahead, against all odds. And it seemed to all that they had both found happiness in one another.
What went wrong?
It is no more speculation that the marriage, which was contracted on Saturday May 26, 2012, has entered into serious troubled waters.
With more angles now coming out, including allegations ‘Almaroof, the man who stole Funke’s heart last year, swept her off her feet and landed her in the altar, has become a serial baby daddy, keeping a string of affairs, and even returning to the women he had prior to the celebrity wedding with Funke Akindele, it was only a matter of time before it was all out in the air.
Just like actress Mercy Johnson, who had a big pre-wedding scandal on her hands after the wife of the man she was to marry stepped out and tried to stop the wedding, Funke also had disgruntled wives to contendwith. There were many fans, friends and colleagues too, who felt she did not need to settle with an already married man; with the attendant drama and chaos.
But, as it is in the things of love, just like Mercy, Funke went ahead to tie the knot in what was unarguably, the most expensive, most glamorous celebrity wedding of 2012.
“Everyone close to them knows the thing is not working and Funke is very unhappy. People have been advising her. She has just been busy shooting and trying to occupy herself. They have not even lived together since, but they are not divorced, and it is notlike it is officially officially over. Couples separate and come back together. Even some divorced couples still settle. So why arepeople talking as if this is final?”one friend told NET, over the weekend, insisting ‘peopleshould mind their business or pray for the couple’
She was happy beyond limits on her wedding day. And the days to come were fullof bliss. So were did it all go wrong? Or was ita facade all along?
Why the marriage failed
Prior to their high society wedding, it was widely reported that Kehinde had several children from different women, a fact that was no mystery to Funke. It was reported that he was married to two of the women, anallegation that the ‘Jenifa’ star denied in an interview with a publication.
She boasted, ‘I can tell you authoritatively that my husband is not married to anyone else. Yes, he has beautiful children, who are not mine and we have a cordial relationship, which dates back to even before we got married.’
But insiders have told NET that the actress would later shockingly find many surprises along the way; even as husband and wife started to discover there were so many things different about each of them.
‘You know when you are in a relationship, it is always a different thing from when you arein a marriage. Funke and Kenny have alwayshad problems but they have managed to conceal it from the public. I don’t know if they have truly separated, but the marriage was becoming shakier by the day’, a confidant who did not want to be named toldus.
For months there had been concerns that Funke’s husband was rarely seen around herat most events she honoured. Mr Oloyede’s photos are nowhere to be found on Funke’s Instagram page where she’s very active.
It was also widely speculated by observers that the marriage, right from the inception, seemed like it was destined to fail because ofall the controversies that surrounded it. FromKehinde’s many wives to many children, andof course alleged strings of affairs, many opined it was surely going to hit the rocks sooner or later.
Moreover, for some reason, the couple allegedly chose to live apart, an action which, sources say, did not help their bonding.
If Funke no longer trusted her husband, thenshe was not alone. Many say it is possible Almaroof became suspicious of Funke, a verybusy woman, especially with her endorsement galore and frequent trips. But, unlike Almaroof, it is not certain if there wereconfirmed instances of infidelity on Funke’s part.
“He can never say he caught her with any man, or that she cheated’, one Funke friend told us. Many others refused to comment on what is, understandably, a sensitive issue.
Whose mistake; Funke’s or Kehinde’s?
In his Facebook message which announce to the world the crack in their marriage, Kehinde refered to Funke as the greatest mistake he has made in recent times. ’Am doing just fine, gettn along without u, don’t need u anymore in ma life. u d greatest mistake av made in recent time’, he wrote.
This assertion leaves one thinking – who made a mistake? Was it Kehinde or Funke?
Funke had everything going for her, a budding career and a growing list of endorsement. Many believe her first mistake was getting involved with a man who was already married, and was rumoured to have an unquenchable thirst for women.
Her second mistake, according to NET findings, was assuming that once she and Kehinde were married, that the man would only have eyes for her. If for some reason, she thought she could change the man, thenthat was her third mistake.
But it is apparent Almoroof has his many goofs too, and as one pundit put it ‘they will begin to emerge in no time. All the possible misdemeanour that could make a man say his wife is the greatest mistake he’s ever made. He’ll begin to speak soon. Only a matter of time’.
Will Funke marry again?
Many celebs that have been unfortunate to be involved breakups usually end up remaining single or just starting another relationship that may not necessarily lead to marriage. There are, however, others, who keep hopping from one marriage to another.
Funke in her case has a budding career to bother about, even though at 36, age is no longer on her side.
A bonafide Nollywood millionaire, will she go on to become a single mom while continuingto build her brand? Or will she give in to loveagain and give marriage another try?
The man Almaroof Oloyede
Before Funke Akindele’s path crossed with Almaroof Oloyede in 2008, the businessman and politician’s fame was only known in the Oshodi axis of Lagos State where he is actively involved in party politics.
Popularly known as Kenny Doo, he is the sonof Alhaja Almaroof, who at present is the Iya Oloja of Oshodi market, as well as a woman leader in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Almaroof is highly into real estate.
He once contested for the position of Local Government Chairman and membership of the House of Representatives in two differentelections on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He later became the Special Assistant to former Minister of Works,Adeseye Ogunlewe. After serving out his appointment, he returned to Lagos to focus on his property business.
Funke’s private world
Since the reports filtered into the media, Funke, has been inundated with calls from family, friends and colleagues, including politicians, pastors and Imams. And the messages are a mixture of consolation, counseling, and attempts at reconciliation.
NET gathered the actress shooting in Enugu when the news broke. She has since returned to her Ikeja, Lagos home to the support of her family.
One of the most influential faces in Nollywood, Funke Akindele shot to national fame following the success of her movie 2008 Jenifa. She has since joined the millionaires’ club, settling down to fame and fortune, years after entering the industry through the popular TV series ‘I Need to Know‘ sponsored by the United Nations Population Fund..
In 2009 she won the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) for ‘Best Actress in a Leading Role’. Many of her movies, ‘Omo Ghetto’ parts 1 & 2, ‘Ojo Ketala‘ and ‘The Return of Jenifa‘ have become blockbusters grossing millions of Naira in returns.
And, in spite of controversies surrounding her rumoured romance with Femi Adebayo who was also married, her image remained mostly neat and clean, until the drama that came with her wedding to Almaroof.
Timeline of love gone sour
2008- Funke and Kehinde meet on a movie set where Kehinde had come to visit a friend.
2011- The pair remained friends until Kehinde officially asked to date the actress.
February, 2012- Kehinde proposes to Funke
March, 2012- NET reported the first official outing as a pair as they were spotted at the Oriental Hotels, Victoria Island, Lagos for the May D hosted Industry Nite event.
May 26, 2012- The widely celebrated 3-part wedding between Funke and Kehinde took place at the Haven Event Centre, Ikeja, attended by a host of celebs and entertainers.
May 30, 2012- The newly weds flew to the UK where they enjoyed their honeymoon.
June 22, 2012- Funke accompanied by Kehinde was at the University of Ibadan where she was given an award of recognitionfor being a positive role models for Nigerian youths.
July 22, 2012- Funke made her first major public appearance (although without her husband) since her wedding at Davido’s ‘Omo Baba Olowo’ album launch concert at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos.
August 24, 2012- Funke celebrates her 35th birthday with a small reception for friends, colleagues and of course husband, Kehinde who later whisked the actress to an undisclosed location where the celebration climaxed.
October, 2012- A woman, Modinat Nike Dadais reported to be pregnant for Funke’s husband, Kehinde.
November, 2012- A popular soft-sell publication reports that Funke has had a miscarriage from a 4 months pregnancy, the actress denies report.
July 15, 2013- Kehinde Almaroof announces on Facebook that the one year old marriage is over.
July 16, 2013- Funke’s publicist, Ayo Ola-Mohammed denies telling a blogger, Linda Ikeji, that Funke’s marriage is over.
July 17, 2013- In a widely circulated text message, Funke denies the break-up stories,claiming her ‘marriage is intact.’