Recently, many Nigerians were left thoroughly stunned when news emerged on the Internet that Johnny Drille, a popular Nigerian singer is a married man and that he had, in fact, gotten married about a year ago, unknown to his fans and some colleagues in the industry.
However, Drille is not the only entertainer to have pulled such a stunt. Saturday Beats takes a look at other entertainers who have acted in a similar manner
Johnny Drille and Rima
Earlier in the month, a singer and songwriter, Johnny Drille, who is signed to Mavin Records, release a song titled, ‘The Best Part’, together with a music video. The love song was dedicated to his wife, Rima Tahini-Ighodaro, who is also an A&R executive with Mavin Records.
Shortly after, his record label boss, Don Jazzy, posted a picture of himself with the couple on their wedding day captioning it, “With all the amazing love songs that @johnnydrille has written, it is only right that he bags one of the most amazing women I have met to share #Thebestpart of his life with. I am so happy for both of you. May GOD continue to bless your union. Happy birthday again @rimouuune.”
The post apparently confirmed that the couple was married, and many were shocked that the couple could have kept such big news a secret for over a year.
Meanwhile, some months earlier, Rima had disclosed that she was married, though she did not reveal who her partner was. In the post on January 5, 2023, which contained pictures from her wedding, she wrote, “Exactly a year ago yesterday— the most beautiful day, and it has been the most beautiful first year of marriage. I am filled with gratitude to God everyday and look forward to forever by his grace.”
Adekunle Gold and Simi
Both singers, some were aware that they were in a relationship, but most of their fans did not know when they eventually got married. The couple, who courted for five years, finally signed the dotted line in January 2019. Their marriage however caught some people by surprise, as some fans thought that Simi was actually in a relationship with another colleague, Falz.
The couple reportedly had their engagement ceremony in December 2018, while the traditional and white wedding took place on January 9 and 10, 2019, respectively. Only few members of their family and friends attended the event. It was also alleged that pictures were not allowed to be taken at the ceremony, which made it more difficult for the news to spread.
In an email to fans in January 2019, Gold confirmed their union. He wrote, “Earlier in 2018, I asked my girl of five years to be my wife. Knowing all of my imperfections and shortcomings, she said ‘yes’!
“This January, before God and our family, we vowed to do this thing called life together. To be honest, it is easy to get lost in the limelight; so we definitely have a slightly obsessive desire for a private life that belongs to just us.
“We planned on sharing a little bit of the beginning of our forever with you. Thankfully, my team got kudus on our little island with us to capture some of these moments for you.”
Shortly after, he released a song titled, ‘Promise’, on which he featured his wife.
Di’ja and Rotimi
A former Mavin Records signee, Di’ja, married her husband, Rotimi, in a private ceremony in 2015, and attendance was strictly by invitation.
It was reported that the photographer at the ceremony did not actually know who his clients were, till he got to the venue in Kaduna State.
Taking to social media on January 6, 2017, about two years after the wedding took place, Di’ja, posted pictures of her husband and her son, and added the caption, “2015, I became a wife; 2016, I became a mother. 2017, we are all alive and well.”
She also thanked the vendors engaged for the event for doing good jobs.”
She added, “Thank you, my family, friends and Mavin Records for all the support. Thank you all for your kindness and respect. I love my life anytime I’m with you. To my fans; thank you.”
Few hours after Di’ja posted the now-deleted post, the photographer, Henry Oji, also posted a picture from Di’ja’s wedding on social media. He wrote, “One of the highlights of 2015 was documenting @aphrodija’s wedding. I had never had to do a wedding in recent times that I did not know who the bride was until we got to Kaduna. She looked absolutely beautiful. I love this image of Di’ja and her dad so much. The connection fathers have with their daughters is so unique. I did not know then; but now, I know. God bless you Di’ja for trusting us with your big day. God bless your calm husband and your handsome son.”
After that announcement, Di’ja has kept her private life out of the news. However, the marriage now blessed with three children— a boy and two girls.
Dbanj and Didi
Self-acclaimed koko master, Oladapo Oyebanjo, aka D’banj, was undoubtedly a heartthrob who was well loved by fans across the world. He was also the ‘dream husband’ of many women, and many were anxious to see who he would eventually get married to.
The singer was said to have secretly married his wife, Didi Kilgrow, on July 2, 2016, in Maryland, Lagos. It was reported that the few guests who were invited for the wedding actually thought they were attending a birthday party in celebration of D’banj’s father, not knowing to them that it was the wedding of the ‘Why Me’ singer and his wife who he had proposed to four months earlier.
A report by an online newspaper, The Cable, reported that an unnamed source had confirmed that the wedding took place at the Oyebanjo’s family home in Maryland.
The source was reported to have said, “D’banj has been in a serious relationship with Didi for the past year, and he was a regular visitor to her house in Lekki Phase 1. He usually visited at least two to three times every week.”
The source added that D’banj’s vehicle brought Didi home on Saturday night after the secret wedding, and she seemed visibly excited.
However, news of the couple’s marriage was not confirmed until October 1, 2017, when at a concert, the singer introduced his wife and now late son, Daniel, to the audience.
About a year earlier, in an interview with Premium Times on April 24, 2017, the singer had hinted that he would have a ‘quiet’ wedding. Asked when he would be getting married, the singer had replied, “Who said I am not married? I am not married but if I am, nobody would hear about it. It is going to be a very quiet wedding, because I am tired of people asking me that question. It is my personal life, and it is not going to change my music or brand.
“I am not going to get married because people want me to; neither would I do it just to enter another phase of my life, just like some of my colleagues have done. They make it seem as if once one is married, one has retired (from the music industry). But, that should not be the case. Marriage would not change anything about me, and whenever it happens, nobody would hear about it. There would only be speculations. My wife would not be seeking fame, because the one (popularity) I have is already enough for all my family members. When I get married, it would be a very quiet one. Who knows, it might have already happened.”
In an interview on August 8, 2017, the singer had stated that he kept his wedding a secret because he did not want the complications that came with a celebrity relationship. He said, “I decided to keep my marriage to Didi a secret because based on experience, relationships like this get mixed with media hype and speculation; then, it becomes complicated.
“I was under pressure to get married, and my mum told me she wanted to see the girl I was dating and intended to marry. I told her I had a girlfriend, but that we did not want to get married yet. However, she (my mum) insisted that she was the one for me, and that we should have a small ceremony. I am glad I listened to her.”
Funke Akindele and JJC
A popular actress, Funke Akindele, was said to have got married to a singer, producer and director, Abdulrasheed Bello, aka JJC Skillz, in London, United Kingdom.
Although the two have now parted ways, they used to be one of the most admired couples in the entertainment industry while the union lasted.
However, on Akindele’s birthday in 2016, Skillz had hinted that they were married. Felicitating her, he had written on social media, “Happy birthday @funkejenifaakindele, aka FAB. Many happy returns. May all your days be filled with love and happiness. You will find peace in your home, work, body, mind and soul. You’ll never lack. Health and wealth is your portion. Long life and prosperity. Stay blessed, my best friend.”
Though many did not know at the time, FAB meant ‘Funke Akindele-Bello’.
Also, at an event in August 2016, she was spotted wearing two wedding bands, and she introduced herself as Olufunke Akindele-Bello.
She finally confirmed the news to her fans and the general public, when she added ‘Bello’ to her name on her social media pages.
In line with their penchant for privacy, the couple also kept the news of their children secret for some time. They were said to have twin children in December, 2018, though many of their fans were not aware of that for some time.