In today's world of Social Media "packaging", exotic weddings, failed month-old marriages and so on, it's rather refreshing to see young, millennial couples who stand the test of time and the storms of marriage. A great example is this unassuming couple, my personal friends. In 10 years of marriage, they have weathered loss of jobs in the Banking sector Tsunami, life threatening health issues and more. Today, they run a family business while one of them pursues a career in arguably Nigeria's fastest growing media house, Ebony Life TV. Their story inspires me, I'm sure it will touch you too.
Pls introduce yourselves.
Our names are Arome and Tosin Ameh.
How did you guys meet?
We met about 12 years ago while working in one of the new generation banks. I needed a ride home from work and my close friend Bisi, told me about a young man who usually passes my route. I got his number and called him. He was super polite and gladly accepted to drop me off
He was an hilarious person. We gisted and laughed all the way despite the third mainland traffic,it was an enjoyable trip. He offered to help me in the mornings to work since we stayed on the same route. He soon became my regular drop off guy😃
When did you get married?
We got married on the 1st of May 2009. 10years ago, if like my Hubby you count our pre wedding year as part of the marriage year( that was when we had our legal/court wedding)
Marriage and life can be full of ups and downs. No doubt you have had your share in 10 years.Tell us about the major ones: Purpose, Career, Business, HealthMarriage and it's ups and downs!
Hmmm... We have had our share of both! Before we got married, in 2008, Hubby had a major spinal injury which almost made him paralyzed.
We were still dating then, both of us were still bankers. The Banking job was quite stressful and it took a toll on his health , he woke up one morning and couldn't feel his feet. He was admitted in the hospital for a long time. Orthopedic surgeons said he may not be able to walk well again, another specialist said he may not be able to father a child in the future. All the while, I encouraged him with God's sure promises and stood by him and to God be the glory,after a lot of treatments, he got better.
After marriage, We had quite a lot of those. From loss of job, to health challenges (Hubby had a stroke and it really was a trying time) , we had a financial crisis at some point, starting up a new business on my end, coupled with when our little boy was very sickly during his first 4 years of birth... Wow. It's been a roller coaster ride. In all of this, it wasn't easy. At some point, It was depressing coping. But whenever one of us was down, the other was there to pull up and encourage. I cried a lot those days 😃 but I never doubted God's grace.
Whenever we had fights, disagreements, Hubby always made sure we resolved it. 😃 He deserves all the kudos. He is officially our Conflict resolution officer. Though both parties may be angry, He will help me see reasons why we had to resolve it amicably.
How exactly were you able to pull through the darkest times, loss of job, health…
What helped us pull through?
(a) Unending prayers and Advice from My mum. (God bless her!) She never let us dwell on the challenges, always giving advice on how to weather d storm.
(b) Remembering the love we had from the beginning. Memories of the fun times and the good times , these memories always made us remember that life isn't always rosy and troubled times are never permanent.
(c) Prayers. The efficacy of prayers can never be overemphasised, especially from the woman's end. Pls don't get me wrong, both partners should pray but I feel we women touch God's heart faster! Being married has turned me to a prayer warrior😃
Raising Children, please share a word of advice.we have two lovely children.
With kids, our motto is: "Be intentional". We Have a common goal in mind as regards how we want our kids to be raised. We both observed from when they were babies, that our children are smart and very intelligent and they absorb all they learn from us. So we treat them like little adults. We discuss with them like friends, and get to be a part of their day to day lives (with kids, no information is too little, everything should be treated as important.) from inception, no nanny /external help with the kids. Thank God for Grandmas😃.... Also Mummy is the one In charge of after school classes( regardless of what has been done in school, we still. Go through everything together when we get home)
Arome, tell us about looking for a job after Oceanic and the jobs you held while battling with your health. Tell us about how your family held your hands
After leaving Oceanic, I wasn't at a loss for what to do, I worked on some small.productions with my friend Soji Ogunnaike and then moved on to work with Gbenga Salu on various productions, these two men shaped and started me on my journey into the media world.
From there, I moved to HIPTV as news producer, and then on to ACTV as the TV production manager. Unfortunately, the network folded up and shortly after that, I had a stroke.
My wife saved my life because she was quick to perform CPR on me before we got to the hospital. Family was a very strong part of my recovery process, my wife was at my side all the time, encouraging me, praying for me.
Parents also stood by us emotionally and financially, and during.
My brother in law Gbenga Salu, was there the night I had the stroke and was there till I was revived. I was and I am still blessed by a strong family and friends support system, without them, I doubt if I would have made it through.
Tosin, Tell us about your company Rellas cakes, how you started after losing your job and where Rellas as is today.
I was a Banker in the former Oceanic bank until the CBN takeover of some new generation banks, When the takeover by Ecobank took effect, most Oceanic Staff were disengaged due to the banks restructuring. I was one of those affected. I was a bit shaken at first because u had just had my second child and was on maternity leave when my disengagement letter arrived. I am so grateful to my immediate and extended family! They gave me so much encouragement! Two weeks after my layoff, I started ruminating on Confectionery training. My younger sister gave me the contact of her friend so I could learn to make small chops. I started training even whilst nursing my baby. (I was determined not to sit and nurse my wounds).
After my smallchops training, I went ahead to register for Cake making classes and Advanced sugarcraft training. Rellas Nibbles and bites Limited was born immediately after I completed my training. It's been 6 challenging and hectic years and to God be the glory! The brand is waxing stronger. It hasn't been easy. So much hardworking goes into building a business in this economy. But I am grateful that we created a good niche and our customer base has expanded over the years
What words of encouragement do you have for:
• Individuals going through what you went through
• Those going through difficulty in marriage?
Arome:Be steadfast- it's never easy,but hold on,pray hard. I believe in every marriage, one if not both, should be strong in prayer, I pray,but my wife has God's ears. There will be good times, in those times strengthen your relationship with your spouse, so when and if the bad times hit, both will face it together.For those going through difficulty in marriage, except for a violent relationship where I would advice a separation, in other cases, I urge you to consider dialogue, not blame laying, but acceptance, apologies and making effort to right any wrong. Couples need to talk more, understand more, learn more and pray more. There is no quick fix, but if you want it to work, you have to work hard to make it work.
Contact Relllas cakes on +234 806 052 2354 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for exquisite cakes and deserts as well as Events Managament