I am introducing this segment to highlight celebrity marriages on the African continent in a positive way. I want to show that there are African celebrities who are doing marriage the right way, and are successful in both their chosen careers and in their family lives. Of course, I have to state as a disclaimer that I don’t know what happens in anyone’s home but my own. I do know, however, that these celebrities seem to treasure and value their marriages. For that reason, I consider them role models .
To call Fela and Tara Durotoye a Nigerian power couple would probably be an understatement. These two people have taken Nigeria by storm leaving their mark on more than just Nigeria and the African continent, but on the world. What I am positive about, though is that they are only beginning. I am pretty positive that neither one would have been so great without the influence and total support of the other. That’s the beauty of a marriage that works (literally) :)
Tara Durotoye (or Tara Fela-Durotoye, as she prefers to be called) is the pioneer of the Nigerian beauty industry, though she trained as a lawyer at the University of Lagos, Nigeria. This astute and entrepreneurial young woman who is only 34 years old is the Founder, Managing Director and Creative Director of House of Tara International which she created in 1998. She is the pioneer of bridal makeup in Nigeria-launching Nigeria’s first ever bridal make up business, setting up Nigeria’s first ever beauty school, and launching the first ever make up line in Nigeria, and the first ever fragrance by a Nigerian in Nigeria called “Be Inspired.” Her life’s mission has been to empower young women, increase their self-esteem, and provide them with the tools they need to be financially independent through her beauty school and Mary Kay- and Avon-model independent beauty supply programs. For her achievements, she has received national and international awards and is a well sought-after speaker on business, purpose, turning passion into profit, and marriage. This amazing woman with her series of firsts holds only one person first in her life, her husband and life partner, Fela Durotoye.
About Fela Durotoye….where to begin? For starters, this man can make even the most cynical of persons believe! He is one of the most passionate people I have ever heard, and is so insanely passionate about the amazing potential of Nigeria that he believes that Nigeria can be the greatest country on earth. If that isn’t passion, I’m not sure what is! This 40 year old man has quite a story. An economist, management consultant and brand strategist, he left a very well-paid and cushy job to follow a vision that he felt God had given him: to become a “nation builder.” Soon after, he resigned his job to move in the direction He felt God was calling his life to, leaving his great salary to begin a journey completely out of his comfort zone. It, obviously, wasn’t easy but he is now one of Nigeria’s most sought after speakers, authors and consultants-leading individuals, corporations and the nation in the direction of extraordinary positive change
Now, enough about their careers! Let’s talk about their marriage. Tara and Fela got married 10 years ago, on Fela’s 30th birthday! With so many achievements between them, they have inevitably had their ups and downs, but they have managed to not only stay married but stay completely in love. Their love for each other is clear as crystal. On their 4th wedding anniversary, Fela surprised the love of his life with a public letter in a magazine, telling her how much he loved her and how he knew they were going to go the distance. (The first time I heard this a few years ago, it uplifted me and broke my heart at the same time. It was the very first time I had heard a Nigerian man in such a high profile position do such a thing.) 6 years after that letter was written, they are still going strong with their 3 sons in tow.
Tara and Fela, I celebrate you today. You are true celebrities because you inspire young Nigerians and Africans everywhere that it is possible to be successful in the boardroom and in the bedroom with the one that they’ve chosen to spend the rest of their lives with. Fela, thank you for challenging African men everywhere to see that valuing their wives will bring even more success than they imagined. May God continually keep your romance fiery, your hearts light, and your minds sharp. May your success be only the beginning and may your marriage be the most successful of all your endeavors
Fela has recently written a book called “Mr Fantastic” to help women on their journey to finding not just any man but a great man. I’ll post about that later.
****Because my WordPress account is going crazy today, I have not been able to link to Fela’s letter to Tara. Please see it here: http://www.feladurotoye.org/content/view/14/84/. Be sure to scroll down to the very end and click on the very last sentence, “Click here to read FD’s letter to Tara.” Enjoy and revel in it. Then, come back and share your thoughts