For the past few days, the Yoruba movie industry had been agog with the rumour of the break up of two popular members of the industry, movie actor and producer, Afeez Owo and his wife Mide Martins. Each time the rumour reared its head, the couple tried to douse the rumour. They are not only attending movie premieres together, they step out to most, if not all events. Their last public event was the marriage of comic actor, Sanyeri. A few years back, the rumour made the rounds again when a popular radio station announced their break up on a Yoruba programme. Not only did the presenters say the marriage is no more, it said Mide packed out of her matrimonial home with her 2 daughters. It was after the radio programme that City People spoke to Mide who denied the rumour then. Now, the marriage has packed up. This was what she told us then.
Tell us a bit about who the real Mide is and how your career began?
My name is Mide Funmi-Martins. I am the only daughter of late Funmi Martins, the actress. I am also a wife and a mother. I am the wife of Afeez Owo (Afeez Abiodun). I am an actress. And I have been acting for years. My husband is also an actor and a producer. Our job puts us in public glare so, people talk about us a lot.
What do you make of the current rumours that you and your husband Afeez have parted ways?
I don’t know where they got the story from. It is a lie. A big lie. I don’t know where the idea came from. I don’t know who started the story. I don’t know what they heard or what they saw.
But right now, it is unfortunate that I am the talk of the town.
My husband and I are the topic for discussion. I have received over one million calls, uncountable calls from people that I don’t even know; they are just begging me: Saying “Please don’t leave your husband. You know you 2 started together you have done a lot together”.
And I kept telling them I am still with my husband. I am very much with my husband. I don’t know what happened.
I am beginning to think some people are behind it. They have really gone far. But let me say we are used to it. That is what they have been writing about us since we started.
When did you start?
We started exactly 10 years ago in 2003. That was a year after my mum’s death. And since then they have been writing all sorts of things about us. They will say Mide Martins is not meant for Afeez Owo”.
Another one will say, Afeez Owo is not up to Mide’s standard. She is too beautiful for him. She is too fine for him. They have been saying so many stupid things.
(Laughs) Please help me tell them I love him like that, I am sure some people don’t understand why we are together or why we are married. For me that is what they call love. It is very difficult for people to accept that Mide and Afeez are still happily married 10 years after.
Some people have been battling with it since. They keep saying “No, it’s not possible! There are not meant together. They must break up. They can’t be together. They don’t belong together”.
So, we have been having that problem with people since. That is why they write all sorts of stories about us. But this time around, they have really gone far, too far.
So, I am using this medium to tell the whole world now that I am still very much with my husband. I am with him. You met my 2 kids before this interview. Why are people so bad. We step out together. We were at Sanyeri’s marriage together. That was the last one. We work together.
Can you tell us how you fell in love with Afeez?
Afeez is someone I grew up to know. Afeez was my mother’s manager. When my mum died, I would say he was the only one that stood by me. From there, we got closer and then we started dating. He was the only one I had then.
There was nobody else, I didn’t have a boyfriend and no one else came. He was the only one there for me. I love him. He loves me too. Since there was nobody else to marry and he was there for me, so I got married to him and thank God we are happy together.
What really attracted you to him?
That is a personal question. I don’t know why people see Afeez Owo as an ugly man. But everything is not about beauty alone. Every relationship shouldn’t be about beauty alone. There are some things that should be looked into apart from beauty; like a good heart. Afeez has a good heart and I love people with good heart.
Did he meet you a virgin?
No. I wasn’t a virgin. I broke up with my boyfriend before I met Afeez Owo. I wasn’t a virgin when we met. Our marriage was meant to be because if it wasn’t meant to be, it will definitely not happen. I don’t know how it all happened, how it all started all I know is that we started and we are doing fine.
Would you say your getting married to him has helped your career?
Of course, it has. He has been there for me a lot. He really stood by me and he has helped my career a lot.
If you search your mind, was there any rift between the 2 of you which may have led to the negative rumour?
Well, I don’t know what they saw. But my husband and I have never fought publicly normally, couples do fight, but my husband and I have never fought publicly.
Could it be because you and your husband don’t go to events together?
We do. We go to parties together. They see us together. We were at Femi Adebayo’s party but I went alone to FIBAN party, and we went together to Madam Saje’s party. All the stories they are cooking up are lies. They are lying.
Do you keep friends?
No. I don’t. I don’t keep friends within the industry and outside the industry. If I am not on location, I will be in my house with my kids. I am a very homely person. I don’t usually go out.
How did you get into acting?
I never had it in mind to act in my life. When my late mum used to go to the location to act I always wonder what she was looking for all over the place. But it was my mum’s death that made me go into acting.
When my mum died, I didn’t want the name to die like that. I want her to be remembered. I wanted people to see me and still see Funmi Martins me. I look like my mum. I am her carbon copy. I want her to live on. She did a lot for him.
Who was late Funmi Martins? When did she die?
It was in 2002, it was a sad event. I was very young then. I was in Ogun State University then.
I was in year one. I just got admission to study International Relations.
Her death was so shocking. My mum was my best friend despite the fact that I was very young then.
I would tell her anything including my little boyfriends then. She guided me on how to live my life, she lectured me.
She was Godfearing, she had a good heart, a very caring mother. She was an angel, my mum was very nice, she loved me to a fault.
Are you the only child?
No. I have 2 brothers. I am the only girl. She was my best friend. Since then, nobody has replaced her.
She was a full-time actress in the Yoruba and English sector. I didn’t have an interest in it before, It was her death that made me go into acting.
You hardly talk about your dad. How is he?
My dad is fine, my dad lives with me, he is a good man. His name is Mr. Segun Sobowale, he is an old man.
How come his name is different from your surname?
The Martins is my late mum’s stage name, I adopted her name. My dad was a government official. He is now retired.
What’s the new thing about Mide?
There is nothing new. Only the lies being peddled about me that my marriage has broken up when it has not.
Almost everybody has called me on this issue. I mean people that I don’t even have their numbers, people who don’t normally call me.
People I don’t really know. One woman called me from Sokoto and was crying, saying “don’t leave your husband”.
I feel bad about it really. I am a very simple person. I don’t wish anybody ill, so why would anybody wish me ill. I am easy going.
I don’t look for trouble. I don’t have the heart. If I am on location, if it’s not my role yet, I will sit in the car.
I don’t talk anyhow. I don’t gossip. I don’t have friends. If I am not working, I will sit in my car with the AC on. My colleagues usually make fun of me.
I stay away from controversy because people love to read bad news. They fuel bad news. That’s why I don’t know why people want my marriage to be broken.
I don’t know why. They’ve said a lot of bad things about my husband and me, I don’t care.
I am the one who knows why I married my husband I am the one who knows what I see in him. I love him. Whether I am finer than him or not I love him.
He will continue to remain my husband. And I will continue to be his wife. I just don’t know why people just want my marriage to be broken.
I think it is deliberate. They want us to be separated by all means.
Can you share with us what you see in him that other people don’t see?
He has a good heart. He is a nice person. I fell in love with his heart. He is a nice guy. I love him. So people should leave us alone and let us be.
Some people have wondered why Mide fell in love with a man who has tribal marks?
Tribal marks or no tribal marks, he is my husband, he remains my husband. What has that got to do with love?
What sort of a person is Afeez, your husband?
He is a good man. He is a nice man. He takes good care of me and the family. He loves his children. He is hardworking. He is a very simple man, simple and nice.