AY and Mabel, others: Celebrity marriages that have crashed in last one year

Several celebrities’ relationships and marriages have hit the rocks like a pack of cards in the last one year; BENJAMIN SAMSON in this report highlights the reasons for the break-ups.

Celebrity marriages in Nigeria have remained a hot topic among many. This is due to the rate at which these marriages have continued to hit the rocks. Some of the reasons for the break ups have been identified to include domestic violence, infidelity, emotional detachment, feminism, the lack of defined gender roles amongst others.

Although many have continued to thrive, others have sadly ended, leaving fans in shock.

Latest break-up

Popular Nigerian comedian, Ayo Makun, popularly known as AY, and his wife, Mabel, have separated after 20 years of marriage. The comedian confirmed the development in a post on his Instagram page recently.

He said he had reached a stage where he could no longer entertain the public with “deep personal family issues.”

He wrote, “Many people believe that staying silent simply means that one is incapable of dealing with issues. Projecting a negative narrative against someone who is not struggling to defend himself doesn’t mean he is weak. Some of us are just logical enough to understand the difference between opinions, values, beliefs, and facts.

“The personality and ability that I possess simply confirm that I have reached that stage in my life where I can not be entertaining the public with deep personal family issues. They just might be too much to handle concerning the individuals involved. Not even when I have a grown-up daughter who has access to social media. Her mental health needs to be protected from seeing things she can not be proud of online.

“Yes! Without compromising my family, I have found myself doing some things that I am not proud of today. It is one thing to watch my friendship/marriage of 20 years slip off my hands, but it’s another thing for the parties involved to understand how to appropriate the blame in a space that is designed for most women to always play the victims and win. I can tell you for free that no one is completely innocent enough to cast stones.

“Presently, I love the way that lies about me in all these blogs are travelling faster than the truth. But my painful truth will eventually beat away all the lies.”

Also, in a post on her Instagram page, Mabel said she had stopped reacting to disrespect.

She wrote, “Distance is my new response to disrespect. I don’t react, I don’t argue. I don’t dive into the drama. I just removed myself.”

Ayo and Mabel got married in November 2008, and they are blessed with two children.

Other break-ups

Wunmi Toriola

Popular sensational Yoruba actress, Wunmi Toriola, also recently, announced the end of her marriage via an Instagram post.

According to the actress, her ex-husband couldn’t handle her fame and would always rub it in whenever an argument arose. She also debunked allegations of being violent in the marriage.

Stella Damascus

Veteran Nollywood actress, Stella Damasus, in October, confirmed the breakup from her husband, Daniel Ademinokan.

According to the actress, she was served breakfast via YouTube, adding that her husband has moved on with another lady.

This shocked many fans, who did not see it coming because of their usual public display of affection which portrayed marital bliss.

Yomi Alore

Another actor and producer, Yomi Alore, popularly called Yomi Gold, also announced the end of his second marriage to his wife, Meenah.

The actor took responsibility for the split while also praising his wife. He further blamed loss of love and affection in the union for the split. According to him “When love dies in a relationship nobody should force it”.

Bolanle Ninalowo

Actor, Bolanle Ninalowo, in September, announced the end of his 17-year marriage to his wife, Bunmi, on Instagram.

Announcing their separation, Ninalowo said, “A sad reality I prayed, nurtured and worked tirelessly hard never to experience for the sake of all. My wife and I have decided to go our separate ways and headed for irreconcilable marriage dissolution.”

Israel Afeare

Davido’s logistics manager, Israel Afeare, popularly known as DMW, announced the end of his marriage to his wife, Sheila Courage in a post via Instagram in November.

Israel DMW accused his wife of ingratitude, despite his generosity during the marriage. He claimed that Sheila left the marriage in August.

Damola Olatunji

Popular Yoruba actor Damola Olatunji was previously in a relationship with his colleague, Bukola Awoyemi, popularly called Arugba.

The actress announced their separation via her Instagram page, accusing her partner of infidelity, which he outrightly denied.

She also claimed that she was never married to Olatunji, but had children with him.

Faridah Sobowale

Farida Sobowale made headlines when news of her attempted suicide surfaced online. The Lagos socialite attempted to end her life following the crash of her two-month-old marriage to her now-estranged husband, Demola Odulaja.

Odulaja, in an interview with a Yoruba social commentator, ArewaTopeFamous, claimed Sobowale’s promiscuous way was the reason the marriage collapsed.


Speaking with this reporter, a relationship and marriage counselor, Betty Diamond, shares her views regarding why celebrity marriages are crashing. According to her, most marriages are crashing today because there’s no love again among the famous couples.

She stressed the need for courtships before marriage, positing that it enables the parties to understand one another and ascertain if they are compatible to embark on the journey of marriage or not.

She said, “While we have some thriving celebrity marriages that have survived decades, there are countless news items of messy separations in celebrity marriages.

“There’s no friendship any more. You need to develop that friendship before going into marriage. When you don’t marry your best friend it can’t last. You marry a lady because she has big boobs, curves and she’s in the limelight industry. You want to hang around her or perhaps, sleep with her. And thereafter, you rush into marriage. But such marriages never last. This is because at the end of the day, the man will have all those things he wanted in quantum and before you close your eyes, the love has disappeared into thin air.

“That’s why marriages are crashing these days because the couples don’t actually understudy themselves to ascertain if they are compatible in marriage.

“Marriage is different from friendship. In friendship, you visit your lover and return to your home or you hang out with him or her. That’s why friendship lasts, but it’s not so with marriage. When you guys are married you begin to behold each other’s strengths and weaknesses. And from there, the love will start diminishing. That’s why it’s important for couples to understand themselves better before going into marriage. Courtship is the panacea to successful marriage.”

Similarly, an upcoming movie director, Chuka Nwodi, identified cheating, fame, and unbridled ego as reasons for the high rate of divorce in the entertainment industry.

“Many of our celebrities are famous to the extent that they cannot separate the fame from their everyday lives which causes jealousy, anger from their partners. For females especially, the African culture demands that the wives should be submissive and perform her marital duties as expected.

“Most of our female celebrities have been intoxicated with the power of being famous which causes an imbalance in the home.

“A celebrity’s life is one that involves travelling, presence on all social media accounts, and all these need a supportive partner who will be tolerant, considerate, and lenient to achieve a balance between the home and career,” he said.

He said further, “Unfaithfulness or cheating is one of the main reasons for collapses in celebrity marriages. The life of a celebrity involves interaction with the other famous people and fans including the opposite sex which makes them vulnerable to being unfaithful in their marriages.

“The marriages of many celebrities, both male and female, crashed on the issue of cheating, infidelity accusations. It takes a high level of trust for these spouses to believe in their partners not to fall to the temptations of greed and having more power by having an illicit relationship with someone with more wealth or beauty.

“Celebrities are susceptible to ego issues which arise from their perceived status in the society. Pride, they say goes before a fall, this is almost true with every relationship.

“If one or both couples have allowed their egos to take over, then there is no room for compromises and support expected from a spouse.

“Everything in the home becomes a race leading to unhealthy rivalry or competition. These celebrities should learn to curb their prideful tendencies to allow a peaceful marriage, acknowledging that their union is not an arena for bragging rights.

“Many Nigerian celebrities have slammed trolls who pushed them to get married, especially those who have crossed the 30-mark. The pressure gets to some of them who rush headlong with any available man only to have regrets moments after their usual lavish wedding.”

Divorce all over the place

However, an entertainment blogger, Christabel Essien, disagrees that the rate of divorce in the entertainment industry is higher than other professions.

She said: “My answer to this kind of question is that because celebrities are in the public glare; that is why you know the number of failed marriages. You have the same number of failed marriages amongst lawyers, doctors and other professionals.

“A lot of times, there is a decision to stay and iron out whatever is the issue, most times we are not prepared and sometimes there are huge wrinkles and volcanic eruptions. It’s up to the couple to say this has happened, do we want to weather it out. And I don’t think anybody has the right to say some people must stay together if they don’t want to.

“The rate of divorce seems to be getting higher because there’s a medium where everyone gets to know about that. People are airing a lot of their stuff out there for the public to know. Today, it’s more of what they don’t want to live with, but the decision is up to the individuals involved. You can’t force individuals to stay together if they don’t want to and if that willingness to stay together is not there, then why?”