•As Wife, MODUPE, Reveals Their LOVE Secrets
Many people don’t know that the marriage of Lanre Ogunlesi, the Sophisticat/Skin Beauty Limited boss, and his wife, Modupe, who is the CEO of Adam & Eve has survived 43 good years. This is because they got married early. Lanre is a social bird who gets invited to all the classy parties in town. This ruggedly handsome fashion icon & PR guru, is now a grandpa. He is handsome & stylish. He is loved by many women on account of his good looks, great fashion statements and style. Don’t forget he is not only a fashion designer, he is very stylish in his ways. His wife is also stylish and classy. But while he is outgoing, his wife is very reserved and very homely. All of those is reflected in her line of business. Not for her all the parties though she attends a few. So, while the wife is an introvert, her husband is an extrovert. The big news is that both turned 65 a few days back. Whilst Lanre turned 66 on 12th January 2019, his wife Modupe turned 66 on 24th September, 2018. The couple held an indoor luncheon party at their Maryland residence for a party. The Luncheon party was preceded by Thanksgiving Mass at Catholic Church of the Presentation GRA, Ikeja.
Recently, she told City People their love story, plus how their marriage has grown from strength to strength. She revealed the secrets of a happy marriage.
How have you kept your love aglow in your marriage?
We have bonded over the years. In my house it does not matter, the first person who wakes up makes coffee. And in the 10 minutes you drink your coffee together, I will just tell him this is what happened yesterday. He will say oh this and that, and that happened to me yesterday also.
He might not cover all the grounds, but at least whatever bothered you badly yesterday he knows. That way you just keep in touch. Because I would get home and I will sleep. He will get home later. So, me time is out of it. My brain is even clogged at night. I just want to sleep. But over coffee in the morning is good, we catch up on each others lives.
So that’s one secret to making marriages work?
Oh yes. It is very important for couples to keep in touch. Love? Yes. They say you fall in love and its fantastic its like a rose garden. If you don’t water it and prune it, it dies. Some roses will fall on thorny ground. Its not going to grow. But for the average one, you have to give it a chance to grow. And that is by just keeping in touch. So that your minds are attuned.
Your marriage has survived the test of time. How have you managed to keep it going for 43 years?
Its funny. Because when you first get married, the children get along. You have less time to yourself. Because one way or the other, the children just keep you running around and nothing rarely trains you for motherhood and being a wife.
I always laugh because when you get married the 1st problem is the food. Then, he will tell you but we had rice yesterday. Okay today I am offering you eba and you say you don’t want eba.
Even planning the menu is a big thing. So you just get thrown into it and you have to cope. So, the 1st few years are like you are running round in a circle, trying to just get the children ready, get the house running. But as you get older you are getting more mature and of course the children too are growing, becoming less dependent on you.
So, women really, talking in the African sense, don’t come into themselves until they are nearing 50, because by then you have learnt how to manage the news, the children are more or less independent. Then you now have time to focus on yourself. But in the years before, you have to have made an effort to make sure you are touching base with your husband.
Because now that you have more time you will now find out that you have nothing in common with him. Because you have ignored him for so long, he has found his own way in life and he has forgotten all about you. So although you live together in the same house, he doesn’t feel you.
Maybe also because I am a clingy kind of person. I am going to do it, but I just like to have your opinion on it. Things like, I will not drive myself. So he has to get me a driver and do a few things for me. Maybe that helps, because that means he has to perform the functions that will not let a stranger perform for me. If I am travelling he had better be there ooo. (Laughs) Generally, I think as a woman, you come into your own when you are nearing 50 because I have more time for myself. The business too takes a lot of time off me, because if you are not there, your vision is not the same.
People don’t see your vision. Its you driving your vision. So over time my husband and I have kept on touching base. Then, we go on holidays together. That one, there is no compromise, because 10 minutes over coffee in the morning does not cover all the basics. We go abroad together and we might spend 2 weeks together. Over time it means you are sounding even better.
Over the years you and your husband have your own fashion styles. For instance, you are both grandpa and grandma, but you don’t look it. You both always look trendy and stylish. How did you evolve a style that works for you?
I don’t know really. My husband and I met in the University of Lagos and we got married as soon as I graduated and then the children came along. But we have always been able to have fun together, not just at a party dancing. But I mean even when there is just 2 of us. We have always been able to relate one on one. I think that is probably one of the reasons we got married early. Because genuinely I think we like each other.
What was that one thing you saw in him then that made you fall for him at the time you did over 3 decades ago?
It is difficult to say exactly one thing or the other. But till today, people see a different L. O. outside. They see him he is smiling, he is sociable, but what they don’t know is that he is one of the most reliable people you can imagine. And he is very, very protective. Those are the things I will say yes had cemented the relationship.
But really to start breaking, him down and taking bits down, its very difficult for me. But he is very reliable and very protective. Those are the 2 real 2 qualities.
It is generally accepted that both Lanre and Modupe Ogunlesi usually throw the best parties – good food, good wine, champagne and A-list attendance. How do you guys do this year in, year out?
I enjoy entertaining. But I am not very sociable, like my husband. And therefore when you make an effort to come to my party I appreciate it because, the reverse, I am not sure I would have been there. So, when people come, I actually really, really appreciate it. When people don’t come, I don’t get angry. I just feel well it was inconvenient or you were tired or something.
You don’t need to apologise really. My husband of course makes much more effort. I just feel if you are there, I don’t need to be there because I am not a night person. At 8 O’clock, I am ready to hit my bed, but then I will ready to hit my bed, but then I will wake up early in the morning. So, when I go for a night party it disrupts my system for about the next 4 days so, if I am out till 12 mid night for the next one week I won’t be myself. So, my husband is a night person, I am a morning person.