- 2 Hours With TITI MARSHAL At Her IJEBU-ODE Home
Hajia Titilope Opeyemi Fatia is the darling wife of Fuji living legend, King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal, KWAM 1.
They have been married for over 6 years and the love is waxing stronger each day. Hajia Titi is not just one of the popular fabric merchants in Lagos, she has been selling fabrics for over 15 years. Her mum, Alhaja Mosun Mashal, also runs a popular fabric store, M&M fabrics, on John Street, Idumota in Lagos.
Hajia Titi rarely grants interview, but last week, City People’s Assistant Society Editor, ABIOLA ORISILE, was at the Ojusagbola Mansion of KWAM 1 in Ijebu-Ode, a day before the Ojude-Oba festival. She got there a few minutes past 6 pm.
Perhaps, we should describe the compound’s atmosphere first. It is a cozy edifice conducive to boosting romantic mood for the Queen and King of the Ojusagbola dynasty as ‘R&B’ music played in the background. We asked the Queen, Hajia Titi Mashal, the secret of her 6-year marriage to K1. Below are excerpts from the interview.
You are beautiful, how do you treat your skin?
I don’t do much (laughs). I just make sure I use pure organic products.
What is your normal day like?
My day starts at 5.30am every day. The first thing is my Sallat. I never joke with that. After my prayer, I prepare my kids ready for school. Their food has to be packed. I drop my kids in school myself with the driver. There is nothing that gives me joy more than that. I return home to get ready for work. I get to shop as early as 9 am. That is my schedule if my husband is not in Lagos. If he is in Lagos, there is no work for the whole duration he stays at home.
That is a compulsory holiday. Once he is not in Lagos, I get to the office as early as 9 am and the day begins.
Another thing is that your mum sells fabrics and you have followed suit. You went to one of the best schools in the United Kingdom, why fabrics?
Actually, my parents are very educated people and they believe very strongly in their children having the best of education. Right from my young age, despite the fact that my father is a prominent Lagos Islamic Scholar, people had the belief that we were supposed to go to Islamic School, but my father who lived most of his life in Saudi Arabia, always say that if you want peace of mind at your older age, you must brush up your children. Give them the best education and let them be knowledgeable about the word of God. He is always fond of saying, a man who is not knowledgeable may turn out useless. So, my parents’ main focus was on our education.
Can you recall your schools?
I went to the International School of Lagos for my secondary education. As soon as I was done there, I went straight to London. I was in Belabis College for a year for my foundation course. As soon as I was through, I proceeded to Coventry I studied Business Law. I spent 3 years at Coventry University and came back for my NYSC scheme.
After my NYSC scheme, I was ready for Law School, my mum called and said, I was not going to practice Law. They just wanted me to have an education and if I didn’t want to join the business, I could fall back on my certificate. I was pained as I felt my effort of coming out in flying colours was jeopardized. For my parents, it was tough. Imagine when you receive calls saying you must pass. She sat me down and explained, why she wanted me to carry on her legacy. She told me she had been doing the business even before I was born and she wouldn’t let her name die. She mentioned some fabric legends who died with their names.
So, that was how my journey into the business started.
Did you start with fabrics?
No. I didn’t start with fabrics. When I started, my mother gave me a huge sum of money and I went to London, shopping from big boutiques. I was buying from name brands in London and I was selling, making a good profit. I told her I wanted a shop and open the biggest boutique in Lagos. She said you can open a big boutique, but you are not married. She said if I started making good money, I won’t want to have a family.
She insisted she wanted fabric business. You know she is my demi-god. She said I must do what she wants. She took me to the Swiss Embassy and that was how I started.
How long have you been selling fabrics?
I have been selling fabrics for over 15 years.
How long have your parents been married?
For over 40 years and still counting.
What have you learnt from their marriage that has helped your marriage?
Waoh! A lot. They are both God sent to each other. They both can’t do without each other. I always pray to God as a kid to make me have a marriage like theirs and God has been faithful. My husband is one in a million.
My prayer is that Allah spares their lives. I forbid any bad thing happening to them. My mum and my dad are friends. If they disagree this minutes and you think you can talk my dad into your side, the moment my mum comes and says, don’t answer her that is the end of the game. They are too close. They are a good example of what a marriage should be.
Your husband calls you Ope, what do you call him?
My husband, he calls me different names, but I don’t have a particular name for him. I just start talking. We speak English a lot. I speak English to him and he answers me in Yoruba.
What do you like most about your husband, K1?
My husband is nice to a fault. He can also be difficult too. Sometimes, he doesn’t change his mind over some decisions. My husband is so loving. Sometimes, the compliment may be the winner. Very hard working, very loving, very very loving. Highly romantic.
You said your husband calls you different names why?
(Laugh). When my husband calls Opemi, I know he is very happy with me. When he says Titi or Fatia, there is fire on the mountain. Mostly, he calls me Opemi.
Your husband’s kids are always around you, what did you do differently?
Because I love my husband, I love everything that surrounds him. That is the only thing that could bring peace. It is not good for a woman who is supposed to be a mother running other children down for her husband.
That is like crashing the wound. Though I am not an outgoing person, but people sometimes come to me and tell me things. I will never go to their father. I look back at when I was much younger and I had the youthful exuberance.
We have all done similar things with our friends growing up. I have kids too, I have a 12 years old daughter whom I sometimes asked, what you did, is it good, and she would plead. I don’t go on reporting her to people. You must treat other people’s kids as yours. This has helped me a lot.
What is the secret of your 6-year marriage?
Number one, I overlook a lot of things when I mean a lot, I mean a lot. But when I observe anything that doesn’t go well with me, I do ask; I ask questions when I hear things. I communicate with my husband as a friend and not as a wife. When my husband explained things to me, I don’t doubt him. I regard my husband a very honest man and he has told me so many things.
When people want to gossip and come to me, I tell them, he has told me. They will say “haa, he has told her everything, eke ma ni Wasiu yi ke”. You can’t tell me things about my husband, it a capital no. I also don’t give room for gossip.
This morning, I asked him a question and he said it was not true, I asked him did that means the person was lying and he said, ‘yes it is a pure lie’. He said if he was not lying, I have told you the worst things. “I would have told you worst things why would I lie”, and I believed him. My husband is real with me. I believe anything he tells me. Sometimes, he proves it with a call.
Sometimes when people think they can gossip about my husband and we get home and discuss it, we always laugh. We will just make fun of the person.
How do you rest?
I hardly rest, but I rest more with my husband around us.
What is your husband best food?
He loves Eba and Okro.
Does he allow you to cook?
Yes, of course, but he loves cooking. Sometimes, we do it together.