Living alone in Nigeria with our kids abroad is not easy — Isaac & Emily Sakpere

Isaac Sakpere to Asabeafrika…’My Children seems not to be interested
in Nigeria at all. I fell ashamed of this country’

Couple of Weeks ago, Engineer Isaac Sakpere a former
Director of Engineering at Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) had
cause to invite friends and well wishers to his Santos Estate, Dopemu Lagos
(South West Nigeria) home as one of his sons Patrick Brume Sakpere (a civil Engineer) and his British Ugandan wife, Milva all based in London gave birth to
twins on May 14, 2016.  The two boys were
named Samson Ovie Sakpere (younger
one) and David Oba Sakpere (Older

Their arrival brought the number of the septuagenarian’s grand children
to 9. Engineer Sakpere is blessed
with 8 kids (5 men and 3 ladies) all the boys are Engineers while among the
ladies there is doctor, a lawyer and an undergraduate pharmacist presently
studying in Ukraine.  However, the 75 years old Sakpere is thankful to God and his 56
years old wife Emily for making it
possible for all his children to be raised in a mobile society like the United Kingdom. Sakpere has just one fear living with him ‘My Children don’t want to have anything doing with Nigeria’. He
shared this fear with your Africa’s Number 1 Celebrity Encounter blog, Asabeafrika during our encounter with
him inside his Dopemu-Lagos- home.
His beautiful wife and international business woman, Emily Sakpere equally shared the secret of their 44 years marriage
with Asabeafrika. It is an
interesting interview you will love to read. Enjoy

Isaac & his Emily; Marching into Grace after 44 years of Love and affection’

Why I married one woman
We started
by asking  the Delta State born Civil
Engineer who built 70% of infrastructures across several Nigerian Airports
during his tenure as Director of Engineering of FAAN to tell us the secret of sticking
to one woman for 4 decades without being tempted to take a second wife despite
his riches. He answered our question like this “I think apart from what God want us to do,  the Nigerian circumstance would make you feel
that it is sensible and economically wise to have one wife. If we know what marriage
is all about, why do you want to marry two wives?”
the septuagenarian asked
with a stern look on his face. He went into what looked like a lecture to this blogger
Sex is not a thing of interest. It is
something created by God for procreation. It is not for child’s play. Sex is
not for boys, it is for men. You get to a level in life when you now say ‘oh, I
am now old enough to be a father?’ ‘Take a wife’. Get a wife. You marry; you
have your own children. Because the evil you do to people’s children will be
done to your own children as well. It is a reality”.

The GDA with Chief (Mrs.) Emily Sakpere

How I married my wife Emily
Sakpere who narrated how he met and fell in
love with his wife, Emily in 1971 said Nigeria was still in good shape at the time
he married his wife  “I was just leaving Secondary School at the time and I was about to
move to Lagos to study Engineering. I lost my dad at age 6 and my dad’s younger
siblings took care of me. My father was good to them, so they extended the love
to me. Even though I was almost an orphan but they took me under their wings
and made sure I amount to something in life. Life was not really easy as at the
time but I took the courage to survive and succeed in life. I met my wife
through a distant family member. I think her father who is a famous Cocoa
Produce merchant just passed away around that time and she was handed over to a
distant cousin. And the man they gave this girl (Emily) to raise, the first
wife of the man happens to be my own sister. So, we just got married by
accident. Not that we planned it”.

Emily & Isaac Sakpere during the wedding of one of their daughters

God gave me Emily…
On what he
meant when he said ‘We got married by accident’, the Canada trained Civil
Engineering guru said “I think God had a
hand in the marriage because I was too serious to even think about making my
next decision to be marriage as at then. I was thinking of my education. I was
studying towards getting a scholarship to go and study abroad, but my guardians
thought it wise for me to marry before leaving home. So, when I grew up to a
level and I said ‘I now wanted to marry’ it was like ‘who do you want?’ and
because she was around, she was young and innocent; they said ‘take her’. That
was how we got married”.
Sakpere added a clincher to his
submission “I have not left Secondary
school when I met Emily. I left
secondary school in 1961 and I got married to her in 1971. So, it has been only
her ever since”

Chief (Mrs.) Emily Sakpere to Asabeafrika…’I now God God is still on my side as my son gave me twins as grand kids’

 What has changed with
me at 75?
Sakpere shared the experience of what life
has taught him at 75 with Asabeafrika “I am 75 years now because I was born in 1941. Well, things that have
changed are not too much. I never used to go out that much. I never used to go
to parties that much. It is not part of my life. So, I have not changed much. I
love to be at home with my family until they started leaving for London one by
one. So, I now have the house to myself and my wife Emily”

(Mrs) Emily Sakpere to Asabeafrika…’Every Couple must use love and
tolerance to wither the storm of life in their marriages’

How my kids deserted me for UK
When it came
to the question of how he felt with his kids living abroad, the Engineer was
nearly moved to tears as he regretted the collapse of morals in a society that
gave him his own bearing “You see this
country is scattered”
Sakpere opened up with sadness
written all over his face and regrets playing on his tongue. Gbenga,
this country wasn’t like this before. When I was in the secondary school in the
1960s, this country was great and was on a path of greatness. My children went
to London, listen o. I am telling you this story because you are one of us. My
children started leaving for London one after the other. I was in a position
(Director at FAAN) and the song was ‘London-London-London’. Everybody wanted to
go to London and I said ‘Ok, go on holiday’. My wife had a sister in London and
they used to take her along. So, when her own children grew up, they wanted to
go to London as well. ‘Go, go and spend your holiday and come back’ but they
never wanted to come back again. They didn’t want to come back. I have been
begging them since graduation to return home but they won’t listen to me. They
are engineers; all of them are engineers except the girls. All the boys are
engineers (5 boys, 3 girls) electrical, civil and mechanical engineers. They
are all qualified. ‘Ok, come back home and practice but they wouldn’t want to.
It saddens my heart that this country has disappointed her citizen. It saddens
me that my own children are afraid to leave in their own father’s country. It
saddens my heart that another country is giving my children what Nigeria ought
to have given them. It is a pity”

Engineer Isaac Sakpere to Asabeafrika…’I never planned to marry when i married Emily’

How I reacted when my first son went
to London
Did Engineer
complained when his children started showing interest in
visiting and living abroad? “I am a
trained man, why do I have to complain? They go on holiday and they must come
Sakpere replied. He continued. “Well, I felt a little unhappy because I wanted to train my children
here.  I wanted to see them grow under my
roof. So, I was a little bit unhappy. Now, the second one saw the first one go
and never return and he also wanted to go to London. So, it was now a vicious
cycle.  They all started leaving and once
they leave and started studying, they don’t ever want to come back again”. “I
remember the first time my wife took my first son abroad, it was to be a
holiday trip but she returned alone claiming the boy refused to follow her back
as he would love to study and practice abroad. I was very livid with her. In
fact, I nearly took decision to dissolve our marriage but God took control. I
think her late mother came and personally appealed to me to let it be. So, I
let it be. We enrolled him in school over there and before we knew it, it
became a culture. Immediately after their secondary school education here, they
move abroad and that was how we raised 5 engineers, one Doctor, one lawyer and
the last girl is now studying pharmacy. I can see their argument but I am not
happy they are not here with us”

Engineer Isaac Sakpere to Asabeafrika…’Mariage to me is strictly for procreation’

Will Sakpere appreciate the return of
his kids to Nigeria at this moment?
The question
nearly brought tears to Sakpere’s eyes but he answered all
the same “Why not? I would have
appreciated it; I would have somebody to look after me. We are building this
structure for them (Pointed to a new structure he is erecting inside his
compound). I am building this one for them not because I am looking for rent. I
built it for the children so that when they come home, they can go and stay
there. I want them home but I also understand their worldview that they are
living in a society where everything works”

Engineer Isaac Sakpere’s Neighbours felicitating with him over his grand twins kids

Why I love Ebenezer Obey
If there is
one Nigerian musician Engineer Sakpere so much love passion,
that person is Juju music icon, Commander now Evangelist Ebenezer Obey
(MFR) At the occasion of christening his twins grand kids in
Lagos, the official music played by the Deejay and personally monitored by Sakpere
himself is Commander Ebenezer Obey’s ever green songs. We asked him why he
loves Obey despite the fact that Sakpere does not understand Yoruba
language. Hear him “I love this man (Obey) like my father”.Yes, I am not a Yoruba but I have a friend, Oyesola
from Abeokuta, we got together to know Ebenezer
. We used to attend his big parties and all his shows as at then. I
just love him. I wish instead of him dying, I should die”.

Daddy & Mummy with some Well-Wishers during the naming ceremony of Brume’s twins in Lagos

Why I want to die for Ebenezer Obey
When Sakpere
said his love for Ebenezer Obey is beyond comprehension and that he is willing to
die for the Juju music maestro if need be, we asked why and this is  the septuagenarian’s  honest response “Because I have lived in this world I have seen everything I need to
see, there is nothing more.  Instead of Ebenezer Obey to die, let me die. I
love that man. His songs are just too inspiring. Most of the songs, I don’t
hear them o. I don’t even know the meaning. They translate them to me. My
friend Oyesola used to translate
them to me and we love this man, we love this man (Obey) too much”. So, why
didn’t Sakpere engage Obey to wax an album to his name like
many celebrities of his time did? His answer; “We didn’t grow that big. We
didn’t grow that big; we would have engaged him to do that. We really love

Some Pictures of Grand Children of Isaac & Emily Sakpere abroad

How I lived with my husband for 44
Emily Sakpere
This blog
equally spoke to Engineer Sakpere’s wife, Emily on the secret of her 44 years
romance with the Engineer and she shared the secret with us verbatim “The secret of my marriage is patience.
Marriage is not just about love, because when you marry your husband in the
first two, three to four years, it is love that will work for you. But after
love, patience is the next tool because the man may do some certain things you
may not like and if you don’t have patience you will just quit the marriage. But
because I have patience, that is why you still see me with Daddy today and I
always advise my children too, to study me and Daddy (Her husband) without
Patience, me and daddy wont be together. We would have been separated and we
might have become single parents”.

Isaac and Chief (Mr.) Emily Sakpere with their first son, Engineer Tej
Sakpere on a recent home visit from London where he works

How I feel about my grand kid twins
Speaking on
the arrival of her grand kid twins, Emily Sakpere said she is the
happiest woman on earth “I feel happy and
I feel successful because God has given me twins for the first time through my
son. I love twins but I never had the privilege of having twins through out
when I was having my children. So, with this I know God is on my side, God is
with me and God is great by giving me twins as grand kids”.

Some Private Staff of Engineer Isaac Sakpere sharing the good moments of becoming a GradPa twins with him at home

How I received the news
Emily said the news of her son giving
birth to twins came as a big surprise to her “When I heard that my daughter-in-law has put to bed, that she
delivered twins and that the two of them are boys. I said ‘thank God o, God
remember me for giving me twins because I have been praying to have twins but I
didn’t make it (She has 8 kids-5 men and 3 ladies). All my years of raising
children, I tried to have one, thinking God will give me a set of twins but
that never happen until my son now gave me twins. So, I am happy. I am very
happy. My son has a daughter as his first child and today, he has two boys at a
go. God is marvelous”

Chief (Mrs.) Emily Sakpere…’I never let the disturbance of my husband by young ladies bother me when he was Director at FAAN’

Advice for my son & his wife
Emily gave her piece of mind to her son Brume
and his wife, Milva “The advice I will
give them especially the wife is that they should have patience. Brume should love Milva that is number one because if you don’t love your wife, even
if you give your wife money, the money is nothing. The wife on the other hand
must be tolerant because men will always offend their spouses. They offend
their wives twenty four hours. They will tell their wives all sorts of things
including lies and if the woman is not tolerant, she will run away. That is why
you see so many families having divorcees, we have single mothers and many
frustrated parents all over Nigeria. Why? Because we don’t have patience but if
you have patience you won’t lose your marriage, you won’t become a divorcee.
Patience allows you to see things differently and tackle them differently. With
patience, your marriage will last”

Chief (Mrs.) Emily Sakpere speaks with the GDA on her love for twins and how she feels being a Grandma of Twins

Why I married my husband despite age
On why Emily
agreed to marry her husband Isaac despite age difference between
the two, she replied “Yes, we were very
young at the time and men had their ways of getting ladies along at that time,
they will say ‘oh, if you marry me you will enjoy. I will do everything for
you’. In his own case, he used to cook for me. Before I return from any outing,
he would have made food for me. Yes, we married quite early because he was just
leaving high school in 1971 when we rolled the tape. He was a young up and
coming engineer and all eyes were on him but he was not on all eyes (Laughter)
because he chooses Emily. So, he
will cook my meal. He later got a scholarship to study engineering at New Foundland, Canada and even in Canada
he will baby seat and take care of the baby whenever I go out shopping. When I
return he will say ‘Emily, I have bathed for the baby already. I have showered for
the baby. I have fed the baby’ because the feeding bottle and other utensils
are always there and my husband will prepare the baby’s food and feed the baby.
I think he was an all round man. He dealt with me compassionately and that was
why I loved him and stood in the marriage with him”.

Chief (Mrs.) Emily Sakpere to Asabeafrika…’Tolerance is the biggest weapon in marriage after love’

How I managed women who run after my
Was there
anytime Emily’s marriage to Isaac was threatened and how did she
succeeded the trauma? “That is why I told
you initially that patience is the bedrock of any lasting marriage. Let me give
you an example, when you see a car now and you are admiring the car. You love
the car, you desire to have that car, let’s say a Rolls Royce or Lincoln
or any of those cars that glides, you put in the pressure to work
for the money and you now buy the car. The moment you acquire that car, that
old passion to own it disappears and that is how a woman is with her husband. I
told you earlier that in the first four years of marriage, you might still be
in a honey moon atmosphere but immediately the kids starts coming and reality
starts to hit you, tolerance will be the next instrument that will keep the marriage
going. Love has taken you guys from the campus or street or work place into your
respective homes but tolerance will be the next vehicle that will keep you going
for the rest of the journey. I am not saying don’t love, please, love because
even without love you cannot tolerate. Tolerance takes you miles away from
noticing each other’s short comings. Now, when my husband was the Director of
Engineering, FAAN, he had women who
admired him simply because he was a gentle man who was in the limelight. I
understood that fact and I never let it get to me. Some of those ladies will
even phone me and say ‘hey, we are Daddy’s girl friend o’ and I will
just say ‘Congratulation’. That is
it. I can’t be bothered because I have no issues with them. I have the issue
with my husband and he will always come back home to me. That is the patience I
am talking about and when he returns home, he will say ‘Hen, when I leave home, you will carry phone and be phoning women all
over the place and calling them my girl friend’
and I will say ‘thank you sir’. And it is the girl
friend that called me to insult me not the other way round o. So, it is the
same patience, not love because if you don’t love you will quit. So, patience
is very powerful. Love will do the work at the early stage of your marriage but
patience will take you to the very end of the journey”

(Mrs.) Emily Sakpere with her husband, Engineer Isaac Sakpere in a pose
with her younger brother, Actor Richard Mofe Damijo & wife, Jumobi

How we raised our 8 kids…
On how Emily
and her Isaac were able to raise 8 successful kids, she told us the
full story “Raising kids was fun and at
the same time challenging”
Emily noted. She spoke further “The difference was the fact that I have an understanding
husband who loves to share house chores with me. He loved his kids
passionately. I was into business while he was an aviation engineer. If he
returns home before me he will help the children to prepare their food. In
fact, at times, he will be the one to go and pick them at school. That was when
he has not taken higher responsibilities. In the early moments of our marriage,
he was doing that before we became bigger and we engaged house helps. I think
the secret was that we rationed our activities. He who returns first cooks the
meal. It was fun then because a lot of people used to wonder how a man will go
to that extent to show love to his family. But to us, it was normal and I can
say that is one of the secrets of our 44 years marriage. He loves his children
just the way I love them and he does not boss me around. He appreciated the
fact that raising a home is a joint effort. That really helped me”

Engineer Isaac and Chief (Mrs.) Emily Sakpere blessed with twins as Grand Children

How I handle the loneliness of having
my kids abroad
So, how does
cope living with her husband in Nigeria with all their kids scattered in
Europe? “I cope because there are certain
things I have put in place that is aiding my life style here. For instance, I
have house helps here who do things for me. I have stewards, I have mai-guards
and I have a driver that drives me around. My children choose to live in that
society. They choose to live in a society where things work and I cannot blame
them for that. From time to time I do travel to help their wives take care of
new babies. I just returned from one recently before this my son gave birth to
twins. That keeps me busy. I don’t feel lonely. 
Anytime I feel lonely I just buy ticket and take the next available
flight to London to see them. For my husband, he is an introvert. Since he
retired he has been more of a home person except anytime his ideas are needed
by any government parastatal. He is in his 70s and I am in my late 50s. Once in
a while we do travel together to see our children and grand children. He does
that once in a very long while but for me, I can’t afford to be too far from
them. Not even now that they are raising their own children. I have to always
be with them to render my service as a grand ma”.

Chatting with Engineer Isaac Sakpere

Me & my foreign in-laws…
Three of her
boys are married to foreigners with one of them marrying a Saudi Arabian
Princess, how her relationship with the families? “Cordial” Emily replied before going into details
“Yes, one of them married from Saudi Arabia, the other ones married British citizens, the one who just
delivered is a British born Ugandan.
I will say it is a very interesting experience. It is called intra-cultural
marriage.  Whenever I go to see them,
they are really, really happy. In fact my in-laws are very lovely people, especially
those from Saudi Arabia and the
British ones. They are very enlightened and universal in their disposition. My
daughter in-laws do tell me that they prefer Nigerians even than Ghanaians. So,
I was surprised hearing that and I was equally happy. I have gotten nine grand
children from them. I am fulfilled”.

Blogger Gbenga Dan Asabe with the Sakperes during a recent home visit
by their son, Engineer Tej who is based in the United Kingdom

What you should do if your kids live
Emily as if turning herself into an
advocate for Parents living with kids spread across the world gave a final
advice to parents who find themselves in her shoe “For people of my age, If your children lives abroad and you live here,
make sure you have somebody you trust around you, either a steward, a driver or
a nanny to keep you busy. With that, you won’t miss them. But if you don’t have
anybody around you, and you are living alone it is better you go and join your
children abroad. Because without joining them and you living alone without
having someone to keep you busy here, I don’t think you will stay more than two
or three more years before you die because you will feel lonely and you will
feel left behind”.

Chief (Mrs.) Emily Sakpere….’My husband made our marriage work by helping me with house chores’

Daddy and Mummy wth their first son, Engineer Tej Sakpere when he came home visiting from London recently
Engineer Isaac Sakpere to Asabeafrika…’Emily is the best woman i married. I love her because she caresfor me’
One of Baba, Engineer Isaac Sakpere’s staff playing with him on the day of the naming ceremony
The GDA meets Engineer Isaac Sakpere at home


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