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My life as Etiebet’s wife • He’s just 24 years older than me

Posted by By NIKE BAKARE on 2005/06/07 | Views: 2693 |

My life as Etiebet’s wife • He’s just 24 years older than me

Barrister Nike Agunbiade is the woman behind the Miss Tourism pageant in the country. And she’s also wife of the wealthy politician, Chief Don Etiebet, who–wait for it – is 24 years older than her.

Barrister Nike Agunbiade is the woman behind the Miss Tourism pageant in the country. And she’s also wife of the wealthy politician, Chief Don Etiebet, who–wait for it – is 24 years older than her.

But the woman says her husband is only older by just 24 years, and that she enjoys the marriage tremendously.
Why then does she still use her maiden name? It was part of the information in this highly revealing interview.

I’m Barrister Nike Agunbiade, from Oyo State, although I grew up in Osun State, Osogbo. I attended Saint Daire’s Primary School in Osogbo, after that I went to Osogbo Grammar School for my secondary education. For my university education, I went to University of Port-Harcourt between 1985-89 for my first degree. And I had a degree in Creative Arts, Theatre Arts. After which I went for my Masters in 1990-91, in International Law and Diplomacy. Along the line, I did some courses in Journalism, I have a Diploma in Sub-editing and News Writing and Reporting. Some years later, I decided to set up a school, so I have a post-graduate diploma in Education. After which I went back again to the university to study Law.

My father was from Oyo State, and my mum is from Ondo State. I lost my father last year. My father was a polygamist, had four wives. I’m the first child of my mother’s three children.

Growing up in Osun was quite nice for me, my father was a very comfortable man. I attended a private school for my nursery and primary education. For my secondary, I went to a government school, Osogbo Grammar School. The school then was the best secondary school in the state. I could have gone to a Federal Government College. But my father was a very strict disciplinarian. He would not allow me to travel far from home at that age. Even to stay in a boarding house, was impossible. So, I was a day student throughout my secondary school education. I remembered back then, once it’s 2 o’clock, my dad was at my school to pick me and it was like that till I left secondary school. I remember my father wouldn’t even allow me have friends come visit me at home.

I didn’t have the opportunity of going to luncheon parties with my friends. Not until my final year and when I was doing my A’ levels did my father allow my friends come visit me at home. Even then when my friends visited, he insisted that we stay in the living room, because he wanted to hear what we were talking about. He was really strict, he was a Muslim so I grew up as a Muslim. My first name is actually Maryam, my middle name is Nike. But as a kid I preferred to be called Nike. So that was how Nike stuck as my first name and Maryam my second name.

Because my father was so strict, it helped me a lot, in terms of my education. I didn’t have any other pastime apart from reading. Growing up I had to read a lot, my father never minded buying you all the books in the world. I finished my secondary school at the age of 16. ‘And started my A’ levels when I was 16 plus, and I had my first degree at the age of 20. So, that strict aspect helped. But the other aspect of it was that, well, because I wasn’t allowed to mix as a young girl, I was a bit shy. And in fact, when I entered University of Port-Harcourt, I went in to read English. But in my second year I changed to Theatre Arts, because for the first time, I was exposed to seeing a lot of people. I took an elective in Theatre Arts in my year one and I enjoyed it, and I wanted something that will train me to be less shy.
Since I left university after my first degree in Theatre Arts, I never acted for one day. Though I did some television commercials, I did some jingles then on drugs with Fed Amata. Immediately after my youth service, I just went in for my masters. I never acted. I guess it’s because of my shyness.

I went to do my masters in International Law and Diplomacy. I wanted to join the Foreign Service. But along the line, I met my husband while I was studying for my masters in 1990. Immediately I finished my masters, we got married in 1991 and I had my first child in 1992. I went to learn a little bit of computer programming, I did news writing and reporting. I wanted to start a magazine then, but my husband didn’t want me to work at that time. He thought it was better to bring up the kids for some time before going into full time work. At a point, he said it was okay if I wanted to do any business that involves kids. So, I decided to run a school and to do that, I needed to know about how to run a school. So, I went to do a post-graduate diploma in Education, at the University of Calabar, Lagos Campus.

While doing that I started my school, and I decided to start a Ph.D programme in International Law, because I came out with one of the best results in the department. I made over 4 points, so I was given an automatic Ph.D but not without controversy. People queried how could somebody who did not have first degree in Law, have a Ph.D in Law. So, I had to shelve the Ph.D programme after one year.
I went back again to do Law at the University of Lagos and I was called to the bar in 2003. And I also had the best result in my department. I practised law for a while with a law chambers in Lagos. I made my first appearance at the Federal High Court, the presiding judge on that day was Roseline Ukeje. And after that, I decided to do something else for a change and the first thing that came to my mind was tourism. I have been to a lot of countries. I had just come back from Las Vegas. And I saw a whole city thriving on tourism, hotel business and casinos. About 34 million people visit Las Vegas every year. And you can imagine how many millions of dollars they make yearly. And apart from Las Vegas, I went to Arizona, where they have one of the seven wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon. The sight is just breathtaking.

I felt I could go into tourism because I didn’t have that kind of capital to do that kind of tourism, I felt I could have something like Miss Tourism Nigeria, a beauty pageant to promote tourism. Beauty pageant is something I had done before while I was a student in Uniport. I organised Miss Uniport in 1986/87 with some other three guys. We had a club then called GEMINI. I am a GEMINI, so we organised Miss Uniport 1986/87. So, it was an area that I love so, I decided to use this area to promote tourism especially, when there is already an international pageant, Miss Tourism World. In 2004 we were able to do Miss Tourism in practically all the states in Nigeria.

The state we couldn’t, we did mini pageants. And it came out successful, and we had our Miss Tourism Nigeria, November 28, 2004, at the Sheraton Hotel in Abuja. And in January this year we got the franchise for Miss Tourism World. And in February this year, we went for the international pageant which took place in Harare in Zimbabwe. And out of 97 countries that took part in the pageant we took the fourth runner up position. It’s amazing and very encouraging. And since we’ve been back in March, we have been talking about having a magazine to promote tourism in Nigeria, to complement the effort of Miss Tourism Nigeria. . The magazine is just to promote tourism, and on May 12 we launched the magazine at the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs(NIIA). We launched the cool magazine, which is all about tourism and lifestyle in Nigeria.

On ambition
As a young girl I wanted to read Law. In secondary school I was good in Literature and Government studies. And I remembered one of my teachers then used to say to me, ‘I hope when you grow up you read Law.’ So, I wanted to read Law.
In fact, I got an admission to read Law in the university after my secondary school education. I got an admission into University of Benin, but WAEC, did not release my Literature. And Literature in English was a pre-requisite to read Law. So, I had to forfeit that admission, that was why I could not read Law the first time.

On relationship
I wouldn’t say I was a virgin when I met my husband, I had had a few relationships before I met my husband. I was very young when I met my husband, I was 21 years old, and we dated for one year. I am somebody that loses interest in things easily. Although I was young, I used to think like an older person. I found out that, I usually feel they are immature. My level of thinking was high for my age, maybe because I was very close to my father, and I got used to the way he thinks. And when I met my husband, I thought he had some of the qualities I looked for in a man. He is a very intelligent guy, in fact for years I was trying to keep up with him. Whereas the guys I used to go out with, I was expecting them to keep up with me. So, I found him exciting and challenging as a person. So, that was the first attraction for me, and we started dating.

Age has never been a barrier to me, because the age difference between me and my husband is the age difference between my mother and my father. The age difference is just 24 years. The point is, I don’t think age should be a barrier where two people love each other.
The most important thing in life is to be truthful to yourself. For me, I don’t believe that marriage should be based only on physical attraction because that can wear away. You must click with somebody spiritually and otherwise. Some day that person may not look the way you want that person to look and that’s the end of the relationship. But if you are friends, if you have things in common that you can relate to eachother than the way you look, that is more lasting. So, if you say ‘oh because he is older than me, so he’s likely to age faster than me,’ there are so many other things about him that I like that are sustaining me in the relationship.

We’ve been together for 15 years, and if it’s just for looks, am sure after three years that would have waned. He is a very intelligent, compassionate man, he is the most honest person that I know. In fact, he is so honest that sometimes he has got me annoyed. (laughs) You know when someone is so honest to a fault. I mean I can almost say what he can’t and can do. I can vouch for him in a lot of things. For me in a relationship, one has to be honest and loyal. It counts more than any other thing. I don’t like somebody that would be lying to me about things. Your husband should be your friend. We are blessed with three beautiful kids two boys and one girl.

On her names
I answer Barrister Nike Agunbiade as my business name, it is my corporate name. Mrs Nike Etiebet is my private name, so that’s how it goes.
My husband is a very educated man and he knows that it is possible for a wife to want to use a business name. It’s all about branding. As long as I don’t call myself Mrs Nike Agunbiade, that would be wrong. I have been using Barrister Nike Agunbiade since I started my Tourism Nigeria Beauty Pageant. I don’t want to exploit my husband’s name. I want to be me, without having to say I am so, so person’s wife and that is why my business is thriving or not thriving. In my private life, I am Mrs Nike Etiebet, I don’t want my husband’s name or influence to be the reason for this or that happening to my business. I want the business to stand on its own and sustain itself.

On Miss Tourism Nigeria Pageant
The Miss Tourism Nigeria Pageant has been quite challenging. The challenges that I faced (and still do) when I started was getting sponsorship for the pageant. The nature of pageanting is such that it thrives on sponsorship. The funding for my last show came from my private family source. So, this year I am hoping that I can get funding and sponsorship from corporate bodies. Miss Tourism is a corporate thing. A promotional thing and an image thing an organisation would want to be identified with it. And our slogan is ‘Nigeria is coool’. And a corporation that wants to promote an idea that Nigeria is cool, buy Nigeria, Nigerians are hospitable will want to promote Miss Tourism.
Tourism goes beyond travelling for pleasure or for business, tourism is a totality of what a country has to offer, by way of culture, hospitality, recreation and entertainment.

Plans for the future
The future is in the hands of God. By God’s grace we are looking forward to a brighter future for Miss Tourism Nigeria and Cool magazine. We are hoping that by the year 2010, when the whole world will be sharing the 1.5 trillion dollars, that is supposed to accrue to tourism, Nigeria will hopefully partake in it. Because by then Nigeria would have become a tourism destination, where everybody all over the world would want to come to. And all our negative image would have been eradicated.

On her dreams
Yes, absolutely, I am living my dreams. I thank God I am able to live my dreams. Although the sky is not the limit, I would want to own a bank one day.

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Comments (21)

robloxian(Bangor, Maine, US)says...

hahahaha u r a wierdo…hehehe

robloxian(Bangor, Maine, US)says...

wow so bad.


U r weird gus

HonchoKanji(Angus, UK)says...

Wakanda nonsense EFE don't mean "beautiful" in Benin it means "wealthy" or "rich in knowledge"

Afamefune(Isheagu, Delta, Nigeria)says...

Afamefune means, my name will never be lost,

Some fathers name their son that name maybe due to delay in child birth or sign to tell that they name still exist.