L-R: Dr. (Mrs) Vinolia Dagogo Fubara and HRH Prof Dagogo Fubara sharing a moment of mirth at an event – Secret of a happy marriage
National Point’s Team of Reporter, Lorine Emenike and Managing Director, Ms. Ibiba DonPedro spent some time with Prof Dagogo Fubara, Emeritus Professor of Geodesy and a traditional ruler in Opobo Kingdom, Rivers State, Dappaye Amakiri XV111 discussed on a lighter note and got the respected Prof to give a hint of the secret of his happy marriage to his wife of 57 years, Dr. Vinolia Sotonye Fubara. Prof Fubara was Chairman Electoral Committee which recently delivered a successful election widely considered free and fair during the Ijaw National Congress in April, 2021.
On your happy marital life of 57 years
First of all, we just have to give God all the glory because we couldn’t have made it this far without God. But a number of things that the young people should know. The bible says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing” Now finding begins with searching, diligent searching before you find. I have to give all the credit to my father (late), he advised me. The one that relates to marriage has to do with first, he said I should marry early so I don’t spend my youthful days playing around like he did, because he didn’t marry early.
He didn’t have a child until he was 43 years old. So he told me I should marry early. But then, he said you must look well. However, to tell you how serious the man was in secondary school because I was at the Government College Umuahia, I was a sports man I played all games cricket, hockey, soccer and I was a musician. I played the keyboard so I did a lot of things that people appreciated me including the girls and those days were the days people just socialized and wrote love letters with big grammar. Now each time my friends came and left, (boys and girls use to come), my father will call me, “Gogo that girl” he will describe the girl’s look and he will ask, “Who is the father, who is the mother? What does the father/mother do?
My father kept asking me those questions. So, one day I was curious I said, Papa all those who come here for meeting you always single out to ask about the girls, you never asked about the boys. You have so many wives and concubines you start looking at these girls to ask.
And what did your father say?
My father told me to look well before marrying and to marry a girl from a good pedigree. My wife did something that made me believe she loved me. One day, when I was in the university she was in secondary school, on my birthday back in those days, she sent an embroidered handkerchief to me via mail. With these gesture of her I made up mind that she will be the one amongst three girls around me then that I will marry.
When I was doing a vacation job at Shell (SPDC), we had a party at Shell Residential Area. So, I went along with her to the party and I introduced her as my fiancée to one of my boss. We got married in 1963.
Shell paid my wife £60 while I was away in England until they parcelled her to me. Then, she was training as a teacher. We got married in London in 1964,When I finished in London Shell arranged for us to go to U.S.A to do a Masters and PhD.
She is nee Peterside, She got her PhD in Canada. We have seven children and 16 grandchildren, Five of our grandchild are doing graduate studies in the United States of America, U.S.A.
She was a lecturer at the University of Port Harcourt, Now, she works at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital. I am 83 years old now.
The secret of staying together and happy in an age of impatience and easy divorce?
Ephesians 5:21. The bible says both men and women should be submissive to the Lord and that is the secret of our marriage. For those who are married or want to get married, they should focus on what the Lord says. We should allow the word of God to regulate our decisions and we should spend our time reading daily and studying the word of God together.