Celebrity photographer and media entrepreneur, Yomi Black and his wife, Lizzy talk about what makes their union tick in this interview
How long have you been married?
Yomi: We have been married for about 17months.
Could you relive the circumstances of your first meeting?
Yomi: We met in 2007 on the set of a reality show. I remember that the media had published stories about us, alleging that we were already dating but the truth is that we were just close friends.
Lizzy: We met at the boot camp of the reality show. He walked past me and I recognised the fragrance of the lotion he was wearing. I told him, and he laughed hard. That was how we began talking.
Was it love at first sight?
Yomi: For me, it was love at first sight. Lizzy is very beautiful.
Lizzy: No, it was not. Initially I disliked him because I thought he was arrogant.
What attracted you to each other in the first place?
Yomi: Her beauty; I was amazed to see a beautiful girl at a business show instead of a fashion or beauty show. That told me something about her.
Lizzy: I was attracted to his confidence. Later, I got to know he was not arrogant but confident.
How long did you woo her, and was it a difficult chase?
Yomi: We had a special connection from day one, but if you must know, I was the one pretending to be difficult at first, it was part of strategy I employed in wooing her. I loved Lizzy from day one.
When did you start taking him serious and what were those things you saw that convinced you that he was for real?
Lizzy: I only started taking him serious after he introduced me to his family nine months after we met. He also persuaded me to drop my other suitors. I realised that he is honest, real and possesses leadership and visionary qualities.
How long did you date before deciding to settle down?
Yomi: We were friends for one year and then dated for more than three years before we got married.
Were you expecting him to propose when he did?
Lizzy: I was not but I knew he wanted us to get married because he had talked about it a few times but I did not take him serious. I had thought we would just pick a date and get married because he was not a romantic person. It was after he proposed I started seeing the romantic side of him.
How did he propose?
Lizzy: It was at Oriental Hotel where we went to have dinner. Everything was normal until the waiter came with our orders, and stood there looking at us. I found this odd and then Yomi started talking about how much he loved me and then brought out the ring. It wasn’t elaborate but it was beautiful.
In what ways have you both adjusted to married life?
Yomi: I had to learn to be more caring, disciplined and above all, understanding.
Lizzy: I have to cook more now even when it’s not convenient for me. I can’t go anywhere I want without his permission and I make a conscious effort to look good and sexy all the time. Once you are married, the temptation to be nonchalant about your looks is always there.
What do you love most about each other?
Yomi: That’s a difficult question, because there is so much to love about Lizzy, but I love the fact that she understands me more than anyone I know.
Lizzy: What I love about Yomi the most is his balanced nature. He knows what to do, say and how to act almost all the time. In addition to these, he has matured into a better version of himself over the years.
What would you like to change about each other?
Yomi: I am not sure I would change anything because it’s the good and bad sides of her that makes me excited. I don’t want a boring, perfect wife.
Lizzy: I agree with Yomi but I wish he could stop throwing his socks and shoes all around the house.
What are some of the challenges you face as a couple and how do you handle them?
Lizzy: Yomi and I are very positive people, we see challenges as projects to finish. We identify them and work towards solving them.
When you disagree, who is the first to apologise?
Yomi: I always apologise first. Once I can make her laugh, the matter is settled.
Lizzy: We have arguments that sometimes last the whole day. Over time we have learnt to deal with it .We learnt that when the other person does something you don’t like or something that hurts you, your first reaction shouldn’t be an outburst of accusations, it should be silence. After that, you could go somewhere to calm down.
How do you spice things up in your marriage?
Yomi: We love to travel and that is just what we indulge in.
Lizzy: We either acquire a new skill; start a new project or travel. It has to be something that gets us excited so much that we can talk about it endlessly.
How do you handle money matters?
Lizzy: Since Yomi is the bread-winner and makes more money than I do, he has the responsibility of taking care of major bills, like rent, travelling and others, while I take care of home maintenance, feeding, leisure and personal effects. Also, because we are business partners, the business account takes care of all matters relating to the business.
What are the pet names you have for each other?
Yomi: On my Blackberry, her name is Habibat (that’s Arabic for my beloved.)
Lizzy: Sometimes I call him baby but most times I call his name. On my phone he is “The Phantom’’, which depicts his uniqueness. I also call him Habibi which means my love.
What advice would you give to intending couples?
Yomi: Just marry your friend and develop a relationship that works for both of you.
Lizzy: Marry for the right reasons and only when you are sure you are ready. Marry someone that respects your opinions, you as a wife and as an individual.
Apart from being his wife, what else do you do?
Lizzy: Being Yomi’s wife is a full time job but I am also a bridal entrepreneur. I plan weddings events, serve as a counsellor and consultant to new brides. I also sell wedding gowns, bridal wears and accessories online.