Taiwo Hassan was just 26 years old when she got married to famed actor, Muftau Adio Sanni a.k.a Ajigijaga, three years ago, but like the proverbial thief in the night, death cut short her union with the man she refers to as the love of her life.
She speaks on how she met Ajigijaga, the love they shared, the vacuum he left behind, her burden and her call on well-meaning Nigerians to come to her aid as she struggles to take care of the children the late actor left behind. Excerpts…
What is the situation now after your husband’s burial?
Right now, I’m back in my parent’s house. My father is even saying that it’s not good for me to observe this mourning period as a widow in his house. It was my mom that begged him that with time, they’ll know what to be done for me. Now, my children have to feed, and they’ll soon resume school by September. I don’t have any money to take care of them because I’m not working at the moment. I may also put to bed any moment from now. I’m just pleading for assistance because I’m still a young girl. If you give me money now, I will exhaust it with time. I need a job; something that will sustain me for a long time and will enable me train my children to the standard I want. I also need accommodation as well.
Why do you think they asked you to go to your parents’ place?
I think it’s because of my condition as a pregnant woman that my husband’s first born advised me to come and stay with my parents because he may not be able to take care of me as a man. He has his family too and he cannot leave them to come and stay with me.
What were you trained in?
I learnt how to trade in building materials and also how to make candles.
So why did you go into teaching?
There was no money to start a business of my own, and I decided to become a teacher. Moreover, I have 11 years experience in teaching.
Did you go to a Teacher Training school?
Yes, I attended Awori-Egba College of Education, and I graduated with a First Class.
How did you meet the late Ajigijaga?
I was invited to a birthday party by some of my friends, so while the party was about to start, they asked someone to lead the opening prayer and nobody was ready to volunteer. I stood up to pray and he later asked for my name; I told him my name is Taiwo, and he asked of my Kehinde. I told him my Kehinde is late and he said henceforth, he will be my Kehinde. After the party we both exchanged phone numbers. He kept calling me, but I was always busy at work so I didn’t really have time for him. However, he called me one day when I didn’t go to work, and asked to hang out with him somewhere and I agreed. During the time we were dating, he told me he wanted to marry me, I told him I will think about it. Initially, I did not take him serious because I know he’s a celebrity, and I believed that he would have a wife somewhere, so I kept away from him and stopped picking his calls. After some time, I had the opportunity to watch his interview on the television and I was so touched by his story when he said he had seven children but four were dead. He said he was begging God to return just two among the children back to him. Soon after that, he called me again and asked if he should stop calling me, then I told him that I will come and see him. To cut the story short, we got married and then I converted to Islam because I was a Christian before.
Will you return to Christianity now that he is no more?
Not at all. One thing I can do to make him happy is to continue to pray for him, he was very steadfast in his prayers, when he was alive, he never missed his prayers. He was a very religious person, and he had even just finished observing the Ramadan’s fast before his death. The best honour I can give him is to offer prayers to God to forgive him and preserve all that he left behind.
Did your parents support or were against your marriage then?
No, they were not because they knew I liked him, and he liked me too.
Weren’t you bothered about the age difference between you?
No, I was not because he was a very caring man. I’ve had relationships with younger men in the past to no avail. It was death that separated us, if not, it was the best of my life I was having with him. My husband was so caring and loving to all, especially his children.
Will you consider remarriage?
I have no plan to do that. For now, the only thing on my mind is how to take care of my children.
How is your relationship with his other children?
We have a cordial relationship. We relate like we are one family; they come to my place to check on me and they like my kids. Sometimes, some of them even call me to ask for my advice before talking to their dad.
How old is your son?
Jamal is two years old.
I heard your husband was building a house before he died?
No, he has no house anywhere. He was buried in his hometown.
Has any of his colleagues in the movie industry reached out to you?
No, but Uncle Saidi Balogun was here on the day we did the Artistes’ Night in his memory, and he said he will get back to us.
You were with him when he died, can you share what and how it happened?
Yes, I was the only one with him on the day he died. He came back from location that day saying that he was feeling some pains in his ribs and that he had bought some drugs on his way home, so he asked me to make his meal. I went out to get groundnut oil, and when I got back home, I met him on the floor gasping for breath. Moreover, he had recently checked his BLO*D pressure before that day and it was around 120/80 which we were told was okay.