Comedian, Patrick Onyeke, who is popularly known as Mr Patrick and his wife, Tammy, an American accountant, share their love story
How did you meet your husband?
Tammy: We met in South Africa. I was there to attend a convention. While I was there, a colleague asked me to accompany her to a comedy show. At the time, I had no idea who the comedians billed to perform were. Patrick came on stage soon after we arrived the venue. I loved his performance and I began to scream out of excitement. I was glad to see him and told my friend that I had always wanted to meet him. She then met with one of his friends who introduced us.
Did you spot her while you were on stage?
Patrick: No, I didn’t but immediately we were introduced, I fell in love with her warm personality and beauty. We exchanged telephone numbers and have remained inseparable ever since.
Was it love at first sight?
Tammy: Yes, it was. I had always wanted to meet and get married to an African man. So, when I saw him, I just fell in love with him. He has the sweetest smile I have ever seen; he is an amazing man.
Where you single and searching at the time?
Patrick: Yes, I was and I’m glad that we met.
Tammy: I wasn’t looking to getting married when we began dating. I was looking for love and I felt that we would only consider marriage after dating for about four years. In America, people tend to date a lot longer but I guess in Africa, couples get married really quick. God revealed to me that he is my soulmate and was going to be my husband.
How did he propose?
Tammy: We were on an Island for a video shoot and I realised that he had a phobia for water and boats. I was used to being on a boat, as I own one. On our way back, our boat was struck by a strong wave, which caused him to panic. At that moment,he asked the rider to stop the boat. He got down on his knees and proposed to me even though he was already a nervous wreck. He really surprised; we courted for almost a year before we married.
Patrick: I proposed to her when I realised that I was already in love with her. We both have similar thought patterns and actions. These factors made me deduce that we are actually compatible.
Yours is a long-distance marriage. How do you both manage to get by?
Tammy: Sometimes, it gets hard but whenever we are together, we are inseparable. We talk everyday, then we video call each other at least four times a week. We both lead busy lives because of our careers, so it makes things a lot safer. The manner we talk and send messages to each other makes it seem as though we are right next to each other.
Did you deliberately set out to marry a foreigner?
Patrick: I belong to the new generation of Igbo men who aren’t too keen on the tribe or race of a woman. Ours is a classic case of destiny because neither of us made a deliberate effort to get married to each other. I guess time and chance happened to us.
How did you react to the snide remarks that trailed your marriage to an American?
Patrick: People complained, but we have overcome all of that.
Tammy: I was nervous when I arrived Nigeria for the first time because I had been told all sorts of horror stories. When I stepped out of the plane and eventually out of the airport, my life felt at peace for the first time. I had never felt a sense of peace before that time.
Did you have the blessings of your parents from the outset?
Tammy: His family is wonderful; his mother took an instant liking to me and we prayed together when we met for the first time. His folks took me around their home, church, and showed me around. They welcomed me with open arms. My mum is very happy for me because she sees how happy I am and how genuine Patrick is. My husband is wonderful man.
Patrick: Our families are very cordial and my wife is adapting quite fast to the Nigerian culture. She is learning to cook our traditional delicacies, whilst also learning my language. I am also learning the American culture even though they are not as culturally oriented as we are in Nigeria.