Wednesday, 4th October 2023
Breaking News:

Hello love, it’s all over!

By AbduRafiu
28 April 2023   |   1:30 am
The collapse of marriages of iconic figures and celebrities, influential people who stand tall before international or national gaze can’t but be sensational. Words immediately go round, first in whispers: Have you heard? It is the latest in town.

Achraf Hakimi

The collapse of marriages of iconic figures and celebrities, influential people who stand tall before international or national gaze can’t but be sensational. Words immediately go round, first in whispers: Have you heard? It is the latest in town. It’s news flash; it is breaking news. In cases the story is too sensitive, the tale bearer would quickly add: “Do not say I told you!” Oh, sorry, Dear Reader, that was decades ago, within our frontiers. That was before the advent of the ubiquitous modern technology which bans forever our having regularly to go through NITEL to reach our neighbour next door. The language today is, “It has gone viral.” So was it that this story below announced its arrival in my gadget we all call Cell Phone. Nearly every child brandishes one before our gaze. The world, Time Magazine once said, is wired. Now follow me to the stadium to catch Achraf Hakimi and his wife. It is not to watch a match between them but to listen to their sensational story, which in part was on Wednesday night debunked by Hakimi’s mother.

‘Footballer Achraf Hakimi’s wife filed for divorce and demanded half of his property. She was, however, informed by court that her ‘millionaire’ husband owns nothing as all his property is registered under his mother’s names.

Hakimi receives $1 million from PSG monthly but 80 per cent of this is deposited in his mother Mrs. Fatima’s account. He has no property, car, houses, jewelry or even clothes in his name. Anytime he wants anything, he asks his mother who buys it for him.’

Hakimi’s mother said: “I wasn’t aware Hakimi registered his wealth in my name.” The kernel of my contemplation I am sharing is not so much about the claims but about the break-up of marriages of celebrities, but the eye-brow they raise as well as why marriages collapse and the aftermaths. Such a break-up readily becomes a subject of gossip, side-talks and backbiting capturing headlines because celebrities are regarded as special people; the multitude want to behold them, want to touch them. They want them to autograph their shirts, jerseys or their books as the case may be. They are looked upon as exemplary, special people setting tones and agenda for the society. So when there is parting of ways with their spouses, it is shocking to the point of unbelievability. Sometimes, stories about marriage break-up and its aftermath around it are not only shocking but bizarre.

In some cases, the couple becomes mortal enemies. In parts of the Western World where life is short and brutish, couples are known to have killed themselves, the man pulling the trigger or the wife firing her husband. It is an age-long phenomenon and down the years, the divorce rate is getting worse.

Online publication, world population quoting the United States’ National Centre for Health Statistics, says that about 4-5 million tie the nuptial cords every year. In that country and between 42 and 53 per cent of the marriages end in divorce. According to the United Nations report, the Island of Maldives has the highest divorce rate in the world. When the rate hit 10.97 per cent in 2002 it entered the Guinness Book of Records. There, any proven case of infidelity ends in divorce. The country is followed by Kazakhstan with 4.6 for every 1,000 people. Next is Russia, 3.9; then Belgium 3.7; same as Belarus. In the United States, Nevada has the highest rate of any state at 14 per cent. The country with the lowest rate of divorce is Sri Lanka with 0.15 divorce cases per 1,000 persons.

The divorce rate is, however, not the subject of today’s contemplation, but the meaning of an event that represents a watershed in every participant’s life, although meant for good, but in many cases it ends up ill-fated. At this conjuncture, the mind can’t help racing to the 2021 sensational divorce of the Gates—Bill and Melinda French Gates and that of Elizabeth Taylor in the 70s. Film Icon Elizabeth Taylor was married eight times and divorced seven times. Pursued unrelentingly by the Press that described her as a paragon of beauty, she could not help becoming so conscious of her natural endowments, yet caring. She was married to Richard Burton twice. The first marriage hardly lasted a year when it collapsed in 1974. They reconciled but soon after they tied the bond again in 1975; but the marriage headed for the rocks once more in 1976. Her seventh and final marriage was to Larry Fortensky, a construction worker. When Fortensky had a domestic accident and was gravely injured to the point of incapacitation, even though they had divorced, she was paying him $1, 000 a month as of 1996. Before she died in March, 2011, she bequeathed $825, 000 to him.

The disintegration of the union of the Gates sent shock waves round the world. A family law attorney, Janet George, said of the break-up: “They’re probably about the biggest divorce imaginable.” In a terse joint statement announcing their divorce, Melinda French and Bill Gates, software pioneer said:

“Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives.

“We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the Foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in the next phase of our lives. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.” BBC online added, quoting the pair’s tweet: “After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage.”

Their daughter, Jennifer Gates, 25, wrote movingly on Instagram as it often happens in a family in a turn of events of this nature in a family thought cohesive: “It’s been a challenging stretch of time for our whole family. I’m still learning how to best support my own process and emotions.”

Bill Gate is 67; he was 65 at the time and Melinda 56. She is 58 this year. BBC online reported Melinda Gate as saying that she found Bill methodical it seems even in matters of the heart—writing a list on whiteboard with ‘pros and the cons of getting married. They got married in 1994 on the Hawaiian Island of Lanai. They jointly run the Bill & Melinda Foundation. Bill Gate is reputed to be the fourth wealthiest person in the world, according to Forbes. He is worth 124 billion US Dollars. Melinda received 76 billion US Dollars as her farewell share of their fortune. She also received all the firm’s shares in Coca-Cola Femsa said to be a Mexican distributor, worth about 130 million US Dollars.

Some commentators have described the action of the footballer as smart. With his mother saying she was not aware that Hakimi registered his wealth in her name we are left with a conjectural scenario and the busy-bodies want to enlist the unsuspecting world in what now seems a tricky, and worse, a blackmailing business. But then, we can look at the scenario critically until the picture gets clearer and ask: Supposing it was true, how would it have sounded? Would it have been fair to the wife and their children? I have two esteemed colleagues on The Guardian Flagship platform to thank for their enlightenment with such enthralling grasp of the issues—one living in the United States and the other a lawyer living in Lagos with considerable familiarity with the nature and attitude of celebrated sportsmen, athletes and footballers and what fortune they amass and the women swarming around them like bees around honey! The colleague in America says: “If the story is true, people are applauding deception and criminality. Hiding assets in divorce proceedings is criminal in most Western world…I do not see a judge simply accepting that he gifted everything to his mother; so there is nothing for her and her children.

The former colleague, now a lawyer, says that footballers’ marriages are unique. They should not be used to judge normal divorce cases. Footballers receive humongous pay per week and thus become targets of ladies who figure out how they can clean them out upon divorce. Even though it may not be true in all cases, pre-nub agreements being the curb, the colleague enlightens the platform, Hakimi may have learnt from the experiences of his former colleagues such as Emmanuel Eboue of Cote D’Ivoire who literally lost everything and almost slipped into depression!

Those who are aware of the enormity of Mr. Bill’s wealth are fixated on other areas of his treasures and wonder how much more will go to Melinda French Gates. She, too, it is speculated is expecting more. There are mansions and private jets, vast tracts of land and huge investments in corporations as well as private businesses. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—the biggest philanthropic organisation is there. That alone is worth 49 billion US Dollars while Microsoft worth is put at 26.6 billion US Dollars and public investments, 50 billion Dollars. One of the mansions is a sprawling 130 million US Dollars lakefront property.

This secular angle is necessary with which to start the conversation to induce reflection: What could be going through the minds of many a woman? Certainly not a few must greening with envy, wanting to be in Melinda Gales’ shoes!

As I did state in February, we cannot understand marriage as a natural and, living concept unless we solve the riddle of why man and woman have always and will forever appeal to and desire each other; why every girl dreams of ending in the loving arms of a man, and a man seeking to bask in the aura of a worthy woman who will drive him out of his mind, to whom he would surrender as his teacher, guide and nurse. And companion. We cannot understand the cause the travails prevalent in the world today without first seeking knowledge the Lord Christ promised would lead to further Truths—the higher knowledge that answers all questions of life and existence, all without exception. Beaming In The Light of Truth, it awakens true humanity in all men who open its portals for Its Rays. In other words, adopting a holistic approach to life is what will help. It should be a state of affairs that recognizes man as a fruit of Nature and that one uniform Law pervades and rules the entire universe. By this Law, sodium and chlorine unite as if in a wedlock, under certain circumstances, to form sodium chloride, our familiar table salt. It is in the same vein that hydrogen and oxygen unite to form water. Something is evident here. The uniting factors are of different nature. Science designates sodium as positive ions and chlorine as negative ions; hydrogen as positive and oxygen as negative. In the end we find that what science demonstrates to us is that these are split parts of a species seeking union for fuller value of existence.

The question then predictably arises: By this thinking, can man and woman be split parts of a species seeking union for fuller value of existence? They, indeed, are. A contemplation of why and when the splitting into sexes occurred is not called for at this stage. What we can begin to sense is the origin of marriage and the tasks of participants in joint working and each bringing its unique qualities into the union, each party complementing the other. They are assigned roles consistent with their gender. A woman is thus a woman by the nature of her activity. It cannot, therefore, be for nothing that the wife of one-time President of France, Charles de Gaul said to her husband, “Charles you rule France, but I rule this house, including you!” Women are far more spiritually endowed. By the richness of their intuition, they can readily recognize right from wrong. Through the exercise of our free will we stand at varying degrees of inner maturity and consequent inner radiance. With the maturity comes the refinement of quality. It is the quality different in one party from the other that each partner brings into the union already undergirded by the love of the soul. With this there is compatibility and the strings of the chord vibrate in harmonious hormonal orchestra and both stand in a marriage joined before God. Shoulder to shoulder, smilingly and like little children at play, they face mundane earthly trials that seek to divert them. We learn in higher knowledge that they joyfully serve each other; they are partners of equal worth and they grow towards spiritual ennoblement. It is the marriage no one may tear asunder without dire consequences, either through calculation, cunning, suggestions, unwholesome gossips, or out of envy.

However, most marriages have for thousands of years have been contracted on false foundation, and increasingly with time, with obsession for material gains, and freedom from care and responsibility. Most marriages are no more than business contracts. They are immoral with the dross thereof dimming and suffocating the intuition which is the ordained principal tool of women.

With deviation from what marriages should be in line with the Will of the Creator, collapse of the unions cannot come as a surprise. All manner of ills plaguing marriages today arise from the deviation—incompatibility, domestic violence, estrangement and many more. It is such that those who have come to this earth to work hand in glove in the service of the Lord do not recognise themselves. Some may have come to settle debts they owe to one another without which their ascent to the Light Region is barred. Alas, the memory has faded and when they come together at all, they do not joyfully serve one another. False unions dot the landscape and in no time they land in bitter acrimonious separation.

A giant departs the world
A LEADER and a giant in the world of journalism has discarded his earthly cloak and departed earthly life. He is Peter Enahoro more known as Peter Pan. The news of his exit has reverberated around the world. His was a distinguished career in journalism.

He joined the Daily Times in 1955, after leaving Government College, Ughelli, armed with love of reading and mastery of English language. And fearlessness. He rose rapidly and became the editor of Sunday Times in 1958 at 23, the editor of ubiquitous Daily Times in 1962 in succession to Alhaji Babatunde Jose at the age of 27. Driven by the melancholic temperament inherent in all youths at a particular period in their development, he saw the world upside down and resolved and, indeed, strove to straighten it, to prove to the world that, in the words of Playwright Edward George-Lytton, the pen is mightier than the sword. It is the age of idealism; it is the age of dreams. It is the period all young men and young girls can easily tell right from wrong. It is the age a young girl looks at her mother full in the face and says, “Mom, it is not your time; it is mine, so forget it.”

By the age of 30, still smarting under the grip of his temperament, Enahoro had become the Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Times. Now, he was poised to do battle with evil in our land. The crisis that began in the Western Region in 1962 had festered and was reaching a crescendo. His column, Peter Pan, which he ran twice a week, became fiercer, hard-hitting and unsparing.

In this article