Comedian, Basorge Tariah, who recently turned 45 and his wife of over a decade, Doris share the secrets of their enduring love
How long have you been married?
Doris: We got married in 2001, but we have known each other for 13 years.
What was the attraction?
Basorge: Her carriage, humility, organisation and neatness. Her general mien was, and is still, attractive. My wife is beautiful. She was slender and tall. I wanted to marry a tall lady but most importantly, I fell in love with her guts and her concern. From the outset, she was bold enough to ask me if I had a bank account since I always had money in my pocket. I proposed to her after nine months of courtship.
Can you recall the first time he walked up to you?
Doris: It was at his sister’s house. He came from Lagos and spent the night at her house and I was there. Somehow we got talking and that was it.
Did you entertain any fears about marrying a celebrity?
Doris: Definitely, I did but he was somebody I really loved. So, after a while, I did not look at those things. I also liked the fact that my husband is a very neat person. He is a freak when it comes to cleanliness. He also likes things to be done in an orderly manner and that really attracted him to me.
Basorge: I think we found a common ground. She shares the same name and birthday (same month) with my mother. Again, she would also agree that there was something very tidy about me.
Was there any opposition from your families?
Basorge: Not really. Don’t forget I met her in my sister’s house, which already had a stamp of approval. Her father was a disciplinarian and God-fearing man. All he wanted was to meet me when I said I wanted to marry her and he said he wanted to meet with me alone and not in company with anybody. After he cross examined me, he told me I am the man for his daughter.
How did you propose to her?
Basorge: It was her birthday and I had a surprise party for her. Of course, she was elated to have everyone around and I told her I did not have a cake, she said it was okay that I had done enough. Then her sister brought a cake and my friend said we have another cake. On the cake was the inscription ‘will you marry me?’ and she started crying.
A lot of couples describe the first few years of marriage as turbulent. How would you analyse yours?
Doris: For me it was alright but moving from Port-Harcourt, where I had my families and friends, to Lagos, was boring for me because I was always at home. When I was pregnant, I had a supportive husband, who did a lot to make me comfortable.
Dating a celebrity is different from being married to one, how do you cope with the female fans who want to be more than just fans?
Doris: I know who I am married to. I am never suspicious and I am a confident woman. Besides, when I was getting married, I knew what I was getting into and knew these things would come.
Basorge: There was a time we went to a party and one lady jumped on me and wanted to kiss me. I was telling her ‘that is my wife’ but she just threw me on the floor and climbed on top of me. I was not able to push her off because she was big. I was angry but I was laughing because I could not believe what was happening. My wife and I share a very special bond that makes us believe we cannot be with any other person. I can’t imagine another woman in my life tolerating me, being a very difficult and demanding person. My wife is motherly and submissive. She has never worked in the 12 years of our marriage. How many women in these modern times would subscribe to that?
Do you sometimes wish he were not a celebrity?
Doris: I don’t and that is because at home, he is my husband and not a celebrity. I never wanted to get married to a celebrity and I wanted someone tall but wishes are not horses. When he came along, I didn’t mind because he is handsome. Let’s forget about the height.
What are some of those challenges you have had to grapple with?
Doris: My husband is a prim and proper person. He wants things to be done the right way and at the right time. I am not like that. I think that is the biggest challenge. He also likes to talk, go into details and I don’t talk much. He does more of the talking while I listen. At times I accuse him of not letting me express myself.
So what is the major strength of the union that has brought you this far?
Basorge: We communicate all the time. No matter how bitter the emotions are or how hurt we are about situations, we still speak about it. My wife and I are friends, we are like siblings and we express ourselves all the time. Sometimes you seem overbearing but the truth is that I cannot find a better person.
Do you know the details of his pay packet?
Doris: When I tell people that I know every kobo my husband earns, they don’t believe me. We have a joint bank account, I have his credit card details and he knows mine. People should not hide such things.
Who is the first to break the ice when there is a quarrel?
Basorge: We both do that. I am not a proud person and I do it. She also does it all the time. That is why I told you I can never replace my wife, and I say it from my heart and with tears in my eyes. The only difference is that years back, she used to kneel down to say sorry, now I just overlook it because she is older now but I miss that part.
Do you have any pet names for each other?
Basorge: I used to buy her blue bunny ice cream all the time, so I call her Bunny.
What are some of your happiest moments as a couple?
Basorge: The day I proposed to her, the day we got married and the day we had our first baby. We would sleep with him in our bed, we took him to everywhere we went. In fact, the whole entertainment world knows Shawn because he was everywhere with us. We have four kinds now- Shawn, Emanuella, Terina and Bryan.
What do you do to keep the fire burning in 11 years?
Basorge: We are very homely people so we don’t need to do much. We are in our room watching television, discussing, planning and doing all sorts of things. We live a typical married life by doing everything together. We plan holidays with the children too.
Who is more romantic?
Doris: He is the more romantic one. He still gives me flowers and gifts a lot.
Basorge: She did not give me a gift on my last birthday but I got her a gift on my own birthday for putting together a great party.