22 May 2019

Nigeria: Real Reason My First Marriage Crashed - Monalisa Chinda-Coker

She's peaceful, soft-spoken, friendly and practically unassuming. Intermittently, she beams, lighting the room with her infectious smile that has the magic to melt a heart of stone. Many have described her as Nollywood's Favorite Girl Next Door' because she brings her girl next door quality to everything she does, but she sees herself as a true African woman.

Monalisa Chinda-Coker isn't your everyday actress. Yet the screen diva is not different from hundreds of women, loving, beautiful, innocent and true but becomes victims of failed marriages. When her first marriage to Question Mark label boss, Dejo Richards which produced a child crashed on the grounds of domestic violence amidst other allegations in 2009, many thought that the actress's world has come to an end.

However, twelve years after that horrible experience (in 2016), the delectable actress found love again in the arms of a man she calls her 'lord and master', Victor Coker. A mystery man that has given the screen diva many reasons to be happy again. " I have found peace again," the light-skinned actress enthused, as she admits that her first marriage was build on the wrong foundation. And true to her claim, one could feel the joy in her heart, the peace of mind that comes with time and the reassure that she could be loved again.

After the horrible experience she had in her first marriage, the beautiful actress was not in a hurry to fall in love again. But when she finally had a reason to give love a second chance, she didn't hesitate to do so, and today, she can boldly tell anyone that cares to listen that her life is experiencing a true transformation.

"When you are separated from your partner over circumstances which you are not able to control and you truly know that these were not your faults, God has a way of giving you that peace that you so desire. I have always wanted to be a woman that loved. I like to love and I also want love to come to me. I am that kind of person, I can't pretend. I love to be loved. I think there is something divine about mine."

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"Honestly, after my divorce which was very hard for me, I wanted my daughter to grow having a father figure. If nothing else, I did it for my child before doing it for myself. I wanted her to have that person she should look up to as a biological father. I took my time and eight year later, I found somebody that I have always wanted in my life and he came to me naturally. I didn't go looking for a husband. I am really, really at peace though all marriages are not rosy. There is something called peace, if you have issues with your partner, you solve it quietly with him. As far as you have a ground where you can resolve your differences, that's what matters to me. My husband is my very good friend. He supports my career with every fiber of his being. He sees that this is what gives me joy and he decides to support me," the actress said.

Monalisa was speaking while in a chat with our reporter. The delectable actress was at Igbinedion University Okada, Edo State, last week, for the premiere of Lancelot Imasuen's latest family-oriented flick, 'Family First', where our reporter engaged her in a chat. In the movie, Lisa played the lead character alongside Nollywood hunk, IK Ogbonna, where she had to remarry after the death of her husband. A storyline that is so relatable to her story.

But the actress said "It goes both ways.' For her, the flick is conveying a very powerful, strong message which is so timely. "In some countries in Africa and India, where you lose your husband and the society treats you with disdain as if you cannot marry again. But that notion is wrong.

In the movie, the woman lost her husband, while she is still young and attractive. She decided to give love a second chance again. And that what happens to her,. So, women who have lost their husbands and they are widowed early. After certain duration for grieving, they are allowed to let love come back again to their lives. There is something that is called peace of mind. When you find somebody that can fill up the void, it's so critical you let yourself so open to welcome love again. For me, it's a very powerful message. And it's relatable," the actress said.

On whether my first marriage was a mistake

Lisa wouldn't admit that her first marriage was a mistake. Instead, she said it was a matter of wrong choice.

"Would I say it was a mistake? It was just a wrong choice. For both us, I was his wrong choice and he was my wrong choice. So, I wouldn't say it was a mistake. This is because when you make a mistake , you learn from it and move on. But I don't think it was a mistake. The foundation was wrong."

" It was totally unstable for my kind of personality and his type too. It was just a wrong union from day one.I thank God that the union produced a very beautiful child. When I look at that child, I know that I just have to find a way to bring about peace in her rightful biological father's life. So, we are at peace and that's the most important thing. '

Fear of insecurity

Speaking further, Lisa who looks more beautiful and younger, listed reasons most marriages are hitting the rock in recent times.

According to her, a lot of men are feeling insecure in their marriages. "Whether you are single or married, you must wear that garment of responsibility. You must be responsible to somebody. My husband wouldn't have the need to be monitoring me. I know that I am a woman and I must behave responsibly. It's your conscience that will judge you. He has left it that way. I wouldn't take that for granted. I know that I have a man waiting for me to come back home as a wife. I am not perfect, but he has given me that ground to excel. I mustn't take it for granted," the actress added.

Tax evasion allegation

Talking about how she handled the widely publicized court order to arrest her over tax evasion levelled against her by the Lagos State government, the Rivers State-born actress, said she received not less than a thousand calls from friends and family members across the country. Though the problem has since been sorted out, the delectable actress said she was confused at a point, while running halter-skeeter to quench the raging fire.

Sharing her experience, she said : " I received not less than a thousand calls from friends and family members. I was confused at a point. But I am happy it's all over. I think the whole idea was to put fear in us a bit so that anybody who is lacking in that direction should hurry up and pay his or her taxes. They probably used me as a guinea pig for that purpose. I think it has taken me to another level."

" Moreover, it's a good thing that happened to me. People who have forgotten me remembered me during that period. My husband was feeling sorry for me while the drama lasted. He knows , if it's not anything positive, I don't like my name to be all over the place. The analysis in which they slammed me the bill was not really okay, but we still have to answer to whatever issues they had against me. But all that have been sorted out. I thank God for it."

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She continued, "Apparently, we must pay our taxes. Because I am a woman who love uprightness, I started paying my taxes earlier. But when I didn't pay for 2017, which was what they stipulated, that void was there, and they had to call up. But I thought that after I relocated my office to Port-Harcourt in 2017, things would be stable. But I was in shock when my name was all over the place. My husband was uncomfortable with the development. I think the time they gave to me to raise the money was short and when I was about to sort it out, they gave me another one again. But it's been sorted out. "

What keeps me radiating

On what keeps her radiating, the beautiful mother of one said it's because she's a very happy woman. "They say what you are inside reflect on the outside. I am a very happy woman . I don't want anything to take my happiness away. Anything that wants to steal my joy, I try to attack it spiritually. I have found answers to certain unanswered questions.

I have researched, I have done a lot of things, including working on myself too. I am not a perfect being. I know that in certain areas I lack. I'm dealing with that, and I am asking God for direction, positivity, I am asking God for wisdom on how to tackle very deep seated issues. So, that has been working for me."

" Besides, I have a partner who's very understanding. He might not be perfect also, but he's an understanding person and he loves peace because of his background. If you go and be with somebody who doesn't really care, who can bring you out in the public at every slightest provocation, you must be wary of that kind of person, whether he's a man or a woman. You must be able to conceal your issues. Family issues shouldn't be exposed, they must be sorted out amicably at home, that's the understanding we have, and it's working for us. And that's what's giving me peace," Lisa said.

Featuring in films

"I have featured in a couple of films. When I started my talk show, "You and I with Monalisa", I had to be off the screen for awhile just to get the talk show stabilized. I have sacrificed about three or four years of my career, trying to put the talk show together, it has worked for me, and now, I am back again. I have done a couple of cinema rated movies. But With ' Family First' and the buzz around the movie, it will relaunch me into the mainstream movie world. The talk show is still airing, but we are trying to strike a synergy with TVC. It's going to start airing any moment from now on TVC."

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