Sometime ago, music artiste, Babatunde Okungbowa, popularly known as OJB underwent a successful kidney transplant. In a new interview with Nigerian Tribune, he addresses rumours of what led to his ailment and his life as a family man with 3 wives. Read excerpts below:
On Alcohol being the cause of his kidney failure…
It is bigger than alcohol. Take for example, I had stopped drinking eight years before the problem started. When they check you, your toxic result will come out and they will tell you what your problem is. Mine was zero in alcohol. What it had to do with was basically your diet pattern and your stress and rest pattern. It is either you get it from high blood pressure or you get it from diabetes.
Yes, you can say sometimes, alcohol could play a role because the end product of all the alcohol we were drinking was sugar. For me, mine was blood pressure-driven, because most of the time, I was working double more than I used to work. Of course, one is growing older and there is a limit to what the body can take. When you are sleeping four hours in a day, it will definitely take its toll on you. It may not happen immediately, it could happen five or six years later. That was my own case.
On his Kidney Donor…
My first wife was the donor; she gave me the kidney. It got to a time when there was no where else to turn to. I even heard that many people came out to be tested to know if they could donate their kidneys. That actually touched me.
On how he felt when she said she would donate her kidney…
Yes, I have more than one wife. I have three wives. The fact is that the three of them actually came out and they were all tested. It was not that I told them that they must come for the test; they did it voluntarily. I had made up my mind how I was going to go about the surgery. There are places where you have donor banks. I had said I was going to go for that but they shocked me when I heard they all wanted to donate their kidneys. In the last minute, they didn’t tell me what they were up to, I just noticed that they were always going to the hospital for one test or the other. I later got to know that the three of them were tested, so what happened was more of who would the donor be? The thing they were looking at was that, the third one just had an operation, so it was difficult to open her up again. The second one could have done it too but the first one felt since she is the first wife, she felt she should do it.
That is for my heart. Not for the newspaper. You just mentioned my heart, so why do you want to know? Unless you would open my heart to see it yourself.
On his three wives could being one of the reasons which ultimately led to the kidney failure?
No, there was never a problem with that. Having three wives does not affect my life in any way. It was not like these women were staying together under one roof. When the stock exchange crashed in 2006 and 2007, it really affected my finances. You can imagine when you lost about forty million naira to the crash and you could only retrieve four million naira. That situation would definitely leave a devastating mark on your life. If you have what I had in stock now, that’s about three times what I lost to the stock. So, having three wives was not the problem I had. MKO Abiola had more than three wives, but he lived comfortably with them before he died.
When you were growing up, did you actually see yourself having more than one wife? What exactly was the attraction?
That’s what I can’t explain now, because when I was growing up, my plan was that I was not going to get married. I had figured it out that I was just going to have children one way and move on with my life. There are some women that are never going to get married in life. That does mean they would not have the best of their lives.