Film and TV director, Rogba Arimoro, known for his films Faultlines and Tokunbo and also for the popular TV show Judging Matters is no stranger to lights and cameras but he’s usually the one behind the camera not in front of it.
After being married to his wife, Bio for over 11 years and working together for 3 years, It’s safe to say that they’ve been through quite a lot together.
They recently decided to audit their relationship and realised that there were quite a lot of things that they wished that they had known before saying “I Do”.
This audit and their decision to share resulted in the “Love and Everything in Between” podcast.
They sat down to have a quick word with them about the entire experience.
How did you meet?
Rogba: It’s quite an interesting story and the telling of it depends on who you ask (Bio laughs). We met at the University of Lagos when we both transferred to the department of Actuarial Science. We were both in relationships at the time and instead of doing the smart thing by ending those, we jumped into an “affair” and snuck around for a couple of months. We eventually decided to stop hurting our significant others and broke it off with them to actively pursue an actual relationship.
How was it coming clean?
Bio: Coming clean is never easy. It was messy, and there’s nothing quite as horrible as looking at the pain in someone’s eyes as you tell them that you’ve intentionally betrayed their trust for no just reason.
Rogba: Cheating on anyone is a completely unfair thing to do to them. Looking back, it’s a cowardly way to handle dissatisfaction in your relationship. But coming clean was hard but also liberating. Lies thrive in secrecy and darkness and it’s a heavy burden to carry but once it’s out there, you feel lighter.
Starting a relationship the way that you did, would you say it affected your relationship in anyway?
Rogba: We almost didn’t make it. It’s a whole different ball game when there’s no more thrill of hiding but we decided from day one to be completely honest with each other no matter what. We were friends first and we decided to always keep that part of our relationship at the fore. It’s the secret sauce that has kept us going till now.
Bio: We were friends before we started dating and when we decided to give a serious relationship a try, we told each other that if it didn’t work we would not throw the friendship away. It wasn’t easy at the beginning but we kept at it and here we are.
You both work in the same industry; that can be difficult for married people to do. How do you cope with that?
Rogba: Working together can be challenging; especially when you’re both driven to excellence. We had quite a few clashes at the beginning but quickly learnt that the key is professionalism. Keep work and your personal relationship separate. Anything else is a recipe for disaster.
Bio: We have a very strict rule now that work and marriage must be kept in separate silos. There are projects we’ve worked on where many people are surprised at the end to find out that we’re married.
In the first few episodes of your podcast, we hear a lot of talk about a list. Can you tell us about this list?
Bio: I didn’t have much on my list. I just wanted to be sure that he would take care of me, stand by me and protect me. He had a very long list where he wanted to know how many times we would have sex, who would handle what financially, etc. To be truthful sha, his list helped shape our marriage and make it better. I was in la-la-land and that never helped anyone.
Rogba: The list was basically a checklist of questions about our thoughts and beliefs on a range of topics. It included important things like spirituality, money, sex, number of kids etc. all the way down to the mundane things like pressing toothpaste from the end or middle, toilet seat up or down, etc. I felt it was important to completely understand each other’s views on all things pertaining to being in a relationship and see how compatible we were in those regards. We knew that these things were not necessarily cast in stone, but they provided a strong foundation upon which we would build the rest of our relationship.
Why this podcast?
Rogba: Over our 11 years of marriage, we’ve been through quite a number of circumstances and encountered a lot of challenges that no one told us about or we couldn’t have envisioned. Recently, we were clearing out some old stuff and found bits of our original checklist and reading through those questions again, we decided to audit our relationship and took it a step further to speak to several other couples as well as a few separated/divorced friends. We realized that a lot of these challenges weren’t necessarily unique to us and the phrase “I wish someone had told us.” came up a lot; We thought about it and decided why not share our journey with other people. It would hopefully provide some helpful tips for people who are thinking about getting married as well as some sort of context for people who were already in committed relationships. It’s really not about giving anyone specific advice because we aren’t experts, but we know that we’ve had an interesting journey and feel like it would have been great to have had some of this information ahead.
Bio: Yup. We could have saved ourselves a lot of fights and headaches.
What would you say has been the glue that has kept you guys together so far?
Rogba: Well, friendship is the first thing. Even if we weren’t together anymore, we like to believe that we would still be friends. That has been an immovable part of our relationship from the start. Even when we broke up a few times, we somehow managed to keep that part of us alive.
Also, some key similar interests also helped. For example, our love of travel together, similar tastes in music, and our interest in film and tv entertainment.
Can you give a summary of 12 years of marriage; how you’ve navigated some of the biggest challenges such as almost dying, health challenges as well, and family living with you?
Rogba: The first thing about being in a committed relationship is to see your spouse as an equal partner in your relationship. Constant open and honest communication is a close second. Better to fight and settle than to pretend. Once you have these 2 things in place, you can handle anything.
Bio: We have always been real and true with each other, and I think that is what has helped us so far. We are very in tune with each other. Sometimes even without saying a word and just sharing a look we know what the other person is thinking. I love our friendship and wouldn’t trade it for anything else.
What was it like recording the podcast?
Rogba: Shooting a podcast is quite different from making a film or a tv show but it’s been a truly fun and enriching experience. We also learnt a thing or two along the way. We started out recording just ourselves and then we got some of our good friends Ibrahim and Linda Suleiman, Temi and Scarlet Gomez, and a number of other people to join us to give proper perspective on some of the topics that we explored.
What has the reception to the podcast been like?
Bio: The reception has been better than we could ever have hoped. We’ve gotten messages, phone calls and comments from so many people telling us how interesting they found the content and how the episodes have helped improve their relationships and understanding of their significant others.
Watch Love and Everything in Between on the Love&Everything Podcast YouTube channel.
New episodes come out every Monday and Friday at 4pm (GMT+1)