Veteran actor, Richard Mofe-Damijo, was a guest on comedian, Teju Babyface’s Deep Dive podcast, where he spoke about his career, marriage and other issues. NAOMI CHIMA brings excerpts

You said you had always wanted to start wearing studs when you turned 50 years old. Why are you not wearing them now?

Let me help you there; I also said I would have a tattoo. But, I wore earrings way before I was 50 years old. I just did not wear them regularly. Besides, social media was not a thing then, so people did not notice them. I like to rock them on special occasions.

Have you got the tattoo?

They are in places I cannot show you, and I will not tell you. It’s private.

As well as I know you, I know nothing about your first marriage and the end thereof. (What can you say about it?)

It’s because you were young (when it happened). It started in 1989 and ended in 1996. I’m not sure how old you were then. I met her somewhere and she sent me a note. She was a writer, and she wrote that if I did not mind the stares of the men who adored her, and if I was man enough, I should go on a date with her. I responded that they had not given birth to the man that could make me feel intimidated.

The marriage eventually ended, because she passed on. It was an unfortunate Easter period. She had a fibroid operation that went wrong.

To say you bounced back from that experience is an understatement. But, the spectre of death must have haunted you for a while?

It is something I’ve lived with all my life. Pastor Taiwo Odukoya’s death brought all of that back to me, because one of the biggest challenges I faced when my (first) wife passed on was, ‘what if it happens again’? It is such a present and consuming fear.

I thank God for my wife today. She was my strength, because she made it clear that her fate and destiny were very different from that, and I should not have that fear.

I am completely over that now.

How have you managed to stay away from scandals over the years?

I smile through it all and try to be civil, because there are pitfalls, and one has to tread carefully. And, if one manages to tread carefully long enough, one will master it; and it becomes a dance. In a sense, I avoid nightclubs as well. I go when it is very important. If it’s not work and I’m not entertaining people from out of town, with a close circle of friends present to protect my flanks, I just don’t show up. When I show up, it is because my flanks are protected. It is good to have a good inner circle.

Is being faithful in marriage hard?

It is hard, especially if one is in the line of work (showbiz) that we are in. Every one of us who is married is like a target. Women are like Delilah and Jezebel; they prepare, and the only way they can perpetuate the real intentions of the enemy is to constantly aim at the image of God or the symbol of authority in any home. It is like on the battlefield. If a general or commander is brought down, the battalion scatters.

One has to get to a point where one’s wife understands what she’s up against as well. If one’s wife is not up to speed on what she’s up against; then one’s flank will be left open. For me, family defines my life. You don’t touch my family.

What will the woman who knows this do?

She will be protective of her man. I fall really bad sometimes; but a wife has to be able to help pick the man up.

But, these days, if a man falls, that seems to be the end of everything?

It is because they do not understand what roles they have to play. It (marriage) is not a competition; it is a partnership.