I have forgiven my sister who eloped with my husband — Controversial gospel singer Gloria Doyle
NOT too long ago, you were said to be very ill. Can you relive your experience?
I was actually down with a gall bladder stone. I had a terrible stomach condition, which the doctors were worried about as it was considered close to the cancer of the stomach. Surgery was considered as an immediate option. But along the line, I didn’t do the surgery. So, I was placed on medications to see if it could alter.
I’m now relieved and back to work, back to music; though I’m still on regular checkups. The only worry now is my children who all stay in America. We insisted that I should wait till they return to take me so I can do the surgery in America. Either of them should be here to pick me. That apart, I’m up; my music looks good and the future has a good smile.
How old are your children?
My first son is 27; the second is 26 and my last born is 24. They said they want to come so they can give me good care.
When did you have them?
I finished having my children at the age of 21.
Why so early?
I got married very early in life.
At what age?
I was 16 going on 17!
What moved you to get married at such a young age?
I think I was just crazy then. And the other reason was that, when you come from a polygamous family, you want to believe that maybe, marriage could be a way out. But sometimes at the end of the day, it may not turn out well.
Was your mom the second wife?
No, my mom was actually the officially wedded wife, but not the first and not the second. She was the third wife of my father and the only officially wedded wife. So, you can imagine the pressure then, which was more on us her children. At that point, I wasn’t afraid of marriage. I think he was able to give me some of the things that I needed back then: the attention, the understanding and listening ears. So, I believed that was it. But at the end of the day, I found out that we were not compatible. His family was very tribalistic. I was into music already and they didn’t like it. He actually wanted me to be a full-time house wife, which was not my dream or ambition. I wanted to pursue my musical career and even do some other stuff too.
At that time, did you feel that you had what it takes to go to the top and be a music star?
Yes, I did know I could do that. As at then, I had started going to the studio. I had started singing right from when I was a child still in school; I was singing in church and I always had this passion for writing songs.
Did your husband know about that?
He knew. I thought he was going to encourage me, give a boost to my musical career but at the end of the day, that was not what he wanted. He wanted me to be a full housewife. But my musical career was important to me. So, that became one of the major reasons that made me not to accept to be a housewife. And it was a very abusive marriage.
When you say ‘abusive,’ what do you mean?
He used to beat me. He was about 13 years older than me. He was really beating me and at a point when the beating was getting out of hand and became life threatening, I decided to pack it up.
How long did the marriage last?
Oh, it lasted seven years.
What was the attraction to marry him?
He was a nice guy. And at that point, I wanted a friend and he was able to give me some of the things I needed back then.
Why did you allow the children to go to America?
Their father is an American citizen though he is a Nigerian by birth. He said he wanted the children to come over; I too thought it would be a better opportunity for them. So, I allowed them to go. It is not that I couldn’t have gone, but at that point, what happened was that he was actually having an affair with my younger sister, who is at present living in America through him. And when the children were going to America, the documents were altered. My name was removed, while my younger sister’s name replaced mine. So, when it was time for me to go to the US, I was denied visa. I have been denied visa three times now. It has got to a point where a DNA test is required to prove that I am the children’s mother and that is the point where it is. So, it’s only when my children come here that I can think of going to America. It has made my travelling out of the country very difficult. And that was the original plan, which was to frustrate me and make me unable to see my children again. But with God, things are looking good.
But he couldn’t have married your sister?
But they dated. It was just to have a baby for him that was left. They dated and she was able to use him to set a standard for herself. I understand. And it is okay. I have forgiven her. I don’t have any more grudges. My children are grown up, we relate and that’s all that’s important to me.
If you were to meet someone else now that asks your hand in marriage, will you accept his proposal?
Yes, marriage is sweet and okay if you meet a nice person, who is also a friend and ready to be supportive. Marriage is interesting and sweet.
So you will gladly accept another proposal?
Well, I still have this phobia for it, but if I meet a guy that can drive the fear away and give me the assurances, of course I will throw away my fears.
You mean there’s no man in your life at present?
I have a couple of friends that I relate with; we play together, but I cannot say that I have an intimately strong relationship right now. At present, everyone around me is a friend. When you are a single mother, it becomes an issue with some guys because of our cultural background. It’s not easy to take a lady that has three children to your mom and tell her, this is the person you want to get married to. Maybe if I were outside the country, that will be easy.