The way to a man’s heart is sex –Mopelola Ogunlusi, MD, Romeo and Juliet
By Chinyere Fred-Adegbulugbe
Mrs. Mopelola Ogunlusi, a technologist and matchmaker, tells Chinyere Fred-Adegbulugbe why her marriage has lasted 33 years.
By training, she is a medical laboratory scientist. She got to the peak of career, retiring many years ago as the chief medical scientist of the University College Hospital, Ibadan. But Mrs. Mopelola Ogunlusi has yet another love: linking and matchmaking men and women, who desire to find life partners. Since 2002 when she officially opened her doors, her matchmaking agency, Romeo and Juliet, has become a Mecca of sorts to different categories of individuals for different reasons. ”This is where you can get good husbands and good wives. If you have marital or relationship problems, this is where we can help you because we are not biased since we are not related to either the husband or the wife, we see things clearly,” she says.
Incidentally, she says matchmaking is something she was involved, howbeit informally, even as a spinster. Then, as a young girl, though she already had a boyfriend who was to be her husband later, there were many other men who were interested in having her as a wife. And as she humorously recalls, since she didn‘t have any problem with the relationship she was having, coupled with the fact that even her parents felt the fellow was okay for their daughter, she devised a means of warding off her excess suitors. “Many of my friends were dating wrong men. Some of them didn‘t even have men to date, so I was linking my extra suitors to my friends and I must say that some did get married and are even grandparents today,” she says.
She didn‘t stop there. With time, even her domestic hands became beneficiaries of her matchmaking prowess. ”If I saw anyone who was single; there was always this urge to link them to others who were also single and desirous of having spouses. Some worked out while some didn‘t,” she says.
Until she had to retire from her job in order to join her family in Lagos, she did not fancy staying alone in Ibadan. That was when her husband rekindled the matchmaking fire in her. But this time, it was in form of a business that is duly registered and not just as a pastime.
She says, “One day I was discussing with my husband and he lamented that some of his secretaries were still unmarried, despite the fact that they were good looking and well-mannered. He even said some of his friends‘ secretaries were also in the same predicament. He now said to me, ‘Why don‘t you start an agency since you have the flair for it?.’”
But she wasn‘t convinced that it would be a profitable venture. ”Who will agree to pay for such services? I asked him,” she says. Nevertheless, the man went ahead. Not only did he get the company registered, he also got an office space and equipment, printed stationery and also hired staff. ”That was when I knew that he was serious,” she recalls.
Yet, she wasn‘t persuaded to get involved until, according to her, the staff almost ran the business aground. And that was when she decided to take over the business. Thus, her new status as the managing director of Romeo and Juliet was born.
And as she says, her initial scepticism concerning Nigerians’ willingness to pay for the kind of services her company was engaged in was proved right. ”The first two years were very difficult. Many people didn‘t want to pay and maybe because it was a totally new venture, a new idea. So many people did not know what to think about it. My husband had to pay salaries and rent without us realising anything during those years. And each time I told him that I was calling it a day, he would refuse and tell me that even if it was only one person that registered with me, that I must get the person a husband or a wife, that I couldn‘t just let the person down,” she reminisces.
And today, she just can‘t thank him enough for his encouragement those early years as Romeo and Juliet, she says, has over 1,000 members in the organisation‘s database today. ”Out of this, about 200 have been successfully linked and married, about 250 are still courting and the rest are yet to find partners,” she enthuses.
And what does it take for a registered member of Romeo and Juliet to be successfully linked to a spouse? Ogunlusi says it is very simple. “The person comes, tells us his profile and also the profile of the kind of spouse he is looking for. Once a person gives us this information, we collate what you have in your data, compare with the genotype of prospective partners. Once we see someone in our database that has at least seven out of 10 of what a particular client wants, we link them and leave God to do the remaining.”
But just like every other relationship, she says that it is not always that it works out as there are some of them who don‘t like each other, even at the very first meeting. ”There are even some who don‘t like each other even from phone calls alone and there are some who fell in love just by speaking to the person or at first meeting. So it varies,” she explains.
With her registration pegged at N5,000, one wonders how the agency breaks even. Ogunlusi says people do ask her the same question, but that has never been an issue with her. “You know when God sends you on an errand, he fortifies you and makes it easier for you to accomplish. I am a pensioner, and my husband is also now retired. Though we need money, we are not looking for anything outrageous. The joy of seeing people happy is our reward,” she insists.
Talking about matchmaking and why it has become necessary, she insists that many people would be married if they weren‘t too fussy with their choices. Speaking from her various experiences at the agency, she says many of the so-called singles limit themselves with the kind of specifications they give, especially when it comes to physical attributes. “According to the Holy Book, everything God created is beautiful but some will come and say, ‘He is too tall.’ She is rotund and all that, thereby limiting themselves,” she adds.
Religion, Ogunlusi says, is also a reason why many people have remained single, even unto their 40s. “A lady came in the other day and she is already 42. One would think that at 42 years, as a Christian, she should be ready to marry any Christian. First of all, she told me that she was a prayer warrior in her Pentecostal church, so she didn‘t want a man that would disturb her prayers. She said she didn‘t want an Anglican, a Methodist, and a Catholic. She gave us a very long list of people she didn‘t want when she was submitting her form. I told her that I was not God and that if God says she would get a mate through the agency, she would. But I also told her that she was spoiling her chances. People are not helping themselves. Once you are above 30, you should drop some of your dos and don‘ts,” she says.
As a marriage counsellor, she gives a hint why many marriages tend to end in divorce. Tolerance and patience, she says, are very necessary if a marriage is to stand the test of time. ”In marriage, one must be willing to be a sheep why the other is a goat. And I always advise women to be sheep; somebody has to give in. For a marriage to work, the woman must be ready to be accommodating and patient,” she opines.
Does she also advise a woman whose husband is engaged in extramarital affairs to remain quiet and docile? Ogunlusi replies that since most of our men are involved in extramarital affair anyway, what a wise woman should do is to make the best out of it. ”If you put men on the ground and calculate, I will tell you that over 70 per cent are having extramarital affairs, even when they claim to be Christians or Muslims. And the young girls are not helping; they forget that while they are breaking another person‘s home, their own homes can never settle. But if a man is having extramarital affairs and there is nothing you can do, talk to him. You know David Beckham‘s wife once said that she would not allow a tart to break her home and till today she is still married to her husband. That is the kind of attitude all women should have,” she advises.
For those who preach equality of the sexes and women liberation, obviously, they can never find a kindred spirit in Ogunlusi. “I am not for women liberation,” she emphasises. ”That is why I have been married for 33 years and I am going to be married for another 30. Those women, who say they are liberated, are not. Are they wiser than God?” she queries.
She also advises women who want their marriages to last not to ignore the power of sex. She says, “Sex is the binding factor in marriage. People say that the way to a man’s heart is food. It is not food alone. You must have sex together often.”
At 58, Ogunlusi believes that style should be about what fits one’s body structure and age. “I hate those women who expose their chests. The way you can get to a man is to hide what he is looking for a little. Men who go after such girls do that for sex and not for marriage,” she insists.