By Isaac Anumihe
Mrs Joy Dominic, popularly called Dr. Joy is the managing director of Joyce Skin Maintenance Care, Abuja. Her business is making people look beautiful. She is, however, amazed when people who ordinarily should have long been married come to her husband who is a pastor to arrange spouses for them.
This prompted her to beauty pageantry and matchmaking. Today, she has match-made over 35 couples and connected over five ladies abroad to their husbands. She shares some of the factors that motivated her with Daily Sun:
“Sometimes, you see some women, naturally they look peaceful but psychologically they have problems. Sometimes, it turns out to be a marital problem. You see women getting up to the age of 35, 45, 50 and they are not yet married. Even guys too. I know of so many men at the age of 50 years they cannot even make a choice. Maybe they are shy or they don’t even have the power or the courage to say ok I love you. Or I would like to go out with you.
“My husband is a pastor. A number of ladies came in and complained that they used to have a relationship but later on the men disappointed them. Women also disappoint men too. One day I was in my office and a very fine lady came and told me that he wanted to pack out of her marriage. I asked her why and she said that the parents forced her to marry the man and now she discovered that she didn’t love the man because ‘he is a drunkard. He smokes. He is a womanizer.’
“I discovered that once people don’t marry their friends, there is every tendency that you will have problems and such marriages will break up.”
Life Partner Direct
“Life Partner Direct is a project borne out of ardent desire to bring succour to the contrite and broken heart who have wondered in the wilderness of celibacy and singleness. It is a kind of finding a true friend. If you can find a true friend you will be able to discover your true life partner. Through friendship you can end up in marriage.”
“The response has been quite ok. When we started last year, I used to organize a beauty pageant that is, growing young girls for them to get married and to be good wife material. There are some women that are not wife materials and there are some men that are not husband materials. With the interaction with a lot of women and men and with the nature of my job, and my husband being a pastor, you see people coming in with different opinions, ideas and discouragements. I am so touched that I began to put things together.
“Today alone, I have received up to 10 calls from people, especially, guys. Since we ran the advert for the past two weeks now, I have received more than 300 phone calls from guys who are looking for wives. While some said they are looking for a friend they can talk to, some said they are feeling lonely. So, the response is more from guys than from women. But very few women, I think are almost 50.”
“We have linked up about 35 people. The programme, Life Partner Direct, is a website that is viewed both locally and internationally. The advert is also published abroad and monitored. I run it on paid TV and also in national newspapers in UK. Responses come mostly from men. Whenever they call I can see the excitement, the happiness in them.
“Sometimes, they ask me, ‘madam, who gave you this kind of idea?’ I tell them to take their time. They shouldn’t be in a hurry. Study yourselves and see if you are able to match up, you can carry on in marriage. You have to look at her or you look at him. Is he the kind of man or is she the kind of woman I will live with for the rest of my life? “Marriage is not a contract. I advise them not to rush in or out but rather take your time. Make sure you people understand each other before you think of even settling down or becoming husband and wife. Today three ladies came in here and we are planning for their traditional marriage.
“I have about three offices in UK, one each in London, Manchester and Bolton. I have another office in Italy. I have a TV programme in which we run the advert on TV and in Nollywood. I am arranging for a get-together in the first week of October.”
“We, from time to time, have marriage counseling, we have pre-engagement counseling and we have a get-together dinner whereby we give them marriage experience and what marriage is all about. Some people just stepped into marriage without really understanding what marriage is all about. I think marriage is for mature people, mature mind.”
“A lot of them come in and say they want to study the person because they only chat online. They may not have seen themselves physically. Four of them have actually travelled out of the country. Four white guys that got married to black ladies here. Specifically, she is one of my beauty pageants that contested three years ago when we were doing beauty pageants. They have been chatting and when they felt that they had to get married we arranged visas for them. The girls are out now. I asked them to study the guys and make sure that they are ok before they can now come back to do their traditional marriage and every other thing.”
“The form goes for N2000. Then the membership for you to queue into the website is N5000. In London, it is about £25 and the form is £5. Then, everything amounts to £30. In London, people are really responding. In fact, I get more responses there than even in Nigeria.”
Why marriage fails
“Marriage failure depends on individuals. Even God said that you have to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. One thing is for you to have salvation and another thing is for you to work it out. When we bring couples together I don’t give a guarantee. You have to play your card on your own way. Your attitude, your character or the way you treat your man or woman is basically left for you.
“Thank God we have been able to bring people together. I will advise you based on my own life experience. I have spent 23 years in marriage. At least I should be able to write a novel about a man. What a man likes and what he dislikes in a woman. I know that it is not easy as long as you are dealing with human beings. You don’t expect the person to be 100 per cent perfect. If it is 50-50, it is ok.
“Some people think that marriage is something you go into anyhow. You have to really make up your mind that you are ready to settle down. Well, supposing it fails, well, he or she has nobody to blame. Even people marry from church and it fails. Even people after professing that they love their spouses more than their parents, their marriages still fail. Anything that has to do with human beings can fail. It is only God who can sustain marriage.
“Most of the time when we counsel them we tell them that marriage is an institution ordained by God alone and not by any human being. We all have differences but for us to work it out depends on the ability to understand each other. Love is something that is being renewed on a daily basis based on my attitude and my husband’s attitude. There are some funny characters you will discover in a person and that can put you off. But if it is a genuine love, no matter what it takes, you can always reconcile and move on with life.
“We give them a lot of advice, a lot of counseling. We bring couples that have spent 30, 40, 50, 60 years in marriage to talk to them and really counsel them and make them to understand what marriage is all about. It is now left for the couple to know how to work it out themselves. I wouldn’t come to your bedroom and tell you as a woman what to do. We have given you our own knowledge, our own experience. It is now left for you to add spices to it and make it to taste well.”
“I tell them all the techniques and all the technology involved. Make your husband your friend. You have to be very very friendly. Don’t be harsh on them because men don’t love women that are harsh. You put them off and you can kill their morale. Make him your friend, show him love and be neat. Make sure you keep your underwears and everything about you very very neat.
“I tell them ways of dressing in the bedroom. Get some kind of sexy night gowns. Sometimes, some people say it is juju. It is not. You must know the techniques. At times you have to be sure if he really enjoys it (sex). There was a case where the husband alleged that the wife is not neat. The wife had an infection and she developed a very terrible odour.
“When the woman came, I treated her and gave her tightener. If a woman’s body (private part) is loose, it also sends the husband out. From time to time, we give them all these therapies. These things are naturally made to tighten up and make her look sexy.”
“We bring in men of God. We bring in couples that have spent many years. When you talk about marriage it is not theory, it is practical. After beauty, it is the kitchen, and after kitchen, the bedroom. You must be able to separate the beauty from the domestic work. Then your bedroom. Those are the three important things when it comes to marriage.
“After that, the finances. Is your husband rich? You should be able to live according to your level. Don’t live above your level. If you live above your level, there is every tendency that you might start going out as a wife or even the man might start asking some women out who have already made it.
“For a woman, you must be able to know how to cook. If you have a wife who cannot cook, definitely that one can push the man out. If you can capture your husband’s stomach there is no other woman outside he can look up to. In Lagos, every Sunday we train these women on how to prepare different kinds of dishes. We bring people that groom on different dishes, Yoruba, Calabar, Hausa.
“We also train them on how they can make money because you can’t be a liability. This dispensation does not allow a woman to be a full-time housewife. Do something. Even if you can’t work you can sell. You can do one business or the other for you to support your marriage. One of the things that causes divorce in homes is when a man is not well-to-do and the woman does not have anything to contribute. That one alone kills and breaks many marriages.
When a woman has money she won’t be sitting down counting faults on the husband. The same thing with the husband. If a husband notices that the wife is supporting him, he will respect the woman. It is for both of them to have something doing on their own.”
Lean on me
“A guy walked in here to thank me. Early this year, he saw the advert. He came and told me his life experience. That he married and divorced because the woman was not respecting him. That her family was giving him a lot of stress. The woman was very funny and he couldn’t stand it. “Sometimes, he would come home and meet her sleeping with his men servants. These things put him off and he walked out of the marriage. Since that time whenever he sees women, he would remember his previous relationship.
“I was able to talk to him that that is manipulation. As a man you cannot do without a woman. You need a family, you need children. There are some ages you get to in life, you need to talk to someone and who are those people, your children. If you don’t have children at this age (early 40’s) when will you have the strength? Even in the civil service, you have retirement time. There must be time for retirement even in child-bearing.
“I counselled him and he was happy. I showed him the pictures of my beauty pageants and he chose one. I connected them. Luckily, he met one and they both loved themselves and they are married. From time to time they call me. Sometimes, they come in here. Even the wife comes in here to do her facials.”
Originally appeared in Daily Sun.