Shina Peters’ wife, Sammie declares that she can’t imagine life without him
Sammie Peters, wife of famous Afro juju musician, Sir Shina Peters, has opened up about her life, career and marriage.
In a recent interview with Sunday Scoop, the proud wife and mother revealed how Shina Peters stood by her firmly when she had breast cancer and why she will never leave him even if he cheats on her.
“…My husband never left my side. Before the sickness, I used to appreciate my hubby but after God healed me, I appreciated him more for standing by me because I know what I went through and how I looked like. It’s not cancer that really kills; sometimes, the treatment itself is a killer. It changed me entirely, such that you wouldn’t recognise me at that time. At times I caught him staring at me lovingly and at the same time with fear. Shina fasted and prayed for me fervently; and that made everyone, including my friends, love him so much. He hasn’t stopped fasting.”She said
Excerpt from the interview..
Tell us about your childhood?
I was raised in Oshodi, Lagos. My childhood was very nice. I grew up with my friends and I’m still together with most of them. I’m a down-to-earth person; I say things as they are. Some people see me as being wicked because they don’t want to hear the truth. However, I wouldn’t compromise just to make anyone happy; that’s why my family sees me as Margret Thatcher.
How did you meet Sir Shina Peters?
Shina Peters lived in Oshodi also and my mother and his mum were very close friends– more like sisters. We met through our parents. I was 21 years old when I met him and we started living together in 1984, when I was 24. We had our legal wedding in 1995 but we had done the traditional rites since 1984. So, I’ve basically known my husband all my life.
Were your parents the reason you had a relationship with him?
Our parents didn’t want us to have a relationship because they said we were more like brother and sister. But I and Shina said we were not blood-related. We were in love and we didn’t listen to them. When we got married, we used to have small fights that couples have initially and when we called our mothers to intervene, they always told us to sort out differences because they wouldn’t be with us forever. They told me to understand that he was a musician before I married him. Eventually, I got to understand my husband and everything fell in place.
Was your hubby popular when you married him?
Shina Peters has always been popular even when he was nine years old. Then, he was with the late Prince Adekunle, who was also a popular musician. After that, he was with Segun Adewale, before forming his own band.
Were you a housewife?
I have never being a full housewife. I was doing petty trading. I have always worked, even though my husband didn’t want me to work. My husband said he would take care of me and he has always done that. I stopped working at the age of 30 but after a while, I begged him that I wanted to start a school, since I have always loved that. Thankfully, he really supported me and built the school for me. School business is something one has to love before one goes into it. It’s not all about the profit. The competition is very tough because there are many schools around. It is my love for the business (and God’s help) that has sustained me for the past 16 years.
Did your husband’s fame help make the school popular?
No, it didn’t. As a matter of fact, people often asked why I was doing school business instead of opening a supermarket or being a big cloth merchant. However, some patronised the school, thinking it was Sir Shina Peters’ school.
What has helped your marriage over the years?
Patience and love are what have made my marriage work. If you want to make your marriage work, I think the woman has a lot of roles to play. The man also has a role to play but men will always act like men, so it still rests on the women. You have to be friends. Learn to forgive him and don’t hold on to the mistakes of the past. My husband is not perfect but we love each other and we decided to make our home work.
How did your husband propose to you?
He offended me and I was upset with him and while apologising, he started promising me everything and told me that he wanted to spend his life with me. I accepted his proposal because I love him.
Do you enjoy being married to a music star?
I don’t wish for another man. if I come to this world again, I would love to marry Shina Peters. I love my husband so much that I would rather share him than live without him. I can’t divorce my husband because I can’t imagine my life without him. No, it’s not about money. I’m not lazy but I love Shina Peters so much and I know that if he goes out he would come back home.
My husband is a musician and I’m used to him going out and coming back late. I would rather share him than lose him. Apart from being a ladies’ man, my husband is a wonderful man. Before Shina goes out, he ensures that there is fuel, diesel and other basic needs that are required for the home to function. When he is around me, he makes me very happy. We laugh and joke a lot, even though we have our own share of fights. I forgive him easily no matter how he offends me and that has helped me over the years. However, he understands that he shouldn’t take me for granted. When I get angry, he understands that he must have pushed me to the wall because I’m very patient where he is concerned.
You waited for a long time before having a child. Why was that?
I had my first child over 15 years after (we got married). I was 40 years old when I got pregnant. I did not deliberately wait; it just didn’t come. During our waiting period, there was no pressure from our families because my husband does not allow such things. My husband and I already had children before we met one another, so we were not very bothered. I got pregnant at a very young age and my mother didn’t allow me to terminate the pregnancy and for that, I’m grateful. My husband took care of my children like they were his and till today they don’t know any other father except him. He still gives them money.
Is marriage your greatest accomplishment?
I can’t call my marriage my greatest accomplishment, even though I can’t live without my husband. I would rather say that my husband completes my life. Life is just complete with my children, husband, family and close friends. I was diagnosed of breast cancer and God almighty saved me from the clutches of death.
Did you have any fear of dying during that trying period?
Of course, I did. One wouldn’t hear cancer and not be scared. When I was first diagnosed with cancer I was shocked. I started questioning God. I asked Him where I went wrong. I was very concerned about my last born because he was still in secondary school (at the time). I was worried about who would take care of him. My doctors told me not to be scared because the cancer was still at an early stage but those words were meaningless to me because I didn’t know much about the sickness. I thought that once one is diagnosed with cancer, one would die untimely. I didn’t even believe that people survived cancer, because I didn’t see survivors coming out to talk about it. When I got to the United States, they started educating me more about cancer and told me that early detection is good. That was when I started having the hope of living. The doctors assured me that early detection is treatable. There were times that I broke down in tears because I was overwhelmed but I learnt that some four-year-olds were diagnosed with cancer and that was not the end of the road for them. I was 54 years old when I was diagnosed with cancer.
Did you see any signs before going for a check-up?
I was feeling dull pain in my breast. It was not too painful but it made me uncomfortable. Because there had been so many health talks advising women to always observe their breasts, I quickly went to do a mammogram. It was there they told me I had a lump and that I should do a biopsy. I didn’t understand the health jargons, so I went to see my doctor who confirmed that the lump was cancerous. My husband was not in the country at that time but he had been monitoring me closely when I told him I was going for a mammogram. When the doctor broke the news to him, he was so shocked that he hung up the call. He called back two minutes later to talk to the doctor. All the while, I was in a state of shock and I couldn’t even cry. I stayed in the United States for almost two years receiving treatment. But I thank God that I am alive. Eventually, everyone would die of something one day but I prayed that I shouldn’t die of cancer and God healed me. I’m not a party person but I celebrated my 60th birthday to acknowledge God’s mercies.
How did your children react to the news and who took care of them while you were away?
I told all my children when I was diagnosed (with cancer) and my sister-in-law took care of them while I was receiving treatment abroad. My last child used to visit me whenever he was on holiday and my husband never left my side. Before the sickness, I used to appreciate my hubby but after God healed me, I appreciated him more for standing by me because I know what I went through and how I looked like. It’s not cancer that really kills; sometimes, the treatment itself is a killer. It changed me entirely, such that you wouldn’t recognise me at that time. At times I caught him staring at me lovingly and at the same time with fear. Shina fasted and prayed for me fervently; and that made everyone, including my friends, love him so much. He hasn’t stopped fasting.
How did you feel after you were declared free from cancer?
I was very happy because it meant I would be going back home. I was not placed on bed rest. I lost all my hair but it grew back and I thank God for that. My husband used to take me for chemotherapy. The first four chemotherapies were the most difficult ones. It was a step-by-step treatment and I did that for over a year.
How have you maintained your good looks?
I believe that I have survived and God is on my side. I don’t bother myself about things or let situations weigh me down. I don’t let things get to me because I try to understand people. Above all, I’m happy. I exercise and eat right, too. I have taken sugar out of my foods– no carbonated drinks or fruit juice, except the ones that are natural. I don’t also use bleaching products for my skin. My cream is very mild and it costs less than N1000.
At 60, would you support your husband to go into politics?
My husband is not a politician; he is a musician. I don’t see him going into politics. He has never aspired to be one but that’s a question he would better answer himself. He can be engaged to sing at any political platform but he is not a politician. At the end of the day, going into politics is a personal decision and as a loving wife, I would support him.
What advice do you have for married couples?
Firstly, don’t take your family affairs to friends. What really breaks a home is discussing one’s issues with people you can’t even ascertain if they are real friends. There is no perfect being out there. If you have a husband doing what you don’t like, have a dialogue with him and be patient. Sometimes, I don’t even question my husband about his whereabouts. All I do now is pray for my family. For women out there, respect your husband and treat him like a king. Our husbands are our crowns and kings. When you respect your husband, he would always come back home and apologise. Concentrate on yourself and children, making sure that you look good. I take care of myself very well. I wear shorts indoors, though I may not wear it outside. I allow Shina Peters to rest a lot.
Who taught you those tactics?
I taught myself. We had our own fair share of arguments. I tried to change him in the past but I saw that he was not changing and I love him. If I say I can live without my husband, I’m just deceiving myself. I got tired of quarrelling because it was not really helping. I shouted, followed him around with my car and tried many other things but he didn’t change. He would promise to change but after some weeks or a month, he would go back to the same thing. I got tired and discovered that being calm worked more (for me). He always comes back home. He calls me his mum most of the time, especially when he wants to apologise. Of course, as he’s getting older, he has become calmer. I tell my husband not to drag my name into his affairs with other women and vice- versa.
What did you do to make your husband stick to you?
I didn’t do anything; I only gave him peace of mind. When you give your husband peace, he would appreciate you. Men may do things that don’t warrant peace of mind but they still yearn for peace. I treat mine like a king.
How would you describe your relationship with your stepchildren?
Me and my stepchildren have a very cordial and nice relationship. They all come to my house anytime they want to, except the mother doesn’t want to release the child. I have a very good relationship with all of them, including Clarence Peters, I love them like my own and I believe they all love me too. When Clarence was young, I used to go and visit him and he also came to my house for holidays. He calls me on phone till now and I love him so much because he understands his father very well. He is a very wise man and speaks well. He is making us proud.
What are your hobbies?
I enjoy reading and listening to music. I love gospel music and my husband’s music.
What activities do you do together as a couple?
We play Ludo game a lot and we go on vacation often. We chat and gossip a lot too.
Are you a fashionable person?
I love simple things and I don’t follow trends. I’m not a flashy dresser and I don’t like to dress to call attention to myself. My pieces of jewellery are simple.