Two days before my 38th birthday on September 17th, I welcomed my first child, my son, Jayce. I look at him and I wonder why I waited so long to have a child. I’ve never known love like this. I literally have tears in my eyes every time I look at him. I can’t believe he came out of me. He is by far my greatest blessing and I’m looking forward to navigating him through life!
Now to the reason why you are reading this. I argued with myself for a long time whether to put this out or not…and finally decided it was a story I wanted to share. I’ve always been open about my life but I’m sharing details about my personal life mostly because of the girls who look up to me. The girls I have mentored, mentoring right now and plan to mentor in the future. I’m very particular about our young girls and I have personally tried over the years to be an example in some way; tried to teach these girls how to fight for their dreams, how to live right and do right and then I go and have a child out of wedlock and that must be a little confusing to some of them and especially with so many untruthful stuff out there about me.
The most hilarious is that I had a child for a married man. Lol. Here’s my answer to that! The married man that I will sleep with has not yet been born. If he’s been born, he will die, be buried, rise and die again before he will lay with me. I don’t do married men. The father of my child is a single man and his name is Sholaye Jeremi. To be honest, at some point I thought he was my final bus stop but you know how life happens…lol. Unfortunately he and I are a completely closed chapter. Sadly for our son Jayce, it’s the kind of chapter that can’t ever be opened again.
One of the things many people have asked me is how I met this man because we don’t run in the same circle. Well, I met him 3 years ago at Wheatbaker Restaurant in Ikoyi in December 2015 shortly after I moved to my home in Banana Island, Ikoyi. It was a day after Christmas and I was having dinner with friends when he walked in. He saw me and the rest is history. He claimed at the time that he had never heard of me which was seriously a turn-on for me because up until then I’d only been meeting men who behaved like fans. At the time we met, I was 35 and he was 37 and I’d been single for nearly 4 years. I was definitely searching and I fell in love almost immediately and so we became an item.
At the time I met him he lived in a 3-bedroom flat at what used to be 5th roundabout in Lekki after Mobil. I used to drive for almost two hours in traffic from my house to go see him. Most of the time, I carried my laptop to his home to enable me to work and at the same time spend the whole day with him.
It was a whirlwind romance. He was the funniest and most romantic guy I’d met up until that point, so it was easy to fall in love and I truly believed the feeling was mutual. A few weeks after we met, it seemed like we were planning a future together. This man was already calling me Linda Ikeji Jeremi and making all these plans but then just like that, it was over between us.
I went from waking up every morning to love text messages from him to no more calls. I was just thanking God for finally sending me my own man when all of a sudden we were no longer talking to each other. Later he would tell me what scared him off. My public life. He claims he’s a private business man and didn’t want the attention being with me would bring to him and I told him I understood and we went our separate ways. We tried to get back together in 2016 but it didn’t work out so much so we separated again but stayed in touch (mostly him to be honest), stayed friends and that was how our back and forth started.
By mid-2017, we were both still single and we started seeing each other again quietly. There were times it was very intense and we talked about a future together, and there were times that I couldn’t figure out what exactly I was doing with this guy. We were not suited for each other. Totally different lifestyles. And there was the problem of my fame. I walked away from this man a million times and he came after me a million and one times. No matter how much I pushed him away, he kept coming back and me, because I couldn’t find anyone else, I kept going back. Lol. So I was basically going back to my ex because I couldn’t find anyone else. *sigh*.
Then I fell pregnant. It wasn’t planned, it just happened; though we talked about having a child together just two months before I fell pregnant. He said something about putting a billionaire baby inside me and I remember jokingly telling him that I’m also a billionaire so our child was going to be a billionaire on both side…and we laughed. But after I fell pregnant, things became extremely weird between us. If I tried to explain what happened, I wouldn’t be able to because it was confusing to me.
We went from talking about the pregnancy and being okay with it; he even suggested I go to Dubai for my pre-natals as he didn’t trust doctors in Nigeria, to literally not talking to each other anymore. Around when I was about three months pregnant, he did come to see my parents and actually became very cool with my dad. They were literally exchanging Whatsapp messages every day. He later agreed to a traditional wedding which he didn’t follow through and then he switched. He began to treat me with so much hate and aggression that I and my family had to cut him off completely.
To be honest if anybody had told me when we met three years ago, considering how deeply we cared for each other that I would fall pregnant two years later and he would completely turn his back on me for most part of my pregnancy, I never would have believed it but that’s what happened. I had to draw strength from myself, my family and close friends.
And Jayce…oh my son Jayce, he was my biggest strength. It was almost as if he knew his dad was acting up so he came through for his mum. He was gentle with me when I was carrying him. I had an extremely easy pregnancy. I pushed him out under 3 mins and was in the labour room for less than 30 minutes. And then my snapback was amazing. Three weeks later, it was almost as if I’d never been pregnant. Jayce was my soldier when his dad turned his back.
But still, I have absolutely no iota of regret meeting Sholaye. Gosh, have you seen Jayce? How can I regret that? God doesn’t make mistakes. If you believe that you’re always led by God like I believe then I have to believe that God led me to this man for whatever reasons best known to Him. I thought God sent him as my life partner but I guess He just used him as a vessel for my greatest blessing. Now his part in my story is over. I know when to put my hands up and surrender. That God brought someone significant into your life doesn’t mean they are supposed to follow you throughout your life’s journey. We should learn to know when people’s part in our story is over. Don’t fight for closure, don’t ask for explanations, don’t chase answers, just let them go and know that if God meant for you to have them in your life, He would have given them to you. Sometimes people just come to serve a purpose in your life and are not meant to stay and there’s no point holding on to them. This one is done and dusted. It’s just Jayce and I now moving forward and I know life will be beautiful for us.
That God brought someone significant into your life doesn’t mean they are supposed to follow you throughout your life’s journey.
Being a single mum wasn’t the dream I had for myself; I’d prayed for the kind of happy home my parents built for us (they’ve been together for 40 years). Nothing is more important to me than family. For years I’d hammered on how much I was looking forward to getting married, having children and building my own family and I believed God was going to come through for me on that one, but I have come to understand that we have no control over what life throws at us no matter how much we plan, pray, or work. And we also have no control over the actions of other people towards us. One of the things I have learnt in my life’s journey is that your idea of how life should go might be different from the way life actually goes. It’s called Life Happening. Sometimes it unfolds into something we never dreamed of but because we don’t recognize the route we find ourselves on our journey through life, doesn’t mean God won’t get us to our destination. Remember, an uncertain chapter doesn’t ruin the whole book. Life will happen whether we are ready or not. All we can do is keep our heads up and keep moving.
Family and close friends told me I owed no one any explanation about the circumstances that led to the birth of my son, but I knew without writing this, I could never stand in front of the young girls who look up to me and talk to them again. I could never go on my secondary school tour and speak with these girls again about living right and doing right. I would always feel like I have no moral right to do so. I went to 15 secondary schools in 2017 and talking to those young impressionable girls has been one of the highlights of my life. I cancelled this year’s tour because I was pregnant and I haven’t made any preparations for next year’s tour because I wanted to set things right first.
I have so many plans for young girls next year and in the coming years with the Selfmade finance and mentorship projects with international collaborations, so this was important for me to do, to explain myself to the young girls who look up to me and feel disappointed that I got pregnant and had a baby out of wedlock. For years, I have preached decency, morality and uprightness and despite what happened to me, I mean it from the bottom of my heart. That should be the only way to live. That’s the only way I live. Don’t ever compromise your values. With this, I was led by my heart and my clock ticking and even though I have no regrets, I’m sorry if I let any of you ladies down by the decision I made, and I hope you learn from my experience. I hope you do better than I did.
The ideal thing would be to find a man you love, who loves you back and gives you stability, get married, have kids and raise a family, not being a single mum or a baby mama. I was 37 years old at the time I conceived and if I want to be honest, my age played a role in me allowing myself to be pregnant out of wedlock. I don’t want to be having kids in my 40s or struggling with fertility later in life. This wasn’t the plan but like I said before, life happens. You just have to find a way to make the best of what life throws at you. And so for any young girl this means anything to, I am truly sorry. I am not sorry I had Jayce, I’m just sorry I didn’t go about it the right way.
But you know, despite this crazy love experience, I still believe in love and I believe in happy endings and I can’t wait to one day, God willing, have my fairy tale ending. The father of my child is the only man I’ve given a chance to in 6 years. Lol. I swear. I’m not really a relationship kind of girl. I’m more a career girl. I can go for years without a man. I’m one of those women who don’t need a man to validate their existence but biko, I’ve done the single life enough in the past…lol… going forward I’m looking forward to giving someone else a chance and try this love thing again. I was raised in a happy 2-parents’ home and that’s what I want for Jayce. So I hope I meet a great guy soon until then I’m enjoying motherhood. It rocks! Life has never been more beautiful!
Men don’t have the exclusive right to create wealth; women can also create wealth. Money is not male. Wealth is not male. Success is not male.
I’d also like to address a few other issues. Number one is this celibacy issue. So many people have trolled me over it and I’d like to correct the misunderstanding. I have never ever in my life said people shouldn’t have se.x before marriage. NEVER EVER have I said that. I have even argued with quite a few people that it is not feasible in this day and age. What I have always said and I maintain till today is; Do not ever sleep with men for money because any woman with a brain and determination can get her own money herself. And there’s nothing sweeter than your own money. I am 38 years old and I recently bought a N100million+ car; what the heck do you need to be sleeping with a man for? For designer bags, first class tickets and luxury holidays? GTFOH with sleeping with a man for rent money! You can give yourself all that and more if you apply yourself, fight for your dream and work your butt off.
Men don’t have the exclusive right to create wealth; women can also create wealth. Money is not male. Wealth is not male. Success is not male. We women just need to believe in ourselves more and get off our butts and stop relying on our looks and charm instead of our brain, mind, will, and our God given talent/gift. We can be rich, we can be successful, we can break barriers, do what was formerly termed impossible, do what men can do, be CEOs of conglomerates and billionaires without ever having to lie on our backs. Please ladies, we are powerful beyond measure and can do anything and be anything we want to be.
The other thing I’ve always said is; do not sleep around with multiple men who just use your body for their pleasure; that is; too many one night stands, casual se.x, many se.x partners in a short period of time all in the name of relationships. Your body deserves better. I feel se.x should only happen when you’re in a loving, committed relationship with someone you love. I was celibate for many years until I met my son’s father and fell in love. And instead of increasing my body count, I just went back to the same eggplant…lol. My mistake was I should have walked away when the relationship became a waste…lol… but then again, Jayce wouldn’t be here today if I had. So really, there’s nothing that I have preached that I didn’t practice. So you guys stop trolling me over this abeg! Lol.
Thank you for reading and thank you for your understanding.
Love and kisses to you and yours
Linda Ikeji is Nigeria’ top blogger, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. She owns Linda Ikeji’s Blog.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.