Love Life is a Zikoko weekly series about love, relationships, situationships, entanglements and everything in between.

What’s your earliest memory of each other?

Tobi: I met her at a mutual friend’s house party next door two year ago. I came late, and most people had left, but she was there with a female friend sitting outside the house when I entered the gate. She was the first person I saw, and I just walked up to her and said hi. I thought she was foine with her thickness and mini skirt.

Tare: I saw him the moment he opened the gate and stepped in. I thought he was too nicely dressed for the very basic get-together. Don’t get me wrong. He was dressed casually, but you could tell he carefully curated his t-shirt, cargo shorts, and what Nigerian wears a face cap at night?

Turned out he worked in the music industry: He had some big credits as a producer and was building up to being a recording artist himself. I didn’t find that out immediately, though.

What happened in the meantime?

Tare: The friend I came with eventually left me at the party. Then we chatted for a bit before he invited me next door to his place because he wanted to leave. I declined, so we exchanged numbers and continued chatting into the wee hours of the morning when I got home.

Tobi: Yeah. We compacted months of talking stage into that one night.

Tare: The next day was a Sunday. He invited me to his place again, and I went this time. He took me to his studio, and that’s when he told me about his music.

He wanted to kiss me several times until I told him, “I don’t share”.

Tobi: So I asked her to be my girlfriend.

Tare: Then I repeated what I said: I don’t share.

What does that mean?

Tare: If he wants to kiss or date me, he has to be ready to kiss or date only me.

Tobi: That was a fair deal. I happened to be single at the time. I’d been single for about five months, and I really liked her already.

Why exactly did you like her?

Tobi: I just knew she wouldn’t bore me or complain about everything. She has this soft “no stress” vibe that made me feel like I could ignore all my struggle when I’m with her.

Tare: And what you saw was what you got.

Tobi: Yes. Even when she’s troublesome or in a mood, she’s still generally good vibes. All I want to do is help her feel better any way I can. 

She does a lot for me, too. She takes care of me, especially when I’m over-focused on studio work.

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So you started dating the next day?

Tobi: Yes. I asked her out in my house that day. She laughed but still said okay. I had to swear exclusivity to her sha. I’ve never been one to have a side chick or multiple girls, anyway.

Tare: It was important to vocally agree on that beforehand, though. 

I said yes because I liked his face, thought he had sense (as per, he can hold a conversation and his opinions made sense), and he was CLEAN. Very important. But I also believed he just wanted to get to make out with me.

Tobi: Well, that’s true. But obviously not the complete truth. I also wanted to see how far the relationship would go. I actually didn’t know at that point if it would make it past some make-outs or not.

When did you realise you loved each other?

Tobi: The first time we had sex about a week after dating. I remember waking up next to her the morning after feeling so happy, like I’d achieved greatness.

Also, the first time I had to travel to perform, towards the end of that month. We’d decided she wouldn’t go with me because I wanted to keep my private life completely private. In the past, my girlfriends had issues with that, but she respected my feelings and even came to pick me up at the airport in her mum’s car when my management messed up.

Tare: I love to drive, so I didn’t mind at all. And he’d been gone for a week. I couldn’t wait to see him again.

Tobi: It was last minute, and I almost didn’t ask her to come because I thought she’d be pissed off. But I felt good when I saw her at the airport looking so happy to see me. All I wanted to do was kiss her for hours.

How has navigating your relationship with a music career been so far?

Tare: It’s been a lot of ups and downs. Especially as I work for an oil company, and it can be just as demanding. The only difference is that it’s a lot more stable than music. We’ve had to struggle to make time for each other. Especially when he drops a project, and he has to be everywhere promoting it.

Tobi: But we make it work. We always text whenever we can’t call. And when things are quieter, like I’m between projects, we meet up. She comes over to my place for days or weeks.

Tare: We also try to go on dates, but we always end up leaving about 30 minutes in to just be together at home. When we dress nice and go to restaurants, we somehow end up telling them to pack the food up so we can eat naked at home.

Tobi: I’m an extroverted introvert, and she’s the reverse.

Is this all part of keeping the relationship private?

Tobi: I’m generally a private person. I don’t need people to know my parents or siblings either. It’s not that deep; I’m still coming up. It’s not like I’ve blown. I just don’t feel comfortable having my business out in the open like that.

Tare: I’m so sure if he was in any other industry, he wouldn’t even be on social media. He loves to be mysterious. 

Tare, how do you feel about being unable to show each other off to the world?

Tare: I don’t like it sometimes, I won’t lie. Especially when he has a show but doesn’t want me coming along to hype him. 

I got side-eyes when my friends heard that one. A couple of them are in the music industry as well, but mostly the business side, and they’ve always said, “Don’t date a musician. They’re either too broke or will sleep with anyone. Never do it. Just don’t.” It’s been everyone-I-know’s mantra, so I actually don’t know how I got here.

Tobi: I pressed your mumu button.

Tare: Get out.

How do you navigate that negative energy?

Tobi: I think we just know ourselves well. I’ve given her no reason to distrust me. The same thing for her. Other people’s rules don’t apply.

Tare: It hurts when my friends are convinced he’s playing me, all because he’s not bringing me out to the clubs or posting videos of us on socials. They think I’m a fool for accepting that, but I actually know this guy personally. I know what we’ve done for each other, how we hype ourselves up behind the scenes where things are less glamorous.

Also, he’s not broke o. You need to see how much this man collects to produce people’s songs. Ahhh. But I don’t need to tell them private info about my relationship to get them to trust me.

What are some ways you establish trust?

Tare: Communication. I’m big on that. We keep each other accountable for every minute detail of our lives. We talk about things like planning towards paying his younger siblings’ fees. We discuss all our comings and goings. I almost always know where he is at any given time. Then again, 90% of the time, he’s in his studio, which is in his house. 

I know all his friends well, too; they’re annoyingly always hanging out at his place anyway.

Tobi: Yeah, she doesn’t like that. I’ve slowly had them move out or stay away. Now, both our friends have reasons to hate the other person. Haha. That’s life.

But, yeah, what she said. We always talking. When people try to toast us, we send each other the screenshots and yab ourselves.

Tare: I’d be like, “See o. They’re toasting your babe o. Someone wants to take me to the club you don’t want to take me to o.” No. We’re so chilled with each other. This is the most laid-back, no-stress relationship I’ve ever been in. And I love it here.

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Sweet. It’s been two years; wedding bells anytime soon?

Tare: Nah. We’re still young and trying to establish our careers.

Tobi: Yeah. Marriage and trying to make it in music don’t quite mix. So, it was always important for me to date someone just as focused on building their career over getting married early. Tare is super driven at work, and I love that about her. 

Tare: What are you marrying for when you haven’t secured the bag, abeg? I’m definitely getting married o. I want a husband. But money first for now.

Have you guys had a major fight yet?

Tobi: Remember when I said she didn’t like that I always had my friends at my house? Yeah, that caused several major fights.

Tare: If you came to Tobi’s three-bed this time last year, you’d meet at least six guys crashing there. He had guys over 100% of the time. Some would even sleep over for months. It wasn’t conducive for me at all.

Tobi: I knew she was right. But I didn’t want to confront my guys for a while. Most of them support my music hustle. One is a fairly popular hype man. I had a couple of fellow artists and producers or just people with long legs in the industry.


Tare: Most of them were dirty. They didn’t mind leaving used plates or clothes everywhere. Usually, I’d just stick to Tobi’s room when I get to his house. But it started feeling like we lived in a self-contained. 

So sometime last year, I told him he was lying that the flat was his. It’s obvious he only owns his room — you know how friends rent out flats together and then share the rooms? He was so pissed when I said this. 

Then, about two weeks later, he cleared out the flat. No more hangers-on all over the living room, kitchen and front yard. No more funky smell. It was like magic.

Tobi: She bruised my ego, and she’s rejoicing. Women!

Would you say you both hang with your friends less often now that you’ve set boundaries?

Tare: Yes. I’ve distanced myself, but not so much that I’m isolated. I know I’ll still need my female support. And I’d like to still be there when they need me the most. 

Tobi: I see my friends less, yes. But I never used to hang with them like that. I don’t really hang with people.

Tare: He’s too full of himself, don’t mind him.

Is that true?

Tobi: I just don’t really rate mindless fun like that. And that’s what most people like having. When I’m not booked and busy with gigs, I’m booked and busy with production jobs. I’ve got to stay focused. And my guys have always understood that. They know I have a babe now, so they just blame it on her, not me.

Tare: See the way he’s saying it. 

Well, I’ve also mostly cut off the guys who are against our relationship just because they’re judgemental. I’m pro-supporting women’s (especially friends’) rights and wrongs, please.

How would you rate your relationship on a scale of 1-10?

Tobi: 20.

Tare: God, now I have to say 20, too?

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