‘LOVER BOY’S’ CONFESSION
Self-acclaimed Lover Boy, Felix Lebarty, who shot into national prominence in the 80s, with his debut album titled, “Lover Boy”, is a living testimony of how not to live a life of celebrity. While he was the man of the moment, he fathered 17 children from different women. But since realizing his past mistakes after he embraced Christ and dumped his old lifestyle few years ago, Lebarty is currently enjoying his marriage with the mother of his first-four children (two boys and two girls), Rosemary. A remorseful Lebarty, in this engaging telephone conversation, recounts how his reckless lifestyle as a superstar destroyed his home as it instigated distrust between his wife and himself. He, however, warned his children not to follow his footsteps. Meanwhile, Rosemary, who spoke from London, confessed that despite the marital challenges they were having then, following the many women in his life, she still loved her husband and was ready to sustain her marriage.
‘Have I enjoyed my marriage?’
I would say my marriage has been on and off for the past 17 years. But I started enjoying it recently when I started understanding what marriage stands for. For some of us, when we get married, we don’t understand the meaning of marriage and the kind of institution we are getting into. So, a lot of us go into marriage out of lust. But when you now understand the spiritual value of marriage, it’s something that is so beautiful. When you are involved in it, it means that you are complete as a man. Marriage is a beautiful thing to experience by everyone. God cannot bless you when you are not complete.
‘What happened in the 17 years of my marriage?’
During the first few years of my marriage, I was walking in the flesh. Perhaps, I was not a reliable person. When you are walking in the flesh, you see your wife as a hindrance or somebody that has come to disturb your life. You don’t actually like it. But by the time you begin to appreciate the spiritual value of marriage, you now begin to see her as your better half. You will appreciate the fact that she has come to fulfill your destiny. But why I said we have been off and on is because when we got married, we started raising children immediately. And it was myriad of problems all through. Problems because of lack of trust, seeing her as one’s slave, maltreating her because of the African setting. That was the ugly experience I had then. When I travelled with her to the United States, it was a whole lot of problems and I left her for almost five years. After five years, we came together again and that was when we had our last child . Thereafter, we separated again for about four years before we finally reconciled now. But this time, we had to do court marriage and, after that, I started enjoying my marriage. Though she’s based abroad, I am enjoying every bit of it now. Marriage is not a bed of roses, but it’s something that you really need God’s guidance and direction to sustain.
‘When I was ruling the airwaves in the 80s’
Marriage to me then was like a hindrance. It was like a burden to me. There was lack of understanding and respect for one’s partner. Though you are married, you are not faithful to your wife. That’s a dangerous practice that can destroy any marriage, it’s spiritual blindness.
‘What has changed about me’
What has changed about me now is that I have the fear of the Lord. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.If you believe in the word of God there is no way, you will deviate from what the Lord is saying about marriage. So, at the end of the day, I understand that your wife is your missing ribs that you have regained. When you regain your missing ribs, you become a complete man.
‘Was she my first love?’
She’s the woman I started out with. But because of my misbehavior those days, she could not stand the pressure. She’s a very quiet person. I was always picking on her because I saw her as a thorn on my flesh. Fortunately, she’s not a violent person. That resulted in our separation several times. But when God called me, I started understanding the things of the spirit. And the Lord now opened my eyes to behold my wife. Among all the women that had children for me, the Lord told me that the one that had my first four children is my wife. That’s why I had to reconcile with her despite the odds.
‘Other women in my life’
I talk with them most of the time because of the children. I try as much as possible to make them understand that we are living in this world not by our power or our might, but by the grace of God. Most of my children are in the university now. And I always advice them not to make the same mistake that I made during my time.
His old lifestyle was scary — wife, Rosemary
His first love
I am the very first woman in his life. We started dating very young. Along the line, we relocated to America and, suddenly, he started involving himself with different women. I couldn’t cope with the situation, so I walked out of the marriage several times and returned to him thereafter.
Off and on marriage
We have been off and on for almost 33 years now. But this last time, we are back together for good. Nothing can come between us again. He has found Christ, and I am in the Lord too. So, we are both Christians now, and we know better now than before. As you know, he’s a pastor, and I don’t believe he would want to go back to his old lifestyle. For now, I believe it is for good. God has ordained us to be together. That’s why we have been off and on for almost 33 years. It has been a long journey for us.
Coping with too many women around him
I tried as much as I could, but the pressure was overwhelming. He’s the only man I have ever been involved with, and he’s the father of my four children. I didn’t marry another man. My children are all for him, and not for any other man. At a point, I couldn’t stand the pressure any more. God knows I did my best to sustain our relationship especially the first time. Apart from the women around him, other issues such as domestic violence contributed to our separation. I had to run for my dear life, but I later returned to him for the second time. Unfortunately, he went back to his old lifestyle and I walked out of the marriage again to look for a conducive environment where I could focus on my children and take good care of them.
‘We loved each other’
Despite the marital challenges we were facing then, we loved each other. I am the only woman in his life, whom he usually ran to when the chips were down. He would apologize to me, promising never to go back to his old lifestyle again. And on my own part, I really loved him but I vowed that I wouldn’t go through those marital challenges again. I believe in one man’s woman. I don’t believe in polygamy. I know that at the end of it all, he would still come back to me. I am his very first love. I was very young when I met him. In fact, the very first day he saw me, he confessed that his spirit ministered to him that I was going to be his wife. Despite everything, I must tell you that he loves me. I am glad that, at the end of it all, he found Christ . We are back together for good. And since it happened, we have been so wonderful. Sometimes, I begin to wonder if this is the real love that eluded me for years. I am prepared to give him my all now.