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Tonye Cole’s Interview as he Covers ThisDay Style Magazine is a Must Read | He talks about Life at 50, his Career, making his Marriage of over 2 Decades Work & More



Managing Director of Sahara Energy Resource Limited, Tonye Cole is on the cover of ThisDay Style magazine’s latest issue to mark his 50th birthday celebration which was in January.

In a sit down with ThisDay style magazine, Tonye talks about his Life at 50, his marriage to his wife of over 20 years Sylvia and how they have been able to sustain it, his career and a whole lot more. He shares some interesting insight into the early years of his marriage and how he and his wife were able to rebuild their trust and move on together as a family to be as strong as they are now.

The interview is not just about Tonye, the professional man; it is about the face behind the name.

Read excerpts from the interview below.

On key things he has learned in life at 50: 

Life at 50 is a culmination of all the experiences you have garnered over the years and being able to look back at your life with no regrets while looking forward to the years ahead wit excitement and expectation. that is certainly how I feel about myself at this moment.

On his Marriage and how he has been able to maintain a solid foundation: 

On this score, I have to put the credit down where credit is due and say only the almighty God made it possible. I caused my wife way too much pain in our early years of marriage and betrayed her trust too many times to mention. It was a period in my life I look back on in amazement knowing that by my own directions I was destroying the very fabric of my marriage, creating an unhealthy relationship at home and eroding the love that had brought us together in the first place.

All I can say is one day my eyes opened and I had to make a choice. Love God and save my marriage or continue on said path and irrevocably destroy everything held dear to me. The second I chose to love God, the slow but steady task of repairing our foundations, rebuilding my home, and regaining her trust began. It took years but it has been an incredible journey of rehabilitation and commitment which has not only resulted in the unashamedly public adoration for my wife you witness today but has blessed me to no small end in a far closer relationship with my God than I would have ever thought possible.

On factors that cause major problems in the marriage and how they can be addressed:

Money, Sex, and Religion are probably the three key things that cause incredible stress with marriages. An attempt to describe how best to address any on of them will require volumes of books yet unwritten. However, speaking from my own personal perspective, I would say trust, communication and living a life of integrity would largely address these issues.

Money used to be a divisive force in my house until the day I decided to become completely open with my wife, Sylvia on my finances. Not only did she know what my total income was, joint accounts were opened and she was given all the bank accounts to manage as she deemed fit. Amazingly, she did a far better job than I  ever could have, the expenses dropped and peace as I hadn’t known descended upon our home.

Sex in marriages have been a battleground from time and whether it is dissatisfaction from within or the introduction of another party from without, the consequence is the same. Things simply deteriorate rapidly once that begins; the end result is that love dies in the home. I discovered that to deal with the first, i.e dissatisfaction, I had to banish the second and maintain the newness and pleasures needed to sustain monogamy, we needed to be able to talk freely about our needs, likes and dislikes.

On the advice, he can give the youths of today to encourage them not to lose hope in a better tomorrow:

Nigeria is like a refiner’s fire. If you set up a business and it survives the battles, hurdle, trial and tribulations of our business environment, there is nowhere in the world you will not succeed in and nothing you face that would frighten you.

On steps he takes to ensure lines are not crossed with unwarranted female attention:

As long as there is life, even without money, there will be a sexual attraction of all sorts, male and female. It is only magnified by wealth. Two things keep me unwaveringly focused. Firstly, I do not forget experiences of many years that brought my marriage to its knees, nearly destroying it completely and how long it took me to rebuild all that was lost, especially trust. Secondly, I know the pact that I had to enter with my God before I was able to free myself from the self-created mess I found myself enmeshed in. I am totally conscious of the severity of the consequence of breaking that vow and I  am unwilling to pay that price with a betrayal of God and my wife. It is absolutely a no-go are for me.

On the traits, he finds most endearing about his wife:

Her honesty. Sylvia does not know how to pretend and will make known in short order the minute she doesn’t like a person or an action. I can trust her to filter people who come to us because I am the exact opposite in that department, overly trusting and open to welcoming and inviting any and everyone into my space. I also love the fact that she is a homebuilder. When I look at how our children have turned out and  I reflect on how often I am on the road traveling, I can only marvel at the character of a woman that could produce such amazing children.

On the advice, he gives people who are faced with challenges, despondency, and general low self-esteem:

I guess the answer to encourage the youths of today in a Nigeria that seems si challenging in every way is to look inwards at what you carry. Believe in yourself, as you are the best hope you have to overcome whatever you face that is deterring you. Look well beyond the challenges that are staring you in the face and stay focused on that vision you have in your mind that you believe is yours to attain and keep at it.

Someone once shared an Ikwerre fable with me, which has helped me immensely whenever challenges, trials, tribulations and/or prosecutions threaten to overwhelm me. It goes ”The mother bedbug and junior bedbug were chilling in the mattress when suddenly hot water was poured all over them in a bid to flush them out in the open to kill them. As junior, preparing to flee the hot temprature, attempted to run outside, the mother bedbug said to him ‘Endure even hot water dey cool down'”. To Nigerians I say endure this too shall pass.

Pick up a copy of ThisDay for the Style magazine!


  1. FasholasLover

    February 21, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    Good for you Mr. Congratulations Mrs. To each his own. HBD.

    • Anon

      February 21, 2017 at 5:47 pm

      Ha! Ha!! I just imagined you rolling your eyes as you typed.

      Well, I did RME…

      His wife has tried.

  2. Madman

    February 21, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    What would Kenya Moore say?

    • sharon

      February 21, 2017 at 5:56 pm

      Hahahahaha I was thinking the same reading the article

    • WeddingPartyJoke

      February 21, 2017 at 6:52 pm

      Gurrrrlllll!!!!! Dat was shhhhhaaadddeeeeeeeee….lol!!!! Yassss honey, spill the tea….miss kenya moore and her white rolls royce thank the Tonye Cole maga foundation

  3. Felinda

    February 21, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    You have nerve to mention your marriage and give marriage advice?

    Seriously dude? This is why I don’t respect hypocrites

  4. isaid!!

    February 21, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    @Felinda, i wont call him a hypocrite. if you read closely, he did admit to indiscretions in the past and how he’s a better man and husband now. I say we serve a God of second chances. Lets give him a chance. I’m happy for his family. Everyone is a winner here.

  5. Ify

    February 21, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    I really really really really really miss naijagistlive.

    • tunmi

      February 21, 2017 at 3:23 pm

      Me too. Competition is good jare

    • Mannie

      February 21, 2017 at 6:31 pm

      Who’s naijagistlive?

    • Pippa

      February 21, 2017 at 8:38 pm

      Me too. I believe she’ll come back I am confident. And please no one should come and respond and say it is the two Indians Prostitutes. Anyone who followed that blog knows that’s not the writer of that blog. It’s common sense

  6. Nunulicious

    February 21, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    Lol. Endure…even hot water dey cool down. That tickled me.

  7. Yellow

    February 21, 2017 at 11:03 pm

    I miss naijagistlive too

  8. Nuna

    February 22, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    I have incredible respect for his words and how he admitted his indiscretions. Glad he took active steps to mend relations with his wife. Very hard for Nigerian men to do. Kudos to him

  9. Tosin

    February 23, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    I’m reading this stuff thinking wow I really hate marriage. I mean, the eternal struggle, it’s always some new fad or some new effort, like a big monster that keeps asking for more more more worship. fog all of it.
    That said, awww, it’s such a cute thing. 🙂 And I love helping people figure it out, like, if it’s bringing them down how to find a way to love and get out of the rut. But it’s still a wicked idea loooool.

  10. OA

    March 10, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    He was a club boy back in Unilag ni gba yen. Awon Tonyekpiri-kpiri — Foads or Rho?! I can’t remember jare. Always had charisma and yep, all those girls wanted to date him. I am glad he has done well for himself, his spiritual life, and his marriage.

    • Dee

      March 29, 2017 at 9:43 am

      Foads Club ni…. The Rho Boys (like Lanre Olushola) felt they were cooler – a big fat lie!

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