■Bill and Melinda Gates met at Microsoft, and the two got married in 1994.
■The couple agreed to give away more than half their wealth.
■Financial implications are not immediately clear.
Bill Gates, co-founder and former CEO of Microsoft, said in a tweet on Monday that he and his wife, Melinda Gates, will be splitting up after 27 years. The two will keep working together on philanthropic work, which has addressed education, gender equality and health care.
“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” Bill and Melinda Gates wrote in a statement that Bill Gates tweeted out.
“Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives. We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.”
The decision reflects a personal change at the top of American business.
Bill Gates led Microsoft as CEO from its founding with Paul Allen in 1975 until 2000, leaving Steve Ballmer to run the company, while Bill Gates became chairman and chief software architect. In 2008 Gates gave up his day-to-day role at the company to spend more time on the foundation.
Last year Bill Gates stepped down from Microsoft’s board as the coronavirus became a force around the world. He began spending more time on the nonprofit Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation alongside Melinda Gates. The two are co-chairs and trustees of the foundation, which launched in 2000.
Bill and Melinda Gates both worked at Microsoft. She had been a marketing manager at the software company. The two met at a dinner for Microsoft employees in 1987. “It took him quite a few months before he asked me out,” Melinda Gates later said. Bill Gates had weighed the pros and cons on a blackboard, and in 1994 the couple were married in Hawaii.
Financial details of the Gateses parting ways are not yet clear. Bill Gates owns 1.37% of Microsoft’s outstanding shares, which are worth more than $26 billion, according to FactSet. The couple were creators, along with Warren Buffett, of the Giving Pledge, which involves giving away more than half of their wealth.
At one point the couple decided to move $20 billion worth of Microsoft stock to the foundation as they sought to increase their commitment to philanthropy, Bill Gates wrote in a 2019 blog post. Today the foundation has over $51 billion in assets, according to a tax filing.
“In the case of Melinda, it is a truly equal partner,” Bill Gates said in the 2019 Netflix documentary “Inside Bill’s Brain.” “She’s a lot like me in that she is optimistic and she is interested in science. She is better with people than I am. She’s a tiny bit less hardcore about knowing, you know, immunology, than I am.”
Bill Gates is the world’s fourth richest person, behind Bezos, LVMH’s Bernard Arnault and Tesla’s Elon Musk, according to Forbes.
The announcement comes two years after Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, said he and his wife, MacKenzie, were getting divorced. Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos are among the world’s richest people, and Amazon and Microsoft compete in the cloud computing business. Amazon said earlier this year that Bezos would be stepping down from his post as CEO and that cloud chief Andy Jassy would replace him.
A former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has separated from his wife, Precious Chikwendu, with whom he had four sons, The PUNCH can confirm.
Fani-Kayode has, however, written a pre-litigation letter to popular blogger, Stella Dimokorkus, demanding N2bn from her for a report he termed libelous.
The blogger had in a report attributed the separation to domestic violence and alleged that the triplet sons may not have been fathered by Fani-Kayode as they were conceived through IVF and Chikwendu had demanded a DNA test.
In a letter signed by his lawyer, Mr. Adeola Adedipe, dated September 16, 2020, the former minister described the report as preposterous.
The letter titled, ‘Defamation of Chief Femi Fani-Kayode- Re: Femi Fani-Kayode and Precious Chikwendu Part Ways Over Alleged Domestic Violence’, stated that the allegations were spurious and maliciously engineered.
The former minister said he was disturbed about the manner in which the report was written which insults the sensibilities of unsuspecting readers.
He denied allegations that he retrieved the car he bought for his estranged wife and had left her broke.
Fani-Kayode said it was saddening that his innocent little children could be dragged into such a report, subjecting them to ridicule.
The letter further read, “Our client is aggrieved and has instructed us to draw your attention to these libelous breaches of his person and family. By this publication, our client has received denigrating phone calls and messages across the globe by virtue of which he now sufferers immeasurable loss of goodwill.
“However, he is inclined to draw a curtain over the wild and spurious claims if you retract the allegations on the same platform they were published and consequently apologise to him in two other national dailies.
“You are also advised to enter into negotiations with us for the sum of two billion naira only being a token amount for penitence. Please bear in mind that you have 14 days from receipt of this letter to comply with the highlighted mitigating measures, the failure of which will leave our client with no preferred alternative than to seek redress in court.”
Fani-Kayode and Chikwendu, who is a former beauty queen, became an item around 2015 and subsequently welcomed a son in 2016.
In 2018, they welcomed a set of triplet boys. (Punch)
***My friend who has 3 kids for her hubby through outside help led me into it, she says
By Linus Oota, Lafia
It was a marriage doomed from the beginning, and after 13 years, it culminated in a tragedy. Presently, the couple, who live in Lafia, capital of Nasarawa State, are gradually coming to terms with the fact that they have opened a Pandora’s box.
It started with the husband’s deceit hiding his impotency from the woman he intended to marry; it got messier with the woman’s effort to break her 12-year barrenness by sleeping with the houseboy and she committed worse sin by murdering the 21-year-old househelp in order to keep her secret. Then a final twist: it turned out the houseboy was actually her husband’s son, born out of wedlock while he was a randy youth. This family calamity with the accompanying incest and murder was spawned by too many secrets between husband and wife.
Strange and improbable it may sound, this is actually a true-life story, a revelation that came straight from the horse’s mouth from the main protagonist herself the nine-month pregnant wife, Rebecca Bako, who prodded by guilty conscience on her own volition knocked on the door of a minister on May 20, 2019, to narrate the travails of her matrimony. Rebecca Bako, arriving at the minister’s house by 8 am at first sat quietly on the bench outside. Few minutes later, she was sharing her story with the pastor in the presence of Saturday Sun correspondent. It was a bizarre, complex, mind-numbing story of 12 years of fruitless marriage, with what would have been the climax the birth of the nine-month pregnancy becoming an anticlimax.
What was Rebecca’s purpose for involving the pastor?
To make a confession, seek God’s forgiveness and plead with the pastor to talk to her husband to forgive her, she clarified.
In an emotion-laden voice, the beleaguered housewife recounted how a perfect marriage gradually turned sour due to barrenness. Her narrative highlighted the aggravating factors, such as a toxic mother-in-law who harangued her endlessly, her husband’s lackadaisical attitude to their childlessness, her own fear of impending menopause and the bad advice of Rose, her childhood friend.
A marriage doomed by childlessness
Before she began her story proper, Rebecca Bako spent two minutes wiping her tears. She started with a recollection of the sunny days. “He was my best friend before we got married. We had a beautiful wedding. Our honeymoon was fun. We were ready to have children as quickly as possible so we could move on.”
As with most marriage, barrenness begets misery.
“After 12 years, I didn’t conceive, I became apprehensive because I was not young any longer and I was nearing menopause. My mother-in-law was even more desperate. She pressured her son to take another wife. I understood her position. My childhood friend, Rose, who is married in Makurdi, advised us to adopt a child, but my husband wouldn’t buy the idea.
“My mother-in-law later came to live with us in the house and she became my nightmare. She made life a living hell for me, to the extent that I contemplated suicide countless times because she insulted me and claimed that I charmed her son who is the only son in the family.” A friend’s sinful counsel At her wit’s end, she turned to friends for advice.
“At a point, I had to share my experience with my friend, Rose, who confessed to me that she once faced a similar problem. She suggested that perhaps my husband might have been the source of the problem all these years. Her advice to me was to find a younger lover and try having sex with him to see whether it would work. According to her, that was how she gave birth to her three children. When she discovered that her husband was finding it difficult to impregnate her after more than two years of marriage, she devised a means of bearing children for him by having an affair outside, and it had worked perfectly for her, that had been the secret to her 10 years of a successful marriage.”
Rebecca recounted her friend’s advice to her: “Go for a guy who is not yet married, who is strong enough to give you the best of sexual satisfaction any time an opportunity presents itself, whether in the night or daytime. An unmarried man can easily walk away without accepting responsibility since he will equally get married someday to raise his own family, so there won’t be complications of laying claims to the child, but do not let the guy know that he is responsible.”
She at first found such advice impracticable. “I had never cheated on my husband before,” Rebecca said. “But I was equally considering my age too just a year away from menopause. For several weeks, I thought over it. I didn’t understand how I would submit my private part to a man other than my own husband; I didn’t know how to find a man who would sleep with me, get me pregnant, and then just walk away.”
Unfortunately, she had, at the time, reached the limit of her endurance, and the circumstance around her was not in her favour. “I’d prayed to God for a way out, but I didn’t get any immediate solution; worse still, I was conscious of my fast-approaching menopause. I concluded that if I did not act fast, I risked losing my marriage once I reach menopause the following year because my mother-in-law was not ready to take chances. She had taken the matter seriously that I must give way for her son to marry another wife who can bear her grandchildren.”
Seducing the houseboy
Bako decided to take her chances after giving the issue a lengthy contemplation. “I concluded that it is better I sleep with our houseboy, Kenneth, who is 21 years old. I had seen his crotch whenever he wore his boxer to keep the house clean. I realised that his manhood was long and sizeable enough to perform such functions. My husband had brought Kenneth from his village to live with us. He had just finished his secondary school and was preparing to go to university. I started admiring him anytime my husband went to work. I summoned the courage and made advances, wooing him with gifts like new trousers and shirts, takeaway food and other attractive items. In no time, he succumbed to me and we started having sex. I warned him never to reveal it and threatened to kill him if tries it. He was not too perfect in bed because of his age, but he was strong enough to give me sexual satisfaction because it takes him longer to release. We progressed in that direction and it became regular.
“After two months of this, I missed my period and the result was pregnancy. I was very happy and informed my friend, Rose that her advice has worked; what my husband could not do for 12 years, Kenneth has done it in less than three months.”
Another diabolical advice
After about four months, Rebecca’s friend, Rose sold her another terrible suggestion. She asked her to eliminate the houseboy who impregnated her. Her reason: He might one day reveal the secret and try to claim the child, thereby bringing shame and embarrassment to the couple. “Something held me back because he was innocent and did not offend me,” she claimed. “After all, I lured him into having an affair with me against his wish.”
She continued: “But Rose continued to pester me, pointing out the dangers to me. Eventually, I had mixed Sniper (a deadly insecticide), otapiapa and rat killer with his food. I kept the meal for him and went to the hospital for medical checkup. Before my return, he had eaten the poisoned food and later died of stomach pain after four hours in the hospital.” She cleverly managed the aftermath by convincing her husband the houseboy’s death could be due to spiritual attacks from the village. One week after his death, the body of the 21-year-old was buried, in December 2018.
“I was sad after his death. I regretted taking such action. I prayed to God to forgive all my sins and I distanced myself from Rose––I stopped picking her calls.” While the death of the houseboy has eliminated the possible risk of future embarrassment, all she got was cold comfort.
“I notice that my husband was sad and affected by Kenneth’s untimely death. He was affected psychologically so much so it almost cost him his job at the bank. He ceased to be a happy man, even with my pregnancy. I tried severally to discuss with him about the future of my unborn baby, but it never interests him, at the time, I was in the fifth month of my pregnancy. Even though the test shows that we are expecting a baby boy, the man was still not happy at all.”
Then comes the dark secret
Three months later, early in the morning of April 30, 2019, her husband had abruptly woken her. She came awake to find him in a disturbed and depressed state. The man broke down, crying uncontrollably, unable to tell his wife the cause of his misery. After a 30-minute cry jag, he was calm enough to tell her why he was crying. He narrated a terrible and shocking story.
Rebecca recalled: “He started by apologising to me for not being fair to me by hiding from me what he ought to have told me from the first day of our marriage 13 years ago. I was confused. What fairness is he talking about? I became curious. Could it be that I am not the only one hiding secrets in this marriage?”
She recalled verbatim what her husband told her.
“He said: “While growing up many years ago, I lived a very rough life. I contracted a Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) and was too ashamed to go to the hospital to treat it, but opted for a local treatment, which was not working. Later I had some medical complications, the untreated virus damaged my testicles and rendered me impotent forever. I didn’t know how to tell you all these years, but earlier before the infection, my girlfriend then in my diploma programme years back got pregnant for me, and refused to abort it, and that cost our relationship. But after three years, she brought a boy to my father. I wanted to reject it but my father accepted the boy and took responsibility while I proceeded to the university. It was the same girl that gave me the disease. She died a few years later as a result of the complications too.”
At this point, his wife had asked about the whereabouts of the boy and how he was faring. Her husband’s reply confirmed her worst fear: “The boy is the late Kenneth who had lived with us as a houseboy. I didn’t want you to know his true identity. I was afraid you might maltreat him or even kill him as most women do to children who are born into their matrimonial homes from another woman. I wanted to protect him since I wasn’t going to be able to get a woman pregnant in my lifetime again.”
The embattled husband once again burst into tears. The couple then came to the knotty part of their matrimonial misfortune when the husband dropped the next bombshell: “ I knew all these while that the baby in your womb is not my own, but I was too ashamed to confront you; now that everything has come to the open, please tell me, who is the father of our unborn child?”
This was how Rebecca found herself in a classic catch-22 situation. At that point, it was clear lies would further complicate the situation. She decided to come clean, she claimed.
“I burst into tears and cried uncontrollably. I found it difficult to explain to him. Since he had been plain with me, I knelt before him in tears and confessed to him that the late Kenneth was the father of my unborn baby boy and that I was also responsible for his death. I pleaded with him to forgive me of all my sins, that I took that course of action to protect the marriage, and the consolation is that the new baby boy will replace his late son.” According to Rebecca, her husband’s mien had briefly reflected anger when he learnt about the circumstances surrounding his son-houseboy death. He, however, appeared conciliatory, advising his wife to let go of the past.
Since their mutual confessions three weeks ago, life has not been the same between the Bako couple. Deteriorating relation between them has put Rebecca on tenterhooks.
“My husband has become a changed person completely,” she said. “He has emaciated, looking sorrowful nowadays. He hardly eats at home. He keeps late nights. As a banker, he gets home around 7 pm. Yet, he still goes out, which is very unusual of him. We hardly talk now. He hardly responds to my conversations. I am worried and even afraid to stay with him under the same roof. I suspect that he might also kill my son too when I delivered. His aloofness really worries me.”
On that note she concluded her story, bursting into tears again. Pastor Joshua promised to meet with the husband by the weekend to hear his own side of the story before taking any decision. Saturday Sun correspondent who was privy to the confession subsequently contacted Rebecca’s husband, who was hardly available due to the tight schedule of his job.
Daniel Bako was forthright in his response. “My brother, I am not myself. I am confused. I don’t deserve to be alive again. I am contemplating suicide. I wanted to give Kenneth the best education because he was my own blood, my only child in my entire life. I am yet to decide whether to be alive or not.”
On his wife, he is “confused about what to do with her.” He said: “It is not enough to kill my son in the name that she wants to protect the marriage. What marriage? What she did is an unforgiving crime, even if he (Kenneth) was not my son, it is wrong anywhere.” (The Sun)
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A traditional ruler in Ise Town, Ibeju Lekki, Lagos State, Taibu Ogunbanjo, is currently cooling his heels in police custody for allegedly crushing his wife to death.
The baale runs a block-moulding factory at Folu, a community in Ibeju Lekki.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Taibu and his wife, Rotimi Ogunbanjo, got married three years ago, but the marriage had been fraught with misunderstanding and fights.
On Thursday, December 7, 2017, the couple reportedly had a disagreement. After the altercation, Rotimi was said to have gone to the baale’s factory and damaged some blocks on the premises.
Taibu reportedly entered his Toyota Highlander, and was driving out of the premises in anger when he knocked down his wife.
A community leader, who identified himself simply as Akinsipe, said the wife died on the spot, adding that the corpse had been deposited at the Epe General Hospital.
He said, “He (Taibu) is the baale of the community. He and his wife had been having issues since they got married. I did not know what actually happened between them on that day, but I learnt that they had a disagreement in the morning.
“She went to his block factory and destroyed some blocks arranged on the premises. He entered his vehicle angrily and as he was driving out of the premises, the wife tried to stop him. He hit her and she died on the spot.”
Akinsipe stated that the matter was reported at the Akodo Police Station, adding that the baale had been arrested.
A police source told our correspondent that the suspect’s family reported at the police station that the death resulted from an accident.
The source said, “The baale and the woman got married three years ago without a child and they had been having disagreements. On that particular day, she destroyed some blocks at the industry. The man became angry and as he was driving out, he crushed her with his vehicle on the factory premises.
“The relations of the suspect have said that it was a case of an accident. But looking at the circumstances surrounding the incident, the accident claim is untenable.
“He could not have lost control of the vehicle on the premises as a result of speeding. There is a limit to the speed the car can go on the premises.”
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Chike Oti, who confirmed Rotimi’s death, said the command would investigate the matter to unravel the motive behind the baale’s action.
He said, “We are investigating the matter to find out what transpired between the man and his wife before the incident happened. They were having family issues, which led the woman to the block industry to destroy things.
“We want to know whether what the man did was a reaction to what his wife did. We believe there is more to the ‘accident’ than meets the eye because there was an altercation between them before the incident occured.”
The PPRO added that the case had been transferred to the Homicide Section of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba. (Punch)