|Moving on . . . Tracy Akingbogun with a shot of her family in happier times|
Mum-of-four Tracy only discovered the shocking news through a friend months later — and kicked him out. Heartbroken Tracy, also 43, says: “While I was at home with the kids missing him at Christmas, his present to himself was a new bride. “I still can’t believe he did that to us after more than ten years together".
“I did some research and saw that the ceremony was a religious one and not a legal one. So he hadn’t committed bigamy. His dad had five wives during his lifetime, so I suppose David thought he could do that too. But not when he was living in the UK and not when he was married to me.”
|Wedding no1 . . . David and Tracy married in 2005, two months after their son Kayodo was born|
Tracy, from Gravesend, Kent, adds: “This Christmas it will be just me and the children again, just like it was last year. But this time I’ll be over the moon that David isn’t with us.” Tracy was a single mum to Cameron and Alysia — now 17 and 13 — when she met David in a nightclub while she was on a rare night out in March 2004.
She recalls: “I was watching a group of lads on the pull, but one of them wasn’t. He was just leaning against the bar enjoying himself. He saw me watching him and came over to chat. His name was David and he was really kind and gentle. He’d only arrived from Nigeria three months before.” David moved into Tracy’s home just six weeks later and Tracy was delighted to discover she was pregnant. Their son Kayode, now 11, was born in December 2004 and they married two months later.
Tracy says: “It was a small ceremony with a few family and friends. David read out a poem and told me he really believed in me and our future together. From then on he called me ‘Wifey,’ his pet name for me.” The next year the happy family went to Nigeria to meet David’s relatives.
Tracy says: “They were lovely to us and even went through the traditional ceremony of washing our feet when we arrived.” Their second son Olalekan, now four, was born in December 2011.
|Wedding no2 . . . David with his secret wife on their Boxing Day nuptials Louis Hollingsbee|
Tracy busied herself bringing up her brood while David turned his hand to various businesses from buying and selling cars to running a market-stall. He also tried to set up an internet cafe. But two years later she found messages between David and a Nigerian woman.
Tracy says: “One read: ‘When you were last here I wish I’d kissed you.’ I shouted at him, and wanted him to explain himself. He said she was someone he used to date before he came to the UK. He said it was nothing, they were just friends". “I told David it was her or me. He said it was me, I was his wifey and that was that. Over the next few months he tried hard to show he meant it and we got back to normal.”
Then David announced he would have to go to Nigeria over the 2014 festive period. Tracy says: “I was furious. I told him he should be here for his sons — for our family. He kept insisting he had important family business.”
David flew out the day before Christmas Eve and Tracy was upset the family would be apart. She says: “I was so angry with him, but I wasn’t going to let the children know that. It was Christmas so I was going to make it a good one.” She messaged David, reminding him to call their boys on Christmas morning.
|Secret wedding . . . Tracy discovered David's messages to his new wife on Facebook Louis Hollingsbee|
Tracy says: “David finally called at 9pm. I gave him an earful but let him speak to the children. I was so angry with him. On Boxing Day I didn’t hear from him, but I spoke to him and his family the next day and they were all friendly and normal.”
But, on David’s return, Tracy felt something had changed. She says: “When he wasn’t away working he was on his laptop. He was hardly speaking to me or the boys. I would encourage him to spend time with them, but he’d snap at me and say he was busy.” Tracy tried to make her family life as happy as possible but in May came a bolt out of the blue.
She got a message on Facebook from the partner of one of David’s friends in Nigeria, a woman Tracy had met when she visited. She says: “The message read that he’d got married to another woman on Boxing Day — everyone knew apart from me. She didn’t think that was right.
“The world I loved had been whipped from beneath my feet. Tears streamed down my face. I’d known something was up. I confronted David but he denied it. He seemed so cool and calm. So I messaged her and said there must be a mistake.”
|'Gentle' soul . . . Tracy met David in a nightclub and he moved into her home six weeks later|
What came next wiped away any trace of doubt Tracy had. Tearfully, she recalls: “She ended up sending me photos of the wedding ceremony via WhatsApp and confirmed it to me. There was no denying that.” Shaking, Tracy managed to guess his Facebook password and logged in. There, she read messages between him and his new wife, the woman she’d caught him messaging two years before, who was also his ex-girlfriend.
Tracy says: “I was so angry I couldn’t speak. He couldn’t get married — he was my husband! I confronted him and he tried to deny it again but this time I told him I’d seen the photos and read the messages. I told him to pack his bags and get out". “I don’t take calls from his family, as they were in on this and went to his wedding last Boxing Day while lying to me".
“He abandoned his children and me to get married to another woman. He’s made his choice and now he’s stuck with it.” David said: “I can do what I want. It’s nobody’s business. What do you want me to do?”
Culled from THE SUN, UK