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Microsoft CEO and billionaire Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates announced that their wedding is ending after 27 years in marriage. The couple made this known via the Twitter varied account.

Bill and Melinda speaking in a joint  Twitter statement said  "After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage. 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 statement reads.

According to CNN, Melinda Gates filed a petition for divorce in King County, Washington, on Monday, asking a judge to dissolve the marriage based on the couple's separation contract. No financial details were included in the publicly available documents.

The couple met shortly after Melinda, 56 joined Microsoft in 1987 at a business dinner in New York. At the time, Bill Gates, 65, who founded the Microsoft Company was running as CEO. Melinda stated as a product manager was the only woman in the first class of MBA graduates to join the company and eventually rose through the ranks to become a general manager of information products. 

The couple married in Hawaii in 1994.

Melinda described what her encounter with Bill looks like in one of her books which she titled " The Moment of Lift": I showed up late, and all the tables were filled except one, which still had two empty chairs side by side. I sat in one of them. A few minutes later, Bill arrived and sat in the other."

Bill and Melinda have achieved so much together and have done more for humanity globally with their philanthropic organization which they founded together in 2000. According to the foundation website, the foundation has spent $53.8 billion on a wide range of initiatives which includes global health, poverty alleviation and more.

However, it is no news that the Gates through their foundation were are the forefront during the global fight against COVID 19 pandemic which almost brought the business world to its knees. The report has it that as of December, the group had committed a total of $1.75 billion to the global pandemic response to provide vaccine and treatments and equitable distribution around the world.

In March 2020, Bill Gates stepped down from the boards of Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway to "dedicate more time to his philanthropic priorities," including work to tackle climate change.

Melinda Gates is also the founder of the investment firm Pivotal Ventures, which confirmed the couple's separation.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index ranking, Bill Gates net worth as of February 2021 was $137 billion.

Meanwhile, the news came as a shock to many Nigerians who look up the Gates as a power couple worthy of emulation and below are selected reactions on Twitter 

Social commentator Wale Adetona @slimfit said: "Bill Gates and Melinda Gates divorcing after 27 years is the most shocking news this week so far." 

Writer and journalist, Fisayo Soyombo of @fisayosoyombo said, "Bill and Melinda Gates parting after 27 years and their divorce announcement is more harmless than what some ongoing lovers exchange. So civil. Love can go rancid but no breakup should be caustic."

Special Assistant to President Buhari on New Media, Bashir Ahmed of @bashirahmed said "Wow. After 27 years. Scary! 😞" 

Aspiring writer and PR strategist, Alex Oluwatobi of @alexlobloba said "The news of Bill and Melinda Gates divorcing after 27 years is really shocking! This simply shows that there's no manual to this "together forever" thingy jawe. Kudos to all our parents who stayed married for so long, they really tried!"

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