|A Beautiful African Woman|
Annie Brisibe-Porbeni in her essay about the predicament, dilemma, distress and anguish that single, educated, intelligent and fun-loving Black women of African origin face in North America -- when it comes to the issue of dating and marriage is captured in the following excerpts from such women:
“…How many of you have boyfriends, husbands or even seeing someone right now with the possibility of a serious commitment…?”
“…Living abroad has put us in a box where men are concerned. You are forced because of lack of choices and a thin pool of educated, descent, okay looking and well mannered young Black men to now accept anything that looks your way…It's even harder finding an African male of your choice because the ones that under normal circumstances you won't even look at are running after White women. Even when you give them a chance to get close they treat you like you should be happy to have them…”
“…I worry that I may never find a Mr. Right or Wrong. I can't date an Asian, a Caucasian, or even someone from the Middle East. My parents will kill me… it's not an option; cultures, dealing with racism, how to integrate into their world or them mine...there are too many issues to deal with. I am not ready for that. It's hard being a Black woman in this society…”
Generally speaking, African women spend eternity waiting for or searching for Mr. Perfect -- when human perfection is an illusion. A second group allows cultural considerations to unduly influence their lives. As humane as the African culture is, certain aspects of it are energy sapping and regressive; therefore, these women should not subject themselves to its demands.
Most African women put themselves in the situation they are in by virtue of their supercilious attitude. Most can’t even tell what they want in a man and relationship. They are confused and can’t decide whether they are Africans or are “non-Africans” living in the West.
These women want to be co-captains, coequals and at the same time quote Oprahisms or threaten you with the intervention of the social service or police if you tell them to behave like a wife. No man in his right mind will go near such a woman -- unless by mistake.
Sometimes, what a woman needs is “Mr. OK,” and not “Mr. Right” or “Mr. Perfect.” Women are often blind or too engrossed with their trivial requirements -- so much so that they wouldn’t recognize Mr. Right even if he came along. Such women come to their senses when it is too late and complain: “There are no good men around…” Oops, ladies, he was right there all along but you were too shallow to recognize a good thing!
Every Nigerian man I know would rather marry a Nigerian woman. The same can be said of all the African men that I know. Sadly, these women want to know the type of car one drives, whether one lives in a home with two car-garages or an apartment. They also want to know what one's salary and investment portfolio is. They want men with exotic cars, Armani suits, Gucci watches, Italian-snake shoes and a cellar full of French wines. They want a ready-made man -- never a struggling man with potential who is decent, loving, and morally and ethically upright.
The educated African women -- mostly the PhD holders, the lawyers, medical doctors, Masters of this and that and their likes are the snootiest. They complain about Black men going after Whites and other non-African. The sad truth is that, more often than not, the non-Africans are ready to “work with you,” but not so for the vast majority of the educated and new rich African women.
Their demands have, in some cases, driven feeble-hearted African men to commit the unthinkable. Today, especially in places like Houston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and the DC-Metro area, we have a segment of Nigerian men selling their soul just to meet the demands of these unscrupulous and greedy women.
The fault is not our women’s alone. Good gracious, some African men can be devilish, conning, lying and cheats who will take women for the ride and, if need be, take them to the cleaners in a heartbeat. Some of these men would commit illegalities even without the women asking. Such men live to please women’s narcissism. Still, I don’t feel sorry for most women who complain about the lack of “good men” for relationships or marriage.
As for some of the women in Annie Brisibe-Porbeni’s essay, I wonder how many men they shunned, dismissed, laughed at and even “spat” at. I wonder. A woman can’t be that smart, funny, educated, sassy, spunky and fun loving and not have flock of men after her. But unfortunately, we have a small group of women (not necessarily Annie’s subjects) who, once they attain certain status, get greedy and dream pipedreams -- waiting for Mr. Perfect to sweep them off their feet.
Yes, it is true that as Africans, marriage is highly rated and the unmarried women are generally frowned upon. But the women Annie Brisibe-Porbeni wrote about live in North America. These are educated women; these are women who probably believe in the equality of both sexes. These are women who, at the very least, have spent an upward of five years in the West. They should know that in most cases, women are their own worst enemies. Most of the time, it is women who are goading fellow women to get married and have children long before their time or long before they are ready and capable.
In this day and age, do women really need a man, a ring, partner and the title, Mrs., to feel complete, happy and blissful? I don’t think so. I don’t because one need not be married to be happy. One need not be married to have children. One need not be married to feel accomplished. One need not be married to have a wonderful life.
To feel otherwise is to stunt one's growth, happiness and sense of fulfillment. African women should stop worrying about what society thinks or feels about them in terms of their marital status. They don’t need men to feel complete! And for those who must worry, well, they should stop searching for Mr. Perfect or Mr. Readymade.
African women should cultivate their own gardens instead of waiting to be fed; plant their own flowers instead of waiting for men to bring them roses. You are capable; you illuminate the world and give joy to humanity.
Sabella Ogbobode Abidde is a PhD Candidate & SYLFF Fellow. He is with Howard University, Washington DC. He can be reached at [email protected]