Monday, February 25, 2008

The question of Multicultural dating.

(Before, you start reading: this post is not supposed to generate a regional war, rather it is to understand where certain ideas are coming from. I want to understand).


Anytime, I choose to write on this Multicultural thing - it seems to turn instantly to interracial dating. I am sorry - this time, we shall not digress. This topic has been touched upon on so many blogs including Solomonysydelles, Ugo and other heavy weight websites like African Loft, let's not forget the magazines as well. But one thing, I have noticed is the tendency to move to white dating black. This time we are going to talk about people dating outside their regions of Africa.

Have you ever considered doing so? Have you ever done it? What attracted you to this person? I was talking to this South African Lady the other day and she said that African men in general are attracted to South African Women rather than Kenyan (East Africa) or Ghanaian (West African) women because of the concept of luxury. The idea that these women are richer, more classy and more dignified. African men, make your case - is she right??


I have to admit that on hearing that I was slightly peeved as my mind instantly catapulted to the list of West and East African doctors, lawyers, IT professionals and the works that exist in the diaspora. My mind also went to the fact that there are more immigrants coming from East and West Africa compared to other regions of Africa and many from these regions come here, get educated in many cases with their Masters and PhD and no, I am not bragging because I am WA, but go to any institution in the USA, UK, Australia, look at those graduating for that year - now count the West Africans and East Africans and then compare. Now many of these graduating 'seniors' start earning well and remain within the middle to upper echelon of society. To further prove this, pick up your yellow pages, start counting doctors and lawyers (just decided to pick these professions) - how many are from West and East Africa? How do they compare to other regions of Africa respectively?
The answer is that they compare quite favorably. There are more from these regions individually. Now, how much do these people earn on average? (Make I help una here, we are talking six figures). Yes, all this mathematics was my response to the richer, dignified and classier ideology. I think a lot of people in the bid to seem so important stick to the man who sells bootleg dvd, bags and shoes as being the image of the normal West African. That is quite erroneous. For many West Africans, who start working minimum wage jobs, many are dealing with a lot of responsibilities, including SCHOOL.

Now, I could chalk her comment up as youth and ignorance talking but I realized that if she is right then there seems to be some miseducation going on - so I want to be reeducated by the African Men. Do you consider people like me: highly educated West African women (don't wanna brag but seriously), who are quite goal oriented as being too "Bush" for your taste??

Now Unto Multicultural Dating:


Maybe it is just me having a cold and being groggy this night but I get peeved when people talk about multicultural dating across regions as being the easiest thing to do because seriously it isn't. Personally, I feel it is easier to date outside your race than to date within your race across regions of Africa. Africans tend to be very proud of their culture so who will be giving up what for whom?

Are you ready to accept the fact that your man MIGHT NOT be willing to learn about your culture but he wants you to learn all you can about his? Are you willing to accept the fact that he might want his children brought up ONLY with his culture being the only source of knowledge while yours gets quietly erased? These are questions that people deal with when they date across regions of Africa.

So, I throw the ball back in your courts with these questions:

a) will you date outside your region of Africa?

b) if yes, will you be willing to do the things listed above? If no, how will you handle it if he insists on it?

c) Do you agree with her comment about South, East and West Africans?

d) What is up with non Nigerians saying that Lagos is Beautiful?? The Lagos I remembered was definitely not beautiful, it was fast paced, crazy and you stayed in traffic for two hours, way too many cars etc. So, what is this beauty I jus dey hear about? Maybe na Lekki and V.I these people went to. Or is my memory flawed - will you guys ascribe the word beauty to Lagos.




Ignore the Arabic thing - I don't know what is going on with blogger today'.

Remember, this is supposed to incite a discussion, not a we are better than them kind of argument. I want to know if there are any basis to that thought pattern??


Talib Kweli in Lagos, Nigeria. Thanks solomonsydelles


Have Your Say!!

Happy Monday.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

This post will definitely incite some xenophobic comments.

I really don't think that young lady knows what she is talking about - maybe what she is saying occurs in south africa but not in the diaspora. Yes, West African women tend to be more likely to give up the helm of leadership in their relationship and when they get worked up, then tend to talk faster and with a higher pitch which might be viewed as being unclassy. But, people need to listen to what she is saying in that high pitch voice, trust me, it tends to make a lot of sense.

I have never been to Lagos but I was told that Lagos is beautiful, so it depends on the eyes that you are using to view your hometown.


I am currently dating a beautiful Nigerian Woman and we have been together for more than 2 years. To be quite honest, it was difficult at first but by the end of the first year, we understood that the most important things was our love for each other. The whole thing of culture will sort itself out at the end of the day. I want my child to know my culture but I also want him/her to know her culture because that means that he/she will be more balanced.

Many Africans find it easier to date other black groups (Caribbeans) than date outside their region of Africa.

I think the answer to all these questions lie in individual choice as well as the eyes you use to view these questions.

This is hard reading for a Monday Morning.

pamela said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pamela said...

About xenophobia: that was the reason I warned people to think her points through rather than react. My post is not a who is classier or richer than whom kinda post rather it is a, "are people being misinformed here". I move with a bunch of West African Women and all of us have our masters degree or more and are doing well for ourselves well minus me on doing great because I am just starting. So, it is quite upsetting to hear comments like that. Personally,(maybe it is because I am WA), I do not see the big deal in the guy or woman who sells on the side of the streets because when you talk to them - they have their reasons for selling on the streets. I knew a lady from Ivory Coast, she worked three jobs each day because she was putting a whole bunch of kids through school back home. So, I do get angry when people dismiss WA, without finding out what their stories really are.

That said: congratulations on your love life. I sense some maturity from you in that you were able to understand that at the end of the day, it was the woman that you are dating rather than her culture and fortunately, you did not get into the "whose culture is better than whose kinda war".

Lagos: As I mentioned earlier, maybe my memory was flawed but I remember little children hawking, too many cars, accidents, traffic, muddy roads and the list is endless. Of course, there are BEAUTIFUL parts in Lagos but I will not ascribe the word beauty to Lagos rather I will use the word fast paced but then maybe that is me.

Nyemoni said...

Yepa...this post na thesis o! Ok lemme go read!

pamela said...

lol at Moni :D

Anonymous said...

Our first year was horrible and I believe we broke up several times that year. I am very proud of my culture and she happens to be extremely proud of hers, so when you have two hot heads who love their cultures, you either choose to go your seperate ways or you choose to be with the person despite the differences. I choose to be with her despite our differences.

WA: the problem is that the most visible ones are the guys who sell on the side of the street. So that might be where she is coming from.

This post is quite long so, many might not want to read it.

By the way, I know you ms feisty.

guerreiranigeriana said...

interesting post...i actually liked the arabic...nice touch, albeit unintentional...i am supposed to be writing an article that is due today and i still need to go to work...i will come and respond later...but yeah, this is heavy for a monday morning...like eating fufu for breakfast...which i might go do...:)

...you're in la?...curious if i know you...haha...because all was know each other...6 degrees...you never know!!!...

pamela said...

lol....nothing wrong with fufu in the morning o!! :D


I shall not confess here. :P

guerreiranigeriana said...

eh hehn..to answer these your heavy questions o...

a)...i would and have dated outside my region of africa...i have accepted at this point that no matter who it is, it will be a culture clash on some level...especially since many cultures coming from the many countries of africa tend to put emphasis on the father's culture only, i will be fighting a battle to make sure that both cultures from which i come in nigeria are not excluded...even with someone from the same tribe and village o, will be a challenge as one person may want to stick more to the traditions than the other [example-one parent wants to teach the children the tribal language, while the other parent thinks the children should just speak english]...but i do like learning and interacting with other cultures so i am open to sharing...

b)no, i am not willing to just disregard my culture in favor of one other...even as my mother tells me to disregard hers and just rep my father's, i cannot, as i am just as much a part of her culture as i am my father's...like i said, sharing is key...there is no reason that one has to take precedence over the other...there is no insisting jo...i will just leave him before it gets too far o...

c)the thing with such comments i keep in mind is the source...you are talking to a south african woman...why would she tell you that african men love west african woman?...the guys who told her that may have been trying to convey that they were digging her because she conveyed those traits and just blanketed the statement...according to rumor on my end, and its quite a reputable source, african men love/feen for/fantasize about/dream of efik women...*tongue in cheek*...while in ghana, ghanaian men told me that nigerian girls were finer than ghanaian girls but ghanaian girls had longer and nicer hair...an angolan friend of mine told me he loved nigerian women because we are nice...whatever...i don't care for such blanket statements...they don't hold water...and at the end of the day, those statements don't really matter...wa and ea women are still finding african husbands...so...

d)dunno...i personally love calabar;)...lagos has its beauty and allure...depends on what you are looking for to define as beauty...i loved the variety of people and languages you could hear in lagos...beautiful!!!....bodies of water, albeit polluted....but, still somewhat beautiful, especially during dawn, as you are driving over the bridge and the fog is still lazily hovering over the water....beautiful!!!!...

...at the end of the day, this culture, based on region/nationality, is just one of the many cultures we will have to balance in a relationship...add cultures which come with social class, religion, profession, location, alma mater, professional affiliations, interets, etc. and you've got a nice pot of culture stew to sift through...

...i enjoyed this post, although my belly was full o at work:0...will you confess at merkato's?...i am feenin for ethiopian food like crazy!!!!!....and i feel like scoping some habesha dudes:-)...

guerreiranigeriana said...

sorry about the length of that last comment o...i no sabe brevity...

GERALD said...

so suprised....
I wonder if people will not accuse u of re.......

pamela said...

gerald: lol
re... what??
Come on, you know me - I just call it as I see it.


guerrina: lol, you want to get me there and get me to confess ehn???

30+ said...

Na dem sabi, dunno the south african babe o.

But you are right it is easier to marry outside your race. We (Africans) are rather complex (our histroy and culture to blame for that).

Jaycee said...

He he...

I am very open to other races (even if I'm dating a Nigerian man), I think it depends on the two individuals. My take on this is that cases such as "multicultural dating" should not be generalized. Each relationship is different. In some relationships they would have had several discussions abt it before they started dating, and in other cases they may not.

In some cases, the African woman herself may want her children to be Westernized instead of Africanized (forgive my new words), and in other cases the African women will def teach her children her mother tongue. So it really depends.

I've seen Nigerian women bringing their husbands from other countries to Nigeria, and they end up living in Nigeria for the rest of their lives, and I've also seen vice-versa.

On the case of men being attracted to South African women because they see "luxury" and "wealth" written all over their faces, I def haven't heard of that one before (interesting)...but I can somewhat understand the philosophy because South Africa is known as a very beautiful and plush country, I def would want a vacation there pretty soon myself (not to say other African countries aren't beautiful o...but...errrmmm)...lol. Let me leave this for the guys to speak up...I reserve further comments...

Jaycee said...

Lagos is getting so over-crowded its not even funny. My most recent view of Lagos (since I was there last december) is that yes, some parts are beautiful and other parts are ugly. The beautiful parts of Lagos (e.g. Lekki, V.I) are getting to be more beautiful each day; while the ugly parts are getting uglier with each passing second.

The population needs to be reorganized, people need to spread out before the city gets choked up. The traffic systems get completely jammed up each day...(if u live on the mainland and work on the island, u're bound to cross the third mainland bridge at least after 12 midnight or thereabt).

But *Sigh*...I love Lagos...

pamela said...

gueerria: you bring up a lot of good points in your post. But, though I remember Lagos as definitely being multicultural in terms of the different cultural groups and languages living side by side. But, when I say physical beauty, I am not looking at those characteristics.

About African Culture dictating that the father's culture should supercede, my response is: na them sabi.

30+: I agree.

pamela said...

Jaycee: I accept some of the things that you said BUT though South Africa has some very beautiful places, I do not think that people/african men should use the physical beauty or ugliness of a particular country as a basis of if they should be or date a particular person. It should be about character, wanting to know the person etc. Anyways, I no be by force. :D

Jinta said...

dont know what the south african is talking abt

i have dated outside of my region, and culture was never an issue. they were nice girls and i enjoyed our association. i picked up tit bits of their language and they, mine. we had fun

lagos is beautiful - born and bred there, i can tell you that the chaos you so eloquently describe is what makes it beautiful

A Kel called Wonder ...... said...

I accept that there is nothing wrong with marrying out of ur race.


When u say race i take it u mean colour difference. Cos from all africans are from the same race (black race).

My friend married a lady from SA and he adores her, his family adore her, she's blessed!

pamela said...

jinta: lol!! I wish 2 hours traffic and traffic lights that don't work a lot of the time, let's not forget muddy roads could be called beautiful. :-D Sorry, still not buying the beautiful comment. Yes, I am a Lagosian too...bred there till I moved to the states.


Akel: then I guess your friend followed the trend then. Hopefully, he dated and eventually married her because of who she is rather than a perceived character based on the "beauty" of her land. That said, africans are all one race supposedly but we are all VERY DIFFERENT from North to South, East to West. The way we see the world is VERY different. The way we go about our daily activities is very different. In the states, New yorkers have the characteristics of doing things very fast compared to Nebraska. But citizens who live in New York and Nebraska are all Americans. Bringing it back to Africa, though we are all Africans, our cultures are very different. In a multicultural relationship, it often comes down to acknowledging, accepting and working with those differences.


:D

pamela said...

I just want to add that in the states, a lot of Africans are dating across regions but NOT ONE person that I know has told me that it was an easy walk in the park.

A couple of them are still struggling with the differences after more than 10 years.

But, I am glad that it is working out great for both of them. Makes me smile. I would have said sing but I sound like a frog right now.

:P

Honeywell said...

a. yes i would. but i have to honestly say that i am more attracted to nigerians or camerounians.....
b.i will not agree to any of the above. I do not think it is fair for my children to learn only about one part of their history.
c. i do not agree. From my experience, african men will date whatever they feel is beautiful and not to tedious to obtain, be it east, west or south african women. And i have never heard or seen anything like what she said about the ascribing of luxury to south african women...
d. i am a nigerian, and i grew up and lived there all my life, and i do have to say, it is beautiful.. yeah, there are traffic and sewage and other issues, but if you go to the right places aka lekki and vi and such, it is beautiful...

'Yar Mama said...

FYI the script is not Arabic but Hindi...

'Yar Mama said...

FYI the script is not Arabic but Hindi...

pamela said...

just found out. Thanks. All I know is I want to make sure that does not happen again unless I want it to.

pamela said...

Anyways, got a chance to talk to ms sa and we reclarified. She mentioned that it was not her saying that but what African men had told her. So, I guess that ends that.

Till the next thing peeves me.

LOL!!

Maybe, I need to go do some "interesting" exercise so I can stop being tensed up. (double wink!!)

guerreiranigeriana said...

lol @ this your last comment...is this a solitary exercise?...haha...

pamela said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pamela said...

exercise that is solitary is not fun...lol!!!! :D

For the love of me said...

I can't comment on the other issues cos I am not sure what exactly my opinions are. On lagos being beautiful, I think that the word beauty is relative, I see Lagos as beautiful and I doubt I could enjoy living in any other city as much as I enjoy living in Lagos. And no, I do not live in V.I or lekki or Ikoyi, just a regular part of town. The traffic in VI can drive anyone insane though.

pamela said...

hmmm


:-)

tobenna said...

Pamela's world!
Where are your pre-2008 posts?
Bring them up please. You have been a blogger since 2005.

I will try to restrict myself to your questions.

a: I would date outside my African region. Heck, I would date anybody, anywhere in the world.

b: When it comes to culture, I would expect that my woman's culture is equally as important as mine.

c: Stereotypes exist everywhere, even within Nigerian cultures. Other Africans, more so. I've met a South African who thinks that Nigerian men are the best because we know how to take care of women (rolling my eyes). I've met Zimbabwean & Zambian chics, who give Nigerians a wide berth because we all are dubious and into drugs :)

d: Lagos could be beautiful in some areas. However, you cannot describe Lagos as a beautiful town.
Fast paced and aggressive are more apt.

By the way, in Asia, there are more educated east/south africans than west africans. Most of the west africans here generally tend to be business men/women, drug dealers or con artists. I did not say all.

Also, another very common stereotype amongst men is that, South Africans, as well as their East african counterparts have fantastic hips and backsides, but flat chests. While WAfrican ladies have the best of both worlds.
Senegalese ladies?! Don't get me started.
I know, I know, that these are the least important things when considering a life partner, but, unfortunately, that is still what CATCHES our attention. Who you are, KEEPS our attention.

Sigh...

pamela said...

LOL Tobenna we know (roll eyes)

But, my dear young friend said it not in the context of Asia but rather the U.S and U.K and so she is very wrong and should have done some research before talking.


Zambian: You sure about that. I know a couple of Zambian ladies married to Nigerians and vice versa in New York and California respectively. I should add very happily married. Never met a zim and west african couple. Do they exist?? (I know a couple of ppl will want to kill me for that comment...lol!!)


Lagos: I am glad that someone sees things the way I do. ah ah na wetin be dis beauty I jus dey hear about. LOL!! :D


Asia: Good to know. But how many immigrants from Africa have their first choice as Asia. That is normally choice nos three, if others do not work.



Senegalese women: Lol!! Is it safe to say that your fiancee is from Senegal.


:D


No, I will not be putting up any of my old blogs up..

tobenna said...

With JJ Okocha's voice.....'please na' Put up the old posts. Are you scared of something?

Na, my girl's not Senegalese, but she looks like one. Slim, dark & sexy. I like 'em like that :P

Oh, and in describing Lagos, add DIRTY!

pamela said...

tobenna: yes, I am very scared of something.


lol at the comment on your fiancee. Enjoy!!

lol....

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