Wanted: Small Boys for Educated African Women

There was a robust debate out there on the Twittersphere yesterday, and it all stemmed from a simple Facebook status published by BBC’s Komla Dumor:

Is it harder for a highly educated African woman to find a date? We have a story from Egypt. African men are you intimidated by an educated woman? Focus on Africa is at 1730 GMT. Comments are welcome.

And comment they did. Comments flew in by the dozen, 273 of such at last check. Many of them were predictable:

Educated African women don’t (perceivably) submit to their husbands.

Educated African women just behave different.

They don’t know how to respect because they can make their own money.

They are too focused on their careers and not on their families, as they should be.

Others gave me reason to crow:

For any African man who has never set foot in a lecture hall, yes! He will be intimidated by an educated woman!

Of course, this final comment came from a woman.

But you all know me, Adventurers. I have an almost irrational faith in the potential of our brothers, even when they consistently give me cause to abandon that faith. I could not abide the notion that the educated African man, as a class, would eschew a worthwhile life with a similarly educated mate just to soothe his ego! It defies logic! There was only one thing to do…and that was to ask a highly educated African man his opinion on the matter.

Mark* is a 40 year old male, Accra born and raised, with two degrees obtained in London. He’s seen his fair share of the world. I trusted his judgment. In the first 30 seconds of our conversation, he told me everything I wanted to hear. He believed that this was a bit of a myth, particularly in this day and age when the world is so hard.

“Gone are the days when a man can afford to have a wife just sit at home and BE a kept woman,” he said. “So you find that men in my class and my circle, for example, are actively seeking a mate who IS educated, and can bring something to the table; someone who can also make a contribution to her family financially.”

I was pleased. But that pleasure wouldn’t last long. As it is when you spend any length of time in conversation with a person (in this case an hour and a half), the truth eventually comes out. Suddenly, he was miffed by the idea that women who were upwardly mobile in their own right would seek out a mate who was making MORE money than them. Why should they want a ready-made husband? These  educated women did not want to struggle. They don’t marry potential, especially in Ghana. They want a house that’s built and ready to be occupied. Plus, there was the dreaded scenario where a woman might make more than her man. His voice became very sullen at that point.

“You know, a man still wants his woman to look up to him. So even if he’s broke, there should still be some level of deference.”

“How do you mean?”

“Well, let’s say you are going out to eat and your man is broke and you are going to have to pay,” he said. “In order to provide some level of respect, you shouldn’t make it known outside that YOU are the one paying.”

“Ei. You mean I should give him the money in the house so that he can pay at the restaurant?”

“Exactly!” he replied.

He wasn’t even ashamed. Me I should give you MY money that I EARNED in the house so that you can pay in public? Nonsense. The more we talked, the more upset I got.

He told me about a friend of his who was dating a girl who had gone to visit a male friend on campus at Legon. The girl was unreachable for about an hour. When he finally did get her on the phone, he accused her of sleeping with her fellow student, which she of course denied. Then he did the unthinkable: he demanded that she take off her underwear so that he could inspect them for evidence of sex.

“And did she?” I asked. I was horrified!

“Well, yes…she did, of course!  His money was an incentive to comply.”

Good God!

So what is an educated African woman to do? This is not the standard for which we are to strive. Mandela didn’t die for THIS. Sure, the girl in this scenario was educated, but she obviously didn’t possess any purchasing parity of her own. I believe the two go hand in hand as far as “threatening” woman is concerned to an African man. I personally don’t believe that educated African men would want to have an uneducated African wife, because they would want to have an educated/intelligent progeny, but they certainly could not handle the notion of that wife out earning them.

What is an African woman to do? Lower her goals and motivation just to “match” her (potential) mate, or worse, hover just beneath him in the achievement arena? Hardly. And that is why I have come up with a solution: the educated African woman must broaden her net, and in that net, she must set bait for “small boys”.  I can hear you Adventurers now: But you Malaka, what do you know of our troubles? What makes you an authority on the plight of we in the struggle? After all, you are married aren’t you!?

Yes. It’s true that I’m married. I haven’t been on a date in almost a decade. But that’s the point, isn’t it? The original question wasn’t about how hard it is for an educated African woman to find a husband: it was about the difficulty in finding dates.

Uncomplicated, uncommitted, casual dates. And who better to date than a fresh university graduate? Demi Moore and Tina Turner are on to something, I tell you sisters!

Just hear me out. You’re educated, you’ve seen your share of the world, and you fend for yourself. All you want is a little male companionship to talk about the zeitgeist and/or how you both fit into it. Ei. Zeigeist paa, he will say. We never studied that on campus. Let me go read up on it!

And then suddenly, you are molding the perfect man. Whether or not you decide to marry him is up to you, but if you are looking for a date, I recommend the nearest (hottest) undergraduate. Take advantage of the economy. After all, boys abr3 and you have the means to give him enough kibble to keep his belly full and enough experience in the sack to keep him amazed. These older men are so lazy in the sack anyway. They either want to pound you for three minutes and fall asleep, or are suffering from the onset of erectile dysfunction.

Keep your focus laser sharp ladies. We’re talking dates, not marriage! And now that I’ve advised you, I need to keep a more watchful eye over my son come 2030…

18 comments On Wanted: Small Boys for Educated African Women

  • Oh my goodness Malaka! The latter post of your comment cracked me up. Especially “After all, boys abr3”. Major laughs.

    So this interaction with your educated African man friend is I think rather typical. There are so many men who on the surface seem so ‘progressive’, and then you scratch just below the surface and you find your Great great great grandfather’s father. Sigh. I wrote a while back for TIA on how even the ‘feminist’ men I know can make some very disappointing (to me, but why should they care what I think hehehe) choices in mates, and in those choices show that at heart they really wanted to somehow maintain fairly traditional hierarchical and patriarchal relationships…(or marry/date white women – it may seem a bit offhand but I think its relevant but let me go back to the topic at hand).

    So when it comes to dating small boys I have some thoughts. The vast majority of men I have slept with recently have tended to be significantly much younger than myself. The guy I am currently sleeping with is 25 so I’m 11 years older than him. But we are not dating, and frankly I wouldn’t want to date him. Plus I don’t think he wants to date me either. What I think he likes about shagging me is that I’m good in bed, sexually confident, and I don’t blow up his phone…Could I date a 25 year old? Like seriously date? I don’t know. I mean it really depends on the person but I feel that what most 25 year olds and I would want (in terms of dating where we are looking to build a future together) would be so opposite…plus I feel like the things that I like to do for fun (apart from shag) will for the most part not be things they can afford – travelling, checking out nice restaurants, going to arty events etc…But more importantly maybe at a deep subconscious level I don’t really believe the 25 year old African man wants to date the 35 year old African woman. They want to shag her for the experience, and the fun, but do they want to be seen out with her on their arm. I doubt it. Not unless you are Demi Moore or Madonna but maybe that’s just my insecurity speaking…

  • No, Nana. You’re completely spot on with the marrying/dating white women issue as it relates to this topic. I don’t live on the continent, but at least what I’ve seen in the ‘Diaspora’, it’s a boon for an African man to date a White/foreign woman, and if she’s highly educated, all the better! Somehow, they are better able to tolerate the behavior that comes packaged with education (like making demands and having expectations) than they are where an African woman in concerned. It’s like we’re just supposed to be grateful to be out with a man, period. Anyone is free to refute this. It’s merely an observation.

    As far as your 25 year old, I personally don’t believe he would have any issues being seen out in public with you. There is nothing in your appearance that ‘betrays’ your age. We all know Black don’t crack! Like any other relationship, you’d have to cultivate it – if you both really want to. But as you mentioned, there would be limits to what you can do for dates, depending on how much he earns. That’s the trade off, isn’t it? Like you’d either have to subsidize ALL your dates and be fine with it, or be happy doing cheap, local stuff. I personally don’t think Ghanaian men in general are that creative when it comes to dates. Same old sad routine: take you to dinner, maybe go to a hotel, pound you, repeat.

  • To be honest I’m becoming exhausted by this whole issue. I know SO many…too many attractive, educated and fabulous women who are single…far too many for it to become pure chance. I want to give black men the benefit of the doubt, particularly African men but it’s becoming hard. I don’t know what it is anymore and as much as I hold onto the faith and hope that things can only get better sometimes it gets so difficult to stay firm in that faith when these men keep showing their arses! I’m not angry, of course one can live a fulfilled life single and successful, but it’s boring…I for one want regular and sensational sex with a hunk of my choosing.

    Great post by the way. *Goes to lie down and listen to jazz*

  • Oh man! She took off her panties so he could inspect her. Kill me now. I just can not believe that she complied. No matter what the relationship between us, that will not happen. Even my own aunts would never dare to ask me to do such things because they know that the fire I would breathe would incinerate them. mxm. She is enabling his disrespect.

    Next is the matter of giving the man my money at home so he can pretend it’s his. There’s more self-respect in letting me pay than in this charade. How can I respect a man who has no respect for himself?

    woman – “Baby, here is the money to pay for dinner tonight. Make sure you order 2 beers max otherwise there wont be enough for a tip.”

    boy – “what do you mean 2 beers only. Give me some more money this minute. you want people to think I can only buy myself 2 beers! how will they ever respect me?!”

    woman – *sigh* but I know you can’t buy yourself one beer but I respect you enough to pretend with you that you can buy 3.

    really now!

    • Chuwe, you have no idea how much you’ve made me laugh! You’ve painted the absurdity of the picture exactly! What’s all this nonsense? Just order what we want, let the bill come, and let me pay. Aba! LOL!

  • ps- many african men are progressive with regards to other women but not with regards to their own. I hope that makes sense.

  • 3 cheers for Malaka what a post!!! i totally agree with you there. I dated an older, sizzling company executive back when i was young it was paradise the sex and all, i didnt have problems with her settling the bills……..
    But here is what i learnt, its all a passing phase, the fantasy disappears once its fulfilled, we younger guys are in it for the short term, being seen together in public becomes an issue, the fact that African women ”mature” faster physically and also family concerns dampen hopes for a long term establishment, so if educated African women are going to take this route be aware that its all short term

  • In my personal experience, the selection for most men these days isn’t so much between ‘educated v. uneducated’ as it is between ‘highly educated v. moderately/ less educated’.

    Listening to my mom’s stories, when she was in UCC in the 60s, most of her male colleagues had to make the choice whether to marry the women on campus or to marry a woman from their village, chosen by their family, who wasn’t educated at all.

    Now, most of my male colleagues (like your friend Mark) wouldn’t like a woman who’s NOT educated at all/ illiterate. They’d want a woman with some education who can help the kids with their homework & be able to speak english when they go for the company dinner.

    However, most of them wouldn’t like a highly educated woman or to put it better, in their selection, the shape of the woman’s body, her ability to submit herself to them, cook, boost their ego & generally be an obaapa is way more important than any academic degrees she has. For eg: few of my male colleagues at the law school opted to marry lawyers or people who’d been to grad school.

    A substantial number preferred people with lesser education: with the range of sec. sch. graduate to polytechnic graduate & the occasional uni graduate. Moreover, I noticed that if you’re a woman who has a higher degree of education or are wealthier etc, you have to ‘humble’ yourself as they call it ie: you have to humiliate yourself a little or make yourself lower than him somehow in order for it to work eg: the woman who let her boyfriend inspect her panties

  • Dating an Older lady is one thing I Cherish sooo much. Am in my late 20s and seem to be carried away when I come across a lady at least 5yrs older than me. I also once dated a woman 15yrs older than me. I must confess it was great and I just wish to stick to them cos they know what they want and go for it.
    Besides the Experience in bed, they are emotionally matured, independent and more caring. The young man needs to be neat and look cute on the average, well mannered, respect her, be romantic n satisfy her in bed.
    And with all this in place, its gonna be a great one believe me.

  • Ladies, I think you have it wrong. Lots of African men are married to highly educated African women. Many of our wives earn more than we do.

    An African man looks for a wife that can and is willing to take care of the home. For most of us a wife can be as educated as she likes. Most importantly, she must bear primary responsibility for the home. She doesn’t have to do any housework, but she has to be in charge.

    African men are not motivated by romance and companionship as our Western brethren.

    Love the stories though. Can I get some stories about married couples with children who are still getting it on.

    • @Kunle – I read over your comment a couple of times, and I think you are absolutely right. The challenge for some of us so called ‘highly educated African women’ is that we have realised we are not superwomen, and indeed we do not want to be. So we don’t want to be the primary breadwinners AND the one in charge of the house/ So yes you make the point that we do not have to do the housework ourselves – you’re absolutely right. Class and socio-economic privilege means that we can hire (usually) other women to do this work for us, but that in and of itself is a problem. Maybe some of us live in dreamland but if we are to get married we want partners. Partner’s who don’t see housework, child care and care work as the primary responsibility of his wife whether we have just come home from an all day strategic meeting or not.

      Thanks for loving the stories. We love to hear from you.

      I would also love to get some stories from married couples with children who are still getting it on. Send in your stories happily marrieds 🙂

  • I think it depends on the individual. I see alot of successful couples of varying ages. I dated woman from back home 17 years older. I was 23 fresh out of undergrad she was 40(looked 25). She was in the gym often as was I.

    I’ve seen uneducated older women with educated younger men and all kind of couplings.

    Whether one has an education or not, money or not, if two people hit it off and are willing to contribute to their partners happiness and well being, everything else won’t matter as much.

    Honestly I never thought these were such issues in 2014 among us as Africans unless you were over 45. My friends, relatives have healthy relationships with their educated partners and spouses. Then again I’m Liberian, so I have a experience on thee things. Being in America I would pride myself on African relationships and how they lacked competition that brought conflict in American relationships. Maybe I’m not seeing the whole picture or perspectives are more diverse than I thought.

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