By Divine Muragijimana
Alright my African Ladies, it is time to get real with our African fellows. After a conversation a couple of days ago with some of my African guy friends, I went home thinking: if I was to marry a white man, would that make me a traitor to my “color” or my African roots?
I find the need to write about this after several conversations about African women marrying white men. I wonder if it is time for some of the African men to get a reality grip. I mean, they can’t, and I mean, CANNOT understand why African women can possibly date, marry, or simply fall in love with anyone else but them. What puzzles me is that they truly look confused, and deeply offended by the idea of African women dating outside of the African circle, especially if said significant other is white- that simply puts them on edge.
Let me break it down a bit:
- Guys have you ever heard of the little black book? Maybe you thought only guys have it. Well here is a surprise for you- African Women have that little black book full of numbers. And you have probably heard this : if you as a man are not man enough to step up to the plate and treat women the way in which they know they deserve to be treated, one can rest assured, there are other names in the “black book” as well as on speed dial.
That being said and done, African men are not just competing with their village fellows any longer, the world has become a global village. So while these African guys are fronting, trying to get a girl who will belong in the kitchen, and find you sleepers when you get home, the African women have a little black book with numbers that roll beyond the villages and the state boundaries. Therefore, if African men can’t get their acts together, taking African women for granted, then there are other races willing to treat the women in a manner that is becoming. (This off course applies to African Women too). This leads to my next point.
2. You are not in your country any longer, and even in your own continent. Now women have a whole color scheme to pick from. If I was in Burundi, the chances of me marrying a Burundian, beautiful, dark skin man are higher than my being in this wide-world diaspora. Guys, this means you have MORE competition. So you have to adopt: Treat the women with respect, don’t take them for granted because they are African, and most importantly, women have their own careers and have their own plans that might not necessarily include you!
Need I say more on this point? Or should I mention this wonderfully well put together African man who decided that I was just what he needed and not even a week into the “dating” he had already “wifed” me (in his mind off course). So this week, he told me I was not allowed to travel home because I was a female and could not be safe during my journey, he wanted me to be asleep by 10pm (Ha!), and he was already planning how many children we were going to have, and what he wanted to see when he got home…Needless to say, I walked out of that conversation, and out of that situation never to look back.
- Love is color blind. When you love someone, does it really matter what color their skin is? Trust me fellas, if J’something of Mi Casa -(hey a girl can dream)-turned out to be Mr. Right, I won’t think twice about not marrying him because he is not dark-skinned or Burundian. Let me put it this way, if I find a guy that is of another race/ethnicity, who loves me, and I love them, and we find common ground of making a lasting commitment, then I won’t think twice to marrying him.- Even better, my parents agree.
Don’t you love dark-skin? One of my friends asked. The answer to that is I LOVE dark skin- to not love dark-skin would be like not loving my own skin- which by the way I think is fabulous. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t love another skin color.
There is a greater argument that can be made about a certain lack of respect given to African women by African men- especially if they are career-oriented. There is also an argument to be made for gender equality and such; however, these are all deep-seated issues that require their own column. So in the meantime, African guys who are compelled to complain about African women being with white men should understand that if they don’t step up to the plate, and treat African women well, or love them accordingly- someone else will. Again, the horizons are wider, and the choices are endless.
But understand that African women do not choose to not be with African men. Do I want to be with an African guy- yes. But am I going to wait for one to show up- ah…Nope. African men are not entitled to African women and vice versa. It comes down to personal decisions and preferences. You love and are with the one who loves you, and if he/she turns out to be white…then more power to them. Everyone has the right to love whoever they want and who can treat them the way they want to be treated.
Divine Muragijimana is Burundian native living in NYC, editor in chief of Applause Africa, blogger with Africa for Africa, and President of The Council of Young African Leaders (CYAL). Twitter: @africaforafrica