I can’t count the number of times I’ve met Nigerian men overseas, and when the issue of relationships came up, they talked about how they’ve been emotionally battered and used by women of other nationalities, and are now ready to ‘settle’ for a Nigerian wife.
The first time I heard it, I was flattered. “Aww! He wants to come back home. Nigerian girls are the best!” but as time went on, I started to wonder if flattery was the right response to such a statement? What makes up a Nigerian wife anyway?
A typical Nigerian wife is respectful; she lets her husband make most of the decisions, does not challenge his authority and always aims to please. She’s the submissive woman who will not move an inch if her husband decides she doesn’t need to earn her own money or study further…. Well that is the image of the typical Nigerian wife. I daresay my Nigerian sisters of the 21st century will march on in the direction of their dreams. I digress, back to the issue at hand.
Many men have lamented about the need for this ‘Nigerian wife’- the one who will show them the respect they believe they deserve and treat them like the kings they think they are. When they approach a woman, they expect that this statement should be adequate to win her over “I’ve been looking for a Nigerian wife, so I’m so glad I met you.” Are they meaning to say the only criterion on their list is she must be Nigerian? What about her personality, her dreams, her values, her moral code? Is it enough to accept a man who just wants me because I’m Nigerian and nothing more? Hell no!
I find that many men make that mistake overseas. They pick any available Nigerian girl as their partner simply because she’s Nigerian, and then begin to complain bitterly because her attitude does not automatically fit the image of the Nigerian wife. I’ve met Nigerian men who have been utterly disappointed by the fact that my dinner of choice is sometimes a chicken wrap instead of the good old eba and ila alasepo (Okra soup made with all kinds of meats and fish). I’ve met Nigerian men who just couldn’t wrap their minds around the fact that my weekend activity of choice is stretching on my sofa, reading a good book, or watching an old movie I’ve seen a thousand times, just because I don’t feel like doing anything and cannot be bothered. Weekend cooking? The Pizza and Chinese restaurants deliver! And of course there are those Nigerian men who get the shock of their lives when they visit hoping I’ve made a scrumptious dinner to impress them, only to find me dressed up, ready to go eat out with them. And even more interesting are those who get surprised when I visit them, and I don’t rush to help with the dishes or collect the broom when they are sweeping. LOL! Seriously, they exist! I’ve met them!
But I’m Nigerian, isn’t that what they were looking for?
Please, my Nigerian brothers, biko stop looking for a Nigerian wife, look for a woman who makes your heart dance and makes you feel young at heart when you’re with her. Nationality counts for nothing. That I was born in Nigeria does not mean I will become the typical Nigerian wife; and I honestly don’t want anyone to marry me because I am Nigerian. Date me because you love my personality because you understand my values and because you believe I can add value to your life as you add value to mine. My nationality should not be the deciding factor! That I’m Nigerian does not mean I will not challenge some of your decisions or try to make you see things from my own point of view. That I’m Nigerian does not mean you can tell me to sit quietly and I will listen. Those were the Nigerian women of ages past! The Nigerian women of today will laugh out loud, put on their heels and leave. Shikena! End of story.
So please, don’t come to me and tell me about how you’ve been looking for a Nigerian wife all this while. It would seem to me that you want my nationality more than my personality and that to me just does not make sense. If you cannot love me with zero expectations of what you think my nationality should have instilled in me, please leave me single. Don’t even bother trying to tell me those expectations. I cannot mould myself to meet the expectations of every Nigerian guy I meet.
I am very aware after reading this many more Nigerian men will run away from a rebellious girl like me. Issorai! I am who I am and I’m happy with myself. If you cannot love me for me, leave me. Don’t marry me because you expect me to be the ‘Nigerian wife’ you want.
EDIT: By the way, No Nigerian girl should feel flattered by a man who has wasted the best part of his years chasing after undeserving women, only to decide he wants a Nigerian woman now that’s he old and tired!