Now for years there seems to be this ongoing debate involving that exact question. And many generalising statements flying around like “Zim men are trash” or “Nigerian men are better than Zim” etc.
And after nearly a year in hiding from blogging I’ve always quietly observed this argument as quite frankly most of the time I’m late to the party and other times I just mind my own business. But in my recent discovery of other social apps in this lockdown this debate seems to be hot following a discussion on Clubhouse this week.
First of all, I am a Zimbabwean woman married to a Nigerian man. That’s just fact. There’s a few of us who fall in this category and I sometimes wonder whether sharing our opinion in this debate is considered invalid… But I strongly think there is room for everyone to share their part. And I firmly believe that some of these statements have been born from real experiences too, so not to completely discredit anyone either.
But the simple matter is, to generalise a whole nationality of men based on a few people’s bad experiences is wrong. I cannot speak for the women who have made it their mission to seek men from West Africa for what sometimes seems like material gain and buy into the slander that speaks so negatively on the South African man. I’m only me with my own experience.
So as the Zim woman with the Naija man, what do I think? The fact is there is trash wherever you go. Period. Let’s just start there.
I have been raised by and around incredible Zimbabwean men who do everything that proves the statement “Zim men are trash” wrong. I have seen the hardworking, romantic, chivalrous Zim men in all my years so I don’t get why this has become such a wide craze and status quo. To the women who read this and ask “so why didn’t you marry a Zim guy?”… Well, that’s just not how it works. For marriage to happen you need two consenting and willing adults, yes? Mine just happened to be Nigerian. I never sought out against the Southern brothers nor did I eagerly pant for the West African brothers either. And if you asked my husband he would tell you that he didn’t intentionally go out of his way to find a non-Nigerian wife, it just worked out that way. I was very clear on the qualities I needed in a partner and prayed for exactly that. Whatever shell or nationality that person was going to be was up to God. Being in the diaspora has opened us all to a wide range of cultures and nationalities so he could have been from anywhere if I’m honest.
In my dating years I spent time with either side of the borders and had very different experiences with each person. And I most certainly learnt there was trash everywhere you go! If there is a Zimbabwean man who is lazy there is equally a Nigerian one, and if there is a Nigerian man who is very loving and romantic there is equally a Zimbabwean man that can do the same. It’s that simple. In all my dating experiences I never felt like after each end I would vow against a nationality altogether, because that one person was simply not enough to generalise. Sure, there can be majority scenarios – in both borders. Case in point my exes where in circles where everyone was single. They were much in that “boyz” culture and marriage, commitment, planning for the future were just not things they were interested in. That wasn’t a result of where they were from, it was just about maturity… or rather lack of. Look at it however you like.
I do often wonder though as a daughter to a single mother, would my alliance to the Zimbabwean man been more present if I had grown up with a positive and present father? My father passed away when I was 9 just after we moved to England, so my experiences in dating, growing, being open to explore, allowing for a difference in opinion are all formed on that. To the Zimbabwean daughter who was raised by both her parents I ask, is your desire to marry in the same culture based on the premise of wanting to marry someone as great as your father or is your desire to seek strongly outside of that, be that Nigerian or whatever, based on the fact that you don’t want to end up with someone like him?
Maybe explore that angle first before you slander your brothers, uncles and fathers all over the place. On Clubhouse or not. To those that chose to marry for love and friendship with only those factors in mind, here’s to you. To the other side that maybe did things differently, here’s to you too. We all made choices and those all have a starting point – just enjoy your choices and learn from your experiences, we aren’t all going through the same thing.
Let’s not forget… There is trash anywhere you go, it’s your choice how you choose to rummage through it.