This is a very tricky issue and you must pay more than the usual attention. Take out your notepad and jot if you must. Call up my editor if you have problems- he has my number. In fact because of how tricky it is, for the first time I will be addressing male and female foreigners separately. And emm, for you who are gay, don’t worry. I have a little something for you too. I believe in equal opportunities you know...
White man/black woman
I must begin by explaining what people say when they see a black woman and a white man. Forgive me, but they think you just got a sex worker for more than the regular rate.
It is sad, but that is what many people think. Some even say it. Please, I am NOT talking to those construction workers who deliberately set out to get prostitutes- we know your types.
Look elsewhere. Try naijabadgirls.com (or whatever site they are using these days). I am talking to decent straight white men who are looking for love, with or without sex to go with it. You must do your background checks. Don’t pick someone off the road.
I am thinking of starting a consultancy in this regard where you pay a little something for us to run checks for you. But before I finish registering my company, let me say that we have decent, well-bred women who don’t just want your money. In fact don’t be surprised if she doesn’t want your money at all or if she wants to pay for her own stuff. But she too needs to be sure about you to risk being looked at like a woman of easy virtue and brave all those judgmental eyes that will scan her entire body in disgust when you enter a mall with her by your side.
Woo her with respect. If she is uncomfortable going out at first, give her space. I would have said buy her flowers but not everyone gets it here. So I will say buy flowers AND chocolate. You can’t go wrong that way. Even if she throws out the flowers, she’ll eat the chocolate. Be respectful. Ask her before you do anything, understand her context. You are in her country, not yours.
You must understand If she’s not comfortable with open displays of affection, this is normal. If she lives alone, respect her space. If she lives with family, respect her family, that’s how we do things here. If you are walking and someone disrespects her, or talks to you like you are standing alone, you must stand up for her and remind them that you ARE with someone you care about. Ok? Good!
White woman/black man
When people see a black man with a white woman, they think: ‘Sharp guy has got a trophy.’ By the way ‘Sharp guy’= scam artist. So you must be careful women.
Again I must say, I am not talking to those women who believe the rumour that all Nigerian men are endowed with magic in their pants and are desperate to sample as many as they can. This is not an article on sex tourism. You are on your own if you need that. I am talking to decent, straight, white women looking for love as equal partners in a relationship.
Ehen. I begin with the warning: most Nigerian men dole out compliments without even thinking of it. Half the time they don’t mean it. Compliments mean little. No, the fact that he always loves your eyes or thinks your shoes are lovely or wonders where you got that gorgeous dress does NOT mean he’s madly in love with you. It just means he’s a man, with eyes that can see, looking at you.
Don’t get excited. Keep your skirt on. Most men will be nice and go out of their way for a pretty white girl like you.
Just because he offers you to run an errand for you right after complaining to his colleague that he has no fuel or gives you his sparkling white handkerchief to wipe your shoes does not mean he wants to spend the rest of his miserable adult life with you.
If you are walking and he’s showing you off, stopping to say hello to everyone, it’s a bad sign. Run. You are like a gold wristwatch to him. If he changes his accent when he’s talking to you, run. He’s fake. If he is regularly taking money from you (even when you are the one offering or if he accepts reluctantly), RUN!!! He’s a damn gold digger. If he doesn’t seem to have any determinable source of income, something you can verify, run.
Again, I wish my company was up and running, I would have offered you consultancy services at a discounted rate. But never mind, you have this free article. Thank my editor (even though he doesn’t pay me).
Ehen, now to you my gay friends. Most things that apply to straight people apply to you with a few peculiarities that I will point out.
That a man, especially young man engages in gay sex does not mean he is gay. Increasingly, our boys are doing the thing for money. The guy probably has a girlfriend somewhere. Here is where you need your underground gay friends, they can tell you if a guy is scamming you.
And no, just because I call them underground doesn’t mean they are hard to find. There are regular discreet gigs where you can meet reliable guys. And please, try not to out your friends. Once they discover the black guy you are always hanging out with doesn’t work with or for you, and they know you are gay, the rumours will start. In the name of whatever you believe in, keep it down. Out of the public eye as much as you can. We keep our business private here. By private I mean secret. You don’t want to run them out of town or disgrace their family. Not everyone has the boldness of Bisi Alimi. Eh? You want contacts? Please don’t put me in trouble o, talk to my editor.
You are the luckiest of the gay lot. Not because it is easy to find a partner but because when you find one (same rules please) you can pretty much hang out without raising suspicion. So once you have found that girl, who is not using you to leave this country or pay her bills, don’t go out of your way to out her by exceeding the acceptable ‘public touchy-feely quota’ which our culture graciously allocates to straight girls.
Keep it down, and for your own sake, don’t be quick to offer overseas vacations just because you think you are in love. As we say here, ‘Shine your eyes’. Be cautious. For a background check, I suggest your Nigerian gay guy friend. He will know who to ask.
And please remember all, play safe if you need to play because as much as we don’t want you getting anything here, we don’t want you spreading stuff either.
The Nigerian cupid is a black, chubby baby with tribal marks and a naughty wink. Complicated, but sweet if you understand the social constraints within which he operates. With patience and plenty common sense (common sense with a capital N) you will find love.
Who knows, you just might make a home here.