Parents Raise Nigerian Men to think differently from Women + Embracing Interracial Dating and Marriage | Featured Artiste: Femi Okunuga

The first thing that probably came to your mind when you saw the title was: "Well, Duh! EVERYONE knows that Nigerian men think differently from women!"  And you would be right.

In a typical Nigerian household, the male children are raised to be proactive with relationships, i.e. the men initiate relationships.  The man is the one who goes out to "find" his wife.  Of course, you will probably be raising up your hand and yelling: Hey, Relentless! That applies to EVERY family on the planet, Nigerian or not!" And you would be right, to a certain extent.  It's a man's world, right?  However, when you put this in an international context, it changes things a bit.  In a foreign country, the Nigerian man now has an opportunity to test his "proactive" upbringing relationship-wise, in a completely different context.  Not only does he have Nigerian women at his disposal; add to that women from every race on the planet (that would be easy in a city like New York, for example).

From my observations, Nigerian men are not restricted in their choices, and date (and marry) women from diverse races.  But for Nigerian women, it is a different story.  They have been raised and socialized to wait for the man to make the first move, to approach them, date them, and marry them.  With Nigerian men looking in every direction, and the women looking in only one direction (there are exceptions, of course), I think it is safe to say that they are not on the same page.  

Believe it or not, the same thing is happening (and has been happening for a while) in the African-American community.  The men can take their pick of women from just about any race under the sun (and mind you, they do), but many of the women are still holding out for their "Black Prince."

To illustrate, I will share my experience with you.  Hopefully, some of you my readers can relate. (See them craning their necks for gist.  Una too like gist! I no blame una sha.  Me sef I like gist)

I already saw the handwriting on the wall when I was in law school.  To start with, there were very few black law students.  In fact, my graduating class as at then, had the highest number of black law graduates.  Like one of my classmates so 'delicately' put it, (I paraphrase) "we were like black specks or dots in a sea of white faces."  It was obvious that we were entering into a profession that was dominated by white people (same as many other professions, obviously).

Relationship-wise, I saw my black male classmates date, be-friend, etc all colors and races, and that included black, Hispanic, white, you name it.  But, for my fellow black female colleagues, it was not the same.  How many of your white classmates (or colleagues) are attracted to a black woman? Of that number, how many of them would move beyond casually dating one, to actually marrying one?

So while I would want to say to my fellow Nigerian women (who fall into the black women category), "Keep your options open; Date any and every race like your fellow Nigerian men are doing" we cannot forget that Nigerian women have been socialized to get their lives in order (get an education, don't get pregnant, be domesticated, etc), and then WAIT for the right man to find you.

The problem with waiting is that it puts the choice in the hands of these Nigerian men to find you attractive, and approach you.  Yet, by all indications, they are chasing after every other woman, BUT Nigerian women.  Furthermore, in a marriage, like it or not (unfortunately, like some would say), it is the woman that has to submit to the man's culture.  It is rarely reciprocated.  So, the woman has to decide if she wants to submit to the Hispanic/Latino/White/Asian, etc, culture of the man she marries.  These are not insurmountable challenges, but they are important considerations.

I'll stop here.  Feel free to share your views.

Featured Artiste: Femi Okunuga

Femi Okunuga / ReverbNation
On one of my ReverbNation visits, I came across Femi Okunuga's profile, and after sampling one of his singles, Maajo, I knew the day would come when this artiste would be featured on this blog.  Ladies and gentlemen, that day has finally come! Here is Femi Okunuga singing "Maajo" which means "I will dance" in Yoruba:


Likes:  Maajo is a hodge-podge of sorts:  Femi takes a few popular Yoruba worship and traditional songs (Mukulumuke, Ayo a kari gbogbo wa), adds some original verses and combines all these elements with strong beats.  You listen to this song, and you don't think you're listening to a remix, even though technically, this is pretty much one.  Rather, you can see that this artiste has taken time out to write a new song, while borrowing lyrics and music from the past.

Gameman's rap was not a disjointed part of the whole song.  Rather, there was a smooth transition to his part, and Femi effortlessly takes over when the rap part is done.  In other words, I LOVE the smooth transitions.  It was like passing the microphone to the other artistes without drawing unnecessary attention to the fact that the song was shifting gears from one section to the other.

Inasmuch as I detest auto-tune with a passion, I did not find Femi's use of auto-tune distracting.  It fit in with the overall song arrangement.  Do I really need to mention Femi's vocals are pretty good?  I just did.  The highlight of the song for me was this part:  All I wanna do is praise you | Now and forever more, etc.  That part was just sweet abeg.  The background vocals were on point, and added to the cohesiveness of the song.

Dislikes:  I was not impressed with Gameman's delivery of his brief rap part.  I was actually disappointed.  I expected a lot more from him having listened to him on other solo tracks.  I think he could have done a lot better.  Thankfully, Femi picked up from where he left off and was able to propel the song in the right direction.

The song features two other artistes: Gameman and Jonassy.  I was only able to identify Gameman because I am fairly familiar with his work, and was able to recognize his voice on this track.  But even after repeated listens, I have no idea who Jonassy is or what his role in this track was.  Was he responsible for the beats? I have no clue, and I am still left wondering.

Furthermore, the last section of the song where they start repeating "O Mukulu O Mukeke" towards the end/outro (right after the "Ayo a kari gbogbo wa") seemed a bit contrived to me.  I think that section could have been organized differently both lyrically and musically (i.e. beat-wise).

Recommendations: (1) The rap part needs major improvement (2) Identify who Jonassy is on the track and what he does, especially since his name is on the track as a collaborating artiste (3) Optional: Re-work the last section towards the end (See "Dislikes" section for more details).

Overall: I love this song, and have been jamming to it for weeks now.  It also helps that it's a free download *wink*  Thanks, Femi!

Here is some more information on Femi Okunuga:

Artiste's Stage Name:  Femi Okunuga

Artiste's Real Name:  Femi Okunuga

Connect with Femi:  Twitter

Listen to More Songs by Femi:  ReverbNation

Recommended Songs:  Agidi gba featuring Simplicity 

Have an awesome rest-of-the-week!

In relation to dating... i think Ghanaians are also in the same boat as Nigerian woman..
I for myself, I have become very open minded about interacial relationship.
Alot of my friends oppose... and I mean are in a strong disagreement with this
But I think its a small world and we are all in this together, especially since we have moved out of our countries
to join a multi- cultural one so we should not discriminate when it comes to dating.
But then again, you have to be very careful because like you said, how many of them will take it beyond casual dating..
check out this girl and her recent husband.. she is nigerian btw and I am so happy for them.

or youtube - Our wedding Mike & Patricia

Diary Of A Shallow Black Girl

One of the reasons this doesnt seem to be changing fast is because in this part of the world, you are married to 'the entire family'. If it was left to the couple alone, alot of people would take the challenge.

however, in a situation where the family members begin to raise questions about issues ur spouse would ordinarily overlook, it all gets complicated!

Am I the only one who cannot see your comments? I usually enjoy reading what others think too, but the comments only show at the sidebar and not under the main posts.

"Keep your options open; Date any and every race like your fellow Nigerian men are doing" .. gbam!!! I have nothing to add in fact. So when I was in uni, my friend told me her chem. Eng classmate had a crush on me, I thought it was funny. I asked her why the guy never said hi to me and all... you know what she said??? She said White guys find black women intimidating. I am not sure if this is a general thing for white guys, but yeah, I thought that was weird.

You are so right! Nigerian women have been subconsciously programmed to see the white/Hispanic/Asian/etc man's land as a no-go area when it comes to marriage. When Uche Jumbo became mrs. Rodriguez, many people thought she was crazy. The comments on Linda Ikeji can even attest to this. When my friend was about to enter university, her father said to her, "My daughter, be a good girl, read hard and make sure you do not come back to this house with a white man." lol, sigh! Oh well, I believe many Nigerian parents think it would be less complicated...

Dating - your observations are correct - but what are the conclusions ? There are none, really.

I was married to a Nigerian woman from Benin City - unfortunately she passed away. I really liked my choice and would do it again; I am all white, for that matter.

You should not underestimate the power of a true woman, that is willing to submit to her husband. She does not submit, because she is less in the eyes of God or man, but she does submit, because she has understaood the natuer of man and woman and the order that is needed to be fruitful.

"Husband love your wives and wives respect your husbands" - 1. Cor. 13 - you can see that different verbs are being used in this verse. Man loves imself, does not want to share - and is ordered to extend this to his wife. Wife knows respect, does not naturally want to respect husband because he is so different form her, but is ordered to do so.

Yet it is obvious, that man and woman are different. Don't fall for modern day teaching if you are hoping for a stable family.

ummm... i think things have started changing sort of sha although you may be right in some aspects

Globalization has changed a lot of things though. For me, I'd say it depends on the individual. It's about what and who you'll be happy with in the end.

Ms. Nana: I appreciate your bringing your Ghanaian view to the table. That means this is not purely a Nigerian issue. You see that point about moving out of our countries? That is so true, and for that very reason, it is advisable to be open-minded about inter-racial dating. But, like you pointed out, dating is just level 1. Marriage is a different ball game altogether. People date for different reasons, and with inter-racial dating, it gets even more complicated. Some people genuinely fall in love, but there are those just dating a person of another race just to check it off their list. This latter part I disapprove of. Furthermore, I have discovered that with inter-racial dating, the men often raise the "angry" or "strong" black woman stereotype as an excuse for not approaching black women, and I say that is total and utter nonsense because they don't extend the same rules to women of their own race. I will stop here.

Thanks for sharing the video, by the way. Very lovely!

P.E.T Projects: You make a strong point about family asking questions that the spouse might not ask. But, I think another important part of the picture is society. Family members, at the end of the day, are members of society. And how receptive or accepting society is might also encourage or discourage these relationships. Not everyone can handle the challenges that come with inter-racial relationships.

Myne: Thanks for bringing the problem to my attention. I have fixed it and the comment section now displays all comments under each post.

9jaFoodie: "White guys find black women intimidating." <<<--- I have heard various versions of this excuse, but they come down to the same thing: White men are somehow scared or intimidated by the "strong" (sometimes referred to as the "angry") black woman. I am NOT buying that excuse at all. So wait, "Brad" can approach Ashley, Mary-Jane and Brittany, but all of a sudden, he finds 9jaFoodie intimidating? No way! A man is a man is a man. If you are attracted to a woman, you will approach her, and not use a lame, out-dated excuse to justify your inaction. Okay, I am done.

BlazyFashion: LOL at your friend's father's advice. Some parents are not even that explicit with their instructions and preferences, but they certainly imply it. It's sad but I think some Nigerian parents would rather their daughters married Nigerian men and be unhappy (and suffer domestic abuse) than marry any other race. My guess is that they worry about how their daughters will be received in those other cultures. And that brings us back to this issue: which culture will the woman submit to, and how are black women perceived in that culture? Believe me, it matters.

Eckhart: I am sorry to hear about your wife. It's refreshing to learn that you liked your choice and would do it all again.

I don't think I ever implied or asserted that a woman was LESS of a person for submitting to her husband or culture. Submission, as I understand it, is NOT suppression. However, it is VERY important for a woman to choose a partner that she CAN submit to. You cannot submit to everybody. Even without the command from God, why in the world, would a woman marry a man she does not respect or want to submit to? That's a disaster waiting to happen.

Man and woman are different, but there are certainly ways to work around those differences, and there are examples all around us.

Sugarspring: Things are certainly changing. Let's hope it's for the better.

Michael: Of course, it boils down to individual choice and who you'll be happy with, like you said. Globalization helps, but it is not the answer to everything.

Toinlicious: What happened to your comment? *eyebrows raised* Yes, the video was beautiful

What ever the color when there is love the marriage lives. love is defined as God, when God is the foundation of your marriage man and wife definitely obey Gods voice in the marriage.
I am married to a White Christian, i am also Christian. I am submitted to him, we communicate a lot and respect his decisions and sometimes come to an agreement when i come up with a SUGGESTION.
He came up to me for a relationship just like any Black men would do and he is 4yrs older than i am. I love my Husband.


Ola: Definitely, when God is the foundation of the marriage, and each person understands his or her role, it's a lot better.

It's nice to know that your husband took the initiative, pursued you, and married you. It is more common to find black men, and in this case, Nigerian men date and marry women of other races, but not so much for black/Nigerian women.

Thanks for sharing your experience too!

there was a sort of contradiction in yur post. you said 'I saw my black male classmates date, be-friend, etc all colors and races..... But, for my fellow black female colleagues, it was not the same. How many of your white classmates (or colleagues) are attracted to a black woman? Of that number, how many of them would move beyond casually dating one, to actually marrying one?'

So the choice wasnt in the females' hands per se if the other races werent chasing them na!! I agree that Nigerian ladies are conditioned not to easily accept men of other races or hold out for our Black princes but I believe if you jam a guy that treats you well, even the most ethnic minded girl will have a rethink. In the end isnt it love we want?


I would love to hear your thoughts. Please Share.

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