The Perfect Nigerian Gentleman: Endangered Species or Non-Existent Mythical Creature?

Okay, I will concede that I went a bit overboard with the title.  I mean, there's no such thing as the perfect anybody or anything.  Maybe there's the perfect cupcake, or dress, but human beings are flawed.  It's in our nature.  So, why on earth would I, Relentless, even think of using the words 'Perfect' and 'Gentleman' in the same sentence?  Of course, I skipped right over Nigerian.  I am guessing you saw it.  I did.

Going back to the title, if I had to answer this question out-rightly  I would say: Yes, Nigerian gentlemen exist.  That of course, rules out the mythical creature option.  But, then if they do exist, what percentage of Nigerian men are gentlemen?  That's a difficult question to answer, especially if you don't know what the criteria are.  So, I need to start there, i.e. who or what is a gentleman, and specifically, who is a Nigerian gentleman?

I think you can identify an interesting continuum in terms of of men.  At least, for our purposes.  If I had to put it down on paper, it would look something like this:

Men ---> Nigerian Men ---> Nigerian Gentlemen

Again, there's that nagging question:  Who is a Gentleman?  In the process of searching for an answer, I came across these:

  • "A man whose conduct conforms to a high standard of propriety or correct behavior." [Source] Standard definition, if you ask me.

  • A man who never borrows money from a woman, except for certain exceptions. [Source] This one surprised me sha, but it made sense

In short, many of the definitions, I read mentioned the words, politeness, chivalry, respect, manners, especially with respect to women.  Did that surprise you? It didn't surprise me at all.

But aren't these largely Western ideas?  Well, yes.  However, I believe that before the advent of Western civilization in Africa, and specifically Nigeria, these qualities were somewhat ingrained into our culture.  What we see today, at least for the Nigerian men who even care about this, is a sort of hybrid, i.e. a combination of Nigerian values and Western culture.

To answer my own question more specifically, the Perfect Nigerian gentleman does NOT exist.  But, the 'close-to-perfect' Nigerian gentleman does exist.  There are Nigerian men who are polite, who treat women and people generally, with respect, and are well-mannered.  But, I would attribute that largely to their upbringing.  And of course, by chivalry, politeness, etc, I am not only referring to obvious acts like opening doors (I know some women can't even stand this), etc, but to less obvious acts like not putting women down or demeaning them in public (or private).  

However, I honestly don't know the answer to the endangered species question.  The good news is you can help me out with that one.  So, here are my questions:

  1. Would you say the number of Nigerian gentlemen is on the rise or on a serious decline?
  2. Do you think Nigerian gentlemen even exist? What sort of qualities would the 'close-to-perfect' Nigerian gentleman have, in your opinion? Take all the time you need :-)

P.S. I already told you I like to 'gaze upon' well-dressed men, so hopefully, the picture above didn't surprise you.

For more on this topic, you can check out The Gentleman Series.  Read Episode 1 here.  

*Image Source: Genevieve Mag

Yup! I'd have to agree with you, the 'close-to-perfect' Nigerian gentleman does definitely exist. He might be an endangered species, but he exists

@NollywoodREinvented:disqus: I don't think so. Being too Western, I mean. I would say that respect and equality are universally progressive ideas. Treating his spouse as an equal - now that's something that would really distinguish such a man.

1) On a decline o! Serious decline but there are some good ones left too.

2) Politeness, humility, genuinely kind (not just to me but everyone around) soft spoken, patient and thoughtful (kai, c my list o)

I don't think you're being too western jare. I may not use the word equal, but for me a gentleman is a man who treats women and not just his partner like individual human beings, just as he is.

At the post, they may be few, but they're there :)

Wonderful write up. But do we really have a gentleman in our part of the world? Anyway, first time here and following. Hope you add me to your blog list and follow me too if you don't mind. Thanks. docia's nest


LOL at women and their money. So a gentlleman doe not borrow money from a woman ni?


I did not even thing Nigerian gentlemen existed not to now think of a decline. Nigerian men are so unruly. If at all we have any, they are maybe 1% of the male population.


actually in this part of the world i doubt if they do exist


I think they exist. They are just few in number...endangered as you rightly put. Sometimes, women don't seem to dig the Nigerian kinda gentleman...from observations. But I know there are a few out there.



I would love to hear your thoughts. Please Share.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...