Dear Africana Woman,
Hey Sis!!!! I have missed you. Bring it in, Big Hugs. So what happened was, (lol I sound like a gossip) at the end of December I was wrapping up the cake business. Then we decided to go spend a little time in Kabwe at our family home in what you would call the countryside, but more popularly known as KuMushi. It was divine. I spent the first week really meditating and figuring out what I wanted to become in 2021. The fruits were in full season from Mangoes, Oranges, Grapes, Guavas, Lemons. Like we ate so much fruit, I might as well be one right now. I hung out in the garden with my son. We would basically take the mpasa (reed mat) and mattress on the veranda. We would read books, make puzzles, chill and talk. We laughed a lot. I also started dancing again! (story for another day) I did a ton of other stuff but I think what was most important for me was being in the moment. Like really feeling the grass under my feet, the cool breeze blowing on my face, the light raindrops on my bare arms, watching my son’s face light up as he makes fresh fruit juice. There is no other way to explain it. It was just bliss. Now we are in February and it’s back to the other things I love to do, like talking to you.
Okay, this is what has been on my mind. So as you know I am trying to be more intentional about dating. Now, I cannot tell you the number of times I have been told that I should find a white man because I won’t manage a typical Zambian man. If I take a guess as to what that means, I would say a traditional Zambian man would not find my strong personality, non alcoholic drinking, vegetarian self attractive. My life choices are very western. Or maybe its because I cannot speak the local languages and I am too independent. Gurl, I don’t know. All I know is that apparently a white guy would be more tolerant of my weirdness.
Thing is dating a white man has never been an aspiration. Now I warn you that this may get a bit uncomfortable but just bare with me for a second. So I have watched 7 seasons of Criminal Minds. On average there are about 20 episodes per season. Okay. Do you know how many times the serial killer was a black man? 5 times if I am being generous. So out of 140 episodes only 5 times was the killer black. What does that say about white guys? And have you watched Dexter. LOL okay I’m just playing (not really).
On a more serious note, I have found that mixed couple relationships make me very uncomfortable. From my observations, especially in Zambia, the couples fall under three categories:
The first couple are the white man and the prostitute. Yes I said it, you know that many prostitutes target white men because they are perceived to be rich. For me it is usually the couple, with a white guy and a slay queen. You know the Brazilian hair, extra makeup, forced accent. Urgh it makes me cringe. So let’s say she manages to marry this dude, from then on she spends the rest of her life trying to prove she was not prostitute. The nouveau riche, not comfortable in her own skin. Over compensating in every way. The struggle is real.
Then you have the old white dude with the poor black girl. Like, as educated as you are, what are you doing with this young one you picked up from the streets. There is no intellectual compatibility or level emotional playing field. She is the cheaper version of a retirement nurse. This is what kills me about these couples. 90% of the time this man is abusive to this woman. Verbally, mentally and emotionally ABUSIVE. He is usually a control freak who revels in being a white saviour. His confidence is boosted because he believes she will tolerate his nonsense as long as he throws money at her. After all, she came from ‘nothing’ so this is better. Then they go on to have children, because you know, she’s young and fertile and to ensure he stays and provides, her children become her security. So there is this 60 year old man with a one year old child. Smh. He is abusive in that home and those kids grow up thinking that is normal. I have witnessed this abuse for myself and my insides weep every single time. Can I just say, if this is you, Honey, leave him. I know you think that you do not have options. But you always have an option. No man should ever treat you the way he does. Get out. If not for your sake then for your children. You deserve real love. Elo the relatives to this lady, who are so excited that there is a white man in their MIDIST. So you keep telling her how lucky she is to have found this chupo (marriage). Then she feels like she has no way out, because she does not want to disappoint the family. Just stop. Stop it. Money is not better than joy. Your daughter alive is better than your daughter in a casket.
The third couple is a couple one would say are equally yoked. In the same age range, same educational background, it’s a love marriage. This is what makes me uncomfortable about this pair. Hmmmm…. How do I put this politely? So you know how black folk have two voices right? The home voice, that's the one with a thick accent AND THEN there’s the voice with the Queen’s English. Like for real, when I forget to change my accent on the phone at work, my friends literally ask me, “May I speak to Chulu please” My whole point is that having to change yourself to accommodate someone else is like having two split personalities. After some years it is really tiring. In addition, you lose yourself and forget who you are in all the back and forth. And you see, the way that we are wired as Africans is that we don’t expect Westerners to learn to understand us. Oh no we change who we are, because on some subconscious level we believe that white people are superior. We even change our tribal names to our baptismal English name because, “It’s just easier that way.” He can’t surely understand my accent or the colloquial that I use. Plus I want to sound sophisticated. Who determined a westerner was more sophisticated? You are a Queen. If he is so smart and as educated as you believe him to be well then dammit, he can learn your name. He can learn to understand your accent, he should love you for who you are not who you pretend to be. Don’t you ever diminish yourself for someone else. Not today, not ever.
Breathe. I started off by saying that I personally have been told I should date a white guy. I have had to ask myself, if presented with the chance would you date a white guy? I am ashamed to say that I care about what people think about me. I do not want to be looked at with judging eyes like oooo she’s a prostitute or she is a gold digger. Or she thinks she is better than us now that she is with a white guy. The ka accent has even changed. Listen, you know you are brutal out on these streets. I also feel that it must be hard to always be on guard in public because you feel the need to defend your relationship to the world. I think it is a lot of work. I think it is exhausting. I give all three of these women their props. SO my honest answer, is that I do not know if I would date a white guy.
I might find a white guy who is accepting of my unapologetic Africaness. Who makes me laugh with his cheeky wit. Who knows where Zambia is without me having to explain it. Who is an ass guy because my hips sure don’t lie. Who is an intellect, empathetic, an all round cool guy. And basically makes all of the crap on the outside seem so minuscule because what we would have would be worthwhile. Hah! That must be why the third couple do it. Right?
Anyway, I am still out here single and ready to mingle. Those of you who believe I should be with a white dude and can set me up on a blind date, you better come correct. I am nobody’s nurse. I am nobody’s punching bag. I am also still taking applications from chocolate or caramel and everything in between.
Okay babes. This is contentious. And I may come under fire. Sorry if it stepped on your toes. So what say you? Let me know in the comments what you think about mixed race couples especially if they choose to live on the continent. I might be crazy and I am willing to learn. Remember you can find me during the week on Instagram @Chulu_byDesign. I am also excited to share that just as the blog has relaunched, so too will the Africana Woman podcast Season 2 launch on 6th February, 2021. Listen this season is hot. There are so many deep conversations that you do NOT want to miss. You can find it anywhere you listen to your podcasts. Alright honey, remember to I want you to love yourself flaws n all, and attract the life that you truly desire.
Hugs and kisses,
PS. I love this movie. It's called Something New with Sanaa Lathan and Simon Baker. At the time Simon was not as famous as he is now. I only just realised it was him in the movie hahaha