I was never one of those people who understood the ‘I- have- got- to- get- myself- a -Nigerian- man- movement’. I could never comprehend what all the hullabaloo was all about
I did not understand their expensive snake skinned shoes, or their excessive jewellery adornment, or their accents. To me, they were characters who often seemed like they walked out of an Afro-cinema film or something.
It was mind boggling for me and so when my fellow women were busy hunting down anything that talked and walked like a Nigerian man, I gave it a pass.
Interestingly, the craze for foreign men is nothing new. In fact, in the days of our mothers, Congolese men were selling like hot cake. They were a forbidden fruit of sorts, an aphrodisiac for Kenyan women.
They were a favourite particularly in the salon industry, and had a large following of women who were willing to part with huge sums of money. And they could wait long hours on the queue just to get that magic touch from the object of their affections.
Maybe it was their permed hair combined with their dramatic and out-of-this-world choice of clothes that women thought was so seductive. Or maybe it was their Kofi Olomide-like accents, but I could be wrong.
Then there are the women who have not gone the West African or Central Africa route, but have still sworn off Kenyan men entirely, and have taken the white route.
One friend proudly declared that after going ‘white’ she would never ever go Kenyan again. I thought it was too much of an extreme statement that was too prejudicial against Kenyan men.
But I recently came to understand why women fall for foreign men like a pack of cards. I got the chance to travel abroad and I felt like a starved princess who was finally given her due. Doors were opened for me, sits pulled out for me, and bags carried for me. Further, men of all ages, both young and very senior, would be walking down the streets holding hands with their women. It was all shockingly refreshing!
When I arrived back home spoilt and rotten from gentlemanly ways, it was not long before I got a rude awakening and was quickly reminded that gentlemen don’t exist on the streets of Nairobi.
What other reasons drive Kenyan women to do absolutely anything to get that foreigner man, you may ask? The reasons are many and range from; a Nigerian man is not only passionate but is willing to spend a lot of money at the salon, and at the boutique just to their woman looking right, white men are very expressive and romantic, Congolese men make time for their women and know how to treat them right.
Men, on the other hand, like to hide behind the cocoon of ignorance and imagine that women who date foreigners are only after money.
But my experiences and investigations have led me to the conclusion that it is not just about money, and that at the heart of the movement is a clear reflection that something is amiss on our end.
Women are not getting what they need from our men, and someone clearly failed to bring up our men properly.