As one uncle put it to me [I’m Congolese], “If you married a Nigerian, how would you cope if he wanted to retire in Nigeria? Could we really say that relationships would be easier if we were with someone of the same origin? If you’re going to marry a foreigner, marry a white man.” These were the words that fell from my friend’s mother’s mouth when her daughter told her she was dating a Nigerian man because she was tired of Congolese men. ”, said my friend in response, defiantly challenging her mother, to my dismay (anybody knows better than to challenge an African mother! White people “White people don’t have much culture; it’s easy to adapt either way. Was it really for our own good to find our life partners within our own culture? Love blinds common sense.” “No Nigerian, Ghanaian or Jamaican man is welcome in my house. Why is it better for me to be with a white man than it is to be with a Nigerian? How many marriages do you know of people from two different African countries that have lasted till old age? I pondered those phrases: “It’s for your own good” and “stick to your own”.
Language “The problem is language; it’s the major issue” 36-year-old Alexi from Congo told me.
“For most of us English is not our first language, we think in our mother tongue then translate it into English.
If you can communicate with someone in a language that you both feel comfortable with, it makes being with that person easier.
I would prefer to date someone from the same country as me.
It’s just easier.” Bridgette (25) Congolese “I don’t mind as long as I am happy and loved, that is all that matters.” Dora (28), Zimbabwe Immerse within your own culture What I found was that those who immersed themselves exclusively in their own culture (i.e mono-cultural churches, parties, gatherings) – even if they lived in a very mixed society abroad – were the ones who were adamant that it was easier and preferable to date within their own culture.
Am I saying that those who date outside of their culture are not in tune with their own?Certainly not, but they certainly have embraced other cultures more and are willing to look past any real, imagined or expected obstacles.And why was it better to date a white person rather than another African?Some field digging I did a bit of digging to get the views of other people of African origin on intercultural dating.Some responses: “Love is love.” Jennifer (23), Angolan “I would only prefer to date a Congolese man because we both understand each others cultures.The connection is just better because we can relate in many ways since we’ve had a similar upbringing.” Sarah (24), Congolese “I love my Ghanaian brothers, especially those who can speak my tribal language. Especially when telling jokes, it just doesn’t sound the same in English.” Nana (24), Ghanaian “I will be with anyone as long as they are compatible to me and I’m attracted to them. I’m British.” Christopher (28), Nigerian “As long as they are not Jamaican.” Bijoux (28), Congolese “Dating someone from your own background has far more positives than dating someone from another background, such as cultural understanding, speaking the same language etc. I’ve brought a Nigerian, Jamaican and Congolese home.