Monday, 30 June 2014 13:58

Common Mistake Girls Make When They Meet a Man - By Emeka Ugwuonye

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Below is an article culled from Barrister Emeka's Facebook online chat which pointed to relationship issues I have been thinking of writing and sharing. Thanks to him for doing that first before I did. I am thanking him more for two significant things in this chat. (1) For being honest in the write up. (2) And for drawing extensively from his personal experience with Nigerian women around his home, office, outings and the social network. Probably, no one else could have put the chat better in the way he framed the experience and brought to bear some critical lessons and intellectual effects.  

While I hope to briefly relate a few episodes of demands from facebook friends, particularly Nigerian women, and by women I refer to girls, ladies, students, workers, unemployed, employed, serving corps members, married and unmarried, Nigerian ladies are funny and can go miles to get their interest and wishes realized. Among them there are what can best be described as sharp askers, delay and progressive askers, romantic askers, one time askers and autocratic askers. Autocratic askers make demands and even give you time line to respond and fulfill their desires by thinking that the asked person has it all and has no personal things to do with fund for himself.They won't listen to explanation or excuses. From these friends pairing to the opposite sex, no form of asking must be missed as the friendship chatting is progressing through loving and missing each other; and therefore sharing all forms of social body gestures and compliments being observed.

By and large, this writer had in many occasions, as it is expressively common experiences to many others, who are visibly present on the FB social connect been surprised with a range of demands, requests, askings, beggings, and appeals to post money, phones, ipads, laptops, recharge cards, wears, cars, including all forms of personal outfits and needs. You will also hear requests like money for writing projects, clear debts, pay rent, pay bills and go for NYSC call up,  as well as money for new dress to attend a friend's wedding, money for hair and nail, and indeed transport money and that other money which is needed for medical issues - for self, mom or dad or siblings.

Of all of these requests, the most annoying type to me like I told some friends is asking someone overseas working shifts, and denying himself or herself some comforts to send money to someone in Nigeria just to go and make her hair and nail or to purchase a new wear and make up to attend a friend's wedding or birthday. What sense is in that request for assistance which makes another look inconsiderate, funny and non-creative? Emeka Ugwuonye's piece has tried to capture some deep seated complex anxieties involved in the asking for recharge cards by Nigerian women.

Asking is both spiritual and material craving and it is a typical and global cultural lifestyle of Nigerian women. If you want to date or keep an intimate or close social network friendship with a Nigerian girl, just be ready and open to be asked and live by being asked. The moment you can't affaord to give when asked, begins a moment to be placed on the roll of non-helpful person. Nigerian girls so to say survive by asking despite having or not having as a way of connecting and being shown love. The phrase "to take care of me" is common. How long and how far this asking and demanding attitude will turn into independence - one standing by oneself, will be faded, sustained or new tactics being rolled out will remain a mercy to participants.

As Nigerian girls are so good at "asking in" and "asking out", they expect and conclude that the men they catch as friends giving them attention are essentially those who want to play with them. Girls now boost of their number of connects and what items are being traded through chatting. Recharge card request by Nigerian girls is a dumb way of keeping a guy active and participatory. Never get serious with anyone asking you for recharge cards. Find better ways of helping them to learn skills and get occupations. It is symbolically cultural to ask for help. But it is more cultural to ask responsibly and more productively - that is about things that will assist you to be better than today, not to remain the same by tomorrow. Recharge cards are timed communication cards and are tokens of fan fare. They are mere twits of saying hello, kedu? Recharge cards are social peanuts. And just before you open your mouth to ask, "please send me recharge cards for an important call I need to make", also ask, after that what next? Though recharge cards can start a discussion, but it is already too late when one is offered to give you a higher worth. I am of the view that to say "I will flash you to call me back when you have time is better than asking for recharge cards." Emeka is right to say how it feels and casts a notion on a girl who always asks for recharge cards. She is not serious, which she thinks she is in a man's thinking. 

For the women, think of more meaningful things to assist you than recharge cards through your connection. Recharge cards when offered diminishes your power to negotiate greater things and opportunities. It is no brain to argue that "but without the recharge cards, communication will be closed". Enjoy reading the chat as posted below. Thank you for reading.      



By Emeka Ugwuonye

Each girl who meets a man tends to think she is the most important thing in that man's life, either because the man was very smooth and polite in his initial approach to her or may be he told her that she was the most important thing in his life. But there is something the girls often misunderstand or simply misjudge. Even if you are the most important thing in a man's life, just know you are one of the 20 most important things in his life also.

An average man, especially one in his mid-40s or above, has so many things competing for his attention. He has his reputation and social standing in the society that he wants to maintain. He is nothing without it. Indeed, the lady met him and liked him because he has that standing in society. So, that man will consider his standing and position in the society as the hook with which he catches fishes, and the girl is the fish he caught with that hook.

Apart from the girl he loves, the man also has his work, his social network, his investments, his other family members such as his parents, siblings, and, since he is in his 40s, his children from a former wife or girlfriend. All are important to him. And a smart girl should never force the man to prioritize her above any of the other important things in his life. Allow him to enjoy all of you without having to sacrifice any of the others.

Now, the man is in the social media because he has important message for the world. And that message may be so central to his life and his standing in the society. He projects his mission and message through social network. Sometimes, getting his message out is more important than eating food and many men are known to allow their breakfast to grow cold because they are rushing to react to an event in the social media.

It is a big mistake therefore for a girl to argue with the man: "Hey, how come you have not called me? You said you are busy but you have been posting things on Facebook instead of calling me". This shows the girl is so inexperienced and probably unintelligent. Here is the dominant, suspicious and scary jealous types. She has not been able to estimate how important it is for that man to get his posts out on time; but has boundlessly put herself  to be served first even at the sacrifice of the man's source of public actualization, identification and knowledge sharing. Indeed, she has not even bothered to know what the man's mission is on social media. And she forgets that the man met her on social media. For the man, the social media has become his gateway to the world and to ask him to stop because he met a woman is like asking him to pluck his eyes out since he has seen the woman he likes. Some of the girls will pick offence seeing you chatting on Whatsapp if not for them. They will send you complaints and nagging echoes. They want you to detail who you are chatting with and for what purpose if it is not for chatting them up and say how much you are loyal, thinking of them and missing them. They will twit that some others are sharing the booty of knowing you which is meant for her alone (italics mine).  

One other thing a good girl should know is this: If you meet a man on FB and you start chatting and you are beginning to like him and he is responding to you well, you should stop and start reading as much as you can about the man. Google him, if you can, but don't believe every story you read about him in Google. Even when you don't believe the Google stories, those stories would give you an idea the many battles the man has fought and his position in the society. Nothing is as frustrating to a man as dealing with a girl who has not bothered to learn anything about you. For instance, nothing kills my interest in a girl faster than hearing her ask me what I do for a living, two days after we started chatting. (I'm just using myself only as an example).

On the other hand, nothing impresses more in a girl than knowing that she has made effort to read about me, to read the things I post and to be willing to discuss them. If a girl cannot stimulate me intellectually, we cannot even be good friends how much less anything closer. You must know that I am surrounding by very intelligent young men and women. They set the minimum standard of intellect for me. You must try to know the man that is chatting with you. Not every man is interested in sex. Don't assume that because you have a good sexy body, you don't have to have anything else. The man may want a lot more than good sex. Indeed, the man, like me, doesn't even want sex at all. He is just fascinated by a brilliant woman.

Personally, it is a common knowledge that I enjoy the company of beautiful and intelligent women. I have no apologies for this. Nothing pleases me more than to sit down in the company of an exquisite and intelligent woman and having waiters and waitresses serve us drinks. In such moments, I am in my profound poetic mode. The light in my eyes shines brighter and even my voice changes. But I know many of you would misunderstand this to mean I want to have sex with such a woman. No way! It is not sexual at all. Indeed, sex spoils things. Sex ruins the moment. I don't want sex. I just want the atmospherics of such moments.

Indeed, my mind would always visualize the first encounter between Julius Caesar and Cleopatra. Caesar was 52, a general and leader of men and battle tested man. Cleopatra was about 22. There would have been no way for Cleopatra to find access to Caesar's presence except through something as dramatic as being rolled up in a carpet. When the carpet unfold at the foot of Caesar and Cleopatra emerged, Caesar's guards drew their swords. But Caesar waved for them to back off. I ask myself always: What was on Caesar's mind as he watched this audacious young woman? The most fascinating thing for Caesar was the uniqueness of the girl's approach. She didn't try to come like everybody else. That wouldn't have impressed Caesar.

The story had it that Caesar and Cleopatra exchanged ideas on a wide range of subject matters during that first meeting and Caesar was fascinated by Cleopatra's knowledge of politics and government. She knew more than more mature people around Caesar. Caesar was impressed and they became close friends that night.

What do you think would have happened if after Cleopatra emerged from the carpet she had asked Caesar for MTN recharge card or airtime? Caesar would have had one of his convulsions. That is exactly the point. Cleopatra was intelligent because before meeting Caesar, she researched and knew about Caesar and what would impress such a man. She knew that Caesar was an intellectual and global minded. She dwelt on the subject matter that would captivate Caesar. And Caesar was her slave and totally in love with her the same night.

I was in my car the other day with my driver and my PA in front, and a guest with me in the back. We were driving somewhere in a heavy traffic. A beautiful girl I had just started chatting with on FB sent me an inbox and we were just chatting while i was conversing with my guest. Then she asked me for a recharge card. I wanted to give it to her. But I didn't know how to do it. I don't buy my own recharge cards. My staff handle such stuff. Once I begin to buy recharge card, my PA would be surprised why. Indeed, my staff take my phone to load it with credit. I don't always know how do to it because each network has different procedures. So, I wanted to buy recharge card for this girl. But I couldn't. I had to be in a place where my PA would not be present like in my hotel at night and I could ask one of the cleaners to buy me a recharge card, which I would then send to the girl. I just didn't want her to think I was mean and stingy. But I already knew there should be no expectations of intellectual parity. She was un-boxing me every 10 minutes to remind me of the recharge card. It will always be about recharge cards and what have you.

The drift is about trying to know the man first and his circumstances in life. Don't assume that you are the most and only important thing in his life. Indeed, you may actually be actually the product of the other things that are important in his life. You may be the product of his success or attainment in life. You may be the product of his capacity to woo women successfully. You may be the product of his persuasive skills. You may be the product of his methods. Never expect that he would give up his method in such a fashion.

Know your man well, please. Don't wait for him to tell you because he may never tell you. He expects you to know him by yourself. That is the first, and possibly the only task you must perform in order to make him your man. And by the way, the man wants some peace. That is why he bothered to find a woman. Each time you start arguing over recharge cards, you frustrate the purpose.

Happy Sunday to the young girls on Facebook. Try to learn from your big sisters.

I am glad we are using this post to discuss issues of love and relationships. 

There is the natural law at work here. You must try to know the person you are dealing with in order to understand how best to approach her or him. I am a 47-year old, highly educated and liberal minded man, who doesn't believe in superstition. It is easy to know this about me if you looked. So, don't tell me that God put us together otherwise I would wonder why He waited for so long. LOL.

I am a man of responsibility with high stress level. I love poetry and romance. I like to thrill my woman with the works of Shakespeare etc. I am critical, which means initially, I would be careful trying to know you. I understand that there exist mental health challenges and that people who look normal may not really be normal or may have such moments when they lose the chemical balance in the brains. So, we all have to be careful. 

I want to be happy with my woman because she is really the only angel I can see. If I have heart attack in the middle of the night out of the stressful life I live, she would have the option of saving my life or watching me die. Unlike Nigerian men, I should share the same bedroom with my woman. So, she is someone I really like and enjoy her company. (You know there may be someone you like, but you really can't stand spending a week with him/her seeing her/him every moment.). So, I must like her in a special way, not the way I like my mother or my daughter. (I like my mother and my daughter very much. I love them. But after a while, they have to leave me alone and go to their parts of the house). My woman is different. I should miss her each time she steps away from my presence. I love my mom but I don't miss her when she leave me. Indeed, sometimes I feel happy that she is finally gone to mind her business and deal with things she knows well, which are basically Jesus and the Pope, and I wish her well.

My woman does not have to be a PHD holder. But she must be intelligent. And there are certain type of practical intelligence that is very helpful. One group of people who have that sort of practical intelligence are nurses. They are often more practically knowledgeable in details than doctors. Indeed, your medical doctor wife may be lazy out of her status in life. Can you imagine what happens if one morning your domestic staff decide to go on strike and you are left with your medical doctor wife alone. You would just be looking at it each other. She is used to having nurses do things for her. Now, nobody would make the coffee unless you do it. So, you need a practical and pragmatic lady who is at the same time intellectually oriented.

The last thing you need is a woman who would be bringing all manner of prayer warriors to your house. I once started a relationship with a Nigerian lady. She was visiting me in Washington, when I had to make a sudden two-day trip to London. When I returned to our house, I saw a lot of people in my house shouting. I was terrified. When I finally got close enough I found that she had brought some prayer warriors to sanctify my house with prayers and testimonies. The relationship ended that day. I was so scared. How could she find so many demons in my house, where I had lived so peacefully that she had to invite all these warriors? She insisted there could be some spiritual warfare raging in my house unknown to me and that I needed some prayer warriors. (And by the way, the lady was a PhD-holder).

Because of the complex nature of the marital relationship, one has to be really prepared to study the person he or she wants to have that lasting relationship with. And for goodness sake don't go for a woman just because she knows how to cook food. I would be bored by too much food. I will really lose my mind if there is the horrible smell of stock fish, isi ewu and stuff in our house. That will kill my sex drive permanently.

But once I know I have the woman that I love, I am ready to give her everything. Indeed, she owns me. If we start off with petty little things like recharge cards, it is impossible to even be friends. I don't have recharge cards to give to anybody.

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Patrick Iroegbu Ph.D

Patrick Iroegbu is a Social and Cultural (Medical) Anthropologist and lectures Anthropology in Canada. He is the author of Marrying Wealth, Marrying Poverty: Gender and Bridewealth Power in a Changing African Society: The Igbo of Nigeria (2007). He equally co-ordinates the Kpim Book Series Project of Father-Prof. Pantaleon Foundation based at Owerri, Nigeria. Research interests include gender and development, migration, race and ethnic relation issues, as well as Igbo Medicine, Social Mental Health and Cultural Studies.