“You know how Nigerian women are…”
This is a statement I heard often growing up and still hear often now. From men, women, immediate family members, and even other races – this derogatory statement is made by plenty. In fact, a woman who wasn’t Nigerian, who wasn’t even Black – was the latest person to say this to me. I had to stop and tell her I found that comment offensive and in case she had forgotten, I am a Nigerian woman. She didn’t apologize for her statement (instead, she tried to justify it). I mean why would she? She had heard way too many Nigerians say the same thing she was saying.
Nigerian men in particular love to champion this saying, (the white lady who made that comment is married to a Nigerian man, who also said those exact words to be the first and only time he met me, so you can imagine) and even Nigerian women regurgitate this self-hate often. Because it’s what has been indoctrinated into them. You will hear a Nigerian woman say, “you know how Nigerian girls are, Nigerian girls are deadly”, in a really derogatory and negative way. It always bemuses me, it’s like they fail to realize that they themselves, are Nigerian women. Irrespective of where you currently reside or have resided in the past.
I remember once having drinks with three guys. One was Nigerian and the other two were white Lebanese. The Nigerian man started to bash Nigerian women. Automatically I asked him, “why are you doing that?”, he countered, “No but you’re not really Nigerian, I don’t mean you.” First of all, I AM REALLY NIGERIAN. That I used to live in the diaspora does not take that away from me. The fact we reject our own based on that is already problematic. If a Lebanese person comes over to live in Nigeria and lives here for 20 years do other Lebanese people say, “you’re not really Lebanese?”. Nobody does that but Africans. Secondly, even if I wasn’t Nigerian Oga, does that mean I should sit here and let you bash black women in front of these white men to appease them? Goddess forbid.
Anyway, he replied, “yes but Nigerian girls are different they love money…” blah blah. I said to him, again, first of all, you are the ones that throw money in our faces and then complain when we say we want money. And then let’s not forget that society makes life so hard for women anyway – that they sometimes have to resort to asking men for money, which again is a result of the conditions created by the patriarchal system, we live in.
How many times have you as a man had to leave a job due to sexual harassment? How many times has your employer or an investor made your life hell because you refused to sleep with them? How many times have you not taken jobs because the employer was immediately inappropriate at the interview? How many opportunities have been taken away from you because you refused to sleep with somebody? How many times have your ideas been damned and shut down in business simply because of your gender? And last and more importantly using money as a “reward” system for claiming women is something that is not synonymous with Nigeria or Nigerian women. It is undoubtedly WORLDWIDE.
Men pay women for sex; men lavish women with money for attention. It is literally the only thing that they have felt they could bring to the table for the longest time. So they are constantly lording it over our heads. Hugh Hefner and the playboy mansion literally celebrated young women locked in a mansion with an extremely old man for money. In fact underage girls too. But because they are white it’s heralded? Now people are realizing that it’s an insane notion they want to turn it around as if to say we created the rules? No, men did.
I then asked him, “Do you think Lebanese women don’t do the same? Do you think their men don’t have supposed issues with them? But do you ever hear them bashing all Lebanese women?”, then the Lebanese guys got involved and said, “yes, she’s right, Lebanese women love money too and they can be problematic but I love them.” The Nigerian man that was shucking and jiving for them then felt foolish and kept quiet.
Don’t use Nigerian women to entertain yourselves and make yourselves feel superior. It’s absurd. Especially as a Nigerian man. It just shows how disconnected you are to Source and yourselves. You cannot hate the very things you come from. And I don’t want to hear, “Nigerian women don’t respect themselves”. What the hell does that even mean? If you believe women have to respect themselves before you respect them then YOU are the morally bankrupt one. That’s not how being a good soul works.
About The Writer
Teso Uwaibi is a Nigerian author, writer, blogger, publisher, speaker, and mentor with an undergraduate degree in politics from Manchester Metropolitan University and a Masters degree from Russell group university, Queen Mary’s University of London.
Besides writing and self-publishing her own book ‘Her Rantings’, she has contributed to various writing projects and is the director of independent publishing house TU Publishing & Consulting. Which allows authors to keep 100% of their royalties whilst streamlining the publishing process.
Teso is a firm believer in attaining knowledge of self in order to unearth our higher selves. She is a champion for authenticity and is often quoted for asserting, “ There is only one you. No one else will ever be you. That is your superpower!”