Naija woman, Oyinbo man!

by Benedicta Onyero Droese

Everything! While “most Nigerians are still not comfortable with public display of affection…” according to Sabella or “engage in endearing practices like candlelight dinners, flower giving, romantic walk by the lake or park…” These are some of the common ways for an Oyinbo man to let a loved one know that he or she is loved. However, I don’t always get flowers or candlelight dinners… I don’t need them when most times during our after dinner walk; John would reach for my hand, or put his arm around my shoulders (some actions speak louder than flowers). Occasionally, he might taunt me into chasing him up the hill like a mad woman with a daring “I’ll race ya” or “see you in the funny papers,” just to tick me off.  He must know that an over forty woman with a petite frame is no ” fair” match for an athletic six-two- footer with the build of a Navy seal sergeant on a reconnaissance mission.


Further, an Oyinbo man is quite comfy cracking jokes and pulling pranks on his wife, friends, and kids. My husband is not ashamed to act silly with his loved ones at all times…yes, even in public!  Just the other day, while we were at a county playground, I watched him playing hide and seek with our children and some of their friends while I pushed my youngest daughter on a swing set.  Afterwards, we all ventured off towards some grassy area and took turns sitting on a large piece of cardboard, sliding down the hill, screeching with excitement! A Nigerian man would not be caught dead rolling around playfully on the ground with a bunch of kids unless there’s a medical condition for that behavior. Am I right? No pun intended here!

How’s the SEX life?

Wouldn’t you just love to know! But I’m taking the fifth on this one.Nigerians generally don’t kiss and tell…or do they? Well, since this is probably the only area that interests some of you when you ask, “What’s it like?” I’ll spill a little. Let’s just say, “My wish is his command” and vice versa.He scratches my back- I scratch his!Sometimes the menu calls for an appetizer before the “main course”, other times we’re both content with a satisfying side dish. My stomach is always full (forget the myth).My eyes never wander. What happens in the closest stays in the closest!What transpires in the bedroom stays behind closed doors. What crops up on the kitchen countertop like that pulse-racing scene in “Basic instinct” is up to your power of imagination!


To wrap things up, John and I share a lot of common interests and have dabbled in many ventures as a team. Stock trading! CD Designing and Mastering! Recording Studio! Stage Performance and Touring! (Thanks to him, I can now pick up any guitar and strum a few cool tunes.) We both love the great outdoors and still go hiking in the mountains on the weekends. At times we engage the children in a family game of badminton in our backyard.  We train together in our home gym and he enjoys showing me a few self-defense moves.  He also handles a great portion of our grocery shopping if I’m busy with other commitments. Every so often, he and I would swing from one super market to another looking for deals and “on sale” bargains.

Anyhow, at an early age, I used to observe and compare the rapport between my parents, to my aunts, uncles and their spouses. It was obvious to me that most of my relatives were simply making do with less than they had hoped for.  But I wanted more! And to their credit, I knew exactly the type of man I didn’t want as a husband and father to my children.  What I wanted was a man that was considerate, civil, light-hearted, witty, easy going and devoted to me.  I wanted a man that would lift me up rather than tear me down.  I envisioned a man that would always inspire and challenge me to break new grounds or remind me that I should “never let the fear of striking out hold me back.”  I wanted a man that could always make me beam instead of frowning (He may annoy the heck out of me or make me want to pull out my hair from time to time…what man doesn’t have that affect on a woman?). Above all, I wanted a relationship that would transcend RACE and GENDER with a husband that would always place the welfare of our children and me somewhere at the top of his priority list!

If you have a clear picture of your ideal mate or the type of lifestyle that might complement your personal preferences, no one has the right to stand in your way. You may have to go for it! You may have to wait patiently. Although the grass may seem greener in someone else’s lawn; but make no mistake; there are different strokes for different folks. And if everything you’ve read thus far never crosses your mind ever again, I sincerely hope that you would always remember this… When it comes to choosing your partner, life’s too short to settle for less!

P.S. After reading the first draft of this piece, which was originally intended to contrast a Naija man (based on what I’ve read and heard) and an Oyinbo man (based on my personal experiences) my husband asked “why do people always focus on the negative sides of Nigerian men? No man is perfect!”

He added, “Nigerian men are ambitious hardworking go-getters who do not sit around waiting for handouts. Most of the ones I know are polite. Many came here with very little or nothing; yet, within a few years they manage to make something of themselves and you need to focus on that!”

Whew! I would have, but with Bolanle’s most recent piece “Nigerian men…The good, The bad, The ugly!” I was apparently a day too late and a dollar short!

P.S. From our home to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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pamela April 15, 2009 - 8:17 pm

absolutely true Bennie its time they helped their wives (if the wives work FT) disgraceful it is!

Youre a great woman!

Oh Boy April 5, 2007 - 11:28 am

I think it is high time we stopped comparing oyinbo and naija people – cuz it's the same sh*t whether u are naija or oyinbo. I have dated both and I have realized that the difference is not in being oyinbo or Naija but your persona. As for the author of this article, leave her alone if she loves her husband. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. She feels she has a better deal with her man…good for her. As for me, I will definitely want my kids to have Nigerian spouses – just personal preferences. But that doesn't mean my kids will do just that. We need to realize that not everyone will do stuffs the way we think stuffs should be done.

NneGood April 4, 2007 - 2:34 pm

To the author . . . great article and definitely a conversation piece. To poster #16 . . . these articles are there for people to enjoy. You willingly clicked on it and read it (though you claim you didn't). If you disagree, tell us why you disagree. I'm not saying you should have great things to say, but what do you mean by “I stopped reading . . .” and "what is the motive"? Anyway, here are my comments about the article: To the author, I disagree with you when you say that a Nigerian man would not be caught dead rolling on the floor with his kids. My dad is the biggest goof-ball. It's funny watching him as a "big man" back home 'cos I know the man behind the 3-piece Armani suit. It's the same man that makes you not want to pick up any phone call on April Fools Day for the fear of how he's going to get you this year (and despite the fact that we all know he will do something, he always seems to get us). Both my Mom and Dad had full time jobs and were in school full time when I was growing up, and they both cooked, cleaned and cared for us. My father LOVES MY MOM TO SHEGE!!! If you see the way he treats my mom, it just makes you wanna go get married. He was the kind of Dad that would jump up and down on the bed with us (though point the finger at us when my Mom got home), take us on to the amusement park and ride the scary roller coasters just to make us feel comfortable getting on. My brother is also a very romantic husband to my sister-in-law . . . I've seen him do the whole rose-petals from the driveway to the bedroom kinda thing with candles and 4-course meal. I'm married to a non-Nigerian man . . . not because I set out looking for a non-Nigerian, but because it's who I fell in love with. My husband is not white, but as far as most Nigerians that I deal with are concerned, he might as well be just because he doesn't share our culture and traditions. I got all the questions and nasty looks one can imagine: “What, so your own people are not good enough for you?” Funny enough, my husband can understand more Igbo than a lot of Nigerians in this country. He understands the culture more and probably like Nigeria more than most those who have been here for so long without touching base with the people they left behind. Like you said, different folks for different stokes. My relationship with my husband is something that I cannot put into words other than to say we are the perfect mate for each other. Perhaps, it’s because we started off as best friends . . . or maybe it’s the fact that I simply asked God to open my eyes and lead me in the direction of whom he has picked for me. It could be that we’ve known each other for so long and just knows all the things that would please the other. It could just be a simple combination — either way, I am happy that I don’t have to deal with a lot of the things I hear many women complaining about their husbands.

juliana marcus February 6, 2007 - 11:52 am

i love ur write up, and also inlove with your family, always be a good and wonderful mother

yours friend juliana(sunguestbook/abujaNig)

Edith January 28, 2007 - 12:34 pm

This article just made my day!! you certainly hit the nail on its head!!! Thanks

Ash Money January 24, 2007 - 2:20 pm


I found your article very interesting and insightful. My mother is a black dominican, a stout racist and she is married to a caucasian man. When I ask her how can she be a racist and married to a White man she tells me that if Brian(my step-dad) were purple she would have married him because he is a beautifl human being. Luckily I come from a unique family that is very accepting of these things. We are from northern California so no one stares or says ugly things, however when my parents come to visit me in the south our little rainbow coalition family gets trite stares and impolite treatment(which I always confront much to my mothers chagrin). I guess my point is I dont see why people care, true I dont love to see black men with white women but i dont care enough to give them dirty looks or make comments that make them feel uncomforatable. I guess in the end I feel that love is remarkable and if you are blessed enough to find true love who cares what package it comes in. Thanks for your article it sparked some interesting debate between me and my Nigerian boyfriend.

Pandy January 19, 2007 - 5:30 am

During college, in this particular talent contest, a young man from Africa came up to me and started talking. He was complimenting me on my presentation.

He asked me to have dinner with him. I said, "This is Alabama, are you crazy?" 1972. He answered, "I wasn't going to take you out anywhere, just to my apartment."

I popped off, "Not in this lifetime!" He smarted back with, "I didn't want you for a lifetime, just for a night. My father would disown me if I brought someone like you to our house." It was just about all I could do to keep from slapping him!

I didn't judge him for his color; just his manners and rudeness.

BTW, you have BEAUTIFUL children.

dee December 30, 2006 - 6:13 am


Sade December 21, 2006 - 7:24 pm

I'm not really sure what the purpose of the article is or exactly what I'm supposed to gain from it(it might be the headache I'm currently experiencing right now, seriously)but to me, men and women are equal but have different roles to play(even in the sight of God, all man are equal anyway) but on a serious note, Nigerian men have changed. Majority of them used to be hardworking and ready to take care of their own but nowadays, women have become the men they would have loved to marry. Bennie, at least you can stay at home and take care of the kids and do other things, some women dare not do that with their own hubby. Nowadays, these men won't mind being the stay at home person and have the wife work. You're damn skippy that if I work as much as you work you better be ready to take the trash out or do other things around the house while i'm cooking and dare not sit in front of the TV relaxing while I stress out taking care of a man and children, if any. Men have changed seriously, I look at my friends and wonder if I should remain single or not 'cos you never know what you are going to get.

I'm kinda on the same side with the other guy that said marrying someone of a different culture is not the same as marrying someone from the same culture. My personaly belief sha, it depends on your preference. I used to date out of culture or race and I just couldn't handle it. To me, it was as if I was depriving myself of something then I want a chance to be able to speak my language with my partner and not worry about speaking english or whatever for the rest of my life. See, preferences. The dude might have a reason why he said what he said but you came down too hard on him.

Good luck to you Bennie. I might need you to do some writing for me if you don't mind.

Bennie Droese December 18, 2006 - 4:31 pm

To poster #16 (aka Married Naija Man)

You said "To be frank, i stopped reading your rambles once at this junction "The African male does not view the African female as an equal" Really? So, how come you were able to regurgitate the following sentences "I wanted a man that would lift me up rather than tear me down. I envisioned a man that would always inspire and challenge me to break new grounds or remind me that I should never let the fear of striking out hold me back; I wanted a man that could always make me beam instead of frowning…"from the last two paragraphs of my article? For future references, a sentence tucked in between two quotations translates to "I am not the source" Dont you realize that when you take a sentence out of context, you completely miss the punch line? "The African male does not view the African female as an equal" was followed by "Why should he? Does anyone really believe that men and women are equalS? Is this why men are physically stronger, and only women are capable of giving birth?" You are entitled to your opinion in spite of its irrelevance to my story. I am glad that poster #4 who said "Thank you for your article. Yes WOMEN AND MEN ARE NOT EQUAL we all have separate roles" CARES and understood what I was saying.

Thank you for your two cents and have a great life!

Tayo Odebode December 18, 2006 - 4:00 pm

Just thoroughly enjoyed the article. Very interesting. Wish you and your entire family all the best in the coming year.

Anonymous December 18, 2006 - 2:04 pm

Benedicta Onyero Droese,

First off, your need for justification or should i say acceptance is quite comical.To be frank, i stopped reading your rambles once at this junction "The African male does not view the African female as an equal." Why should he? Does anyone really believe that men and women are equals? Ironic…

In fairness – my question to you is this, exactly was/is the motive behind this final write-up if the original was to contrast a "naija man and an oyinbo man"?

A few things jumped out at me from your article and couldnt but touch on those:

I knew exactly the type of man I didn't want as a husband and father to my children. What I wanted was a man that was considerate, civil, light-hearted, witty, easy going and devoted to me – Clear indication of the type of man your father was/is.. Touche…

(Keep in mind the keyword here is MAN).

I wanted a man that would lift me up rather than tear me down. I envisioned a man that would always inspire and challenge me to break new grounds or remind me that I should "never let the fear of striking out hold me back." I wanted a man that could always make me beam instead of frowning…

Another evidence you wanted anything or something other than what you saw in your father/uncles or the male composite of household you grew up in..

Lady, you made your choice and am sure there are quite a few people that could care less… Hope you get to read this…

Married Naija Man…

Ayda December 17, 2006 - 9:48 pm

Great article, nice family and boy he is fine! I totally agree with you sista, "life is too short to settle for less". Enough said on that…13 years and pushing. Many more years o jare!

Best Osema Azuka --Ibegbulem December 16, 2006 - 11:57 am

This is a terrific article that needs and commends international recognition based on the ideas and facts. Every Niaja man and woman coupled with every Oyibo man and woman should avail themselves of the opportunity of reading this challenging article and decide for themselves where they are coming from and where they are headed to.Thanks for such an inspiring article.I love you Sis.

Bennie Droese December 15, 2006 - 5:46 am


Thank you for your wonderfully introspective comments. They were enlightening, full of wisdom and reflected an open mindedness that comes from experience, the acceptance of all creatures as Gods creation and an attitude of "LIVE AND LET LIVE."

In retrospect, I may have whacked Goodman on the head a bit harder than necessary in my attempt to make a point or two. For that I apologize. However, I stand behind every single alphabet in my response to his commentary. As my husband mentioned in my piece, and as you eloquently pinpointed, Nigerian men have a lot of good qualities; perhaps I shall focus on that angle in a future write-up.

Once again, thank you!

Chi December 14, 2006 - 4:54 pm


You are very kind for sharing your story. You have a really wonderful family. Your husband is lucky to have found you and you're equally lucky to have found a person like him.

Your response to Mr. Goodman was not very charitable. He might not be the most sensitive man on earth, but he does have a right to speak his mind.

I believe an update to your writing would recognize that Nigerian men – more than men from other places – on average, are very open minded judging from the average response you got on your contribution. I wonder what responses your husband would get if he put a similar story up for a majority American or dare I say Caucasian audience.

Ours is a diverse society in large scale transition. Whereas our traditional structures are under immense and destructive pressure from a larger global society, we still manage to hold it firmly together.

Although a majority of Nigerian families are under unimaginable economic trauma – especially the Nigerian man who has to cater not just for his immediate family, but also for members of his extended family, he still manages to hold it together. The same thing goes for our women who are contributing in increasing proportions to the economic well-being of our families.

Kudos to Nigerians (men and women) On the balance, we are very open minded, hard working and loving people. Put under the same conditions and pressures, I dare say the Nigerian would shine way above any other race of people. At least, that is my humble opinion. Again, thanks for sharing you beautiful family with us.

Chiddy December 14, 2006 - 1:12 pm

Nice one,Benedicta.

Emm,does John have a brother?I might take my chance at love,again.

Uzo December 11, 2006 - 12:34 pm

Amen sister! Amen!

Nne, whatever works for you. As long as you are happy, that is all that matters.I'll rather be with an oyinbo that loves and treats me right than be with a monster that shares the same culture with me.

J December 11, 2006 - 1:51 am

I'm a Nigerian man, and i see nothing wrong with Nigerian women dating or marrying non-Nigerians. Globalization is inevitable and this whole concept of race is bound to dissapear. Perhaps i am in favor of Nigerian women marrying non-Nigerian men because i personally prefer non-nigerian women and would rather not feel guilty for being a sellout if i know nigerian girls do the same? By non-nigerian am i referring to white?

:P:P take this as a kid's review, because i will be 18 in a couple of days.

DeLaine December 10, 2006 - 12:43 pm

Interesting write up.

Asuquo Ema December 9, 2006 - 11:00 pm

I enjoyed your article and I admire your frankness when you talked about your husband and how both of you relate to each other. No man is perfect – Nigerian men or other men of other nationalities or races. It doesn't matter who one gets married to as long as both spouses are happy and content with each other.

I have a comment for Goodman. What do you mean when you say that the joy isn't the same with people who marry interracially or interculturally except if they were raised abroad? I think that was a very narrow minded and totally ignorant comment. If that is the case please explain to me why so many Nigerian men come abroad and marry caucasian and other non-nigerian women.

My Nigerian father came to the United States over forty years ago and met my Ugandan mother. After they finished school they went back to Nigeria together and their marriage was a success. So many Nigerian men marry foreign wives and even take them back home and most of the marriages are a success. There is no guarantee that just because one marries from within his or her own race or tribe that the marriage is going to work out. When we start to see people as "People" and not in the context of tribal origins or races then I think this world will be a much better place.

Amen to that!!!!!

Bennie Droese December 9, 2006 - 4:16 pm

To Goodman,

First, let me suggest that you go back and read my article again. Then repost verbatim where I generalized Naija men for not helping their better half with domestic work. What part of one of the major complaints some of my friends have about their husbands (Nigerians) is their unwillingness to lift a finger to help out around the house even it they both hold full time jobs did you not understand? So youre a Naija man who occasionally cooks and cleans for your family-GOOD FOR YOU! Or would you like me to reward you with a home baked chocolate chip cookie? You have totally misconstrued the focus of my piece and its a shame that you were not able to grasp the big picture. You said, The excitement and joy you get from been married to someone from your culture is not the same with inter race or culture except you born and race in abroad Let me ask you, how would you know? Is this why theres currently an alarming rate of divorce within some of the Nigerian communities in America? May I recommend one of Sabellas series African marriages as business ventures as a tutorial? If you honestly believe that being married to someone from a similar cultural background automatically guarantees joy and excitement in any marriage, I wont argue with you. How does one rationalize with someone with delusional ideologies? You want me to share the negative aspects of being in an interracial marriage? I have nothing negative to say because my relationship suits me. You want me to tell you that my husband is perfect because he is a white man? He is not, and I never alluded to that in my article. We all have shortcomings (men and women) and my husband even said, No man is perfect? somewhere between the last three paragraphs of my article. Yes, he burps and farts like a sailor sometimes dont you? I do sometimes. But you know what, in the grand scheme of things, thats a small price to pay for the type of relationship we have. He is not a Nigerian. He is not perfect, but he is just perfect for me and I feel blessed!

Have a great life!

Goodman December 9, 2006 - 9:55 am

I disagree with your opinion for generalizing Naija men for not helping their better half with domestic work. I am a naija man who occasionally make dinner for my family and also do help in cleaning the house. The only thing I do not like is my wife to tell me to clean because is my tune. There are lots of white men out there who can not cook egg and their wife have to do everything yet they live together in peace. The excitement and joy you get from been married to someone from your culture is not the same with inter race or culture except you born and race in abroad. Why not share the negative side with us sister?

Anonymous December 9, 2006 - 4:56 am

Thank you for your article. Yes women and men are not equal we all have separate roles. I think there's nothing wrong in taking care of your husband. He respects you for yourself. What a wonderful job you've done.

Anonymous December 8, 2006 - 6:45 pm

Love this! Thanks so much for sharing some of your life with us. Just reading this, I have an almost vivid idea of who you and your husband are. You are so lucky and he is fiiine! Happy Holidays to you and your beautiful family as well!

Anonymous December 8, 2006 - 5:34 pm

Excellent write-up.

Rosie December 8, 2006 - 4:50 pm

AAwwwww, you've got the cutest family! Thanks for sharing this with women like me that have to grapple with these kinds of choices.


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