What Does It Mean To Be a Nigerian Woman in America?

by Nikki O.

I was brought here at a very young age, and led a very sheltered life. Growing up, I didn’t live around any Nigerians let alone black people. Whenever I did interact with other Nigerians outside my immediate family they were always somehow related to me on some level.

The kinds of interactions I watched were skewed, so my experiences with Nigerians were shallow at best. Additionally, there were no other Nigerian children my age to interact with, so the only people to look to model Nigerianism were the elders that I was rarely allowed to interact with. Interestingly enough, when a situation arose in cultural settings, I was consistently reminded that I am a Nigerian and should remember that, and when I attempted to ask what it was to be Nigerian the response always centered on, some sort of subservient behavior or strict guideline of interaction. For example, kneeling or laying down to greet someone keeping your eyes lowered, never talking back, never speaking up, never giving an opinion, only speaking when spoken to, never give something with your left hand, never receive something with your left hand, and so on and so on.

It appeared to me that everything associated with being Nigerian centered around some rule, always seemed negative, and never had history, folklore, or substantive cultural relevance.Yet, when I interacted with American children and their families, there was a freedom, and a relaxed nurturing environment. There was an interaction between parents, their children, between siblings and never once would you hear “I’m not your mate, or I am your senior”. I just never seemed to fit the mold.

As I grew older the guidelines grew more stringent and I began to resist and resent many of them. Ok, so fast forward a couple of years. I have now come into my own, and realize that I can be myself, and make nooooo pretenses or apologies for being myself, and yet I still rub people the wrong way (well only Nigerians). Somehow I have developed a reputation for being rude, and disrespectful, where in other cultures I’m genuine, and unpretentious.

I’m still single, which is baffling to me because I’m actually a really pretty woman, very nurturing, respectful, and considerate. My family says its because I’m not Nigerian enough. I’m too Americanized which I know is an insult in our culture, but I just can’t understand a few things. When I interact with Nigerian men, I’ve found some to be either too forceful, vulgar, condescending, possessive, insecure, or a blatant womanizers. My brothers aren’t like this, so I am baffled are these accepted norms or character traits?

Are Nigerian men supposed to behave this way? In turn what are my actions supposed to be to counteract that? What is it to be a Nigerian woman? I mean, I see many women pretending with their fake smiles, and bogus compliments etc, and I frankly, I am tired of the Bullsh*t. With the exception of being able to cook a Nigerian meal, and speaking your native language what exactly does it mean to be a Nigerian woman in America?

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cheryl dickerson June 25, 2021 - 2:44 am

well wow your statement is all correct I am a American black women who’s DNA is 31% Nigerian and possible will go to the Nigeria in November 2021 to meet and marry my Nigerian man. But yet I have felt his rafted attacks at me when we have a issue it is me wrong me being disrespecting him?? So I just needed help thank Chertl

David August 30, 2016 - 7:48 am

Women are the ppl most affected by cultural change because of factors I don’t know about. It not a coincidence that 90 percent of new jobs with more than 100 employees are owned by men. I tried dating Nigerian women but it was difficult to comprehend the mind of a professional Nigerian American woman you is less than 28 with good job. If you doubt try and look for a professional America Nigerian woman in the age 24 to 30 and you will find them all single. They only get concerned after 35 when the fertility is low and they come here crying. Nigerian women in USA are the most affected by Hollywood drama than any other race. To them at the fertile age they see men as not Hollywood prince enough. I am a physician from Nigeria but slightly inpatient to immaturity of new prof Nigerian Ame girls. I try dating a few with intention of marrying them when I was 32 but it was difficult. I felt bad when I am called back by them after o have lost interest and moved on to prevent distractions. I was insulted by few who actually told me to go and get wife from Nigeria because they need your help. They felt I was trying to make it easy for myself by marrying already made woman. These are women in their fertile age treating men like objects just because they are educated. The mentality is self destructive and I blame Hollywood and their parents for that. I had two doctors and an Mba white women who are doing everything so I could marry them or even date them. Yet I am treated like a parasite by those bunch. The two Nigerian women I talked to are doctors and one a pharmacist. They were soooo numb that I decided to marry my white friend. At least she is loyal and she understands that I cannot be destracted do I could work efficiently. Since I married her my income has grown from 200000 s yr to 700000 a yr. she is pregnant now. I don’t think a Nigerian chic would not have caused me a distraction.
From her attitude and intelligence I found out why white American men do better financially than blacks. It’s because white women are evolutionary more intelligent. They understand that a rich man means more opportunity for her children. They get patient and nice so you can be more effective in your work. I mean the educated intelligent white woman who has no tattoo or smoke marijuana and who wants the best for her kids are evolutionary more intelligent than her fellow black woman . This is by a mile or more. If Ivanka trump was a black woman she would probably not have married in her twenties. But she is smart and she knows she is a woman. We Nigerians especially the women should work harder to apply intelligence in our life. We cannot continue to blame culture or men. I’m sure this lady who is lamenting now saw those Nigerian me in her middle twenties when she was very fertile but reasons known to her she rejected them. If you are not intelligent you will not be even if you are older. You don’t want to marry a man you will distract to the point of him losing his abilities. Men are not women. We are intellectually different. A man can but him dream to reality faster than women. He takes more risk than women and he is more productive and more likely to open more companies if not distracted . Time to learn the basic truth

Biemce Brume December 5, 2014 - 6:37 pm

I think one of the problems some African American ladies have is #wanting sexual desires etc…I have asked some Nigerian women in America also the African American ladies why they always want to marry blacks,mostly Nigerian men…their answers are centred on the fact that #the Nigerian men has big #Teddy#Dicks#whatever you call it…even many white ladies loves to date African men or Nigerian men…I love Nikki’s sincerity! Just be open and truthful to yourself,check if you dont have a problem,pray and explore…#you dont need to die over a Nigerian man…you are educated and education brings about freedom of thoughts,minds,n what to choose…you are not a slave of what people’s cultures are …remember it is humans likes you who sat down to make these cultures bruhahas…the world is now a global village…most of these cultures are fading rapidly…the generations now are educated people…if you cant marry a Nigerian man ,try India,America,etc…#Its not by force…#I love Nigerian men and wishes to marry one BUT that doesnt mean i ‘MUST’ marry one…kiss

Zina October 20, 2011 - 9:59 pm

LMAO ohh i love the bluntness, yes oh we keeps it real

Zina October 20, 2011 - 9:56 pm

Well Ngina how is it that you respond to Adebisi being aggressive then end with all those negative remarks. Thing is Nikki started with how sheltered she was and not understanding what it means to be Nigerian yet she has made her own conclusions and assumptions so i am not sure why she is asking because at this point she has a certain mindset. Every race, tribe, ethnic group has their things that people have major sterotypes about. i was born and raised in Nigeria before i moved to the United States and granted yes some Nigerian people are who they are so are other races. it is sad and unfortunate when you see and hear the sterotypes about African American men and women i mean the statistics are staggering! Yet we always pick a race and tear it apart.

Nikki if you want to know what it means to be Nigerian go visit Nigeria and do your own personal research and make your own judgement because i believe it is a mindset thing. We are raised to think and react a particular way, it is engrained in us i am PROUD TO BE NIGERIAN i learned discipline and respect and hardwork and independence from my country. when i moved here i was appalled at the lack of most of these things in high school but i dont judge anyone i can only live my life the way i know best and try to understand where others are coming from.

freeworldreview@yahoo.com April 10, 2010 - 1:01 am

I write too and as a thinker, the distance is automatic from ordinary people, I work in Turkey now and my family live in the US. Add Ro’ ‘Timmy Onayemi on fb and let’s work through choices together if you wish. I’m going through the same…

Nonso January 20, 2010 - 10:40 am

“I’m still single, which is baffling to me because I’m actually a really pretty woman”

Why don’t we hook up? But again, chances are that we may not fit into each other’s life perfeclty, since I am a Nigerian through and through and although I’m civilized but there may certain things I may dislike about you simply because you’ve lived in the US most of your life.

Chances are, it will be easier for you to get married to a Nigerian who has equally lived there as you have.

Anyway, if by chance you come to Nigeria I’m sure you will find suitors in their hundreds who will want to date you.

immigrantchild January 19, 2010 - 9:29 pm

hi all, i identify with nikki and many of you, as a nigerian-born american (moved when i was young). it took some time, but by nationality, i consider myself an american. not a black american, not an african american, but an american, plain and simple (like Obama).

i personally don’t think i could marry a nigerian because i can’t cook, but mainly because it annoys me that nigerians think they are the shit. truthfully, most nationalities/cultures think this, and that annoys me as equally. i don’t think americans are the shit. the bible says, “if someone thinks he’s something when he’s nothing, he deceives himself.”

my point is: if you want to find a good man, no matter what ethnicity, he needs to know and follow Jesus faithfully. i see this in my father – he’s stayed true to his culture but rejected the negative aspects that don’t align with God’s word (i.e. hitting the wife, being abusive or demanding, etc.)

so that’s what i’ll be looking for. i’m open to any nationality, including nigerians (shout out to yorubaland – ibadan) as long as he serves the same Lord I do.

Olu December 30, 2009 - 11:15 pm

There has been a lot of comment and I hope they would be helpful to Nikki, I do not have much to say except the fact that almost everybody’s comments focused on the issue of relationaship “as in she been single”, I think clearly from her article she has other issues or concern like not been able to fit in. I grew up in nija and I can’t really relate to your ordeal but I think your folks should have positively tried a little to teach you the significants of the nija culture at an early age, so if they didn’t then they should let you marry whoever…, Nikki you think those issue is what is preventing you from dating or getting married?The best advise though is Pray, Open your heart and let love find it’s way. Most definitely you would find true love from someone ( regardless of their nationality) who shares your ideas about life, how men should treat women and how women should behave , so I wish you good luck. God bless.

Olu December 30, 2009 - 9:25 pm

I agree with Bola’s comment, It was funny though, I couldn’t help laughing…

chinny July 9, 2009 - 7:49 am

irst,I would like to say that it seems to me That "Nigerian woman living in Norway",is kind of having Fun.It's kind of interesting to get to know there are some positive minded people out there.

However,it also seems to me that she doesn't really understand what she needs to be doing with herself.Anyways,I would love to suggest some ideas which I think if she reflects on would give her a better chance of gaining some reasonable credibility.

Other than taking, well…,Pictures that do not worth anything,Since I guess if we all posted the pictures we took of mere Individuals We would have a load of collection.The picture of SABINA The Model is nice though.

Though that's not my point.

I understand that this woman in Norway has the oppourtunity to travel why doesn't she take a few tips and do somethging worth while instead of just cruising.From her pictures she doesn't seem That young so I suppose if she hasn't found her life path proffessionally which should be anything that is able to benefit the Country and improve the nations Image,I suppose she should spend some time at home on a weekend and reflect on that.

Having said that.Many Rich Nigerians Ought to be really"ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES"

Spending all that money in Europe and not doing anything worthwhile at home.

(1.)First go back to the schools you studied and do something for the school.

Ensure that the renovations of Classroom are done,Schools have efficient buses for school runs,

Provide your Primary schools with working Laboratories.If your school has got everything needed,support another school.

(2.)Form some kind of community group in the area you live in.Make collections and improve your environment.Fix your streets.If your street is fixed, Fix the Next Street.

Finally All Rich Nigeirans Living in Europe should go home and Clean their homes.Europeans have cleaned their homes and we should go clean ours.Until then we will be forever be called Niggers,we can hate the word as much as we can,but if they don't call you Nigger in your Face they call you in your back.Anyway you will remain one in their eyes with your Dirty homes.

Europeans will help you spend your Money,chew you up real hard and then Spit you out!But of course they won't let you know they'll do just that or else you wouldn't spend your"Nigerian Cash"in Europe.

Nigerians Go home and Clean your home.Hidding in Europe doesn't help.

"ESPECIALLY RICH LAGOSIANS AND ALL RICH NIGERIANS"You will be called Nig**rs whether you like it Or not,until YOU CLEAN YOUR HOMES!!!



And by the way I was suprised that Nigeria Woman in Norway didn't know why the word Nig**r isn't used anymore.

So people tell me what you think?

Ngina December 25, 2008 - 7:35 am

WOW!!! You came out of the gate swinging Adebisi. I am an American woman, and I think you came on very strong. I agree with some of the things you said, but I think Nikki O was simply inquiring to her own people, and the tone in which you responded only exasterbates the sentiments she expressed. While I do think she was a little general with her inquiry, I think the same of you. You go from country to country trying to challenge stereotypes? Who has the time? I dated an African man, and at first he was nice. Then he turned meaner than a junk yard dog. I really feel in my heart that he loved me, but I think he cracked under the pressure of being Nigerian, and his family obligations led to the demise of the relationship. I go to an African chrurch, but I do not think I will date any more African men. I just felt that the one I had was driving me crazy trying to make me into an African woman, and I am not. Black American women are attracted to African men sometimes because we have the same fantasies that African women have, only in an opposite way. We think we are getting back to our roots. It seems to me that African women fantasize about being strong, independent, and in charge. That’s fine. I think we can learn a lot from each other, but in my opinion, Africans can stand to lighten up. Why do you get so aggressive? The Africans I have encountered really like to say that Americans feel inferior to you. No we don’t! American is the cockiest, most prideful nation. We will laugh at you before wanting to be you. Plus, black Americans for the most part really don’t see the benefits of being you, especially in this country.

sultan November 25, 2008 - 11:37 pm

Nikki…its not every time we will talk and preach on this site.This is an action time!Hit me up on sultan0834@yahoo.com Im a fine cultured nigerian based in the US…LETS COLLIDE…cos u never can tell!

george nwaugo October 27, 2008 - 11:29 pm

hello patricia…congratulation on your marriage. i assure you …you have married the best men in the world..nigerian men are caring and i promise you..you are going to enjoy the maariage.watch and see..the inlaws are going to be very nice to you..and with time you will enjoy coming to nigeria more often becuase of the happiness in your marriage and fun…..

Akin August 26, 2008 - 11:54 pm

Exactly! I totally I agree with you Adebisi. We are trying to change the image of Africa and the way people perceives us. Not all Africans are the same, everyone is different in their own ways. Adebisi I organize panels and issues like this, I would like to get your email address if that’s ok and also if you have a video of you about what you do. You can email me at fala0009@d.umn.edu or abiodun04@yahoo.com

Thank you

tijjani aliyu August 3, 2008 - 7:50 am

u c all men are equal as a men but differ in thier mind not only nigerian men but men in general, i will an example of myself iam a nigerian and i respect women for many reasons and i hate them for only one reason i will tell u why, i have respect for all women because they r our mothers and just think how they treat thier babies same happen to me when i was a baby and i respect them cos we men can live without them they r our life patners, i repect them i have pitty for the cos they r not as we men are hence they r pragile they always need caring and loving they need to be as free as possible for them to make u happy, i thinks if u compress them u will not enjoy them. a bove all i hate them cos of thier delecate attitudes. some one may have diffirent filling for them but for me that is it.

KC.Bombay May 21, 2008 - 6:11 pm

To Bona, Has long as you can PROVIDE EQUALLY IN terms of Emotional, Financial, Physical, and Mental to all your wives be it 2, 3, 4, 5. then i say go for it.

Femi April 25, 2008 - 9:37 am

This sort of remark is expected judging from the essay the things that you touched upon ; the differences that you indicated such as things that we nigerians do and say…..I do not blame you at all but I do derive one point from your disdain for Nigerians as a whole not just the women but also the men. Now I am a nigerian who was born in the village of Idomila , in the Ogun state region of the Old western state of Nigeria and having gone to school in the country spent all my adult life in both England and the USA. Two great countries by the way but also have their drawbacks ; their negatives and also their positives ; their ways of lifes and also the ones some of us have been forced to live if you get my drift. From your article, you really have not been in the presence of good and gracious nigerians who have experienced both cultures and be able to expalin the reasons why we nigerians from our cultural perspectives do certain things that some of us can not believe sometimes. Let me pick on one thing that you said and thats is about NOT USING YOUR LEFT HAND . Now its not that you cannot use it . Its the way you go about it. Some beleive that picking up food with your left hand and giving it to your fellow is wrong . Why because in Nigeria we believe that people wipe their ass with their left hand mostly . Although you washed your hands that does not mean that you cleaned it well. That notion is rampard in that society…..you do not have to agree with it but thats the way it is. You can disagree on a lot of issues facing Nigerians but if you move around us more often you will understand certain things about our culture . In most cultural settings in Nigeria , our elders do not really take their time to sit with their young to actually teach us the culture but whenever certain situation arise they always point out these cultural attributes and thats the way we learn. You sounded like a very lost Nigerian wannabe Foreigner…..a lot of us are just like that. There are alot of issue with Nigerian Men with regards to Womanising…but what you failed to understand is that most if not all of these men come from POLYGAMOUS SETTINGS and not all of us womanise . I am not even sure that you have confidence in yourself ….you mention that you are still single……well you will continue to be untill you face your own demons. If you do not find a nigerian man; you have african american; other african countries have plenty of black men …the issue has nothing to do with Nigerian men ; its an individual thing…all men are the same from one race to the other…white men womanise too; so does chinese, italian, korean, spanish, brazillian an dthe beat goes on. I advise you to check yourself lady ; may be you love yourself too much that you failed to compromise certain things; may be you choose the wrong men…

tara April 10, 2008 - 12:06 am

hi nikki i enjoyed reading your article i am a african american women for a long time i have wanted to know what it would be like to visit or be from africa but i have some people around me saying things like would not want to go to africa that its poor or its dirty i just see something that they dont see i would really like to know where i come from i read up a lot about africa i dont see what some other people see so i get how you fell so i just always just listen to what is in my heart so you do the same take care

MJ August 28, 2007 - 3:38 pm

First of all it seems that Nikki is only portraying her own personal experiences with her own cultural interactions. She came to America at a very young age. She mentioned that the exposure she experienced to her own culture was minimal at best. I find it very astonishing that her family would tell her that the reason she is still single is because she is not "Nigerian" enough????? So then my question would be.

What does it mean then to be Nigerian?

What aspect of "Nigerianism" would guarantee her a mate?

Nikki, this all depends on whom you are looking to be your mate. Are you interacting with various enthnicities in men? Or are you focuses on just one ethnical group? Have you dated African American men?? Have you dated White men? Have you dated Asian men? Have you dated Hispanic men? Do you get the same reactions from them as you do Nigerian men? You have to realize that you are not condemd to one culture.

You have choices in men.

You have choices in ethnicities to choose from.

You live in a free land and are free to date or marry whom ever you choose.

I repsect your experiences with Nigerian men, but you must realize that they are YOUR experiences. Not all Nigerian men can be classified in this manner. However, those Nigerian men who have been brought up and raised to expect their woman to be subservient and docile will expect for you to be that way. And if you are not, then you will be looked at as being rude. This notion of expectation is a fallacy, and having to pretend to be something you are not contradicts the very meaning of what it is to be human.

Personally, I dont want my woman to be docile or submissive. I want her to have a brain and to use it. If I hand her something, she is free to use whichever hand she chooses to receive it. As long as their is mutual respect between us, and appreciation of one another, there is nothing more that is really needed. Everything else will fall in place. Yes, the man is the Head of Household but lets not take this notion out of context. Woman were put here for more than just procreation. A man should love his woman just as he loves himself, and nurture her for who she is and allow her to be herself.

I have dated 3 Nigerian woman here in the America. All three woman are very beautiful, smart, and they dont mind speaking up for what they believe in. Unlike what your family thinks you should be Nikki, these NIgerian woman who have been in America for less than 5 years are all going to school for NURSING, one has graduated with her Bachelors Degree in Nursing, owns her own home, drives a very nice car and lives alone, the other 2 who are ages 24 and 25 are both in the School of Nursing, both own cars and have nice apartments. One of them I still date. Believe me, none of them act docile, or subserviant. They are "take control" woman who are successful and often talk to me about the ways of their homelife in Nigeria. Mind you, they do portray a certain mannerism unlike that I have seen amongst African American woman. And a certain way the walk and carry themselves.

All in all, Nikki. Be yourself. You wont have to go to a man. He will come to you. Continue on with your life. Dont allow people to dictate to you the way you are supposed to act. As long as you are not doing anything illegal, and have the right people as friends, you will be all right.

Much Love to you my sister!


Tade July 12, 2007 - 2:46 pm

I quite agree with some of the issues you have raised about Naigerian men, but i think you should consider the option of dating men from other nationalities. I believe there is someone, somwwhere for everone, all we have to do is broaden our minds to see them when they come. Hnag in there and you will see someone who loves you for you.

Chike May 10, 2007 - 7:54 pm

If you are "really pretty" as you eloquently put it, you really shouldn't have problems finding a Nigerian man or any man for that matter. I'm a Nigerian man who grew up in America. I fit into both cultures seamlessly and I date who I want to. Women are the same at the end of the day (with good qualities and bad) and men are equally the same. You'll find good Nigerian men and bad; and good 'Akata' men and the truly hopeless. As a parting shot, I would say look at yourself closely. It may be, just maybe, that there's something YOU are doing wrong. But who knows? Good Luck, Nikki!

IJ May 10, 2007 - 3:50 am

I understand your perspective Nikki and encourage you to seek after what God has for you. I am the true embodiment of African-American. I was raised in the states, both of my parents are Nigerian and I grew up surrounded by Nigerians. It is a delicate position to be a Nigerian-American. You are not considered fully Nigerian nor fully American. At the end of the day you must decide who and what you want to be and how you want to live your life. The only person who can put you in a box is you. Naija men may not be in the cards for you but I would not give up on them just yet. As with any culture, there are the good and there are the not so good. Do not lose hope. You expressed your opinion and it should be taken as just that, an opinion. Perception is reality and so this is yours. I wish the best for you and salute you for your honesty.

chichi May 8, 2007 - 6:15 am

Nikki, I understand what you are talking about. My advice is BE YOUR Self! If he is ment for you, be he Naija or not, he will love you as you are…. To all the women out there like Nikki, myself included, you don't see Naija men worrying about these things, so why should we? If they don't have to change for us, why should we change for them? To comment # 19, very funny!

sara May 7, 2007 - 8:32 pm

Nikki's question hit home for me. I share a similar background and have wondered what it really means to be "Nigerian". In fact, most of the time, what I do know about Nigeria, I looked up on the Internet–because all parents will say is: Children should be seen and not heard. Nikki, if you do have further luck with resolving this issue, I am very interested–especially in regards to dating.

maekudos May 4, 2007 - 9:01 am

Comment #4, i salute you, when you told her that she, and not Nigerian men, is the cause of her problem, i felt u. She is just so clueless, she needs to know that when you start complaining about those around you, the first person to blame should be yourself. I'm a Nigerian female, I love Nigerian men, I love their blackness, their realness, their strength. Even if I travelled all around the world and had a pick of men, I'd choose my Naija guy anyday. Please. Love your neighbor, MS NIKKI. Love yourself.

Jasmine May 3, 2007 - 2:55 pm

Nikki, I understand every word you say in your article. I'm sure there are thousands of Nigerian women in your shoes. In my opinion, Nigerian men are some of the best in the world. The virtues go on and on… They are extremely hardworking, intelligent, classy, loyal, supportive… the list goes on. But with all these positives, there are a few negatives…. and these are extremely negative. It is not easy to date or let alone marry a Nigerian man. You have to really want to marry a Nigerian to be with one. Most times they are very difficult and (although most would dissagree)… still have the chauvinistic mentallity that most of our fathers and grandfathers had. You really have to know what you're getting yourself into… You seem like a very sweet person, and I hope that you meet the right person for you. I believe that Nigerian women that grew up with Nigerian men would probably know how to handle them better. You have to ask yourself what your ultimate goal is. Is it to marry a Nigerian man or to marry somebody that makes you happy? If the latter is the case then you are better off widening your choices to include men from other countries. If this is not an option for you and you only want to be with a Nigerian man, then you have to excercise patience and humility and take them as they come. You can't change a Nigerian man… If you want to be happy, you just have to let him be the boss. It's as simple as that. He will do anything for you and will give you the world.. but you always have to respect him and show your gratitude. Well, you decide what you want. Good luck.

avanti April 30, 2007 - 2:20 pm

Looking forward to reading more of your articles on this subject. Mai sista keep pushin'.

Bona April 30, 2007 - 7:16 am

I say all this holabaloo about African men is really getting to me!! I say, let all African men start marrying more wives as our culture dictates so that these frustrated old ladies will find loving homes at least and stop hankering on about what African men do and trying to wreck the homes of those who have found their men! Pls Nikki O, or whatever your name is, I will marry and cater for you as a 2nd wife if you are pretty and obedient. So email me back if you like and we can even get into a prenupt if you desire that, just so you can be sure I'll be a loving father, husband and anything you want!!! A big wa for the lost African brothers and sisters in the diaspora….the sad truth is no matter how much you struggle to be white, you'll never be accepted by them as white or even close. Take a hard look at the African-Americans who know no other home or culture they still are not accepted as white nor can they ever be, so why bother trying? To the real brothers out there, my advice is; MARRY MORE WIVES OH!!!!

pmdaboh@yahoo.com April 30, 2007 - 12:50 am

I enjoyed reading what you wrote. Having to deal with stereotyping is in ALL cultures. I am African American and recently married a Nigerian man. The Immigraiton Office just approved he and my stepson to come to America, and prayerfully he should be here by June or before August at least. We were married in Apapa, Lagos, Nigeria, and I enjoyed meeting my in-laws. As with all cultures there are some "dos" and "don'ts", but for the most part, I believe we should just be true to ourselves and not allow others to make us into a person they are happy with, and we are dying inside. Just be Yourself!

Francis Dibia April 27, 2007 - 8:51 pm

There is no such thing as a single "Nigerian culture" Or Nigerian men! I am a Nigerian man in the US happily married to an American girl with our kids.I have met very good Nigerian men and women as well as Vietnamese,Spanish,Whites and black.There is no reason why you should narrow your search only to "Nigerian Men".Expand your scope and you just might find your Mr Right.Best of luck.

unkown April 27, 2007 - 7:52 pm

In response to COMMENT#12 Nigerian men are just like any other men be they Jamo, Akata, Oyinbo. There aren't any statistics as yet written indicating the "superioirity" of Nigerian men in Yankee, Jand ,Malayasia or any nation. It's easy for any woman to to find a lay-about ne'er do well but harder work and deeper focus will yield good results. I respect the opinion of the writer for her honesty. Too many people are held as cultural captives (mostly women) and provoke the ire of those who say Naija woman for Naija man while Naija man marries women of other nationalities or races. I suspect this sisters opinion is shared by many others of similar background but cultural captivity often mutes their stepping forward.

Uduak Ekanem April 27, 2007 - 1:17 pm

I enjoyed reading your article and I do have some comments for you.

Why is it that so many Nigerian women are bent on clinging to Nigerian men? Why aren't Nigerian women adventurous as Nigerian men?

Nigerian men date women of all races, nationalities and ethnicities but Nigerian women rarely do. Why? Why are we bent on this "Naija Guy" mentality as if they are the only men on this globe. Coming to America has made me realize that they are so many fishes in the sea to choose from. A Nigerian man will be the first to explore all the different kinds of women out there – Oyinbo most preferably but a Nigerian woman will still be waiting for her Naija prince.

Please don't get me wrong at all. There are many hardworking, pleasant and nice Nigerian men out there who are very loyal to their spouses and great fathers to their children although it's always the negative minority among them who make the headlines. I don't want to sterotype Nigerian men as just belonging to one group of men who are promiscious, loud mouthed and male chavnists.

I know a Nigerian friend of mine who has been in the United States for about 16 years and was married to a Nigerian man who badly maltreated her and eventually walked out on her but yet she is still insisting on marrying another Nigerian man. I tried to encourage her to date men from other nationalities – even men from other african countries but she insisted that she only wants to be married to a nigerian man.

My advice to my fellow Nigerian women – Please try and be open minded!! There is a big world out there of very lovely men who aren't "Naija". Open up your heart and mind a little bit and experience something different for once.

Other african woman are really more open minded compared to Nigerian woman who are very narrow minded in their thoughts.

Nikki (Abi na Nike) Please if you can't find the Nigerian man that is fit enough for you then start looking at other options.

I wish you the best in your search for your life partner.

Goriola Abamieda April 27, 2007 - 12:13 pm

Hi Nikki,

Every culture has it's good and bad. The NIgerian culture is not the exception.

With regards to dating and marriage, I don't want to read all these nonsense from these Nigerian/African/black women about how bad Nigerian/African/black men are.

I have said it before, the grass is always greener on the other side or so it seems ahn!.

My advice to you and other women that are always generalizing Nigerian/African/Black men, please no be by force, we don't mind if you date men from another culture or race; date Caucasian, Indian, Pakistani, Italian, Iranian, Iraqi, Afghanistan, Portugese,Syrian, Libyan, Israeli, Autralian,Spanish, Brazillian, Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Mongolian and even Butan men and then you can find out how more civilized and better these men from other cultures are from Nigerian/African/Black men.

For whatever reasons some of our sisters have the talent for picking and attracting the worst and bottom of the barrel of the men in their respective cultures, instead of facing the realities and adjusting their strategies or attitudes; when eventually, they find out that all that gilters is not always gold, they then generalize about every single Nigerian/African/Black men out there.

I will say it again, there are millions of Nigerian/African/Black men in every country around the world where you live, if you keeping attracting the worst of them, then you are definately doing something wrong; either with your strategies or you are the source of your own problems.

I have friends from different cultures (both male and females)I have never heard of Indian, Caucasian, Iranian and even Iraqi, Pakistani… and women of other races and or culture complain about how hard it is to meet men from their own culture or denigrate their men like Nigerian/African/Black women.

Please enough of these nonsense. I am not saying that all Nigerian,African/Black men are faultless, but you know he is bad for you but thinking that you can change him or he will change for you is the begining of your problems.

Nikki, let me end by quoting Peter Tosh for you "no matter where you come from as long as you have a black skin, you are an African, don't mind your nationality, you have the identity of an African" You have your own destiny in your hands.

Sisters you have eyes and ears, use them well.

Ejiro April 27, 2007 - 11:15 am

Girl, there is NOTHING wrong with you. Being a Nigerian woman in America means being too American or too African, depending on what the guy wants at that time. As a nigerian, also raised here from an early age, I know EXACTLY what you mean. I have decieded to make no appologies for my accent, my attitude or myself. Nigerian men are in a majority of cases, raised to believe that women should be subservient and even the most mordern of them will hold on to that idea, even when they know it's ridiculous because it works for them. I think being a Nigerian woman in America means knowing who you are and what you will and will not settle for. wish I had a better answer, if you find one let me know. until then: Africanmii.com.

Ben April 27, 2007 - 5:45 am

Despite the name calling, Nigerian men are seen as the best black males to date because of their hard work, resourcefulness, professionalism, and even in crime (successful)

Pals, there is nowhere you will go in the western hemisphere and find black male socialites, educated, professionals of different fields and not see that Nigerian male stand out. You cannot talk about Eligible bachelorhood in the black communities without considering Nigerian men a driving force.

The issue once again is simple, Nigerians are too easy to pick on, paedophilia in the home common among white men, laziness in the African-American communities, drive by shooting, baby-father syndrome, drugs, joblessness alcohol abuse and diminished responsibility apparent in many western and Caribbean black men rarely attract serious blame on these non- Nigerian males.

This is no different from a Jamaican girl telling me she was let down by 9 Jamaican men while disappointed by 2 Nigerian men, but she will never date a Nigerians again.

We should count ourselves lucky when some black woman decides to date us, so lucky that we have no right to end the relationship because we risk getting a negative global reputation in dating!

OKE April 26, 2007 - 8:17 pm

My dear, it is clear that you are an african american woman born of nigerian parents. There is nothing wrong with that. If you look around, there are some african american women married to naija men and they are very happy with us. Infact, i know of this african american lady who is a medical doctor, she told me given the opportunity, she will marry a naija man over and over and over. She told me that we are tough with a good sense of purpose. There is no way one can change the way you think but do me a favor, teach your children the african way so that they will not get confused or rude when they are grown. Also do some self examination if you are actually rude

nkechi April 26, 2007 - 5:48 pm

nikki giurl i have to agree with Uzoma's last sentence about seeking God in your decisions. It honestly does not matter who you marry whether naija or acata as long as he respects the love you have for him, and all the other important things that comes with a good God-fearing man. the book of proverbs says "when the going gets tough, the tough get prayerful, faithful and thoughtful, before the get going".

unknown April 25, 2007 - 8:35 pm

Very informative and insightful and you bravely went against the grain that others would be afraid to.

yuzzed@yahoo.com April 25, 2007 - 1:48 pm

Baby, how you dey? Let me start by telling you that Nigerianmen are about the best, most reliable and caring of all. Don't see this as a biased statement or defense of my sex. But put on an open spectacle and see sieve reasons from my thoughts. I will not say your comments about "us" are ranting rather they are statements of experience. However, that experience might be limited in scope and percentage. If you were really not "caged" by your parents, you may have had a different point of view. And if you visited Nigeria while growing up you would have seen the real Nigerian men. In any case, you have grown pass the stage of passing blame on your parents (maybe the resources weren't enough or they have had an unfortunate experience about their motherland), you've got to look forward. And looking forward you are doing by considering to "hook up" with a Nigerain man for life. In doing this, you have to know that most Nigerian men have this stereotypical over-generalization that "American children" have attitude. As a matter of fact this phobia of divorce catches on with them and you know divorce is not African, so to say. Another direction you may have to consider or look into is "yourself". You might be confident, which is a positive character and every man should be proud of, but do not over-exhibit it to an African man or Nigerian man. He will say "which kin thing be dis", "na me you dey pasmaga for?" Then at that point they will begin to nurse the feeling of "knack and go". That is the game. Present yourself politely. Don't be too classy and over-representing. Relate with as many Nigerianmen as your time permits. In all, I wish you well in your search. You will never regret marrying a Nigerian man, if you jam the better ones and dem plenty. Just bend down, you go see. Moreover seek the face of the Lord in this journey. All good things come from Jah Jehovah and he will give you your heart desires. Don't rush it! Be cool! I wish say I go help but be cool.

Nikki O. April 25, 2007 - 1:26 pm

I didn't even realize my article had been posted to this site. I'm excited by the responses I've received. I'm also quite appreciative of all comments whether positive, negative, ill-informed, or sadly misguided. i appreciate them all because its given me an opportunity to actually hear it from my peers. Thank you all!!!!!!

Bennie April 25, 2007 - 12:12 pm


I once stood at that crossroad at some point in my life. I asked questions you are now asking. But guess what? Once you realize that there’s absolutely no point in trying to please everyone (because you really cannot), you too will experience a paradigm shift. You will begin to understand that it is more essential to surround yourself with those who truly understand you, sincerely appreciate you and can effortlessly relate to you. Somewhere out there, a man that will love and accept you for who you are is waiting. My advice, be open minded because he may or may not be a Nigerian. However, if he bears the tiniest semblance to a poster that goes by "Naijaman" in any shape or form, run! At your convenience, check out " Naija woman, Oyinbo man!" You’ll see why. My dear Nikki, life is short; no one should have to settle for less just to fit into some mold. The choices we make in life ought to ensure or improve our quality of life. That should be your issue of concern.

Best of luck!

Bola April 25, 2007 - 11:41 am

Sweetheart! Welcome to reality! I understand where your coming from.There is nothing wrong with you. You are just one of the thousands of second-generation Nigerians born in diaspora that have problems fitting into the 'Old World'….the Motherland. I dont blame you…. I blame those that brought you to a strange land at a young age and never allowed you to interact with your peers of the same age in your motherland for whatever reason and then started wondering why you were acting like an 'Oyinbo' when you are now mature. Why wont you act like oyinbo when you grew up among them and never interacted with nigerians? My dear, i would just advice you to marry from the culture you feel most comfortable or else! Marriage amongst our kin even by those born and bred in Naija is stressful enuf….to add 'Akata' join am, na double wahala for dead body! (I hope you can understand that!).

Anonymous April 25, 2007 - 11:05 am

You people have come again oh. Firstly, NIGERIAN MEN are not the reason you are single, you are the reason you are single. Do not blame nations of men, 1% of which you have never met, for your condition. Secondly, if quite a few people have told you, you are rude, it's most likely you are. So a bit of self reflection might be required. Thirdly, as for the Nigerian culture that you dislike so much, it might surprise you that you find it all over Africa. The age grade (I'm not your mate thingy), use of left hand etc.. If you do not understand the historical basis for this or why Africans do this, then don't use your ignorance as a cover to castigate the culture or your apparent obtuseness in this regard as a guise for being rude, sorry, being yourself! Look if you don't not like Nigerian Men and their culture, please feel free to try other men and their cultures habba, No be by force.

Rosie April 25, 2007 - 10:26 am

Honey, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. Word of advice, don't restrict your choices to Nigerian men, look at men from other ethnic groups. You will be delightfully surprised!

enitanmason@gmail.com April 25, 2007 - 6:23 am

Darling. Welcome to the real world. The problem you face is relatively common among women who have been raised to be confident and to expect more for themselves in terms of their relationships with men. I am probably from a much older generation than you are and I am faced with some of the same challenges that you face. I was raised in Nigeria by a mother who provided me the avenue to think; to use my own initiative and not to accept just anything or any man that came my way. You have to decide if you value the fact that you are confident and unpretentious more than bowing your head and pretending to be what you are not so that you can have a Nigerian man. You also have to honestly examine whether you are being rude. Confidence and rudeness are not the same thing. There are ways to communicate disagreement to people of different cultures without being nasty, although I do have to admit that some Nigerian men are so persistent that you almost have to hit them over the head with a sledge hammer before they grasp the essence of the word —NO. I encourage every girl to use the verbal hammer when they need to. It is foolish and destructive to pretend to be a docile subservient girl when you are not. I solved my problem by marrying a respectful and accepting African American man with whom I could be myself. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself and those around you. You have to live with yourself on the long run no matter whether the relationship you choose works out or not. Live as you believe. Perhaps I have not answered your question on what Nigerian culture is. Whatever you choose to do will define what Nigerian culture means to you. We all create Nigerian or any other culture. Good luck!

Adebisi April 25, 2007 - 6:23 am

Yet again another stereotypical judgement of character of masses of men from diverse cultures and homes. What your article or rant portrays to a non Nigerian is that ALL Nigerian men are negative and not marriage worthy; yet feeding into the stereotype most Westerners have held against African men.

Somehow I suspect you were raised in one of those sheltered rich homes where people lose touch with realities of life. I was raised both in Nigeria and abroad. I am well cultured as an African and a "colonized" African. I am not possesive, not sexist, not demanding etc Yet I am a Nigerian. I go about many communities in the US and UK fighting this very stereotype you are perpetuating about "your" own people. People come from various backgrounds and learn in their own ways, how to treat women and people in general. There are many Nigerian women both in Nigeria and abroad who are married to very good Nigerian men who do not fit into your classification of Nigerian men.

I hear black women talk about one issue or the other that they have with black men. So perhaps your issue is just the same as what an African American woman would have with an African American men.

So rather than rave and rant, why not pray to God to send you a man that fits your requirements and compliment your personality?


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