Kojo and Abena – An Attractive Couple For Our Times

7 lessons my Ex-Girlfriends Taught Me
June 4, 2016

I love her size. In fact almost everything about her makes me love her. Kojo

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He first laid eyes on her when he went to visit his relative at the hospital where she worked. Something about her made him believe that had he found a future home for his heart. A home where he will be safe, loved and cared for.  He knew he had found his other half. He knew his whole life will change if he spent it  with her. He looked at her and saw her better than anyone else in the world. He set out on a journey to capture her heart. It did not matter how long it took or how difficult it was going to be. He was determined because he strongly believed that she was worth it.

He spent the next year and a couple of months pursuing her. Giving up was not an option when it came to capturing that resting place for his heart. She was his fortress and he will lay siege outside her gates until she let him in. His persistence paid off in the end.

I saw the pictures of Kojo and Abena for the first time on my news feed on Facebook. My friend Belinda had shared the pictures of their photo shoot. The second I saw the pictures, I was intrigued. Here he was, an average size young man showing off the love of his life; a full-figured woman. I was not sure why I was intrigued. A lot of thoughts went through my mind. I did see something though.

I saw courage. I saw vulnerability. I saw love in their eyes.

Of course, Kojo is not and will not be the last man to show off his love to the world this way. Other men in his position have done the same. They chose to love women who do not seem to fit the false society notion of physical appearance.  They also chose to share their love with a world full of superficial notions of attractiveness and beauty.

I had an overwhelming need to talk to Kojo. I wanted to hear his story, his experience, what his challenges were. I wanted to know if he faced ridicules, if his friends made fun of him because of his choice of Abena. I wanted to know Abena’s view of the relationship, if she had challenges.

I had questions because we live in a superficial world. The images of the ideal attractive couple we see on television or magazines did not look remotely like Kojo and Abena. The man is usually tall, muscular and in great shape. The woman is slightly shorter than the man, incredibly beautiful, skinny or in great shape. Take a look at the modelling industry. Think about who advertisers pick to showcase a couple on television advertisement or magazines.

I had questions because I had faced some ridicule myself when I was in Ghana two years ago. When I received news that my mother was sick and had a few months to live, my world and was turned upside down. Life did not mean much to me anymore. I stopped going to the gym, stopped watching what I eat and I ended up gaining weight. Going to Ghana, I forgot how brutally blunt my country people can be.

Eeiii, look at how fat you have become

Obolo (Fat person in Ghanaian native language)

I got so tired of being called Obolo by relatives and friends in Ghana that I started snapping back at people. I did not care who the person was. I felt anyone who was fat shaming me to my face was rude and disrespectful. To them, it meant nothing to call me fat. The fat shaming was actually coming off as a term of endearment in some cases. I was back in the gym the second I got back to the States. There was no way I am coming back to Ghana looking fat again.

Body image is not a light or fun subject to tackle. A lot of people are suffering mentally with issues like low self-esteem in relation to how they appear. I am in no way diminishing staying in shape or maintaining a toned body. I am simply stating how we are conditioned by the media to view how an attractive couple should look like. The ideology of the media promoting a superficial image of what a couple should look is not new. However, we sometimes fail to see how we have internalized this notion. We sometimes fail to see how we conform to this ideology unconsciously. We know it is wrong but how dare we go against the norm.

I reached out to Kojo via Facebook. I needed him to know that his courage had inspired me. I wanted him to satisfy a curiosity. I am a stranger and he did not owe me any answers or insight. He responded and I got to spend some time with a very genuine and humble human being.

A snapshot of our actual conversation:

Me: Have you had any of your friends and family complain or say negative things about your relationship?

Kojo: Well my family has no problem with whomever you intend getting married to. Once the love is true and genuine, my family is so cool with anybody we bring home or introduce to them as a fiancé or fiancée

Me: What do you love about her the most?

Kojo: I love her size. In fact almost everything about her makes me love her. She has a warm heart, caring, loving and above all God-fearing

Me: And have you had your friends or strangers make fun of her size?

Kojo: Maybe at my back but not in my face. Because I wouldn’t allow anybody disrespect my woman in my face

Me: Also, how does she feel about her size in relation to yours?

Kojo: She is always happy with how she looks. She doesn’t care about what people say about her. Never!

It took me a whole year and some months to win her heart

It wasn’t easy bro lol

Me: Who keeps your relationship alive? So what keeps the relationship going?

Kojo: Prayers bro. Every relationship has its ups and downs but when you entrust it into the hands of God he does all the miracles without you stressing

After our conversation, I got it. I got a glimpse into the mind of someone who does not conform to society norms. He had found something I have been searching for in two decades.

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I love her size. In fact almost everything about her makes me love her.

This statement Kojo made in response to one of my questions stuck with me. He followed “I love her size” with “In fact, almost everything about her makes me love her.” This statement satisfied my core curiosity. When he looks at her, he sees something deeper than what we see. He sees everything that makes him love her. He sees comfort, security, joy, satisfaction, a sense of belonging. I am sure Abena is not perfect but Kojo loves everything about her. He is not cherry picking what he loves about Abena.

The most attractive and happy people in our society are the ones who know that their physical appearance is not the most attractive thing about them. They have a certain kind of confidence that showcases their inner beauty. A beauty very few will see because we are a society that cannot look past physical appearance.

I am not going to lie and say that personal appearance is not important to me. We all have a type, an ideal person we hope to fall in love with. I am superficial. I am attracted to and have only dated skinny model looking type of women. All my friends and family know this. In fact, my superficial stance towards dating is what they point to as the reason for my failures in finding “the one.” The reason why I am still single.

So will I follow Kojo’s example? Will I be courageous as he is? Can I look at a woman and see past her physical appearance and focus on her inner beauty?

I will say the jury is still out on this one.

I am looking at a skinny and gorgeous woman and hoping that she is beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. I got it all backwards. Can I turn this ship around? Maybe, but it is a slow and painful turnaround and I am barely moving.

Kojo is unique. He is the cool kid and the rebel in the school of love.

Me, I am the nerd and trouble maker in the school of love.

What’s the greater risk? Letting go of what people think – or letting go of how I feel, what I believe, and who I am? Brene Brown

kwadjo Panyin…

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Author: Kwadjo Panyin

Kwadjo Panyin is a Ghanaian born relationship and lifestyle blogger located in Los Angeles, California. He holds three degrees; a Bachelors degree from Rutgers University in New Jersey, an MBA from Franklin University in Ohio and a Masters of Science degree from Northern Kentucky University in Kentucky. Kwadjo is a business professional who blogs for fun. His articles are about the challenges of dating and relationship anomalies. Writing, blogging, world travel, and photography are his favorite hobbies.

20 Comments

  1. Nana Ama says:

    I don’t think it’s all about the size of your partner but rather how you feel about each other. If they turn out to be fat/slim so be it.
    Look out for true love instead of looking out for size.

  2. Fusena Aziz says:

    …she is pretty too… Very pretty.
    Cute!

  3. Elsie says:

    This is the most beautiful couple I ever seen. I saw their photoshoot n i was like woooow. We always let what people think determine the actions we take but there’s one thing I always say “when the heart is willing there is a way”. I love you Kojo and Abena keep your love stronger always and forget about all the negative people around you. #TeamKojoAndAbena#

  4. Amma says:

    Be you!!!!
    Thats all i will say. Starting to look for the opposite of skiny women means you want to prove a point; however that is not necessarily what you want. Be you!!! Just be circumspect about it.
    I am fat but it doesn’t mean slim people are better ofg than me.
    Love is very subject and there is no one straight rule about. Just try and find in whoever makes you happy.

    I admire Kojo
    Plsss inquire if he has any brothers or cousins at least. I can manage that lol???

  5. […] an interview with Kwadjo Panyin (KP), a photographer, who works with ”THE AFRICAN BACHELOR”, Kojo Prince couldn’t just stop gushing about his […]

  6. […] an interview with Kwadjo Panyin (KP), a photographer, who works with ”THE AFRICAN BACHELOR”, Kojo Prince couldn’t just stop gushing about his […]

  7. junay says:

    i think this guy and i are brothers. exactly my taste. big girls have bigger hearts i tell you.

  8. joy says:

    Seriously deep down me I see nothing wrong wit d lady she is pretty she looks like a cute fresh fat dull to me if am a guy i will pick her over and over again. #goKojoandAbena#

  9. Barbara Humphrey-Ackumey says:

    Kwadjo, you have hit the nail right on the head. For us who were slim, very slim in our teenage years and have gained so much after just two children, our lives have become living hell when we get to meet some people or even sit with some people to have a chat. I am so touched by this story of true love. Thanks Panyin. May God continue to bless you and may you find the woman of your dreams one of these days.

  10. Dr Bernard says:

    I truly enjoyed this story and applaud your honesty. Personally I think there is a culturally black ppl tend to like big bbw women or thick whichever way you like to say it and Africans actually used to prefer that until MTV created a whole new perception and now you have the Millenniums who body shames abdominal ridicules fat ppl

  11. Havilah Dammim says:

    I’d love to ask Kwadjo Panyin out on a one time, Date?… if you’d give “Us” a date in the believing heart of a writer.. As I’m one too and a hopeless romantic.. I’m in Nigerian, too unreal? Just one call.

  12. Parvati says:

    Sometimes we let society dictate to us how we should lead our own lives. The first time i saw Kojo’s pictures this week on facebook it was full of admiration. I was’nt bothered by the size of his woman but i could feel the love between the two. Then i got furious when i realised someone had picked their pix and messing around with it on whatsapp. Then it hit me that people may just be jealous because they do not have what both of them. The love, and admiration for each other. Great to read this piece about them

  13. Jacqueline Naa Yarkor Annan says:

    Kwadjo Panyin I love ur writing skills.this is an awesome reality check story n it gives me sooo much hope of finding true love .Being plus size in gh is a real daily struggle n it took me years to love my self n be comfortable in my skin.congratulations to the couple n I wish them nothing but the best!

  14. Robertha Botchway says:

    The love they share is too strong to listen to the negative says of people.Abena is my friend and i can testify she’s an angel, beautiful inside out.He’s got the key to her heart and we support them with love.I love u Kojo and Abena

  15. Nanayaa Nyamesomfo Otoo says:

    Self-esteem built to the limit# God bless this

  16. Tia says:

    Very interesting. I suggest that you do not try your theories of love out on a woman you do not find beautiful. If you look at a plus size woman and do not see her as beautiful or attractive physically, then do not pursue her with the hopes ” you can find the beauty onside.” A confindent woman would never go for that and a woamn with poor self esteem may be further damages. Thus, if the fluffy, yummy girl is not your taste it’s cool. She needs someone who finds her beautiful both outside and inside. Not someone who is trying to find her physical beauty ?

    • Parvati says:

      I pray you do. Bcos they are lovely people out there, you just haven’t met them yet. Its difficult but please don’t let society dictate to you or you would find yourself with the wrong person.

  17. Theo says:

    Nice read I pray to find someone that adores me like he adores her ??

  18. Cathy says:

    Good question?…….would you on the other hand be true to yourself and how you feel.

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