“Me Broni” (my white person in Twi – Ghanaian local dialect)
“Mara Me Broni” (my “own” white person in Twi )
“Tumtum Broni” (Black woman referred to as “white” in Twi )
Do these lyrics from some of our popular Ghanaian highlife music we heard growing up ring a bell? Do you still hear our beautiful Ghanaian sisters addressed as “Me Broni” in music or everyday interactions? Ghanaian superstar Kojo Antwi refers to a love interest as “Tumtum Broni” in his Medofo Pa track. Alex Konadu, an old school Ghanaian highlife heavyweight had a track titled “Me Broni.” It was a song about a Ghanaian woman he desired. Recently, Sarkodie, a Ghanaian rap superstar released a track called “Mary.” On this track, a reference to “Me Broni” as a term of endearment for a beautiful woman is made. I am pretty certain that other African countries have similar terminologies they use to refer to their beautiful women.
Have we ever considered how ironic these terms of endearment are? Have we ever considered how self-incriminating these terminologies actually are? Think about how absurd it will sound for a white man to refer to a white woman he desires as “my black one” or my “black beauty.” One can only imagine how a white person must feel when he or she discovers that we sometimes refer to our beautiful black sisters as “white.” I never really thought much about this oxymoron until recently. After all, I grew up singing along not giving much thought to how perturbing it was to address our beautiful black sisters as “Me Broni.”
I was at a Ghanaian house party recently. In the midst of the fanfare, I watched in amusement as an older gentleman tried to chat up a young lady. She walked away from him obviously disgusted by his aggressive pursuit. “Oh, “Me Broni.” don’t walk away from me like that. I can take care of you proper!” He bellowed. I thought his statement was quite ridiculous and could not wait to hear her rebuttal. She turned around, standing tall and with a wry smile on her face responded with pride.
Oh, snap! What a comeback! Wow! Tell it Sister!!
I could not help roaring with laughter. I could tell by the overt expression on his face that he was perplexed by her response. As funny as this particular moment was, it presented me with an opportunity to reconsider the use of this term. “Me Broni” and similar terms that have been part of our culture for decades.
Another term that gets my blood curdling currently is “tumtum broni.” What in the world does this term even represent? What is wrong with “ahofe tumtum ” (black beauty in Twi – Ghanaian local dialect)”? Amakye Dede in his track “Akwadewesoa” refers to a beautiful black woman as “tumtum black (black beauty)”. I wonder why this appropriate expression never caught on? Maybe it is time to shed light on the use this term of endearment to describe a beautiful Ghanaian woman.
Okay, I started with a rant on this “Me Broni” issue. It must have you wondering what the heck this rant has to do with why some African women are increasingly dating and marrying white men. Well, in a way it does connect. We have being conditioned from childhood to believe that “white” is better. Our pop culture has this ingrained notion that “white” is an acceptable description for black beauty. I find this deeply troubling and feel the need to draw attention to it. Anyway, I digress.
Short Disclaimer: I’d like to say that I am not against anyone, black or white, choosing to date or marry outside their race. I am black as anyone can see and the views expressed in this article are from my personal perception. I chose to discuss African women dating and marrying white men in this piece. I am not oblivious to the fact that both sexes engage in interracial dating and marriages. My choice is based on the belief that African men have different expectations when they seek a relationship with a white person versus African women.
Over the years, I have received requests from some female friends to introduce them to white men for relationship purposes. I have used these interactions and conversations that I have had with friends who date or are married to white men as a basis for the views expressed in this article.
In my quest to find a partner, I have come across countless single African ladies who are only interested in dating or marrying white men. Most of these ladies have their minds made up and cannot be swayed in their quest. I recall a conversation that ensued while driving around with a group of African female friends when I first moved to Los Angeles. I was asking them about the best places to dine or take dates since I was new in town.
“Why are you even interested, Kwadjo?” One asked as she pointed to one of the top restaurants on Sunset Boulevard. “You Ghanaian men will not bring your ladies out here on a date so why bother?”
“You guys are too cheap!” another chimed in.
As offended as I was by the comments, they aroused my curiosity.
“Have you guys already dined at these restaurants?” I asked.
“Of course!” they chanted in unison.”
“Our white dates are the only ones who treat us to these fine dining experiences.” one clarified.
“Got it!” I responded.
It is 2016 after all. I sincerely believe that when one truly fall in love, it should have nothing to do with race. If you have the same interests as a white man, enjoy spending time together and can see a real future with that person, you will love them without considering their race. I personally do not think an African woman’s attraction to a white man is a problem in itself. Interracial dating and marriages are very normal and I do not think it is necessary to view this trend through a race relations lens.
It is appropriate I think, to touch on how interracial relationships invoke a level of discontentment from some African men, myself included. No one has the right to complain about who one dates or chooses to love. Permit me, however, to explain the thought process of an African man when he sees an African woman with a white man.
Black men are arguably the most subjugated minority group in the world. The majority of the movies from the west continue to portray white men as handsome, romantic, caring and ideal partners. Black men, on the other hand, are mostly portrayed as uncaring, cheaters, criminal and abusive. Given this depiction of black men, it feels as if an insult is added to injury when we see black women dating outside our race. This causes us to feel shunned by our dear black sisters. When the world continuously tells us that we are not good enough, it is very painful to see our black sisters also turn their backs on us and date white men. I believe some black women also have the same thought process when they encounter a similar situation with a black man dating a white female.
That said, allow me to enumerate the reasons why I believe some of our African sisters are increasingly jumping into the arms of white men. We have all heard the reasons why some black women prefer to date only white men.
White men, they argue, know how to take care of their women.
Some black women love the thought of having a half-caste child. With the mixing of the races, the children come out with a lighter skin complexion and have beautiful colored eyes in some cases.
White men are also better managers of money than black men. They are not extravagant with money like black men, they say.
I once heard a Ghanaian lady joke that our men are more interested in making money to buy cement than taking them out on dates and vacations.
White men do not seek to “buy your love” with money like black men do.
My personal favorite of the reasons is the lack of extended family issues to deal with when you marry a white man. You don’t have the hassle of having to go to the village and please his large extended family members.
Finally, some African women argue that white men are great at providing both financial and emotional support to their women. White men adore and respect their women and they hardly cheat. In other words, white men are more emotionally available and treat their women better compared to black men.
Over the years, we have listened to the myriad of reasons stated by some of our African women who date and marry white men but have we really heard them? In most cases, our being dismissive stems from our feeling shunned when an African sister dates or marries a white man. More often than not, we treat an African woman who is married to or dating a white man as a sort of pariah; they cannot convince us that they are happier with a white man.
There are those who are not attracted to white men but will date them purely for selfish reasons. I, however, want to focus on the ones who truly find peace and happiness while dating or being married to a white man.
If we listen and pay attention to these African sisters, we will detect a simple but very common reason why they are increasingly turning to white men. Based on my interactions with some of these women, I have formed a number of opinions on this matter.
Some African men may be providing security but they most often are severely lacking in the romantic love department. In cases where an African man is providing both, the romantic love lacks depth, adventure, and adequate expression. When some African men provide security, our women are made to feel as if they have to earn it every day. The security some African men provide comes with conditions and is not given freely. For a woman to truly feel appreciated, she needs a generous dose of both romantic love and security without conditions.
I am in no way suggesting that white men are better than African men when it comes to romantic love and security. I am merely pointing out that women will gravitate towards a group of like-mannered men, black or white, who provide them with a healthy amount of romantic love and security. According to the African women I interacted with, it appears that white men provide better romantic love and security as compared to African men.
Let’s explore the romantic needs of African women more closely. Women in general love to be pampered and African women are not an exception. One African lady I had the pleasure of speaking to said that she loves to have her breakfast in bed on the weekends. When she was married to a Ghanaian man, she made that known but he was dismissive of her needs. She is now married to a white man and she stated amid giggles, that her need to be pampered is no longer an issue.
Another lady told me that she loves to travel the world and had difficulty finding an African man with the same interest. When she started dating white men, she had no issues finding one who liked to travel the world as much as she does.
Others told me about how they are consistently pampered with candle light dinners, frequent dates, gifts, surprise getaway trips, flowers, etc.
What struck a cord with me was the consistent reference to how open minded and creative white men were in their bid to impress them. When I asked about African men, some stated that they do pamper them but not on a consistent basis. They lamented that the pampering only occurred at the beginning of the relationship and ended soon after a roll in the hay or after they got married.
I spoke to a recently divorced lady who complained bitterly about her previous marriage. She said, “After 12 years of marriage, I heard him say ‘I love you’ 12 times.” Curiously I asked precisely when he said the “I love you” to her.
“On Valentine’s days!” She blurted out laughing.
It is important to a woman that her man is financially secured. Security to a woman, however, is not only financial. Most African women have careers and are fully capable of taking care of themselves. However, they also need to feel secured that their men will not cheat on them or take them for granted. The ladies I spoke to were quick to point out that the level of trust with white men is much higher compared to some African men.
Women want to be respected and according to these ladies, white men are better at showing them that they are valued. They elaborated on how they live comfortably when they are in a relationship with white men. One Nigerian lady married to a white man told me that she has never worried about being cheated on, kicked out or disparaged because of a disagreement; the opposite was true with the Nigerian men she dated in the past. Yet another, who has vowed to never be with an African man declared that white men date to find wives, but most African men date to get frisky.
The bottom line is anyone should be free to marry whoever they want as long as they love each other. In other words, love should be the guiding principle, not race. As I see it, attraction and a love connection are key to finding a life partner. Do I want our African sisters to date and marry African men? Absolutely!
That said, we have to be mindful if the avalanche of attraction to white men is based solely on our inability as African men to provide an acceptable level of romantic love and security.
Dishing out advice and guidance to African men on how to provide romantic love and security to African women was not and is not my intention for the outline of this article. My only intent is mainly to highlight the reasons why our African sisters are flocking to white men for dating and possibly marriage.
By 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.