Wednesday, 9 November 2011

An Ode to the Nigerian Gentleman

Isn’t it lovely the way Hollywood portrays the ideal gentleman.  He wears a dashing suit, walks with grace, opens the door (all doors) for any lady in his company and smiles while doing this. He is very considerate, he has the right things to say in front of a company of women, he doesn’t use obscenities, buys a lady flowers every now and then and the list continues. For many years that has been my standard and some of you ladies reading, don’t lie, it has been your standard too. And you see, I’m a sucker for a gentleman. Not only that, I love my Nigerian men. Tall, short, fair, dark (especially dark), skinny, big, you name it, I love em. I bet you already see the problem: Gentleman love + Nigerian man love = Huge disappointment L

Regardless of what I saw around me, I kept on having hope that I’d come across the perfect Nigerian gentleman, just the way Hollywood has always portrayed them. As I grew older, I became painfully aware that that kind of man is a rare breed in my country, very rare indeed. I began to lose hope. However, not too long ago I observed a little thing that re-awakened that hope. I was having drinks with a friend who well, I’ve never particularly considered to be a gentleman. He did a strange thing that I’ve never seen him do (at least never noticed). When my glass arrived, instead of pushing the bottle to me as he was about to, he took my glass, mixed my drink and passed it to me. Wow. That’s what I thought, wow. I know many of you ladies out there are thinking so what? Well, for me in that particular company, it was a big deal. That singular act sent me on a train of thought. I got to thinking of how many small things this guy may have done in the past that I must have missed simply because I was watching out for the signs of a perfect gentleman as portrayed by Hollywood.

In essence what I’m trying to say ladies is this: lets celebrate the ‘hidden gentleman’ in our Nigerian men. Yes they may be crude sometimes and do some untoward things like: let the door bang in your face, demand for sex like its their right, act like they’re the boss of you, grab the meal menu like it’s a race – urgh, need I go on? On the flip side, lets not ignore other things they do like: expect to pick up the bill every time they take you go out, offer to help you out when they sense you’re under pressure, show genuine concern about your family, drive you round town, tolerate your tantrums and love you in spite of them… – ladies fill in the blanks. So to all my Nigerian gentlemen out there, here’s a special thank you on behalf of the lovely ladies in your lives – mother, sister, aunty, cousin, lover, friend. We may not say it or even show it sometimes but you are very well appreciated!

Ps: Yeah yeah, I know this isn’t exactly an ode, but it’s a nice title isn’t it?

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