Tweet As I am sure you can imagine there are a variety of cultural differences between living in the US and living in Africa. Fortunately, my African roots have prepared me for many, but some of been really unexpected. So today I will tackle the cultural differences in African men. Why you ask? Because well somethings you have to see to believe.
1) Drinking hard cider, Bailey's or any other sweet liquor- In the US, it is never acceptable for a man to drink hard cider or any other fruity pansy drink. In fact, it is a strict man law violation. Can you imagine the man of your dreams sipping a pink martini with a strawberry on the rim? But in Africa, it is the norm. See the proud look on the face of the men sipping their Bailey's Irish cream and Malibu coconut rum. If you didn't know any better you would think it was comparable to the best whiskey or champagne. The more amazing thing is, is that they get drunk! I am still trying to figure this one out, considering I often think of these drinks as fruit cocktails. The only time their look of pride dissipates is when I explain to them I don't do sweet liquor. After all, I like my liquor like my men: straight, hard and dark. But it does make it easy to pick up Christmas and birthday gifts.
2) Wear Animal Print Clothing. Most men can only pull off wearing animal print clothing if they are pimps or Katt Williams. However, the African man has the undeniable right to wear animal prints in many forms: jackets, pants, shirts, hats...hell even belts. And don't be surprised when all of his friends are going wild over his latest cheetah-zebra mix shirt in a positive way. Although, a man wearing animal print in the US may elicit plenty of jokes and cruelty from his friends, rest assured here it is pure admiration amongst his friend....after all he is sooooo GQ.....*insert side-eye*
3) Hold Hands. Many of you I am sure envision Africa as a completely homophobic place. After all, many countries have a ban on homosexual activity. However, you might be surprised to know that it is completely normal for two men to hold hands. That's right, if you see two men walking and holding hands it is by no means considered a sign of homosexuality. Rather it is just a symbol of a happy friendship. Doesn't it just make you feel all warm inside to know that its ok for men to express their bond through such a simple gesture? However number 4 definitely make you rethink what is classified as "gay" behavior. If you got the pun extra points for...if not, well boo.
4) Dance With Each Other. Just in case you didn't know many African children attend same sex boarding schools. As a result there is this "boys boys" and "girls girls" culture, meaning that you can just go out and have fun with your same sex friends. I think that is acceptable since girls and guys' night exist throughout the world. The thing that still amazes me is the men dancing together. Now, yes some of it is an acceptable two step in a circle of guys. However, there is always one or two that have the full back it up motion....hump in the back and all. Which is why any gay man who lives in Accra should never be shy about trying to approach a new backside...your grind may be warmly welcomed..until they find out you want more. But who knows..maybe some of them want more too.
5)Wear Tight Pants. When I was in school, they were referred to as "nut huggers". Nut huggers are the pants that are so tight that any man walking in them instantly walks like a rusty tin man. Although it looks extremely uncomfortable, tight pants are still the fashion trend for men across the continent. Now let me be clear, there is a difference between a well tailored pant and a tight pant. A well tailored pant fits your belly, a tight pant pushes your belly to its maximum bulging point. A well tailored pant when we stand up falls down naturally to the ankle, a tight pant you have to do the leg shake to get it to come down two inches, then you pull it down the other two inches to hit your ankle. So yes, tight pants are an epidemic and I am sure it will eventually have an effect on the birth rate of children across the continent. After all, it can't be healthy to have your nuts in a chokehold all day.....right?
6) Sag Their Pants With No Underwear. Now, I am not going to lie...this is actually one of my favorite cultural differences. You see many of you just get to see well ripped men, sagging their pants with no draws on in pictures...I get to see it in real life daily. In fact, if I was Catholic I probably would live in the confession booth because well, honey, let me tell you, there aint nothing like seeing a young little chocolate drop with strong shoulders and tight abs sagging his pants wit no underwear on. The only thing I really wish is that they had taken a bath and put cologne on. Nothing like the smell of funk to wake a sister up from a good fantasy.
7. Saying I Love You in Within 24 hours: Now we know that Africans are global people and can be found in all parts of the world. So I am sure that any woman who has had an African admirer, has within 24 hours heard the phrase I love you. And while most women dream of hearing this words from prince charming, it can evoke feelings of fear and make a woman question your mental faculties. Yet still, it seems the African man is not worried about the rejection or the restraining order that may result in this phrase prematurely being said. Instead, they are more than willing to tell you that after a few hours of knowing you, you are, in fact, the one. *sigh* Then you remember, you once saw a similar story on Lifetime and break the hell out.
8. Provide Wholly For Their Women. So all jokes aside I can say that most African men take great joy in providing their women. Whether poor or rich, most will make extreme sacrifices for their women and their children and fully understand what their role in the family is. That is not to say that you don't have exceptions to the rules, but overall they are providers, and any woman who ropes herself a respectable African man will indeed be a happy woman.
Until Next Time. Smooches.