Diana (pronounced as Di-ah-na), is my friend, roommate and course mate. I met her during my fresher’s registration and we clicked instantly. She is a very friendly person unlike me that is reserved and a little bit anti-social. She combines her studies with working as an usher for an event management company in Uyo. During one of the events she ushered, she met George, an Irish man who lives and works as a contractor in Ikot Ekpene.
She met him again when we went to the popular Ibeno beach. He had come with some of his colleagues to relax and Diana, my other close friend Isabella and I had gone there as well for Isabella’s roommate’s birthday party. Diana and George got talking and exchanged phone numbers before we departed. George asked her to be his girlfriend about a month after the beach encounter and she didn’t hesitate to accept. Diana was so excited and kept on saying that she had hammered.
While some people in Nigeria shy away from inter-tribal and inter-racial marriages/relationships, others jump at such an opportunity without even thinking. Diana was one of those who was ready to jump into an inter-racial marriage because of the idea that a white man is “a big catch.”
“If George should ask me to marry him today, I will say yes immediately,” she said during one of our conversations.
“You haven’t even known George long enough and you are already thinking of saying yes,” I responded.
“Abeg leave that thing. I dated my last boyfriend since secondary school and we eventually broke up. I’m not ready to waste my time.”
“Me too. I don’t really like long term relationships. 1-2 years maximum for me. What do you really like about George?”
“Don’t you know what it is to marry a white man? I will pepper them. All those girls that were laughing at me when my relationship ended, shame go catch them.”
“Pepper them?” I asked with shock written all over my face.
“Yes. You need to see the way people look at us when we go out together. I can see the jealousy in their eyes. I will travel to Ireland and become a citizen. My children will become citizens of a better country. Nobody will see my back in Nigeria again. Good bye poverty.”
I laughed out loud. So Diana wants to marry George because of the perceived notion that you have hit the jack pot by marrying a white man and that a white man is better and richer than a Nigerian man. People believe that marrying a foreigner will make others begin to envy you, your life will become better and more enjoyable, you will be richer and have a better life.
But are these all true?
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“Diana, I like the idea of inter-racial marriage because there is beauty and unity in diversity. It is also an opportunity to know, learn and adapt to a different culture, race and language from the place of a marital relationship and all that. But desiring to get married to a white man because you feel it puts you in a better place than others who marry Nigerian men is a wrong motive and wrong mentality. I believe there are poor white men. There are white men who are abusive. There are white men who are irresponsible,” I said to her.
Diana refused to listen to me and told me I was simply jealous of her and her man because I wasn’t as lucky as she was. I was 23 and single to stupor. I had never had a boyfriend in my life. It was either the men I loved didn’t love me or I didn’t love the men that loved me. Remember the guy I met on my first flight. Yes, Jeff is his name. I loved him but he was married. I fell in love with a married man without knowing it. Why can’t I find a man that loves me and whom I love in return?
Anyway, I let Diana be. I didn’t want to get into a fight with my friend because of her Irish boyfriend. Good luck to both of them as I mind my own business. But I would like to hear from you, what do you think about inter-racial marriages?