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Why Do Some African Men Show Off What They Don't Have Once They Visit Home?

I am a Black American woman who has dated and been around many African men for most of my life. I have also traveled to Senegal, Guinea, and Sierra Leone and witnessed the culture myself. I am engaged to a Sierra Leonian and love him dearly but really can't understand why he must be so flashy when he arrives back in Africa, ESPECIALLY when he doesn't have much funds in the U.S. I feel like this flashiness perpetuates the false idea by Africans that once you go to America, you become rich. This has created alot of problems with my finacé because once he arrives in Africa, it's as if everyone has their hand out. People EXPECT to be taken care of generously, and I don't mean just immediate family, I mean 3rd. 4th, and 5th cousins! School fees, house fees, food, clothes,  How is it possible for one man to do? He was lucky because he worked very hard, gathered up his OWN funds considering his meager means, and made it out. But many of his other family members didn't have the drive that he had, and now they expect him to take care care of them because he made it out.

It's not only with my fiancé that I've seen this, I've seen it with many other African men. The younger ones are the worst, especially when you see them on the plane. They are the ones flashing the rhinestone caps, jackets, and bootleg iPhones. I just think it's sad because it feeds into the false ideals. I've known many young men who have nothing in America--barely scarping by, living off of someone, usually an American woman-- that go to Africa and are regarded as kings. It's almost laughable, but not, once everyone sticks their hand out. Please explain this phenomenon to me. It's quite upsetting to me because I can see the stress that my fiancé goes through, but at the same time, he will travel with 3 HUGE suitcases and a shiny laptop and cell phone (both of which can't be used in Africa most of the time because of limited power and WiFi),  and it feeds into the myth. Meanwhile he is struggling here in the U.S.

I think another problem that I have, is that with my observance of the culture, I see the flashiness and wastefulness more in the men than the women. In my experience, when I give a man some money, he will take all his friends to the bar, buy new clothes, and hand off little cash bills to younger siblings. Then, the next day, they will come back asking for more money, and they can't understand why it is so hard for me, a "rich" American, to share. Whereas I've seen that an African woman will take the money and invest it wisely in her family and her home, or try and start a business. I've always seen the positive effects of what an African woman will do when you give her money. (These are generalizations of course, and do not include dictator's wives, mistresses, prostitutes, and the like--I am talking in general about the everyday African woman going about her business).

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17 answers

U got it,same false impressions and hope is what make gullible africans to sell their homes,their businesses,use their last savings to risk the inhospitable deserts,risk the oceans to go to hard up,backward and racist places like italy and aurtralia,some even go to eastern europe in search of green pasture,that the eastern european run to the west for.

An average whiteman himself is Bleep-ed up,talkless of having enough to spare,he lives in bondage of work,alcohol,taxes and debts.

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And in the end I packed up,

flew out west,

Hid my head in the land,

Just another bad-bold naija man,

All alone and dying of happiness.

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Blackbella,

You're hanging with the wrong crowd I must say, most of us want to change into African attire as soon as we land. Empty vessels make the most noise they say, why would someone sponging off a woman want to act big anywhere?

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Aww!

Must you emphasize?

Alryt there's so much truth in what you said but these things are hard to change

even when the people abroad try to explain how hard things are the people at home don't believe them

they think they are being unnecessarily selfish

but the truth is the only way to change that perception is to focus on trying make africa better and more homely so most people won't need to travel and believe there's a better life outside the shores

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Some do it to genuinely help and the others do it just to prove something to themselves. It is mostly not about helping from what I have seen. I mean when you spoil people enough that adults call you from Nigeria to remind you that you still have not done christmas for them then you know that there is a serious issue there. It is an african thing to help family. It is just too ingrained in our culture and you start talking culture a lot of people simply refuse to apply common sense with it

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I should have just left my fiance out and just said that EVERY AFRICAN MAN that I've been with and around has done the same thing. That includes those men from Senegal, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Togo, Mali, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Cameroon, NIGERIA. Just because I happen to be with this one person doesn't mean that the situation is unique.

So don't try the put the blame on just my man. This is not something that is new to me. It's something that I have witnessed for YEARS. This is a cultural thing that has been happening over and over. My fiance happens to have been able to leave Africa and travel, and make money, but right now money is not so abundant. I'm sure many of you Africans that are living in the States can understand how hard it is living here, but as another poster stated, you can never change the perception abroad that the American streets are paved with gold.

Yes, I agree that many Africans living in America with means will send over money, clothes, etc. to help their families and community. But this post was commenting on the perception by Africans in Africa that money in America is forever abundant, and the perception that is fueled by Africans living in America who give the impression to their families back at home that they "made it big" and are "living large", while in reality, they are living with very little means. I don't think these perceptions can be shaken so easily.

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Maybe you need to give your sierra leonian fiance some education if it appears he dosn't know what he's doing

people are already aware of what you are saying and everyone's trying to get wiser

but an african help his own if he's got the capacity

live with that!

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@Outstrip: You are right. It's better to focus on the mind of one man than trying to change the minds of an entire continent. LOL!

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Focus on your fiance. You can never convince anybody back home that the streets of the US are not paved with gold.

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But see, this is not an isolated incident. He is not the first African man that I have seen do this. My issue, is how do we reverse things to make the African relatives understand that being in America doesn't always translate to being rich. And why these men need to stop pretending that they are living like kings in America when the exact opposite is true. It works both ways.

When I visit Africa, many of my African sisters dream of going to Harlem or Atlanta, or Texas and living in the big house and driving a fancy car. But isn't like that at all, and it is hard convincing them that the cost of living is absurdly expensive. Many of these young men and women are expecting relatives to immediately start sending back funds and treats once they arrive in America, but don't understand that there is a rude awakening when you set foot on American soil. It's not so easy.

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Outstrip, I wasn't playing the devil's advocate. But even if i was, it is common sense to do as you please with your money especially if you are doing it within your means.

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Ok, now you made it clearer, your partner must to be called to order.

I'm not married and i do not know how to suggest for you to go about it but he definitely cannot afford to live above his means.

He is an accident waiting to happen should he continue.

Apologies if my initial post was rude.

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Blackbella for the most part disregard what OMOIBO said. He is wrong. People like this never really are prepared for the unexpected. Your example was very clear. He is basically living paycheck to paycheck and yet wants to go home and dole out money. It is very clear what you are trying to say. Omo Ibo just wants to play devil's advocate.

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That is my point exactly. He cannot afford to give out money for his family because he simply doesn't have it. The same goes for many other African that I've witnessed who are struggling in the United States.

I am well taken care of because I have a job and savings, and I spend money within my means. He is not taking care of me, if that is what you are implying. I pay all my bills on time, and make sure that the essentials are taken care of before I go out and give to a needy relative.

I am family oriented, but I am not foolish. If the money is not there, I will not sacrifice my rent payments and own food, and the basics of survival in order to "keep up appearances" for my relatives. What good is it, if I am sick, hungry, and homeless, giving out what I don't have.

I understand it is a cultural thing. But I refuse to put on airs for my family or his, just because I am an American, and I am "supposed" to give out every single cent I have. It is beyond reason. I would rather *teach* someone to make their income than to constantly give money that I don't have. If I have it, I will give it, and if I don't then I will be honest and say that I don't have it.

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I'm sorry, i do not understand your complaint here.

Are you complaining because he struggles to make ends met yet doles out money?

If he can afford to keep up appearance and give out some wad then i do not see any reason for you to complain.

If you are well taken care and your financial requirements met, then I still do not see any reason for you to complain.

Most Africans are very family and community oriented.

My advise would be for you for to get used to it.

N/B: I am not in support of it. I detest it but it can't be thrown out of the window just because you are not in tandem with his actions.

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LOL. Very true. It depends on the family too. Most of my closest relatives are doing better than most people I know here in the US.

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The reason they do so is because the people back at home expect a lot from them and they have to "live up to expectation"

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