This is a sequence to the piece “What African Men Want” published in the October issue. Both pieces were originally published in 2009 to quite great reviews. We’re republishing here because these wants and needs are still very relevant four years later. Here are the top five things African women want.
Security: Not surprisingly, security topped the list of must-haves African women seek in a man. At a time when women are increasingly working outside the home and earning just as much as men – sometimes even more – many women stress the point that it is no longer okay for a man to simply work and bring home a paycheck.
“A woman wants to know that a man can still take care of her and provide her needs should something happen. That a man is not afraid to work two jobs if that’s what it takes to care for his family,” according to Sherry.
For Amana, “it is nice to know that a man is smart with his money and does not mind living within his means. I know many men who go out and buy expensive things they can’t afford just to impress others. That kind of lifestyle and mentality does not attract me one bit.”
No self-respecting woman wants to start a relationship knowing she will be the bread-winner in the household. As Ansaa put it, “we may be independent and educated, but we still want to feel that a man is capable of being a man by providing for my needs.”
We live in an era where women are truly educated and independent and if it’s all about the money, then many don’t really need a man. That’s where the other four factors come into play.
Finesse: Intelligence, confidence, mannerisms, speech and social skills all fit in the category of finesse as far as Imelda is concerned. “You just can’t have one without the other.”
Most of the women who contributed their thoughts to this subject were quick to point out that finesse and confidence go hand in hand, and are considered an attractive trait any man should have no matter his looks.
” It is one thing to look okay and lack confidence, but it is a total spoiler to have a man who has everything you want in a man – with the looks to top it up – but then he’s not confident in himself” says Amina.
Amaka said: “The first thing I look for in a man is the way he looks. He has got to have a polished look to interest me otherwise I keep walking. Everyone wants someone presentable and who they can proudly show off. It’s not all about the flashy cloths and the bling; it’s about the right cloths for the right occasion.”
Angela stressed the point that a man does not have to be “Denzel” fine, just presentable with a sort of sexy flair about him.
Surprisingly, African women are also seeking African men who sound polished in their speech.
”Hmm…” is all Nneka had to say when asked whether the way a man expresses himself orally was of any importance to her. By her laugh, it was easy to tell it was a requirement!
Thick African accents and mispronounced words will leave a woman running for shelter faster than you can say “hi.”
Faithfulness/Respect: Respect and faithfulness work hand-in-hand as far as women are concerned because as Amana put it, “a man who respects a woman is much less likely to cheat on her than a man who has no regard for his woman. I guess you can also say that affection comes into play here as well.”
Apparently, there is nothing that turns a respectable African woman off faster than a man who approaches her the wrong way. Not knowing what to say and fumbling for words is one thing – it might even be endearing to some, but to comment on how you can “turn her out in bed better than any other man can,” as a way of introducing yourself says you’re begging to have a drink thrown in your face. That line might work on easy women, but on an educated, classy African queen you may want to think twice before you open your mouth.
Somehow, there is a general misconception that only men demand respect in a relationship. Women like to know that a man appreciates her for who she is, and not what she can give him, or do for him. It is for this reason that a woman will quickly squirm at a man who tries to get her attention by whistling or making annoying catcalls. Many African women say they would prefer for a man to complement their intelligence instead of the various proportions and curves of her body. Women find that offensive and disrespectful because in essence what a man is trying to tell you is that you’re only good for one thing – what you have between your legs.
Attention/Affection: While some women are known to overlook the fact that a man is inattentive to their needs, it may leave some women walking out the door quicker than they entered. All in all, how affection affects a relationship depends on each individual.
For Aisha, affection is a very important factor she considers attractive in the men she dates. “When a man shows he’s affectionate, he’s not only saying “I want you,” physically but he’s also saying “I want you” emotionally as well. It is a show of his admiration and appreciation of you being his woman. A man who is proud of you as his woman will not hesitate to make it known around his friends and out in public.”
Amaka thinks a man makes compromises for you when he’s affectionate towards you. He will not mind forgoing his favorite food or game to try foods you like or to spend a little time with you because he wants to see you happy. Plus, a smart man knows the quickest way to get a woman into the bedroom is by showing her affection. “It’s a big turn-on.”
That’s the thing Ansaa says frustrates her about men in general. “They seem not to understand that a woman’s emotions are tied to her sexual triggers. The more affectionate you are towards her, the more responsive she is to your advances. Some men just want to skip all that stuff and expect you to be enthusiastic about lying down with them.”
Sense of Humor: Nneka: “a man who cannot make me laugh is like a can of tuna in water. I love tuna but I hate it when it comes in water. So it is with a man I’m attracted to or like, but then he has no sense of humor. He takes himself so serious you find yourself watching what you say all the time.”
“Naturally, I’m a funny person, and I love to laugh. If a man can’t make me laugh, then he need not even bother. I need to be able to be myself when I’m around a man I’m dating and that includes being able to laugh out loud.” Ansaa added.
Women want someone they can have fun with, laugh with and connect with. A man who is not afraid to laugh at himself is much easier to get along with than a man a woman feels she has to tippy-toe around all the time.
Bedroom Skills: Every woman, regardless of race, wants a man who knows his way around the bedroom, and around a woman’s body; that’s no secret. Of course, sex made it to the list!
So, men, chances of landing yourself a gem of an African queen with one of the above missing is almost slim to none. A few of the interviewees said they were willing to overlook one or two things on the list above, but only if the man showed enough potential for improvement in the future. So, men, if you didn’t know, now you know. Work on the list above, and you’re set to find yourself an intelligent, charming, beautiful African queen to walk on your arm. Ignore this list to your own detriment!
Note: There was an outpouring of rage among our female readers after we originally published “What African Men Want” in 2009. They’re complaint was we had not written an article tailored to address “What African Women Want” as well. One reader was quiet irate and blunt about it. We did take her words to heart. Here’s what she had to say:
“For years all we’ve always read or heard is how to keep men happy. Your Inspirational Corner column titled “Love Thy Husband,” and Candid Talk article “What African Men Want” was nothing short of your typical brainwashed psychology that has been played on women throughout the centuries. It is with this dissatisfaction that I am writing to voice my disappointment that a women’s magazine tailored to address issues that concern African women, first and foremost, will stoop to the level of the regular MEN’S MAGAZINE! So, who’s looking out for us, women, when even the WOMEN’S MAGAZINES are talking about what men want? Really, who’s gonna talk about what we WOMEN want?”
After that rather strongly worded comment, Afrikan Goddess Magazine went searching for answers in the above piece. We hope you enjoyed it. Please comment below.