Now this is a very spicy topic, it is becoming fact that Nigerian men and Ghanaian women maybe the most inter-married group in Africa, this involves many ethnic groups so it will evoke emotions for everyone. As some of you may know, I am a Nigerian based in Ghana and in my time I observed that many relationships between the Nigerian man and Ghanaian woman have the tendency of ending in ruin. There are the most common reasons for this, which is what I will be addressing, I do this in the hopes of shedding light on this topic that so few are ever willing to tackle without bias.
This article is reflective of the real life experiences of many so please, do not think that this is my input alone, this is what is actually happening today.
(1) CULTURAL DIFFERENCE & NORMS
Tribes across Africa have this single minded attitude when dealing with other tribes within Africa; we are more likely to accept a Asian, Arab or European before we accept tribes that look like us, this failure to see ourselves in each other fully understanding the handicap that dealing with a foreign people represents, is the reason why many have problems that end up tearing their marriages apart.
Lets use two tribes as our focus, one from Nigeria and the other from Ghana. Amongst the Ghanaians I will pick the Ashantis and Amongst the Nigerians I will pick the Igbo tribe. In the Ashanti tribe it is common place to party, drink and have fun during funerals, some people will argue that for the Ashanti’s funerals are more celebrated than birthdays. To the Ashanti, this is normal behavior, some people even get off work to attend the burial ceremony of people they barely knew or have never met. For the Igbos this is unthinkable, burial ceremonies are simply for family and friends or the kindred of the deceased, no real igbo person will willingly attend the funeral of someone they barely knew, let alone that of someone they never met.
This difference in societal norms and tribal nuances are usually why many inter-tribal marriages fail in the long run. In the Ashanti household, it is common for the husband to pound cassava while the wife assists him by removing cassava lumps from the cassava doe, this scenario is unthinkable in the Igbo household. Apart from the Ashantis are a matrilineal tribe, while the Igbos are a patrilineal tribe, with this systems comes Ideologies, ideologies which places different set of unique values on the mentality of the people, which will leave them clashing at every point.
(2) THE FAMILY & FRIENDS
This one is rather controversial in the sense that, it brings to light something that no one will be proud of. It is a fact that many Ghanaians are overly prejudice against Nigerians especially, many of them are this way for valid reasons but the majority of people are like this because of hearsay and fake news. I bring this up because this fixation on the Nigerian stereotype presents more than one disadvantage for you the Nigerian man hoping to marry or get into a relationship with a Ghanaian lady. It is sad but it is a fact that many Nigerians who are married to Ghanaian ladies have been victims of character assassination from some or most of the family and friends of the lady. According to the logic; you as a Nigerian are inherently evil or pretending to be good until you are ready to strike. So to protect their sister from you wickedness as a Nigerian, they must continue to talk down your character, instigating doubts and mistrust until the marriage is completely damaged. It takes a special kind of Ghanaian woman to see beyond this, even when people she grew up trusting tell her you are bad news. I am not saying that every Nigerian man that marries a Ghanaian lady is perfect but many of the Nigerians who have encountered this situation can attest that they end up victims.
I am also not saying that Ghanaians are like this, but if you are planning to marry a Ghanaian, how prepared are you for this, because it will happen, sooner or later. This article is to share with you the realities of inter-tribal marriages and how simple biases can become a problem that will reach into your home and break it apart.
In many case, too many women are not so discerning and soon, due to the character assassination of the man by the lady’s friends or family members, the lady begins to subconsciously require the man to be perfect when no man can attain that, when the man fails in the slightest then this automatically becomes confirmation of what she has heard all along, All marriages have ups and downs but in this situation the lady will be convinced that the slightest turbulence is confirmation because she has the seeds of doubt already growing in her, in time the marriage can never be saved again.
The worst part is that those who suffer most are the offspring of this union, never fully embraced as Ghanaian or Nigerian, a constant reminder of a sour past, neither here or there.
This point was brought to my attention by a Ghanaian lady so please, I am just a messenger my Ghanaian brothers and sisters, slay me not!!!
(3) NIGERIAN MEN AND THEIR CHOICE OF GHANAIAN LADIES
Many of my Nigerian brothers come to Ghana and instead of them to understand the cultures, peoples and society so they can be able to identify opportunities and good women, they often are attracted to that one they met in the clubs, easy cute girls with no handwork or home training, some go for the prostitutes outright. This is a fact about Nigerian men in Ghana, we tend to pick the worst of the worst when it comes to Ghana women, then they wonder why the lady and their family see you as a way out of poverty.
If you are going to marry from Ghana, please get close to the people, understand the society and be open to the cultures. Learn the difference between the tribes, don’t study only the lady, please study the family as well, if you are not willing to humble yourself and understand the differences and nuances that make up the tribes and then the society, you will make a poor choice every time. I am not saying this alone will guarantee you lasting marriage with your Ghanaian love but it will surely serve as a balance for you to know what you are getting into and how to relate with the people. There are thousands of wonderful Ghanaian women out there but if you are not smart of enough to make good choices, you suffer terrible consequences.
If you must marry a Ghanaian woman, please be willing to compromise because the two of you are from different places mentally, it is unfair to hold her to standards of a place she has likely never been to.
No woman is perfect.
(4) IF THEY ARE PREJUDICE, GET OUT NOW
There are some families within Ghana just like in Nigeria that do not like intermarriage, they do not want it with other tribes within Ghana and they definitely do not want it with a Nigerian. If you get into a family and you realize that they are this type of people, please leave now, No matter what you do, even if your wife is 100% on board, your in for a very difficult marriage and life. This is usually the most toxic environment to have a family as your children will not be accepted, you will be treated very poorly and it usually is only a matter of time before the marriage itself ends in tragedy. Very few people who marry into this type of family end well, so be wise.
(5) GHANAIAN WOMAN AND THEIR CHOICES OF NIGERIAN MEN
He was dating your friend and then started to date you; did you think marriage to this person will make him change?
In the case of Nigeria, most families will welcome you into the family, the likelihood of encountering a family that are prejudice against marrying a foreigner is very low in the Nigerian setting because Nigeria is a country of many diverse tribes which tend to live alongside each other. However the problem with the choices Ghanaian ladies make with the Nigerian men is this, Ghanaian ladies are generally attracted to the most hyper-sexual of Nigerian men, here is a man doing well for himself, with many girlfriends many of whom you know, he only married you because you got pregnant. Did you think that his hyper-sexual ways will stop because you have the title wife??? No it won’t, Nigerian men generally show you who they are from the beginning, many Ghanaian ladies tend to ignore it because they are “In so called love”
If you must choose a Nigerian man as your partner, observe how he treats his own family, observe what he considers important and you must be willing to compromise because the two of you are from different places mentally. It is unfair to hold him to standards of a place he does not come from.
If you are a Ghanaian woman about to get married to a Nigerian or it just something you desire, it is very important you learn as much you can about the tribe your Nigerian love interest is from, this way you get to understand the man in a more complete manner. He is not from Ghana and something your consider normal will be totally abnormal to him, so be patient, be open minded and you will generally have a great relationship.
No man is perfect.
Many Ghanaian ladies who marry Nigerians never really think far enough to answer this question; One day he may choose to return home, am I willing to migrate to Nigeria? These are things you both should agree on before entering the marriage. This issue has been the reason why so many marriages ended in failure.
If you are the type that wants to marry and then tell your man where you want to live, then a Nigerian man is probably not for you. If you must marry a Nigerian know that most Nigerians return home eventually and permanently, all this should be considered properly by the Ghanaian lady and the Nigerian man before they get married. If a lady tells you she won’t go to Nigeria with you and you tell her “when we get to that bridge we will cross it” DO NOT act shocked when she gets there and wont cross, she told you in advance.
You as a Ghanaian lady, if you know returning to Nigeria permanently will be an issue for you, then do not get married or have children. There is a possibility that he will want to return home with his family.
Do not let these issues catch you offguard with your partner, put your cards on the table and make sure you all agree on one thing before going forward.
(7) THE STIGMA OF BEING A NIGERIAN NATIONAL
This is somewhat complicated, your biggest appeal remains your greatest setback, as a Nigerian regardless of your moral standing most Ghanaians think the worst of you by default, it is unfair but for whatever reason this is the society you will encounter. You can try to change the way they see you by how you choose to interact with those in your circle, eventually you find yourself walking on eggshells and soon enough the slightest imperfection will simply justify what they feel they knew all along about you. It is a funny situation but this is the reality for any Nigerian in Ghana from the Nigerian Doctors and Engineers, to traders and religious clergy no matter what you are, once you have that Nigerian name, you have a certain treatment. This article isn’t to discuss the why but how this affects you as a Nigerian in Ghana.
Many Nigerian men have gone ahead and married a Ghanaian lady forgetting that they remain Nigerian in a relationship with a Ghanaian in Ghana; as long as you live in Ghana with your Ghanaian wife some people will make it their point of duty to instigate things in the marriage purely based on the fact that you are Nigeria. Even if you are person of good reputation in your environment, there are people who will come up to your wife and do their best to destroy the union, they may be the ladies friends, family or even strangers, this is something you will have to deal with daily.
I will tell you this short story of how this happens in the Ghanaian society;
A Nigerian man and his Ghanaian wife who have been married for 6 years with 3 children, they never really had any serious issues the man himself is a doctor, one day their home was vandalized and they went to the police, while the man wrote down his statement in the office of one of the officers, the officer started to talk to the wife in one of their local dialects which the man also understood but the officer didn’t know, this was the opening statement of the officer to the wife “Fine lady like you, why would you choose to be with these criminal Nigerians rather than be with a real man from Ghana?” The officer proceeded to make advances on the wife in the local dialect while the man wrote his statement down and listened. The man was not shocked because this is a daily occurrence whenever he is with his wife.
The man only heard it because he could understand the language but most ladies keep it to themselves to avoid confrontations, the statement from the officer is the type she must endure as frequently as long as she is interacting with people that are aware she is married to a Nigerian. Most ladies over time begin to subconsciously believe they made a mistake regardless of what you the man does, eventually she will act on this and marriage is ruined.
It is tough being a Nigerian no matter where you are, this article is not to portray Ghanaians in a xenophobic light because this is how most of Africa sees Nigerians, it is far worse in some places but I live in Ghana so I must write about issues that affect me. This article is made to give both Nigerians and Ghanaians an understanding of what they will have to overcome to be a functional family should the choose to inter-marry.
If you are a Ghanaian woman reading this please understand that no man is perfect and your Nigerian husband won’t be the first to be perfect, be very clear on what you want from the beginning and be open to compromise, remember that he is not raised in the same culture as you and will see the world differently from you. Understand the cultures of his people and learn about the dos and donts, so you know what you can cope with and what you cant cope with. Do not marry any foreigner with ignorance and then blame the person when things don’t work out.
If you are a Nigerian man reading this, ignorance is the worst thing you can do to yourself when you go to be with people from a different tribe and place. You must be open to some compromise that you won’t normally allow from a woman who is from your setting. Understand how you are seen as a Nigerian in Ghana and try as much as possible not to feed the stereotype living life like a wild animal, understand you are dealing with people from a different place so very high tolerance and understanding is needed. Always stand your ground and from the very beginning let will be clear, leave nothing to interpretation. It usually takes the best of the best Ghanaian woman to absorb all the whispers from people she trusts and still be loyal to you. Always make sure you communicate clearly, i mean always try to be on the same page with your Ghanaian wife. She is from a different place so how you experience life and interpret life matters can be vastly different, so communication, understanding and some compromise is key.
Finally this article isn’t designed to insult anyone or portray anyone in the wrong light, this article is truthfully the experience of many Nigerian and Ghanaian people and the struggle they face with their marriages while they remain in Ghana. This article is made to open most young reader’s minds to what it really means to be married to not just a Nigerian but anyone outside your tribe and cultural setting.
It is not easy but if you can fight the issues and come out successful, you will be creating a new set of Nigerians with the ideology and unique perspective to see all Africa as one and Unite the continent under one banner, mentally and socially.