An African City S1 E4 Recap: A Customs Emergency

Or better yet a case of female sexual frustration. You see… Sade just wants her vibrator. Like she really, really wants her vibrator.This episode cracked me up a little because Sade is so unapologetic about being who she is (pastor’s daughter no less) and Ngozi is as  still as sweet and innocent as undriven snow. They better have some salacious story line for her! (and if they do, DO NOT TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS!!!)

Anyway, Sade is obsessively strategizing on how to negotiate the release of her Battery Operated Boyfriend from the evil grip of typical African customs (a terrorist group in their own league). I read the Youtube  comments under this episode because I was curious to see how people reacted to the episode and there were more people upset about the stereotyping of Nigerians and bad portrayal of corrupt customs officials, than there were about the topic of vibrators. Perhaps this is a reflection of the demographic that watches the show, but can I say progress? I was expecting a shit storm of condemnation. 
I can imagine many of my African sisters squirming with a little discomfort, or burning with mild curiosity on the topic of vibrators… I’ll direct your curiosity to the blog Adventures From the Bedrooms of African Women. As fun as that would be, I don’t want to delve too deeply into blogging about sex education.

So any way, Sade really just wants B.O.B and she is not above begging and bribing to get it back. The customs officer’s idiocy would be funny if it wasn’t too real. Let me take a moment to rant about these peeps and others like them.We’re all familiar with the government officials. The ones who are aware of the power they yield and will make sure you don’t forget either. The self importance, the pomp and grandeur. If you didn’t know better, you’d think they actually took their jobs seriously. The sad thing is, we know this is how the system operates and if you have connections and “uncles” you can get by with returning intimidation for intimidation. If you don’t have connections, adjust your budget accordingly. Interesting how we complain about corruption but so effortlessly perpetuate it, right? As long as we get what we want in the end. 




(Sidenote: So they’re really trying to make us believe that customs officer did not notice that the “back massager” looks like an alien’s dick ? Hehehehe!)



All that being said, I am a little off put by Makena’s character. She has a guy who seems to really be into her but she wants to end things because she doesn’t want to seem desperate and needy…? The logic doesn’t make sense. Perhaps one of y’all can explain it to me.

And the age old trope of women putting each other down while competing over men. I understand that  Nana Yaa is still in love with Segun and her friends want to be supportive. But does that necessitate putting another woman down? Will shit talking Segun’s new girl friend change Nana Yaa’s predicament?

Ladies? 


Oh and look what I found, a deliciously salacious and perfectly respectable academic paper about the sexual practices of the Zande people in the Central African Republic. See here. Put that in your “Homosexuality is not African” pipes and smoke it.


An African City S1 E3 Recap : An African Dump

So Nana Yaa has the apartment and is settling into  life in Ghana with her posse. Works going good, friends are solid, time to find the guy yeah? First before I proceed, them outfits tho…


Having It All


The modern girl wants to have it all…but can she? The Dream Job? Probably. If she is willing to go after it with all she has. Financial Stability? Again, if she is willing to do what is necessary and put in the work, why not. Great friends? Sure. If she can be one too. Great Boyfriends, great sex, great love ? Eeeeeeehhhhh… It gets iffy here. Well, not for sex. Great sex really doesn’t require a great boyfriend or a great love, does it? Errrm…I digress. Hehehe!

This is the dilemma that our ladies find themselves in. Young and successful in the city. Jobs? Check. Financial stability? Check (apparently, financial independence makes you undesirable to some men). Great Friends? Check times 4 for each of them. Great boyfriends? Nope. Well except for Sade. My girl stays bawsing!





Just One Thing

It’s not like the girls are lacking in suitors. From every account they are exactly the kinds of women that young, talented and successful African men would want and there are men. Just men who snore, and who sweat and who take dumps. When I first watched this episode I was a little exasperated. I mean come on. I felt like they were nitpicking unnecessarily and I shaded all of them on my Facebook.  But at the same time I know I have ended budding relationships on arbitrary and quite honestly silly rules. Like the guy who once texted me a picture… of his bicep (An unimpressive one at that. Seriously if you’re going to text me pics, make ’em good…wink wink…Not that! Bad pikin them! Hahaha! ) What I came to realize was that deep inside, I knew that things would not have worked out either way. The issue I found fault with was just something I latched onto to give myself a reason not to feel bad for breaking up. The flip side is, it makes one seems so shallow. If I really liked the guy, I’ll probably laugh my ass off if he farted in front of me or announced that he needed to take a dump. Also, I’d  make recordings of his snoring so I can play back and laugh my ass of even more, maybe upload to his phone and change his ring tone without him knowing? Hehehe!

That being said, I talked this over with a couple of friends and the consensus seemed to be that in the first couple of months of the relationship, some things need not to be known. My question is, at what point is it ok for a guy to really feel free enough not to worry that one time he takes a dump wouldn’t ruin all the sexiness he’s been bringing your way? I mean look at this yumminess!



I’ll try some of that, please. You can add the sweat and snores on the side with a sprinkling of Salt n Pepa.


Introducing Segun


So we finally get to meet the One Who Brought Her Back. (Notice how she didn’t feel even the least bit self conscious that he literally walked in on her making the most obnoxious sounds possible?)





I can’t wait to hear the history here. He looks like he has some things he wants to say himself. Can I just say that I wasn’t quite feeling the chemistry?  The activation energy wasn’t quite as high as I had hoped. Not enough increase in entropy. I saw lingering looks and longing gazes but not enough feeling behind those looks. I want to see fayah!

Anyway, moral of the story?

If, on day one, the thought of him pooping doesn’t make you chuckle, it’s not love.

An African City S1 E2 Recap :Sexual Real Estate

 So I finally got around to watching episode two. Important things like school and work have a funny way of interrupting one’s fun. You guys watching? I hope so! (I know I am behind most of you by now haha!)

So Nana Yaa goes apartment hunting. First of all, let me say I love the fact that she is not choosing to stay at home…too easy. Intrusive parents and interrupted sex life not withstanding, I think living on your own and fending for yourself produces a kind of maturity that nothing else can. I know it would be a steep learning curve for me if/when I move back home. Besides, she lived by herself before moving to Ghana.

Not So Sexy Real Estate

That being said, what the frack? Na which prices them that for house? Na so that returning palaver be don be?  Is this how it is over there men dem? Wuna tell we hapless aspiring returnees oh, because those apartment prices are not sexy. NOT SEXY AT ALL!!. 500K for an apartment with no electricity or water guaranteed? Am I the only one who was thinking that guy was trying to pull a fast one on Nana Yaa? See him too to look at his watch and prance off, that kind “You’re wasting my time, woman.”


Ndutu! See e ngopo for up!




I reject those prices in the name of Jesus.

Let’s break this down. USD 500K converts to 236,807,580FCFA, as in over 200 million. In Naija, it goes to 80,664,680.00 NGN, surely this can buy you a cushy piece of land and build you a comfortable house? I’m gonna need peeps on the continent  to chime in on this, maybe I just don’t know how it really is these days. The situation is different in Ghana, apparently it goes to 1,377,565.00 GHS. (By the way I’m not sure if this is a commentary on just how weak the Cameroonian economy is or how the strong the Ghanaian one is) So, is a mil, which has to be worth quite a bit if it converts to USD500K, not enough to get stuff done? Any Ghanaians out there? Helloo?


Daddy/SugarDaddy


Next scene is the girls at another lunch date. Zainab and her lemon (Boss too na wa oh! LMAO) , Ngozi and her meat. It’s gotta be tortuous being a vegetarian in Africa though… which is surprising. There are so many fruits and veggies and dishes that can be prepared without any animal products. Nana Yaa dishes about her apartment hunting escapades and how pricey it is and inevitably the issue of sugar daddies comes up. Going by the prices mentioned, I have nothing but sympathy for any person who goes searching for sugar, whether of the daddy or the mommy variety. Good Lord.  A truth I have had to come to terms with since I left the comfortable coop of my parents sponsorship is that I am lucky – incredibly lucky to have had parents who saw to my welfare from birth till when I was in a position to fend for myself.  I am in no position to criticize how a woman chooses to make ends meet if her options are limited. If she is aware of the risks she faces and is willing to bear the consequences of her actions, more power to her.


Here’s a question though… if a guy buys a gift of his own accord, in an effort to woo a woman, and she accepts it does it then place an obligation on her to give him her body or her time or whatever else he might be after? Talk less of if she makes it clear that there is no chance of anything happening. Or  it is just that? A gift he offered and she accepted? If it does place an obligation on her, then men can’t fault some women for being demanding and expensive. My body and my time is extremely valuable and if it is going to be reduced to a commodity, then by the ancestors, the guy is  going to have to sell his soul to the devil to be able to afford it. Right now, I still find it hard to accept gifts (even from guys I am dating) because there seems to be this expectation and I ain’t got time for that mess. So, to accept or not to accept? Discuss.

 The Sade/Ngozi dynamic cracks me up, though. I would love to see an episode on how this group got together. In my experience, the Sades and Ngozis in Cameroon rarely ever have such tight friendships. They may be on the fringes of each other social circles but bosom buddies hanging out? Hmmm… Nope. Speaking of which that scene in the restaurant had me thinking about a Ngozi/Sade moment I had in my more Ngozi-like days. I was hanging out in a friends room at the school hostel where I lived my first year of university and two of her other friends came by. The conversation some how strayed to the topic of what parents are expected to do as compared to what boyfriends (man-friends really) are expected to do for a girl in university. Naive as I was then, I saw no reason why a boyfriend should give you money to buy things like body lotion when you had perfectly good parents. I distinctly remember one of the girls giving me this amused and condescending look. Can’t even blame her right now.

Half Assing Feminism

Dear Makena,


I remember you ranting about a man who expected you to cook three meals a day. Apparently this was a problem to your emancipated high powered attorney self. So, help me understand why another man expecting you to pick up part of the check is such a big deal. And why was it easy for you to go dutch in Europe but not in Africa? Is it possible that the reason why men in Africa expect you to cook three meals a day, is because you expect them to pick up the check without question when the occasion arises?

Sincerely,

FPW.

Here’s the thing ladies. This feminism thing cannot be half-assed. You don’t exactly get to demand equality only when it suits you and then want to be treated like a “woman” when it’s convenient. It’s confusing and does no good to anyone. If you want to be the kind of woman who expects men to fulfill certain gender roles, then do not try to shirk the reciprocal gender roles that are placed on you,when they are. It’s that simple. If you want to be the kind of woman who considers it a nice gesture on the guys part but still his prerogative to pick up the tab, then go in expecting to pick up your half, offer to pay and for the love of Baba, MEAN it. These games are silly.

By the way, the look of abject panic and dismay on that guy’s face… Hehehehehe! Poor darling…




Street Peeing


That moment when you see some guy in the distance peeing in the bushes and you start to pray it is not someone who knows you, ’cause you know he’s gonna try to shake your hand. Tufiakwa!
MAKE IT STOP! Whether man go start sell hand sanitizer oh!?




“One of Many” vs. “Somebody’s One and Only”

I love Sade and I have nothing but love for the Sade’s of the world. I respect their willingness to take on the world on their own terms and define the rules they live by. I especially respect the fact that they do that in African communities which we all know are not particularly used to women like that. That is why I can’t help but feel more than a little bit of confusion at the fact that Sade is all in her feelings because one of her sugar daddies is  seeing someone else. I have no problem with a woman wanting to be someone’s one and only. None at all. However, from every indication so far, love is not her cup of tea… at least not yet. I think it is intended to show vulnerability but I’m still not buying it. Sade comes across as the Samantha of the show (Samantha of Sex and the City, that is). Of all those women, Samantha was the one who really didn’t care for commitment or relationships. She was out to get hers and she made no bones about it. I may be wrong but I do not remember Samantha pining over a man or feeling bad if some guy she was having an affair with had another woman. She simply moved on…or found a way to get even. Her character was consistent. I need Sade to stay in the bad ass zone. This cannot become one of those shows where the women are all  searching for husbands like they are playing a high stakes poker game.


That being said, I’d totes take her out so we can dance and get drunk and make eyes at sexy guys.


Funerals

Let me just take this opportunity to say this here and now. Anybody who uses my future funeral as a business networking opportunity shall eternally be haunted by my very pissed off ghost. Seriously, though this palaver is a serious one. A little respect, for the love of Baba.

In conclusion,

 About the Saps

Yes, Lawd. BTW, dear show creators, y’all should put up a page showcasing the ladies outfits for us outfit challenged afrofashionistas to copy. kthanxbye.




An African City Recap S1 E1

So in the Spirit of Afrocentritude and severe Scandal withdrawal, I have turned to the Ghanaian TV show An African City for my new fix of Thursday night drama. I know, I know, it doesn’t exclusively air on Thursday nights but people… my decision to stop watching Scandal left a void in my life. A deep void full of despair and darkness. When Thursday night rolled around, I found myself curled up in bed with tea and tissues, mourning my loss, Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” playing over and over in my head. I never thought I would find a show that made me dream, that made me cry and shout and laugh, that showed me relatable black women, kicking ass and taking names. I was afraid Olivia Pope had ruined me for any other.

Then I saw the buzz on Facebook and thought, “why not?”

Well… I may just have struck gold. Here’s the break down. Five African women, highly accomplished, smart, beautiful and stylish return to Ghana on a mission of domination in (almost all)  natural hair and African print fashion. Sex, love, career, family, life back home after the cushy comforts of life abroad #TheStruggle.

My take on the cast:

Nana Yaa

The central character. The JJC. She just arrived to Ghana after spending most of her life in the States and the first episode details her initial impressions. She seems like the good girl type. The one to do the expected, even when the expected is moving back to Ghana because of a guy. An innocent. But also the one who will surprise you with her inner bad ass. I hope the show developers can capitalize on this.

Sade

Marketing manager, Harvard grad, palaver finder, all round don chick for town. I have a feeling I’ll like this one.  Straight talker, no pretense. She ain’t got time to act like she’s some perfect African princess.She steals the show right off the bat with her deep and confident voice. I am so looking forward to  her exploits and wisecracks. She gives the impression of being a hard ass, but I think she will surprise us all by being a really kind and sympathetic character. She actually reminds me of a dear friend who was a returnee before returning was fashionable. (You know who you are. I love you chica.)

Ngozi   

Where there is a Sade, you know there has to be a Ngozi. Super religious, super cute, super optimistic, naive and judgy to boot. You wonder how she fell in with this crowd. The others may roll their eyes at her but every group of friends needs a Ngozi, if anything to remind them what a truly wonderful thing innocence is. I believe, however, that this girl has inner ratchedness that is just waiting to come out.

Makena

She seemed a little world weary and cynical. Which is to be expected given the divorce (you know how us Africans are about divorce) and returning to Ghana jobless. Her little rant about the guy expecting her to cook 3 times a day made me chuckle.

Zainab

Did not stand out. She was there but more like a space filler. I know it is only the first episode so I can’t wait to see where this one goes. Every one else’s underbelly is already showing. Zainab’s not quite yet.

Episode 1 opens with Nana Yaa returning home philosophizing copiously in her voice over. First of all, what’s with the accents? For a while I wasn’t sure if I was watching Sex and the City or Gossip Girl. I know we pick up accents after having lived here for long but if you have parents at home, you know you gonna have some contri-talk/pidgin laced inflection going on. I got 99 questions about those accents. And why in the name of Baba can they not pronounce African names? N-goo-zii? WTF?

The scene with her family felt rushed, like they didn’t just want to jump directly to the dinner date the ladies had, but they didn’t want to spend too much time dissecting family issues. Which is all fine and good, except we all know how families are in Africa, they could easily be a character in the story. I hope the shows producers don’t trim it too much.

Cut to dinner where the girls give Nana Yaa the low down on being a returnee. The power failures and water shortages,the good food and mannerisms. Use your right hand! Fat = compliment. I’m confused…Did these girls parents immerse them so much in European and American culture they completely have no clue about the way of things back home? Were there no visits in the summer? I find it hard to believe that amount of cluelessness is possible.

Anyhoo, my girl Sade going iiiiiiiin about the men. No shame no complex.  Biiiig Biceps… Biiig Hands   Hahaha! That look on Ngozi’s face! I die!

Although the African men to my memory don’t seem just as delicious…Or maybe I was too young to appreciate the goodies before I left Cameroon? I must revisit this matter.

The topic of Nana Yaa’s ex comes up and she quickly exits left stage. Like, it’s not noticeable at all that she denies coming back for him but needs  to go away for a bit when his name is mentioned. Not suspicious at all.

As fate will have it, she runs into him with another woman in the same restaurant. Exit left stage again only to be found out by Sade. Sade who turns out to be just as solid a friend as I anticipated she will be.

As far as beginnings go, not horrible. I love that the show is showing the side of African women that doesn’t often get seen. The new breed. The product of all those Educate the Girl Child campaigns. The girl who owns her own destiny and makes things happen. I love that it is showing the side of Africa that is not war and famine.

I need to hear some real accents at this junx-ture tho.

The stage is set and I have a good feeling.

You folks on to this? If you are not Click Here to start watching

If you are, tell me your thoughts!