Monthly Archives: December 2011

“If You Ain’t No Punk, Holler We Want Prenup!” “We Want Prenup!”

In the wake of Vanessa Bryant filing for divorce (after her ten year marriage to Kobe Bryant), I thought it was the perfect time to bring up the discussion of prenups, and whether in modern-day African relationships (between two successful people), prenups should become more customary? And if not, how should we protect ourselves?

I don’t believe in prenups myself, but when I heard that Kobe didn’t have one, I cringed a little inside. All I kept thinking was, ‘Man, that sucks!’ But is that the right attitude to take? See HERE for a different view of the situation:

Vanessa stood by her husband as his wife for over a decade, and raised their two children. If he couldn’t respect the marriage enough to be faithful, then getting half is getting exactly what she deserves.

It is true. Vanessa has been with Kobe for 10 years, and even though she wasn’t physically playing the game with him on the court, she sacrificed for him to have his successful career (including standing by his side during his rape ordeal, sticking with him through multiple extramarital affairs, and raising their two daughters). Although, half of ‘his’ fortune (estimates put this at $150 million) is A LOT of money, and let’s not forget the spousal support. Thoughts?? I’m not sure where Kobe goes from here, but a discussion with one of the co-founders of bandeka brought up an interesting take on celebrities: ‘when you get to a certain level of wealth (or you’re on track to reach a certain level of wealth), there’s no point getting married – you can have relationships, you can have children, just don’t get married (or at least don’t without a prenup)… look at Oprah, Diddy, Clooney, etc.

On another note, while reading about Vanessa and Kobe’s relationship, I discovered that they met when she was 17, and they got married when she was 19 (she was a backup dancer in a music video which was being filmed in the same building where Kobe was working on his own music video, which was never released). They dated for six months before getting engaged. His parents and sisters were so against the union that they did not attend the wedding (neither did any of his teammates or his longtime agent…awkward.)

In African relationships, family is a very important part of the equation- for various reasons (the most basic being, approval and peace of mind). So if your parents did not approve of your future spouse, would you go ahead with the marriage? Do parents have a sixth sense when it comes to these things? I want to know what you think. Have you witnessed instances where parents have been dead wrong about their child’s significant other in the end? Let me be clear that I am not saying that Vanessa was the problem here, nor am I saying that in general parents think that there is something necessarily wrong with the other person. What I am saying is that perhaps parents/family may be able to see whether a union with you and another person will ultimately work out. Take our poll below!

“Let’s Talk About Sex Baby, Let’s Talk About You and Me…”

Bandeka’s third PillowTalk question is now up on Bandeka.com, and it appears women want to know, “Why does everything revolve around sex?” Good question. Why is it such an important part of a ‘good’, ‘healthy’, or unhealthy relationship for a guy? You should definitely take a look at the site if you haven’t already! I think some of the answers are quite interesting.

We’ve heard studies say that men think about sex every seven seconds, but apparently that isn’t true according to a recent Ohio State University study. The study found that it is really more like every 1.26hrs. Hmmm… so guys think about sex less often than we think they do, but the truth is women think about sex too (and probably more than guys think they do). I’ll make a shout out here for my girl Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah, who runs the blog Adventuresfrom.com* (full title: Adventures from the Bedrooms of African Women). Nana, who is a big fan of Bandeka one of our co-founders (check out: http://adventuresfrom.com/2011/11/23/bandeka-an-online-dating-service-for-well-educated-africans.html), launched Adventuresfrom a couple years ago because she wanted to create a platform where African women could express some of the things that they wanted to say regarding sex (and the things that men needed to know). She (rightfully) thought that no one was talking about sex from an African woman’s perspective.

In Africa, it seems that the topic of sex has been reduced to a few things: abstinence, violence or AIDS; but, the discussion should open up more to include the needs of both women and men (it is important because sexual satisfaction IS a predictor of a happy marriage: see here http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/45604220/ns/today-today_health/#.TuhxsOZb9-6 ). They say one of the reasons why sex begins to die in a marriage is because women begin to feel like it’s more of a chore, and I think one of the main reasons this occurs is because women don’t communicate what they want and need from their partners in the bedroom.

I digress though. Back to the Ohio State Study, which will be published in the January 2012 issue of the Journal of Sex Research. Psychology Professor Terri Fisher says that, “It’s not uniquely sex that [men spend] more time thinking about [compared to women], but [it is also] other issues related to their biological needs, as well [including food, sleep, etc.]” So, in essence men just think about their biological needs more than women do. Read more on the study HERE.

RANDOM: Music Artist Robin Thicke recently said in an interview that the key to a happy, successful, passionate marriage is “lots of sex”. Hmmm..yeah, sure… And honesty, trust, patience, forgiveness, etc- It’s all summed up in those three C’s: compatibility, communication, AND chemistry (which encompasses sex)…but yeah, I ain’t mad at his statement :)

* Reader discretion is advised, Nana’s site isn’t for everyone.

Western Ideals: A Positive or Negative Influence on African Marriages

I must say, after seeing this video: http://www.businessinsider.com/sheryl-sandberg-husband-2011-12  I couldn’t wait to write this post. In the short clip, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg describes her work/life balance, and how her and her husband operate in a marriage that is 50/50.

Key highlights from the clip (you should watch the whole thing, it’s only 4min):

Can you have it all?

“The data also shows very clearly that men assume that they can have it all- meaning they can have a great career and a great family- and women do not. And that is largely true, because we don’t have an even split in the home.”

“If we would get to an even division of labor in the home, more women can have it all. And really I think it’s more about choice.”

“I have an awesome husband. We are at 50/50.”

“As a family, we prioritize both of our careers, not just his…not just mine. As a family, we prioritize our kids.”

“I tell young women the most important [decision] you’ll make is who your life partner is. It is more important than anything else, because everything else is more easily changeable.”

“When it is a woman who is succeeding, people say to the husband, [“Are you okay?”]. That’s the problem…the problem is we demand and expect professional success for men. It is optional for women, and potentially threatening.”

I was speaking to one of my guy friends, and I think some of his comments regarding the clip were spot on.

Guy: Her comments make sense, but there are so many more variables to consider.

Me: Yup. Especially because she’s white, works for an awesome company, and has money, and is educated.

Guy: I definitely think $$ is the biggest factor, which includes many of the other [factors] (white + education, etc.)

Guy: It takes a special type of man…but I see it as 1000x harder in the black professional circles. [Having] two aggressively aspiring professionals [in a relationship]- those 2 A-type personalities sometimes don’t gel well together when it is time to make sacrifices, neither wants to “lose”…[And] to be honest I don’t know too many Africans that fit that bill.

“We discussed some of this at the DC-Bandeka event…I heard the men say they wanted this and would accept that, but they still have very strong traditional roles set in their DNA.

Me: Not just that, but what will your family say- your parents…African friends.

Guy: Yep, the men weren’t budging on traditional roles. But then the women didn’t help either, because they had the ‘what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is ours’ attitude… Men [are] supposed to be the “Provider”… Women had the whole we “should” be equal mentality, but then they also said that a man is supposed to be the “Provider”. Both sexes are stuck in traditional roles mentality.

Me: True. We don’t know what we want.

Guy: Exposure to non-African ideas is good and harmful, it seems… Good to change the thought process for the future, but bad because there is a generation caught in the grind of change [between] trying to be traditional and progressive…Men and Women need to realize what they say is not really what they believe.

I’ll get a little personal here… when I look at men that I’ve been involved with and the things that have most attracted me to them, their respect and support for my professional interests and goals has always been at the top of the list. When I also look at the highly successful African women in my life (who ARE married to African men), they all have supportive husbands. And not supportive in name only, but these are men who take action to support their wives, whether it is giving their wife resources to grow her business first rather than using them for their own business (like my uncle did for my aunt), or it is assuming responsibility for the kids school activities and functions (like my father did for many years). Each of the men I am thinking of are also very successful in their own right, however their wife’s success is not in competition with their own. So I think my own opinion on this is quite set.

Recall the piece I wrote earlier where I discussed an article written by TJ O’Kara, a young African man who believed that everything outside of the traditional roles for an African woman is ‘extra’. There’s his school of thought, there’s the more Western-leaning school of thought (where I find myself), and then for others in our generation, there’s a genuine struggle between traditional ideals and Western ones. Should we try to adopt more Western styles of marriage? And have you noticed this struggle in our generation of well-educated Africans?

Poll [Results] Wednesday – 12/7/2011

Before I disclose the results, I want to say a special Happy Birthday to Bandeka Co-Founder, Tunde Kehinde!

Cheating: Does The How Make A Difference?*

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*The original poll was posted on November 18th, 2011: http://loveafrican.wordpress.com/2011/11/18/cheating-does-the-how-make-a-difference/ 

Bandeka In The News!

Bandeka has been getting a lot of love on the Internet, and we wanted to make sure that YOU our members are aware (so you can help us spread the word!). If you haven’t already, make sure to follow us on Twitter at @bandekadate, retweet us, and Like us on Facebook! By the way, we’re really excited to see many of you tonight at our second New York mixer!

Forbes.com

Africa’s Hottest Tech Startups: Bandeka.com

 

The Forbes article is also currently featured on the front page of Harvard Business School. Way to go, Bandeka!

 

CP-Africa.com

Interview with Co-Founder Tunde Kehinde

 

Africa.com

Hope is Not a Strategy!

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