For Love or For Papers

This post is very tongue in cheek and should be read with some sense of humour

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Now that I have the disclaimer out of the way, let’s get down to business…

So you live abroad, this hot guy who lives in Nigeria sends you a friend request or maybe you met him on your recent trip to Nigeria. You have no mutual friends/acquaintance with him but you think you may have found the one. He is tall, dark, handsome so even though you have concerns about his rush towards marriage,  you go ahead to take the risk and then he ‘suggests’ moving to be with you because he is ‘considerate’ of your career and wants to be by your side.

Girlfriend, before you take that plunge, please note he may only be in it for the papers! (Yes I said it!)

Once upon a time wives were being exported to ‘the abroad’; during that time, relatives would find a wife for their son living in America (for example) and then send him pictures/contact details of the lady or ladies in question. Of course these young ladies would have been briefed of this development and she would then wait patiently for his first call and the start of their very own love story.

It is now 2014 and the tables have turned a little bit, instead of potential wives being picked from Nigeria, young women who live abroad are being targeted by men who are in Nigeria as potential wives. The criterion is pretty simple, you must have no adult ties with Nigeria (and by this I mean a potential career/business here), which also means you have no plans to move to Nigeria in the nearest future. Luckily social media plays a huge role as it gives certain ladies a sense of ‘familiarity’ through pictures and end up falling for these men in search of love and ‘a happily ever after’.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to fuel the already existing paranoia with some people who have foreign passports neither am I saying it is impossible to find true love but I am tired of hearing stories of ladies who have fallen for men that are obviously after them for anything other than love. So Oh Ghel before you decide to emotionally commit yourself to that man in Nigeria you barely know here are a few things you should do:

  1. Find a mutual friend/acquaintance – it is very important that you know someone who knows his guy in question and can vouch for his character or maybe lead you to someone who can. It helps you know a bit more than what he tells you because at this point, all you both are doing is ‘selling market’.
  2. Don’t believe everything you see on social media – this is a no brainer but all that ‘luxury’ and title you see could be lies, so take it with a pinch of salt and hold off bragging on how your boo in Nigeria is an Electrical engineer when he really is an electrician.
  3. Ask questions – this is very important because when you ask him what he does and he says ‘business’, you should be able to ask what nature of business it is and expect to get an understandable answer not ‘general contractor’ or ‘hustling’. Still on this, ask how his day was, know what he has been up to, ask about his family…get as much information as you can get out of him.
  4. Do your due diligence – this goes with #1 but you need to have some level of FBI skill in this matter before you marry someone else’s husband. If possible, have a friend or member of family you trust meet this guy, there are things those of us in Nigeria see that you will not (your eyes are not sharp like that…sowwy)
  5. Talk less about your immigration status in the beginning – for obvious reasons.
  6. Do not entertain conversation on relocation – Yes it is important and Yes it will come up but try as much as possible not to be the one to bring it up. If he is quick to bring up relocating under the pretence of being with you then back to #3 (ask questions) what is he going to do for income? Has he done any research? How is he going to cope? Answers like ‘when we get there we will sort it out’ should not be tolerated, he should have a plan, after all he is the ‘man’ in the relationship unless of course you are interested in having a house husband.
  7. Don’t be in a rush – I know you are getting older but marrying a man the second time you are seeing him in person is suspect. Don’t be in hurry, visit him in Nigeria, see him in his own comfort zone, let him visit you as well; if you can, relocate for a bit, evaluate your lives and then you ‘both’ decide what would be best. These things take time and all of that won’t happen in 3 months.
  8. Do not send MONEY – This is open for debate but I believe that before he comes to you for funds he must have exhausted all his options in Nigeria so lines such as ‘my clients are owing me’ ‘I’m having issues with the bank’ ‘I need this real quick, I will pay you when you come to Nigeria’ should be scrutinised…again ask questions!

It’s amazing that in a country like Nigeria where there are so many single women claiming not to find men to marry, some of my Nigerian sisters living abroad are able to meet, date, marry and ship their men over. It’s obvious that those of us in Nigeria are missing something or our oversabi is causing us to strike out a lot of potentials.

Whatever the case, ladies, when in doubt…ask questions!

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4 thoughts on “For Love or For Papers

  1. OmG take it from years of experience and multiple examples — just don’t do it. It is a SCAM. These men are desperate and will do/say/demonstrate anything in order to get that visa. There are even little “manuals” online for naija men who want to get wives in order to get immigration documentation.

    Please, please, please, don’t do it (especially meeting these guys online and on social networks).

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  2. Errrr… While everyone will be quick to say “don’t do it”, i will say, take your time, look well before you leap.
    i have about 5 male friends and 3 female friends that met their spouses when they came back to Nigeria, dated them and got married. It works sometimes and some other times, it’s a total mess.
    While i agree that there are men who have decided that instead of working hard, they’d look women who have worked hard all their lives and use them as meal tickets… there are also women who have decided that they will marry a man who “has arrived” and also “has papers”.
    Even while you live in this crazy city called Lagos, men are still digging, looking for pot-of-gold-women, who will guarantee them a life of wealth and riches and when they find them….they will still cheat on them with one “smallie” in Unilag, one office girlfriend and probably one other chick down the street.
    Life is a pot of beans and stones and we need to use “clear eyes” before we scoop that spoonful of beans.

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  3. Or just tell the person you reside in “the overseas” via visa. That should help filter out the randoms. When I hear what my friend’s go through to get visa for summer to “the overseas”, it all sounds ridiculous. The hustle is real

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