Someone Will Always Be Collateral Damage

I have to admit, I was one of the skeptics when Afua said she wanted to publish that article. In my mind I was thinking, I just don’t even understand why men have to be solely implicated in the issues of toying with emotions and hurting people. It was not an attempt to play devils advocate or to even the tone of the conversation, but it was to say that no one gender has complete ownership over ‘collateral damage’. I will concede, in Ghana, men are given the pass way more than women. Especially with issues of infidelity. But Afua’s point was bigger than just this idea that people cheat, her point was that people use people, and it’s unfair that it’s largely women who suffer in the end. I think that the issue is really that hurt people, hurt people. And that there is a bigger conversation beyond just telling men to stop being emotional abusers. I think the conversation is about mothers and fathers and social leaders investing time and energy into developing the social intelligence of the generation to follow. I happen to think that this issue is about social accountability.

I will take myself as an example.

I have been in the situation where I have recently stopped seeing someone. In my haste to ‘move on’, I sort of rushed into something new. In my mind, I may have entered with good intentions. I may have thought, maybe that old adage is true… that the best way to get over someone is to get under beside someone else. So here we are having fun, laughing, getting to know each other— building. Suddenly it dawns on me that a) I am not really even over my ex and b) I’ve been faking it up until this moment and it’s gotten extremely tiring.Here the person is, constantly talking about a future life together… about how much they love you and how they will marry you. How perfect you are and how wonderful it is to meet someone as lovely as you (duh and duh!). And in my mind, all I can think about are deciding on the most sensitive and considerate ways to slowly break away from the relationship. In the time of my thinking about these things, I start to detach and get easily annoyed. It becomes clear that I am just not interested.  I clearly needed to address some personal issues with regard to my past relationship. I also needed to be real with myself about what I wanted. And I feel this is fundamentally, the real issue. I don’t think people are out here purposely trying to hurt people. Even though I am of the mind that people are inherently evil and self seeking, I think that they are also preservationist— that is they want, as much as possible, to save face and at least put good into the world so they can also benefit from that good energy. I don’t think Ghanaian men, or African men in general, are hard wired to want to be deceitful. I just think our societies don’t foster the type of self- reflection necessary to enter into healthy relationships. I agree with Afua: “Sometimes the journey towards ‘…happily ever after’ or ‘…and the rest is just history’ does not leave you unscathed.” But this is true for everyone, male and female. Unfortunately, in Ghana, women carry the burden of emotional intelligence. There are conferences and books and preachings and seminars and speaker series and conventions and anointing oils— dedicated to ensuring women get to the status of Proverbs 31— not so for men. While Full Gospel Christian Business Mens groups exist en masse to encourage entrepreneurship and honest business practice, the same does not exist to spur on men to be honorable men, worthy of lifetime commitment. And yet, with all the Proverbs 31 messaging being thrown at women— neither men nor women are taught how to be emotionally intelligent. Preparing yourself to be a a wifable woman and developing your emotional intelligence have somehow been separated. So while yes, there are men— nay, people— who trample on the hearts of well meaning, good natured, loving partners en route to their happily ever after… it is not an epidemic that is wholly owned by men. It is the epidemic of not offering enough training, support and mentorship in growing our overall emotional intelligence (as evidenced by the messy, shady, crazy things women are also doing here in order to bait, keep or trick a man). As children of immigrants, we know too well the high standard of academic excellence placed on us, however the same is not necessarily the case for emotional intelligence. And while women are definitely exposed on how to develop themselves into ‘wifey material’… there is a general shortage of ‘how to deal effectively with your emotions such that you are not making your partner a causality in your sordid love affair” development opportunities. All in all, I will repeat hurt. people. hurt people. And the only real solution for all of us, is to get our emotional intelligence game up by seeking resources to help us grow… after all proper preparation prevents poor      partner   performance— eh?

What say you? Do you think it’s all one big male ploy to trample the hearts of unsuspecting woman of valor, or society overall has failed our generation in adequately preparing us to be good partners in relationships? #SoundOff 

Collateral Damage; Men and Women are not Equal.


So… I was torn posting this, but I figured in the end I could post it and preface it *shrug*. I didn’t want to post this initially in fear of being labeled a bitter black women. However, many of the relationship things referenced in this post have been witnessed more-so than experienced (remember we have a new simple modus operandi of late). Thus, this post is channeling a lot of things I’ve seen- which is still incredibly frustrating– so that’s probably the tone you’re picking up on.

And after sending this out as a feeler to a couple guy friends, I do recognize that the struggle is real on both sides of the spectrum… Because no one, guy or girl, should feel like they’re being used or their time is being wasted. 

Would love to hear your thoughts.


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Twitter just be giving us so much life recently… AND content for the blog!

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Girls abr3**.

You remember that phrase? I used it first when discussing the Art of Hedging, or when men in long term relationships be faking and using you for one last test run/ joy ride before clamping down on the inevitable.

Well this tweet in a way circles back around what I wrote, and it appears to be a view shared by many- judging from the number of re-tweets. I’ve always known that men and women aren’t equal in a number of aspects, but when it comes to relationship behavior, these differences couldn’t be more pronounced as I get older. AND I am not saying women don’t do their own playing, I’m just speaking from what I’ve seen and experienced.

For me, I’ve come to the realization that I don’t want to be part of your sinful past on the way to redemption. I don’t want to be part of your try everything on for size stage or be a part of the starting five line up on your hedging team, before you say ‘I do’. Again… I know I’m generalizing on men here, but I can only speak youcutefrom my perspective…

Folks just be tired of wasted time.

…which, hear me out people, is different from when we really like each other, date with direction and somehow it doesn’t work out.

Although I’m still quite weary of this type of behavior, I now honestly understand when some women want to know where things are headed shortly a man starts talking to them. Like I get it now. I get when some women want to (partially) give up and bury themselves in just work, family and friends. Sometimes the journey towards “…happily ever after” or “…and the rest is just history” does not leave you unscathed.

It’s funny cause a few guys I know (of) have recently gotten engaged or married and you look at their behavior prior to marriage like, ‘I hope you come to Jesus real soon, cause it’s only His blood that can wipe your past clean.’ #ikid #butonlyjustalittlebit lol
But on the real, dudes have run circles around Accra, Lagos, London, Johannesburg, Nairobi, NY, DC, [and add in any other big city where there is a mass of Africans]… they’ve been dating, sleeping around with, breaking hearts, cheating on their gfs right, left and center. And now they are walking down the aisle like all is forgiven. And according to society, all IS forgiven. Society tells us that, “he’s a man being a man, he was sowing his wild oats, having fun before having to commit to one person”; in essence, the slate gets wiped squeaky clean once he puts a ring on any (half decent) girl. The behavior gets chalked up to a typical young bachelor lifestyle, which he has now matured from [we thank God oh]. However, while folks outchea having amnesia about a guy’s past and while he’s moved on to dutiful wife and kid, the former women have to deal with the consequences of the situations they put themselves in. And I do put blame on women for putting themselves in these situations too- if you remember *THIS BLOG*.

It’s one of those hard truths that we need to stop pretending doesn’t exist, because we are the ones suffering for it… Things aren’t equal and one has to make sure you don’t end up being a casualty of a man’s ‘growing pains’, however that manifests itself (ie. Pregnancy… Your reputation jeopardized (cause his won’t be)… Or you’re just plainly heart broken).

Sometimes you have to just honestly protect yourself… and sleep soundly.

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**Girls are tired (of relationship wahala)

Why Did you Let me Date Him?


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I love this meme. It epitomizes the phase of life my contemporaries find themselves in now, and me too. It’s not like the days of old our yester-years (ok maybe like 5yrs ago… or hell, like 2yrs ago) where being with someone or NOT being with someone had less no dire consequences… Ok maybe not dire, but the opportunity cost wasn’t as high. Now, the opportunity cost of being with someone or not being with someone seems colossal. Let’s listen in on my conversation with a close friend earlier this month, it helps illustrate the point:

Friend: “It doesn’t seem like it’s working out [with Billy**].”

Friend: (A description of inconsequential and consequential traits and characteristics not fully appreciated in the beginning of dating bliss… Of which I shall skip, because they frankly have no bearing to the premise of this post).

Af: (Interjection of empathetic “Oh, really’s”, “Oh. I’m sorry,” “Yea?” “Uh hmm”)

Friend: “Why’d you let me date him, Afua?”

Af: “Excuse me, come again…?”

Friend: “You’re supposed to be my friend, you should have said something. Now I’m turning 30 and I have wasted the last 2 years.”

Af: [Thought: well that escalated real quick… But I’ll indulge in your slightly irrational line of thinking]

“Welt, let’s see… You said you liked him and he was a good fit. You also gave an extensive list as to why the aforementioned was true. You said you did background checks (with friends and people who knew him). How was I supposed to know he was going to do bait and switch on you? I don’t know him from Adam nor do I hang out with you and him together, so what exactly was I supposed to do? Where was I supposed to get this epiphany from, especially when your behavior hasn’t changed negatively.”

Friend: (A bunch of other highly whiny-like statements and accusations of my blame in the situation… For the most part I tune out)


Le sigh


BUT…It did get me thinking, what should be one’s participation in your friends relationship(s)?

meme2Because I do this blog, folks like to talk to me (and I like to use their lives as content lol ;) ). However, I’ve become less than enthused about shelling out ‘advice’ for a number of reasons… one.) you never really know both sides; two.) life is already too complicated for me to be rendering out advice on a situation that is not mine; three.) me, myself, I’m not even dating, remember?…so what am I going to say? I mean in instances of extreme behavior, like domestic violence, extreme unhappiness, sure I’ll say something directly… But other than that, it’s meh… keep your thoughts to yourself. With cheating situations, if you’re not my good friend, ya I’ll look at you and feel sorry for you, but I will keep it moving.

We are the sum of our decisions… And just like I told my friend at the end of the conversation, life is about the decisions we make and the consequences that result from them; for the things that happen to us that we cannot control, we control how we react and respond to them. Irrespective of what our friends say or don’t say, there’s personal responsibility for the lives we lead…

Is that mean? What do you do with your friends? Do you find yourself meddling more or less as you grow older?

**Names obviously changed.

“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!

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: 

[POLL] Cheating: Does The ‘How’ Make A Difference?

It seems so appropriate for Bandeka to showcase ‘Why Men Cheat?’ on PillowTalk this week. If you haven’t already, MAKE SURE TO GO TO THE SITE ( and check out some of the honest responses we received from men over the last month.

I saw two stories yesterday that were really interesting. First, Demi Moore is divorcing Ashton Kutcher after allegations of cheating. Ashton continues to maintain his innocence, but I wonder whether cheating is defined the same between the two parties. Not saying that this is the case here, but sometimes men and women have different definitions of cheating.

The second story that I saw was Shaq discussing his infidelity during his marriage to Shaunie O’Neil. The two were married for seven years, and in regards to his cheating he said:

 “In my mind, I never did it disrespectfully…”

This goes right back to my post earlier this week. Is there a respectful way to cheat? What is it about the way in which someone cheats that makes it better or worse? I really want to know what you all think. Take our poll below!

UPDATE: Not that I have anything against Kat Von D, but I wanted to make a quick observation from this article about cheating. For those of you that don’t know, Kat Von D recently broke off her engagement to Jesse James (previously married to Sandra Bullock, and cheated on her too). This article talks about Kat’s realization that some men won’t ever change (James allegedly cheated on Von D with 19 women). And to put it in her words:

“There was a time when I was confident and excited at proving the world wrong, because I believed so deeply in people’s ability to change for the better.”

Perhaps HIS is an example of cheating disrespectfully????

ALSO, If you have yet to see Bandeka’s feature on CP-Africa this week- check it out, retweet it, and share it with your facebook friends!

Why Do Men Cheat?

Why not just break up with me? Why would you rather cheat? These are all too common cheating questions for women. So Bandeka is tackling this very issue for you THIS WEEK. Using our PillowTalk feature, we at Bandeka have spent the past month gathering honest responses from men to answer some of the burning questions we have received from women, and now we’re ready to share them with our members! I spent some time in my last post talking about the importance of having honest men in your life to tell you the truth about your relationship issues. However, not every woman has this (some don’t have these kind of men in their lives and some don’t use them for advice). So particularly for YOU, we at Bandeka have come to the rescue! MAKE SURE to check out the results of our first question on cheating at this THURSDAY!!! Two things I can guarantee you: you won’t like all the answers, BUT you will get some understanding into the mind of (most) men.

One of the co-founders of Bandeka is currently reading ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and he sent me an intriguing snippet from the book:

“I can’t go back to his house aunty”

“I am not asking you to go back to his house.  I said you will go back to Nsukka.  Do you not have your own flat and your own job?  Odenigbo has done what all men do and inserted his penis in the first hole he could find when you were away.  Does that mean somebody died?”

Olanna had stopped fanning herself and could feel the sweaty wetness on her scalp.

“When your uncle first married me, I worried because I thought those other women outside would come and displace me from my home.  I now know nothing he does will make my life change.  My life will change only if I want it to change.”

“What are you saying, Aunty?”

“He is very careful now, since he realized that I am no longer afraid.  I have told him that if he brings disgrace to me in any way, I will cut off that snake between his legs.”

Aunty Ifeka went back to her stirring, and Olanna’s image of their marriage began to come apart at the seams.

“You must never behave as if your life belongs to a man.  Do you hear me?” Aunty Ifeka said.  “Your life belongs to you and you alone”

There are so many things I cannot begin to comprehend about this exchange, however no matter how dumbfounded I am by this idea of condoned (habitual) cheating, it’s a reality the some people have to face. What I think I am most intrigued and disturbed about is the encouragement of a family member to stay in a relationship where this is taking place. It could be my naiveté, but should the way in which a man cheats matter? And can any woman really claim that their man “respects” them just because he’s not cheating out in the open?

Thoughts?? I’m also wondering whether this is something that is unique to the African culture, or whether all cultures deal with this dilemma?

In the near future we will be showcasing additional answers to burning questions from women, including:

  • What do men look for in a wifey?
  • Why would a black man prefer to date a non-black woman?
  • Do men expect a certain level of domestication?

If you have any burning questions, please use our PillowTalk feature and ask us ANYTHING. Or you can send us an email at