Do You Have Something to Say About African Love? Guest Blog for Bandeka!

I was thinking the other day that I want to spice things up on this blog, and I can only imagine just hearing from me can become quite boring, so I want to hear from you all! I know a lot of you have things to say, so share it with the entire bandeka family. Send your submissions to I’m quite open to blog topics: dating, relationships, networking with Africans (abroad and on the continent), things related to the Diaspora in general. Submissions must be your original work! Please keep them to 500 words, and please please proof read before sending :-).

We look forward to reading your entries!!

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!

Africa’s Hottest Tech Startups:


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

Interview with Co-Founder Tunde Kehinde

Hope is Not a Strategy!

Make sure to Like Bankeka on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter (@BandekaDate)!

Warning: Beauty Fades, But A Woman Who Can Cook Lasts Forever

As part of Bandeka’s PillowTalk feature, late last week we began featuring answers to the question, “Is it better for the relationship if your wife handles the household chores?” So I thought I would revisit the topic again – for those of you who haven’t been following my blog for long, I addressed this issue a few weeks ago in ‘What A Black Woman Has To Say About Submission, You Might Be Surprise‘. In the clip that I featured for that post, Shanel Cooper advised ladies that the best thing for their relationship is to assume the traditional roles of cooking, cleaning, and taking care of their man and home.

It would seem that this is a reoccurring sentiment from both sexes. In this BellaNaija article*, the same message is articulated by an African man: Women need to have an “appreciable level of domesticity.” Although things have changed since the ‘Stone Age’, and women do aspire to greater things outside of the home, the author TJ O’Karo says, “the truth [is] that women are supposed to be quite proficient [at cooking, supervising the home, raising kids, etc.].” To illustrate his point, he describes one scenario where this became an issue. I’ve paraphrased his account, and included my personal comments in bold:

Following NYSC**, one of the prettiest girls at camp moved into a house with me and a few friends from camp. An arrangement was made that everyone would contribute to food, and that the women would cookI may be the only one to think that this arrangement was sexist. But in any case, this was their arrangement. The housemates discovered that the belle of the house couldn’t cook, and as a consequence of this, she lost her status among the men in the house. “The guys who were initially wowed by her beauty and charm, gradually began to gravitate towards the more domestic women in the house!” Before you make any quick judgments, the author also mentions that it wasn’t just about cooking, the belle also didn’t take care of her room, living area, the kitchen, and the guys, etc. Why she would need to take care of the latter is a little beyond me, but point taken- she was an untidy person. Eventually, the belle began to lose her swagger and confidence, which led to her change of heart: “she began to see reason as to why men would prefer domestically capable women and she began to put in an effort and changed.”

So are women supposed to balance work/school, social functions, friends, and taking care of their man and home (or the things “they are supposed to be naturally good at”? ERRR YES! They’re supposed to be Super Women, the author says. It just is what it is, [African] men REQUIRE their woman to perform traditional roles at home- and shockingly, the “extras” are just that, extras: a welcomed part of the package, but as an addition. <- TJ O’Karo’s words, not mine. [But note, men will still cheat on a super woman for no reason…but I digress]

If you haven’t checked out recently, do so and view the responses that we have received from men. I’ve now highlighted three similar opinions, but am I overstating this pattern?  Is a woman’s worth in a relationship really tied to her ability to cook and clean? Have we moved away from non-traditional roles in the household? And did this idea ever really take root in African households? Can someone make a strong argument that women shouldn’t assume the role of ‘running the house’- however this is defined?

Mr. O’Karo ends his article by saying, “a woman who isn’t domestic is like a man who can’t earn a living! A woman’s looks, charm, intelligence, and money can only take her so far with men; the same way a man’s looks and charm can only take him so far with a woman without any real source of income.” Something to think about.

*If page doesn’t open, refresh.

**National Youth Service Corps – Three week orientation for recent Nigerian graduates before they begin their one  year of national service.

Why Women Should Listen To The Advice of Men

We have some really interesting features coming up on, and I would encourage you to email us at if you’re currently not on the site. This weekend I was having a chat with the co-founders of Bandeka and they were telling me how frustrating it is when women ask for relationship advice, but then don’t believe them when they tell them the honest truth. A common exchange being: “Well, how do you know? He’s different…” “….aaaa, I know. I’M A GUY!” I think it’s true that a lot of women don’t take advice from men in their lives, because honestly the truth hurts. Women like to think their situation is different, but men think very similarly, and unfortunately “he’s different” is rarely the case. When I look back at times when I was confused about a guy or situation, the majority of the time consultation with a guy friend ended up being spot on (whether I listened or not).

In this Clutch article, the author Felicia Pride writes about receiving advice from her dad about why her most recent relationship just fizzled – and particularly why this scenario keeps repeating itself.

“For the first time in my 30+ years, I asked my father for advice about relationships, and gasp, men. Call me desperate. I was. But I figured, after 64 years on the planet, he knew something about what makes his kind tick. And well, we’ve developed a relationship over the years where sugarcoating is unnecessary. I knew he was going to give it to me straight.

His advice is probably spot on with what most men would say to a woman in Felicia’s situation:

Act like you don’t give a sh*t.

Felicia’s response is also spot on with how most women in her situation would react:

“That’s not how I am,” I pleaded with my father. “If I like someone, I like him. I don’t want to play games.”

The next sequence of events may differ from woman to woman, but I would bet Felicia’s first reaction is also spot on with most women in her situation:

1. Originally, I dismissed my father’s advice. 2. Until, as part of an attempt to demystify my love life, I asked my ex-boyfriend why he broke up with me: “You were too accessible,” he said… 3. I took in his words. Listened. No judgment. Just tried to learn.

Since then, Felicia has gone against her instincts and taken the advice of her father to become less available in her dating life: “I [call] back when I [call] back. I [respond] to texts when I [get] around to it. I [hang] out with guys occasionally, when the mood [hits].” And according to her, “As much as I hate to admit this, there [is] a power in it all. I [am] in control of my feelings instead of the other way around.”

So are you going to start taking the advice of the men in your life? Make sure to check out! We are going to start addressing some of your burning relationship questions, bandeka-style 🙂

Where Are the Best Places to Meet People?

Two weeks ago I talked about the similarities between dating and looking for a job, and the first similarity was in regards to where to find a suitable mate: in places where you know others are looking. The article I referred to didn’t list where these places are, so I’m wondering where are the best places to meet people these days?

The Bandeka team has been hard at work adding new features that have JUST BEEN LAUNCHED! For those that don’t know where the idea for Bandeka arose from: while in business school, co-founders Tunde and Yaw found that their friends and colleagues were expressing their dissatisfaction with the traditional forms of meeting potential mates: bars and other social venues, pure chance?? So they thought it should be easier for like-minded Africans to meet!

Bandeka is an adaptation of the word Bandika, or ‘connect’ in Swahili. The site’s goal is to connect amazing Africans, who without a platform targeted towards them, may never meet.  On the site, you are allowed to search for members by African nationality, current residence, and other characteristics. You can also get relationship advice from members, attend our private social events (we’ve had one already and will be having one tonight), and find out who on the platform has a mutual interest in you. The site has now transitioned to invite-only so make sure to get your friends to invite you, or email us for more information.

For those of you wondering where to meet members of the opposite sex, counts down the top 10 ways to meet girls outside of bars: … I honestly think the list is missing some of the obvious places like at a friends house or at church.

10. The Gym: “This is one of the easiest places to meet a woman if you play your cards right…A word of warning: Wait until she’s finished working out. Interrupting her while she’s running on the treadmill is not a good move and likely to get you shot down.”

9. The Grocery Store: “An exceptionally accessible place to pick up women, because there are so many things you can ask her about. “Have you tried these chocolate-coated gummy bears?” Or, “Do you know which aisle the pickles are in?” Not to mention, different supermarkets attract different types of women. There are the monster chains, the budget chains, the natural/organic indie stores or the monolith natural grocery chains. Know who you’re looking to attract, and then home in on them.”

8. Art Museum Parties: “Not only is it safe to assume she’s relatively well-cultured… but she is likely well-traveled, intelligent and unique. Most cities have a “First Friday,” which is a free party at one of the local art museums.”

7. Music Festival: “You already know she has excellent musical tastes, and you have an easy conversation starter: the band.”

6. Laundromat: “It takes at least half an hour to wash a load and another 45 minutes to dry it. In other words, you’ve got plenty of time to ‘work your charm’.”

5. Volunteering: “Even the most cynical of women will likely find a man who cares about saving the world sexy. When a guy can show his caring side (while still appearing masculine), it sets off a woman’s “awww” factor.”

4. The Shoe Store: “…guys can easily feign ignorance when it comes to dressing themselves. Choose two pairs of shoes you can’t decide between, and ask lady lovely for her opinion.”

3. Join a Class or Team: “A woman who joins a sports team is likely to be fun and outgoing and not afraid to get a little dirty. The bonus is you’ll get to know her over time as opposed to feeling pressured to hit on her ASAP.”

2. The Book Store: “This might be one of the most perfect places to meet a woman for the simple fact that many have a coffee shop, giving you a built-in date of sorts. Plus, you’ll get some insight into her psyche based on what she’s reading.”

1. In line, Any Line: “Think about it: Standing in line sucks. Especially if you’re at the return line at the electronics store after the holidays, the DMV, the post office, or any government office. When people are irritated, they need a sympathetic ear to vent their frustration… She’s got plenty of time and nowhere to go except two steps forward.

Finding Black Love Online

A little note on an online dating site- that’s how it began for actress Essence Atkins and her husband. The note was sent on Valentine’s Day 3 years ago and ended with, “Happy SAD Day- that’s Single Awareness Day”. The couple has been married for 2 years now and are expecting their first child on Christmas day! (Read more here). I have to say that the more I learn about online dating, the more the stigma is erased. If you haven’t already, Go Sign Up For Bandeka! WWW.BANDEKA.COM.

Online dating is more common than you think: statistics show that 1 out of 5 couples meet online now (just a few weekends ago I attended a wedding where the couple met online). I bet people would be surprised to learn how many of their friends already use online dating sites secretly. What I find intriguing about Essence Atkins is that she was the first to ‘reach out’ to her husband. Thinking about some of the online dating rules discussed in my previous post, should any of the traditional rules of the game apply to online dating?