Dear Successful Black Man

Dear successful black man,

We are the women who greet you with a big high five and ululate when you hand us a crispy clean ten dollar note. We heard you got divorced and what a nasty divorce it was! Divorce is a reflection of the marriage one has had. An ugly divorce means the marriage must have had its ugly, undesirable parts that the world did not get to see. Or the marriage was founded on other things other than the genuine desire to make each other happy, be the best for one other and for oneself. An ugly divorce makes one wonder if the marriage was a sham. A means to an end.

Nasty divorces are common, do not beat yourself about it. Even Nana the beautiful girl with a gap in her teeth got divorced the other day. Should we work on matching both of you up? You are a perfect fit for one another, well, in our eyes that is. But, cheeiii! Your divorce is like no other, when it comes to the rich and famous, these divorce proceedings are often laid out for the entire world to see. When it comes to divorce among successful black, especially African men; the sore divorce proceedings you go through makes one wonder the kind of individuals you choose as your spouses. What made you say I do and what inspired these women to say yes, I do.

The story of rags to riches and back to rags is not strange. What stands out especially among successful, talented, athletic, young African men, is the role your wives have played in your transformation from riches to rags. And no, we shall not blame race, it goes deeper than that or does it not? Take Kwame Bonsu for instance, a talented Ghanaian football player, at a prime age of 22 years old, his Swedish wife Marie Magnusson alleged that on November, 2015 he raped and assaulted her. Backed by testimonies from her relatives, the court found him guilty and sentenced him to two years in prison. In addition to that, he had to pay Marie not one, not two but $ 28,000. That kind of money could change his village forever. So he had to pay her, get imprisoned and he lost his job all in one day? The world is such a cruel place to be in.

Two years later, Emmanuel Eboue is in the spotlight. He has had it worse. He is a victim of a bitter divorce proceeding that has left him broke, homeless and suicidal. Kwame and Emmanuel’s cases are quite similar. One, they both seemed to have married women who were more in love with the wealth the men possessed and secondly, they seem to have been victims of unjust court systems. It is said that Kwame was denied an opportunity to present evidence that his wife was using whatever means she could get to get money from him. While the district judge, Edward Cross charged with Emmanuel’s divorce case ruled against him in his absence. Finally, both their wives get access to huge portions of their hard earned wealth.

What strikes us as odd in Emmanuel’s case is how the court proceedings took place while he was nursing an injury. It took place in his absentia, like the lawyers say it. Then he failed to provide the courts with his evidence, sounds familiar? That happened to Kwame too. What a coincidence! And just like Kwame's wife who was awarded money, Aurelie Bertrand, yes we Googled her name,was awarded full control of all of his assets. Yes, a wife is entitled to financial support but to strip a man’s wealth from him, how cold can one be? What is happening to Emmanuel can only be described as a legal daylight robbery. But the grapevine has it he will be contesting the court ruling. We wish him nothing but the very best.

Our dearest son, successful African men should understand the world is not their tiny village where they played with balls made from old plastic bags and where ujamaa reigned. It is not a place where the world is invested in your well-being, like the way every mother in your village looked out for you and your well-being. Truth be told, in a capitalist world, undugu is a foreign phenomenon. The world is a competitive place, where everyone will want to take advantage of your talents, skills and wealth. It is hard to gain success and wealth but you can have everything you ever dreamed of. Remember, all you have can be lost in a heartbeat. Be wise.

Dear successful black man, guard you and everything you own. Delilah is a cautionary tale, didn’t you learn anything in Sunday school? Don’t let the Delilahs of this world steal your crown, your glory and turn you into a destitute beast of labor bound to the chains of poverty. Educate yourself, school is not a building, school can be a story with a moral leaning, a quote you stumble upon, or a newspaper headline. Surround yourself with those who have seen you raise from the ashes. And most importantly, don’t blame your shortcomings on being naive. Learn from your mistakes and work towards rectifying it. Always strive to be a better man. 

Should we organize the meeting with Nana? You remember her, we mentioned her earlier. Jehovah OOOh! But what can we do about money? No girl wants to date a man who can be easily swindled. How can she trust you with the wealth you will build together? Maybe you need to focus on getting your wealth and health back then we shall revisit this Nana matter.


Auntie Olla and Mama Hozebania

Hoze wants a football as a new year gift. Please send John, the son of our good neighbor Pastor Zachariah, we heard he will be travelling through the big airport in your city. Stay well dear son. We have you in our prayers.

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