U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Africa
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
 
Old 12-09-2015, 04:54 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,329 times
Reputation: 10

Advertisements

On a recent visit to an up country Gambian village, I got talking to a young woman who seemed particularly interested in me and seemed to be shocked at the fact that I didn’t have a wife or girlfriend in the UK. She suddenly asked me if I would marry her, which I took as joking around and replied positively, but in an equally jocular manor.

The next day, I found out that she had called our guide, and he had invited her to the lodge as there was a party that night for a tourist’s birthday. She arrived with her brother as chaperon and he was soon telling me what a good family she came from, what a great cook she was and that she would bear me many children. It was a bit overwhelming really. There seemed to be an expectation that I would propose to her there & then, which certainly wasn’t going to happen. We did seem to rather hit it off though, she seemed intelligent and educated (there was mention of training to be an accountant), so I'd be interested in at least staying in touch and seeing where it leads.

I’m not so naive to think that she was motivated by my decidedly average looks, and I should add that I'm very much older than her. I know that if this went any further, there would be an expectation of an improvement in lifestyle for her and her family from this arrangement. I made it very clear from the start that I am not wealthy by UK standards and wouldn’t be able to bring her to live in the UK, which they didn’t seem bothered about. From the conversations I had with the lodge manager (himself married to a European woman who has relocated to TG to run the business with him) the sort of “marriage” they were talking about is more of a local ceremony than an official legally binding contract, and they would be looking at small donations to the improvement of the village, gifts for the family etc. They reckon that about 50% of these relationship work out in the long term. There are obviously lots of cultural differences to be negotiated, expectations to be managed, long periods spent apart and some of course (especially in the tourist areas) who are entering into these relationships with the sole intention of rinsing their new partners at every opportunity, or to get an EU passport.

The tabloids are full of stories of African dating scams, but these are usually online and emanate from Nigeria. There’s not much online about men getting into relationships with Gambian women, but lots of references to women “sex tourists” getting involved with younger Gambian men, often with heart-breaking results. However, I did meet a couple of women in TG involved in these types of relationships who seemed quite happy.

The lodge are going to do some detective work for me to find out more about the family and their intentions but in the meantime, I’d interested in hearing peoples thoughts on this, especially from those who are in or have been in relationships with Gambian / West African women. How does Gambian courtship usually work? Is it usual for a woman to propose to a man and to expect an answer so quickly? What are the main motivations in West African marriage? Is it love/attraction based, or are issues of financial stability, security and integration with, and care of, the extended family of more importance in poorer Gambian communities?

Last edited by nickyw; 12-09-2015 at 05:41 PM..
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-09-2015, 05:52 PM
 
691 posts, read 920,081 times
Reputation: 643
From my social experience with West Africans...marriage is more like a business contract, duty or expectation...especially after one is an adult...dating is for teens..adults marry..the concept of "getting to know you" first in Western dating in childish.

I can get to know you after we get married..I am American and have had many West African friends who were students in America...In my experience, the one guy saw an American girl they were attracted to who was my friend, I introduced them,
they spoke, next thing I know my friend wanted to marry her and brought her and expensive blouse..my friend she was put
off by this she just met my friend he was buying gifts like they were engaged..

Also you marry the family and they take more importance than the spouses..I don't know specifically about Gambia, but
this seems to be the typical West African mindset..

Love/attraction might be there..but there is a strong economic motive, If you are from the UK and in Gambia in a remote
village..I think UK = $$$$$ to them..just my opinion...Especially when dealing with non-western third world cultures
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-09-2015, 05:54 PM
 
4,541 posts, read 866,060 times
Reputation: 2120
Walk away, and fast.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-10-2015, 01:12 AM
 
Location: Springfield, Ohio
12,201 posts, read 10,427,566 times
Reputation: 11220
In Western Africa and pretty much every other country outside North America, Western Europe & Australia/NZ, you will be seen 98% of the time for your potential visa and/or economic benefits and not appreciated for who you are as a person (at least not more than what you have to offer materially). Harsh reality, but it is the truth.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-05-2016, 07:27 AM
 
5 posts, read 4,080 times
Reputation: 10
Hello, maybe, in africa man and woman, they don't think again and again. and can't decide. they love, then they want to get married. It's simple. maybe.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-10-2016, 02:27 PM
 
637 posts, read 645,536 times
Reputation: 959
The majority of marriages in the world's history were for political tactics, familial alliances, financial security, etc. "Love Marriage" as my Indians friends describe American marriages are not the norm in some places in the world, even in 2016.

Even the US now has several reality tv series such as "Married at First Sight", "Married by Mom and Dad", etc.

If you are waiting to marry someone that you love and want to spend the rest of your life with, then please tell this woman. Do not lead her on. You may want to let her brother know so that he can explain to the family that you did not lie, you just thought the whole thing was a joke. It sounds crazy to us, but for many people, this is how a marriage is arranged.

Good luck!
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-13-2016, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Macao
15,951 posts, read 36,185,822 times
Reputation: 9484
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natural510 View Post
In Western Africa and pretty much every other country outside North America, Western Europe & Australia/NZ, you will be seen 98% of the time for your potential visa and/or economic benefits and not appreciated for who you are as a person (at least not more than what you have to offer materially). Harsh reality, but it is the truth.
This is correct.

The OP is seen as a great revenue source, an unlimited supplyline to the 'good life'.

This isn't unique to Gambia.

I've had this same thing in the Philippines. People see the American passport, and want their daughter to marry into that, and they perceive it being an limitless ATM Machine. You gotta marry that, and we've won the million dollar lottery, and can have everything we want in life!

They don't really realize that the person is also just a working person as well; one paycheck away from homelessness in their home (rich) country, etc. But, they can't imagine anyone with an American passport could be anything but a huge ATM card for themselves...comparatively to their own earning power in their home country, compared to the foreigners.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-13-2016, 09:44 PM
 
4,342 posts, read 2,269,183 times
Reputation: 5591
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
This is correct.

The OP is seen as a great revenue source, an unlimited supplyline to the 'good life'.

This isn't unique to Gambia.

I've had this same thing in the Philippines. People see the American passport, and want their daughter to marry into that, and they perceive it being an limitless ATM Machine. You gotta marry that, and we've won the million dollar lottery, and can have everything we want in life!

They don't really realize that the person is also just a working person as well; one paycheck away from homelessness in their home (rich) country, etc. But, they can't imagine anyone with an American passport could be anything but a huge ATM card for themselves...comparatively to their own earning power in their home country, compared to the foreigners.
Bit cynical don't you think ? Life is not always about what someone else can do for you. I lived in SG for years and know that things are often that way but more often they are not. The US is known as the land of opportunity perhaps a person believes they will have more opportunity there.

Everyone wants a better life, you shouldn't hold their ambition to improve their lot in life against them.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-14-2016, 10:48 AM
 
3,339 posts, read 2,081,790 times
Reputation: 2367
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
This is correct.

The OP is seen as a great revenue source, an unlimited supplyline to the 'good life'.

This isn't unique to Gambia.

I've had this same thing in the Philippines. People see the American passport, and want their daughter to marry into that, and they perceive it being an limitless ATM Machine. You gotta marry that, and we've won the million dollar lottery, and can have everything we want in life!

They don't really realize that the person is also just a working person as well; one paycheck away from homelessness in their home (rich) country, etc. But, they can't imagine anyone with an American passport could be anything but a huge ATM card for themselves...comparatively to their own earning power in their home country, compared to the foreigners.
the American passport holder should be frank upfront that he has no bank account. cant blame people if you gave the impression that you have a lot of money. they call it estoppel in law.


problem is, the American passport holder, due to circumstances like old age or physically challenged, they want to impress too just to win a Filipino heart.


they are both at fault for me
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-18-2016, 03:55 AM
 
5,823 posts, read 10,160,721 times
Reputation: 4536
As one used to say "there is no fool like an old fool". You've been warned already.
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:
Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Africa
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top