When I saw Christiane Amanpour outdoor her new show Sex and Lovearound the world, I wondered what grand plan lay behind the production of this show…
9:40 something pm, my phone is buzzing with messages. The girls are upset over Moesha’s comments about Ghanaian women and their having to live off transactional relationships often with older men. Moesha is a Ghanaian socialite whose real profession is unknown. We either think she lives off her men or is employed in a day job that can not technically pay for her lifestyle so the sugar daddy or better put, the sponsor, fills in the paycheck gap. Chimamanda Adichie in her novel Americanah paints a vivid depiction of the complex socio-economic landscape in Nigeria while specifying the ambiguousness surrounding the economic life of one of her lady characters. The other co-protagonist of the novel, the man who is in love with the main character ends up marrying into a family mainly for financial reasons. Right from the middle ages until the twenty-first century, financial gain has remained a motivator of unions and relationships, Moesha’s declarations seem no different thematically from the allusions this paragraph has developed from.
My friend just returned from Nigeria and literally remained without female ‘company’ while away because he was unwilling to go along with the transactional reality that relationships are in that part of the world. Another friend recently returned from Cameroon and while asking him how his trip was, his words were that basic prostitution is out of hand. What in the world is basic prostitution? Casual relationships that dwell on economic gain was his answer. Wow, I said. Weeks ago, my eyes widened as I read this article about the blesser syndrome in South Africa. (Blessers are older men that literally bless younger women with HIV AIDS and money and condomless sex) As I drew comparisons between the facts the article presented and Ghana, I arrived at the conclusion that while the article portrayed Southern Africans as being more overt about their search for blessees and blessers, (because adverts were/are made on social media in search of younger girls to bless and older men who bless) Ghanaians are a bit more discreet in their ways I daresay mostly because of our religious hypocrisy but moving on, songs such as Ebony’s Sponsor among a host of other products of popular culture such as this episode on An African City shows us that the dynamic of sexual-economic relationships aren’t a new thing under the Ghanaian sky.
While I am not interested in determining whether Moesha was wrong to have said what she said or not, my focus rests on what Ghanaians are doing to empower women and renew mindsets so that people do have the need to rely on sugar moms or dads out of economic need. Logically, there is no way to dictate the lifestyle of humans but the more important thing is to realize the urgency that needs to come from issues like this. Our society is morally decadent and sexual episodes such as these are not the only things that we should be alarmed about. Being a Ghanaian has taught me that we are people that easily forget and make fun of every possible thing on earth. In addition, Ghanaians literally live with crocodiles yet scream in fright when we see lizards outside.
In a country where a minor can flash her naked body on camera while flies dance around her vagina and receive acclaim through viral shares and much laughter, in a country where preachers go to bed with members of their churches, hold entire services to demand the body counts of their members with much focus on how much members are bringing to the church coffers rather than a focus on the salvation of members, in a country where female singers get shamed over their choice of dress, in a country where full grown parlimentarian women get shamed over wearing body jewelery such as anklets, in a country where women sometimes
often fall prey to sexual requirements to secure or keep a job, ( well this happens in our schools too ) in such a country, a country where if you’re a woman in a top position, people wonder if you slept your way up, paying little heed to your credentials, a country where self-acclaimed relationship experts and mariage counsellors hide behind morality and push severe and unrestrained sexism and remain justified, this is our country where scandals blow over quickly just to be replaced by other ones while we laugh and laugh, maybe it is time to ask what exactly we are doing besides laughing or hurling angry words at people such as Moesha while the truth stares us in the face. Ghanaians love to circumvent and address everything else but the truth and possible solutions. Maybe it is high time we brainstorm real solutions.
Comments like this are refreshing because it is very much like that community with the dusty, bumpy, eroded road. One of the community members decides to tar only the portion of the road that is in front of their house while the dust from the rest of the road blows up and touches the same house that sits in front of the little stretch of tarred road.
Watch Moesha’s full interview here.
Very apt and on point. You capture the ‘’Ghanaian” social space quite amply. You announce the call for a more critical look devoid of the misguided feminist notions that abound in Ghana. Your perspective is particularly refreshing. A good call that deserves soicio-political attention with prospective positive impacts on true cleansing of the Ghanaian social terrain! If pursued to the core it should have the effect of reducing the stress and worries associated with bagging a wrong partner.
Kwaku what does ‘bagging the wrong partner’ mean lol
I think Moesha just let out what the silent majority of young Ghanaian ladies go through day in day out..Her only problem is how she put it….It’s difficult to tell from the interview if she was speaking solely for herself or venting out the “poor” young ghanaian lady’s frustrations.
Now to your own piece Efua, I have quite a lot of female friends🙈 yet whilst reading this piece, I was unable to single out even just one of them, who has not being in a position where someone superior to her has not tried to take advantage of her at some point in time (superior here may be financial, social, etc)..Not even the “rich kids” I know have been spared this. I even think many are tempted to do it for good grades or other forms of non- financial assistance than for financial asisistance.
But then again, I believe the prevalence of women in top positions in our society has still not empowered the “vulnerable” young Ghanaian girl enough to resist this frustration. Maybe, just maybe, our women in “power” are not doing enough these days to empower the younger ones.
Thank you Dela, a lot of feedback I get is mainly about how ‘honest’ working women feel unduly tainted by Moesha’s claims, the fact though is that while we think it is ‘their’ problem, it is our problem too, that is the cause of our problems honestly because if for example the trasacco or east legon dwellers feel they are good and do not even want to hear of the problems nima has, its like saying oh, I’ black but I really don’t care about racism, fact is, nima problems if left unchecked will affect us all at some point,…. and your saying that even your rich kid friends have not been spared is interesting, because we see how women are preyed upon regardless of whether they want it or not. The issue is to attack the moral cancre, that cancer that is normalising out of wedlock relationships or the sugar daddy/mommy reality, needless to mention the fact that in Accra, there is no man that is as single as the married man.
I’m not surprised at Ghanaians attitude the moeshas interview. Ghanaians easily judge. But your script is on point. I have married friends both male and female who stil have affairs with other married pple. This is not unheard of. She’s only pointed out what the hypocrites can’t say. I’m not saying it’s right but it’s the truth. Pple shd stop pointing fingers and leave her alone and stop the insults. We need to hold our leaders accountable. Loads of graduates finish their education nd can’t find jobs. What wld you want them to do if a rich man approaches them with all the goodies? Loads of girls at uni have married men who pay their fees cos their parents can’t afford it.
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