30.06.2011 Feature Article

Flown in Partners of Immigrants Stand Accused (Part 2)

Flown in Partners of Immigrants Stand Accused Part 2
30.06.2011 LISTEN

In the previous article, it was established that a considerable number of African immigrants in western countries arrange for their partners in Africa to join them; but unfortunately, many of the marriages or relationships collapse soon after the lovers are reunited or united. These breakups are blamed on a number of factors; namely: men, lording it over their guest partners and supressing their freedom(or domestic violence); women's unwillingness to make financial contribution towards the upkeep of the household as they hold on to the traditional African notion that it is the responsibility of only the man to handle all household expenses; flown in partners making too many friends and taking bad advice from them; laws of western countries favouring women;sheer greed, particularly on the part of the women; unfaithfulness; the poor living condition of thehost partner; negative family influence and superstitious beliefs; lovers not getting the opportunity to know each other well before getting married or engaged; andfalling in love with the wrong people.

Men lording it over their wives or partners and supressing their freedom: Some African men in diaspora harbour the ill-informed conception that sponsoring their partners to join them in their various western countries of residence gives them the right to control the women and to treat them as maids, slaves and/or sex machines. They usually set ridiculous rules for them to abide by,including the time to arrive home fromwork, where or where not to go, not communicating with any man other than known relatives, etc. Other men also decide to recuperate the monies spent on their partners' trips to the West, and dictate how much of thepartners' weekly or monthly earnings should be given to them. Failure to obey these rules set by the men usually leads to a chain of assaults. Surely, very few women are able to swallow these morsels of dictatorial attitude, especially those relating to money matters. Again, traditionally, women normally look after the home and kids, and cook for the family; so when they come to the west, husbands or partners mistakenly expect them to do almost every household activity – tidying up, cooking, doing the laundry, taking care of children, etc. The ladies initially succumb to the dictates of the men, but not for that long; they become wise after coming into contact with and being influenced by more westernized African women.

Unwillingness on the part of many women to make financial contributions towards the upkeep of the household: Sadly, many African women still hold on to the traditional African notion that it is the responsibility of only the man to handle all household expenses. They thus refuse to make contributions towards the payment of rent, council tax and other utility bills even when they do better jobs and get higher earnings than the men. It is almost certain that many of the marriage breakups are the direct results of financial misunderstanding between couples. Many women are interested in spending their monies on only their personal projects in their home towns or cities, yet they are the first to grumble when say electricity or gas supply is suspended due to non-payment of bills, or something breaks down in the house and is not being repaired.

Making too many friends and taking wrong piece of advice from them: Sadly, a lot of Africans (particularly women) change when they travel abroad. Some African women are very humble when they are in their various home countries in Africa, but as soon as they get to the western world, they begin to grow horns and take the position of their male partners. The sudden change of attitude and behaviour is usually caused by the negative influence of friends on them. They allow themselves to be brainwashed by bad friends and relatives, and at times make the lives of their partners a complete misery.

Laws of western countries favouring women: Because the laws of almost all western countries favour women, some of them take advantage of it to make the lives of their husbands and partners a living hell.Some African women become so greedy and wicked that when there is a little argument with their partners, they call the police accusing them of being abusive and calling for their expulsion from the house they share. They take custody of the house and claim government benefit as single parents if they qualify. They completely forget that these are the men who have spent years working hard not only to sponsor their trips to the West, but also to secure the house they live in. Some evicted partners stay with friends; many make their vehicles their homes (if they have one); and others sleep on public buses, trains, streets, and in phone booths or lifts.

Some African men have committed suicide, others have gone completely mad, and many more are experiencing various forms of mental disorder or breakdown due to the horrible treatment meted out to them by the very women they spent thousands of dollars and huge amount of energy to bring to the West, sponsor their education, and/or to get them good jobs.

Unfaithfulness: A woman scrubs hospital wards all night for years to raise some cash with the intension of bringing her husband or partner close to her, only to witness to her utter bewilderment that they are far more apart than ever, as the partner develops interest in a much younger or prettier woman. Many African immigrants have sacrificed and still continue to sacrifice their hardworking and humble wives or partners for younger but uncultured women.Again, a woman is flown in by her husband;a couple of weeks later she bumps into an ex-lover, a former school mate, or a gorgeous young man, she gets his number and engages in endless phone conversations and facebook chats with him even at awkward hours, and the next minute they are in a secret relationship. When the husband is later alerted and he questions the woman, hell breaks loose. By the time the husband realizes, she has vacated the house they share andis living with the new lover.

Poor living condition of some host partners: An immigrant toils all day for years to raise some money to fly in his trusted wife or partner so they could be together once again, only to be dumped like garbagefor living in a pathetic single room unlike his fellow men who are living in two or three bedroom houses with modern electronics and other facilities, plus posh cars. She completely forgets that it was for her sake that her partner chose that simple and seemingly miserable life-style.

Family interference and superstitious beliefs: A man works for a company for ages; then soon after the arrival of his partner he loses his job and is unsuccessful in his efforts to get his name on the payroll again. He tells his superstitious parents about his situation; they contact a “powerful” pastor or “Juju man” who pronounces that their son's partner is the cause of his woes. He believes the words of the spiritualist that his wife is a witch and pathetically drives her away like a criminal. He completely loses sight of the fact that he is made redundant as a result of a national or global economic downturn, which accidentally coincided with the arrival of the innocent partner.

Failure on the part of lovers to learn more about each other before getting married or engaged: The emergence of innumerable social networks and “soul-mate” searching websites has given rise to what may be termed as INTERNET LOVEwhere people fall in love with persons they know very little or nothing about. The only time the western based people see their lovers face-to-face is when they come home to have the marriage rite done. Others even don't see their lovers face-to-face before asking their families to do the marriage rites, and bringing them over to the West. Is this kind of relationship advisable?

Falling in love with the wrong person: An ordinary or less educated man feels he is in love with a beautiful local lady who is a graduate, but the lady does not return the love hard as the poor man tries to win her heart. The man later finds himself in a western country and thinks it is a great opportunity to get his woman. He gets her mobile number and engages her in regular phone conversations; the lady now gives in, and agrees to marry him. The man allows her beauty to override his reasoning power or common sense. He flies her in after ordering his family to perform the necessary marriage ceremony. A couple of months after her arrival in the western world, she dumps the senseless man and moves in with a more handsome and educated dude. Who is to be blamed? The empty-headed man who wouldn't cut his coat according to his size or the opportunistic ladywho relies on her beauty and intelligence for survival?


NB: No part of this piece may be reproduced without fully crediting the source: the author.


Emmanuel Sarpong Owusu-Ansah (aka Black Power) is a lecturer and an investigative journalist in London, UK. He is the author of 'Fourth Phase of Enslavement: unveiling the plight of African immigrants in the West'. He may be contacted via email ([email protected]).