By Gibril Saine
It is often said that Men are from Mars, and Women … well … no consensus on that, but let’s skip that part for argument sake. The topic in question is LOVE. Romantic love, not the erotic type. An unrequited love. Transactional love. But LOVE, unconditionally it’s true.
The aim of this article is to provoke thought and discussion amongst the Senegambia diaspora asking such questions as, what is love, and what does it look like? Should love be unconditional, or business-like? Does true love even exist anymore, if so, why the high-rate of divorce, and such transactional prenuptials? It is fair to assume that the type of true love our folks and forefathers behold has long gone. Human beings have come to a greater understanding about the emotions which make the world go round, and the complexity of relationships is vital to this. It is true that all of us hold feelings for others, but these feelings differ according to the people and situation to be had. In short, modern marriages have turned into contract agreements like never before. A love of convenience, as who gets what in the event of divorce. Those business-like arrangements as seen in certain marriages is akin to a transaction between rivals. In recent years, however, people have become bored a short while after tying the knot – The Facebook effect in African communities reconnecting with childhood sweethearts. Old love thus became the new thing on the side-line. The side chick – reminiscent of high-school. Man is inherently selfish always seeking New Thrills. Temptations of the heart drive us in ways too juicy to detail here – of ideas, and desires committing adultery. It is so unfortunate observing that cheating has broken down many-a-marriage in Senegambia and its diaspora.
Historically, romance and erotic love is based on magnetism and powerful sex which gets most people in trouble – CHEATING. Women will tend to flirt when a love interest suddenly appears, whereas men are inclined to heart-beats of dangerous sensations. In the heat of the moment when two hearts beat as one, such emotional connections should have meaning, and a happy ending. But since we live in a consumer society, people always want new. Women often sort the new thing in style. Married men troubled by the new chick in town. The new trend, new club, new excitement seeking new sex, and this is where the troubles and stress begin. All guys are bothered with insecurities. A beautiful woman on the arm does boost our ego. Sad isn’t it lol. And as society becomes prosperous, temptations come in droves tearing families apart. Resistance is required! Because romance, as we know it from the 90’s is all but hard to find. This is precisely why we encourage couples to communicate and build trust. Unconditional love is like security, rekindling hopes and pleasures marriage offers. And at a time of universal need, it is incumbent upon those of us to provide good neighbourliness to Gambian families starved of joy and laughter due to Yaya Jammeh’s crimes. The little things make hearts happier, even joyous laughter.
Seek a Wife – If one finds oneself restless. Man should learn to channel such unspent energy thru productive means that stimulate the mind. The power of prayer is uncanny quelling such wild thoughts! The grass is not always greener on the other side meaning whatever glitters is not gold. If you have a wife or husband and establish family, share each other’s companionship. Marriage needs work as much as a plant needs tender care to flourish. Men and women should reflect on the teachings of the Islamic faith, hence marriage is such a blessing, and profitable too. Prayer as saviour! Often time we find our own families way too involved in our marriage affairs, and this has also often led to conflict and even eventual divorce. Quality chatter preferred over too much talk.
The West Africa diaspora is an industrious and enterprising group settling into immigrant life. A history-making people exceeding expectations. As our offspring excel at schools and sports halls – future leaders in the making. For, Europe is experiencing transformational change in ways more than one. Although impossible to predict, families should reposition taking advantage of the opportunities therein. Governments on the continent have recognised that the old norms of racism and White supremacy do not apply anymore. The 21st century brings with it new ideas and new ways of thinking. A new people – black renaissance is the fulfilment of the black race, awoken from slumber registering excellence in all spheres.
History has taught me that great leaders often do good marriages, which in turn is the key to a happy home. Leaders such as Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela, Sir Dawda Jawara, shed loads of empathy for those under their leadership. The humanity they exhibit is only matched by the humility it carries. Humility further maintains the heart content. But as for love – the good old love has become transactional, hollow, and impure. When a man truly loves, she becomes all the things that make hearts melt. At a time of despair, her touch I regain strength. Whenever she cry, the horizon becomes dull. When she travels, I’m awake all night upset at letting her go. When other men greet her, his eyes swell with jealous rage. To him, she is the better-half and the most precious thing in life. Amusingly, however, people tend to equate money as a license to love. But a real woman, a woman of substance well-raised and dignified in every sense seeks something substantive. For her, money is only a necessity and should not define a relationship. Love, if unconditional does not cost a thing – it remains evergreen and grows even thru a drought.
Mr Gibril Saine