Heart of Arts

No Money, No Romance!

Toyin Falola

Keere o! TF is having a town hall meeting with all modern-day females by birth.

I know I will likely be dragged by my cute white beards after this piece, but you should know by now that TF does not care. I will speak the truth, and you all will be ashamed. Durhh!

As my drinking buddies told me, they must now pay for the fake hair, the makeup, the lunch and dinner, pepper soup and drinks. Small stuff! And they need money for trips to Dubai. As reported to me, one asked her boyfriend: “You are yet to take me to London.” The man was quiet. Answer now! “The Ghana that you took me to looks like Nigeria!” Still, he did not answer. The angry person concluded: “My mum told me that one cannot carry cash around and remains broke.” She has assets that are convertible to cash!

Dear jasi women, the money-conscious slay queens who cannot date broke men even when they do not get shishi for hand. If you ask them what they bring to the table, they will tell you, “I am the table.” According to them, they have high standards, and that standard is just the “money standard,” a standard they cannot meet, yet they want a man to meet and even exceed that standard just because he is a man. It may even be acceptable if it is coming from very valuable women who have made something worthwhile of themselves, not the many lazy, entitled suegbes roaming about now.

You know, I find it humorously strange how the relationship enterprise has now been transformed into an economic transaction in this generation. Are you dating men or dating their pockets? The mantra of some women is now “No romance without finance.” Their daily reminder is, “Never date a broke man.” Women have been doing it all along, but nowadays, it seems to have become the new normal. The purpose of having a boyfriend is not about friendship but solely about money: the transaction of money for sex.

I will say my mind. Let us have a heart-to-heart talk. What exactly is wrong? Where did you get this bambiala curse from? It has now gotten to a point where a man would want to woo a woman, and the question she will be asking him is what his current account balance reads before deciding whether to date him or not. Ki le gbe, ki le so: What did we carry, what did we throw?

In their words, “there is no romance without finance.” This is why they put men on a scale and weigh their pockets before deciding whether he is the one for them or not. Their only test of compatibility is how deep a man’s pocket is, and if their financial needs are served, every other thing is not their business. Dating or marrying a rich man is equivalent to winning a lottery. You no get money, you dey fall in love with a woman, but for a woman who is financially incapacitated, all she needs is a rich man to sponsor her high standard life; after all, why should two broke people be in a relationship? And it is the man who is supposed to have the money.

The way this relationship enterprise is going nowadays, men will soon start paying women to breathe. You might just start to hear things like, “Babe, I just woke up this morning, and I realized that I don’t have enough oxygen in my lungs, can you send money for oxygen? You know I live and breathe for you.” Monday, it is airtime. Tuesday, bone straight worth almost a million Naira (money for one or two plots of land in Ibadan). Wednesday, it is lunch in the middle of the ocean. Thursday, dinner in the moon. Friday to Sunday, a weekend getaway in the Bahamas.

Do not forget the fact that this set of women who make the most noise about this have no money to take care of themselves, not to talk of their families. They are as broke as church rats, but the life their father could not afford to give them the life they cannot afford; they expect somebody’s son to give them just because their body structure was created like that of Eve. I thought Layi Wasabi said, “what you cannot afford, you avoid”? But no, what these women cannot afford is what they run after. Every day of their lives, there is a campaign against dating broke men or men who refuse to spend lavishly on them. You do not even have a bicycle yourself, but you cannot date a man who does not have a car. Dating a man who has a car is not even enough; he must be able to buy you your car; if he cannot afford it, then he does not meet your standards. Red flag alert. Supo arogomu!

It has become a serious epidemic that is fast spreading even to teenage girls who are still battling with the simultaneous equation in SS1, looking for older men and even boys their age who are into Yahoo-Yahoo– learnt from their elder brothers or one egbon adugbo– that will pamper them like the queen they are. A 15-year-old Pablo and Pablet relationship that is money-driven. Their future ambition is to be a rich man’s wife without personal goals and ambitions. Their role models are BBN stars and lousy, unintelligent women on the internet who live miserable lives but cover it up with makeup and nice clothes.

Mind you, before you misquote me or misinterpret this piece, understand that I am not preaching that women should date broke men or suffer with a man. It is okay to want an established man and not one without financial security, but insulting or broke-shaming a man because he cannot afford your delulu lifestyle is such ridiculous gutter behaviour. This is beyond being materialistic; it is greed and senselessness to expect a man to be financially buoyant just because he is a man, and he must be able to give you the life of your dreams.

Many women are staying long in the Association of Single Pringles because they are fishing for the man of their dreams with high standards and deep pockets. Truly, you cannot separate a man from the provision, and it will always be the role of a man to provide financially in a relationship, but since it has gotten to the point where men will be shamed for being broke and not being able to provide extravagantly in a relationship, then women need to take few doses of common sense. Some are suffering in toxic and abusive relationships just because the man will definitely apologize with luxurious gifts afterwards. Nothing is new under the sun; her mother was always beaten for free by her wretched father, and she endured it, but for her, there is always expensive compensation and consolation gifts, so what is it that she cannot endure? As a Yoruba proverb says: A kò lè tìtorí pé a fẹ́ jẹran kí a wá máa pe màlúù ní bọ̀ọ̀dá, which translates to mean: “no one defers to calling a cow a brother because one desires to eat beef.” 

A lot of relationships are sex and money-driven: I rub your back; you rub my back. I give you sex; you give me money. The same women who shame an ashawo on the street for exchanging her body for money and being promiscuous are the same women who enter a relationship with a transactional motive, claiming to just have “high standards.” Hanti, is that a subtle term for hookup?

Broke-shaming is devaluing somebody based on the amount of money they have or do not have. Men are mostly the victims of broke-shaming due to the high expectations placed on them by culture and society to be providers. Broke-shaming is equating a man’s worth and values to his financial capacity. A lot of pressure is placed on men to take financial responsibilities and reach certain standards of wealth. It is disgraceful and irresponsible for women to expect men to be rich and be able to finance their expensive lifestyle just because they are men. The women who comfortably lie on this table are women who do not even have their own money but place unnecessary pressure on men, shaming them for being in the same financial position as they are, worse even.

Pushing their financial responsibilities onto men and still claiming to be an independent woman is a shameful behaviour, but as you can expect, most of these women do not have an iota of shame, yet they have the mind to broke-shame men. Look at a pot calling the kettle black! If women do not want to be tagged as gold diggers (although they now take pride in being called that), they should stop casting their financial burdens on a man all in the name of love and stop broke-shaming men who do not meet a certain standard financially. The country’s economy is hard enough that even a salary increase does not really make much difference because prices are skyrocketing by the minute, and the bills never end. Only a very wicked, callous woman will see a man working hard to bring himself out of poverty despite the many hindrances and limitations in the country and still ridicule him for being unable to get her unnecessary wants.

Let me also call out men who use money to woo women because they want to give a ‘rich’ impression, making a woman think you are an Odogwu when, in fact, you are nowhere near one. Your first date was at a restaurant that charged 100k for a plate of food and drinks, and you told her to feel at home and order whatever she wanted. As a woman with a long throat, she too proceeded to order four plates of different delicacies that she does not eat in her father’s house, topped it with the most expensive wine on the menu, everything totalling up to 600k on a first date. But you say to yourself that first impression matters the most. Now, you complain that the same woman broke shamed you because you said 500k is too much for eyelashes and nails. Chibuzor, that first impression is the reason why you are being broke shamed. You do not even know that you are nothing but a laughingstock on her WhatsApp Girlies group. You can find them dragging you on Twitter, though.

Broke-shaming a woman is morally unacceptable and affects their self-esteem. In the same way, broke-shaming men also have negative effects on men, putting them under unnecessary pressure to get money, looking for the fastest and easiest route to becoming rich. This is one of the reasons why fraud and illegal money-making schemes are on the rise in recent times. Broke-shaming does not justify these illegal means of making money, but it contributes to it.

When a woman takes to social media to flaunt things that her partner has recently gotten for her, you will find other women leaving comments such as I did not come to this world to suffer. Understanding girlfriend no dey pay. Words of affirmation cannot buy this one. Fine boy, wey no get money na slay queen. If you are not pressing money, clear. Leave cho cho cho, show workings. All of these are subtle ways of broke shaming.

Dear Jasi women, it is your choice to date or not date men who are not up to your financial standards, and no one will drag you for choosing either, but broke shaming and devaluing men based on their financial status is stupidity of the highest order. Men do not have it easy, as many do not have the privileges women have. Many are struggling and carrying burdens greater than their ages. Work for your own money and allow the body parts to take a rest. Respectfully.

Ire o!

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