Can I be (in love) with you?


My Zambian friend always mentions that there is something special about Zimbabwean men. They appear smart and well spoken.

They know how to seduce women who easily fall in their trap! Male expariates have also noticed this trend.

A friend once pointed out the interesting correlation between European girls and Zimbabwean men. I guess he was jealous: he asked me if Zimbabwean men are really that good in bed!

I can not really comment on that. But my different Zimbabwean experiences as a girlfriend, a small house and a muroora-to-be make me wonder: are we experimenting with each other? Is anything between us possible? Can I truly be in love with you?

Of course, past the first excitement and discovery, a zimbo-european relationship faces the usual intricacies.

I wish we could go out more often, you wish you could go out more often. You like soccer, I like theatre. You watch TV, I listen to the radio . . . It requires patience in our daily life but it is all very manageable.

Having a multi-cultural relationship is a big challenge.

From the food I eat to the god you worship, the very core of our reality will be under scrutiny.

What I wear or your opinion on my friends will be sources of disagreements. I will criticise you for being intolerant. You will blame me for being dogmatic.

More than patience we will need thoughtfulness.
Besides our relatives will not help. What will our family say?

I can picture it very clearly from my racist old aunt: “Your boyfriend is black! He is African!” I guess she would have dealt better with a West Indian but at least you are not Muslim (please, note the foolish and irrational nuances in prejudices).

Thankfully, the language barrier will prevent you from understanding most of it.

Your family will ask about my cooking skills and my intentions to learn and respect traditions.

You will have to justify your choice in a white woman when there are so many well-behaved black women out there. They will find me irreverent. I will find them retrograde.

Next if we have found the right balance and become really serious, how will we raise our kids?

From the choice of names to the language we speak at home, who will compromise?

How much of your culture and how much of my culture will we be able to share? What role will we play as parents?

Finally where will we live? In Europe, we will face daily racism and our (hypothetical) coloured kids will feel uprooted.

As a matter of fact, you might not even be authorised into the schengen stronghold. In Africa, we will have to deal with the stares and the looks.

You will have to bear with my longing for home. I will have to put up with your family.

It appears that it is structurally impossible to be (in love) with you.

As a French poet once said: “There is no love which is not pain/ There is no love which does not bruise/ There is no love which does not fade/ There is no happy love.”