Love Across Borders: To Be Or Not To Be?


Okay, as usual I am going to bring nollywood into this write up -(Obi no run away o biko). I remember watching a Nollywood flick about 2 years ago called Bafana Bafana which featured two star crossed lovers, one Yoruba and One Igbo who fell in love with each other and decided to get married. Of course both sides of the family had issues with the whole idea of these two getting married because of the stereotypes and often times truths that exists about these two ethnic groups. They went ahead and got married because they loved each other. At the end of the movie – everything was resolved and both sides realized that they were one happy extended family (insert awwwwwwwwwwww here) but let’s bring this topic back to reality. We know that it is no big secret that Nigeria with its many ethnic groups, languages and indigenes often times refuses to cross borders when it comes to love. Many groups prefer to marry within their own groups and this idea is fully supported by many parents. But, I have often wondered what happens when a person finds themselves in a different region of Nigeria, Africa, or the world and find themselves in love with someone from that part of the world. Do they say oh my gosh …hell no only my peeps and no one else?

I remember when one of my family members was actively looking – she refused to go across cultural lines – to her, if the guy wasn’t Igbo he shouldn’t allow the words – I love you cross his lips because she had no time for that. I once asked her why and she mentioned so many reasons but one of them was that less work was involved in dating someone from her ethnic group in comparison to other ethnic groups….I remember thinking hmmm and oh by the way, she is getting married soon and he is Igbo.

But, I have to admit that I have crossed that cultural line several times (might explain why I am so comfortable with people from certain countries) and personally I really do not see what the big deal is? Of course, if you do decide to cross lines, you have to be open minded, be willing to learn about your significant other, most importantly you must let go of those stereotypes and just be. So to my dear brothers and sisters – the world has some of the most beautiful people both externally and internally – let’s mix and mingle.

Question for you:
Have you ever dated beyond your cultural borders? Why or why not?

If you did – what were the problems that you had?

Will you recommend intercultural dating – why or why not?

Will you support and intercultural marriage – why or why not?


  1. Yes I have dated out of Naija. Two other African countries. I find that the ones from west Africa are much easier to deal with because our cultures are similar. Now the ones from the other regions mmnnhh, a little different. You will find married men routinely going out to clubs and drinking, hanging out while the wives are at home. They come home drunk just about every weekend, and it seems to be ok. Or sometimes you will see their women drinking till they are drunk and when it is time to go home they will decide that the one that is not as drunk will drive them home. We don't see that in naija, regardless of the ethnic group O! I still prefer naija sha.

    • pls!! naija men are notorious for club hoppin and drinking and flirting with the next chick in the short skirt!

  2. why not? all those stereotypes are archaic and mundane as well as ignorant supported by older gen nigerians (whom I hate so much). Love is limited when marriage is confined within ones own tribe, marriage then becomes not that special bond btw man and woman but a duty to ones heritage / society. Untill we eradicate wierd cultural beliefs by cross-cultural polination (lol) we will be bound by these wierd stereotypes and boundaries created by the elders. Like my fav. African head of state. T.Sankara said: CULTURE IS A FORM OF SELF IMPOSED IMPERIALISM!

  3. I don't think this is a big issue. I wouldn't have problem with that because my Dad did cross the line; if he didn't cross, I won't be here. to the issue, gone are those days when cultural diffrences were a big issue no the whole world is driving towards one direction bigger than 'that how's it's done from the time of our forefathers' btw we don't control who we fall in love with.. so If your so closed minded to miss the right person when they do come around..then I'm sorry for you.

  4. I fully support intercultural dating and intercultural marriage. if it works for you, then so be it. I understand the desire to stay within one's ethnic group and I think there's much to be said for the continuation of one's culture and the familiarity that comes with staying within one's ethnic group.

    Personally, my interests have run the gamut – Argentine, Moroccan, Dominican (and he spoke absolutely NO English – I speak Spanish), Turkish, and Pakistani. Of course, I've also been interested in Igbo guys, but my mind is completely open. I would definitely never pass up an opportunity with someone because they weren't Igbo. I love learning new cultures and as hard core as I am about my Igbo heritage, I have no qualms that any children of an intercultural relationship would be fully aware and immersed in their mother's culture as well as their father's. I disagree that culture is a form of self-imposed imperialism. Culture is something that (ideally) would be celebrated and appreciated. The fact that it isn't is not a failure of culture, it's failure of man.

    That said if I fall in love with someone of another culture, I'll embrace that fully 🙂

  5. Intercultural is an understatement..!..:). My Fiancé is a European, we met while i was studying/working here in EU and will soon be getting married after being together for almost 3 years.Her family is quite open-minded, mine as well and she gets along well with my sisters and Mom.I really don't see any big deal in it.

    Friends from 9ja keep asking me 'na ur mugu be dis'..Our people's mentality..[permit me to use this phrase]…is screwed up.I am fine if someone doesn't like the intercultural thing but being this divisive

    about it is awful and rude.

    I hope you guys can put up this kind of forum more often and spread it wide to see if we can at least cure our own generation of this myopia.

    RCd.. I feel you..

  6. I am not your typical Nigerian but I will try and answer the questions

    Have you ever dated beyond your cultural borders? Why or why not?

    Yes, I have. Why? Well he asked me out and he was cool so I said YES.

    If you did – what were the problems that you had?

    He simply didnt have enough "time" to spend with me.

    Will you recommend intercultural dating – why or why not?

    I believe in Equal Opportunity Dating…so yes…you never know where you will find love.

    Will you support and intercultural marriage – why or why not?

    As long as both parties are happy…sure thing…why not?

  7. I don't believe that marrying from different cultures should be a problem, but to be complettely honest I will also have to say that I cannot see myself ending up with a northerner. And although I have a number of close muslim friends and I grew up in the north, I cannot envision getting married. and for me it is more of a religious issue that a cultural issue. But I have to say that although I am not Igbo, growing up in the north and all of the negative history does not help the matter.

    Another fact that sometimes seems contradictory is the fact that I am also more likely to date outside my race, than to date from other African countries, and I don't have a good reason for that except it might just be a factor of the places that I have lived and the people from both groups that I have been introduced to.

    What do people think about this, I would love to see an article about the inter-racial issue versus inter-cultural issue and find out if I am just some random Nigerian anomaly.

  8. I dont have a problem with inter racial dating and marriage.

    and i have come to realize that alot of people like your cousin who insist on same tribe,are people who

    decide to settle for what they are familiar with and are too scared to explore something different,most times its to satisfy their families.

    i am married to a european and i am loving every moment,its different yes,but i want difference not same things that i grew up to meet.

    the only problems u experience being married to someone from another race,is the people from your race

    thinking they know why you are there.

    and you get strange stares from African men and women .

    dare to be yourself and dont hang out with anyone cos you think it will be more acceptable,afterall

    you re the one in the relationship.

  9. These days you have to broaden your horizons O! Good men/women are HARD to come by so why limit yourself to one culture? Go where you find love!

  10. intercultural dating? cool. been there, done that. intercultural marriage? that's a whole other thing! when i was dating outside my cultural, there was no stress because we were just having fun, enjoying each other's company. however, the topic came up a few times about how things would go if we did get married…we laughed our asses off. the thought was kinda ludicrous, ya know? we'd have to deal with our judgemental parents and face society's lashing tongue, compomise alot when it came to cultural traditions and expectations, and many other issues. I like my share of vanilla ice cream, but i can do without it if the price is too high.


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