Young, beautiful and feisty; these three words best describe Sheila, a 19-year-old woman who has been married to a Ghanaian man for almost a year now.
When Sheila met Jones, her husband two and half years ago, little did she think their meeting would lead to a substantial friendship, not to talk about a marriage. But something in the way he approached her made her feel he was different from other men she had spoken to.
“I met Jones in front of an African shop in New Jersey. He said he wanted to be friends with me and if it went beyond friendship, then it will be a blessing. He asked if he could get my number and then he called me right in front of me. Can you believe that? He said he had to make sure he had the right number.”
Having been put in foster care due to the instability in her own family, Sheila felt something from Jones she never felt before and before she knew it, she was dangerously in love with him.
“When I was in the foster home, he used to drive all the way down there which was an hour and thirty minutes’ drive just to see me on the weekends. The people down there used to treat me like [crap] but I really I felt like Jones was the only one that loved me. He was there for me in ways that my family wasn’t and that made me fall in love with him.
She admits that her biological family hates her husband and their utter dislike for him made them refuse to attend her modest wedding.
“My family didn’t come to my wedding because they don’t really like Africans too much and my dad, he likes Jones but he feels like I am too young to get married.
“My mum, she hates Jones so much and she has in the past called the cops on him. But I love Jones so much and I’m not going to let anyone interfere with my love for him,” she confessed.
Aside having to let go of some of her many friends and habits, Sheila says marriage to a Ghanaian man has been nothing short of difficult and stressful, especially because she comes from a completely different background. She especially does not enjoy the over dominating attitude of not only Jones, but other African men she has dated.
“It’s extremely different. It’s very hard and it takes a toll on you sometimes. They’re very controlling, possessive… the seriousness kicks in after marriage,” she lamented.
She went on to say, “They don’t it like when their women talk back to them or disrespect them. They want you to have a closed mouth and that’s so far from me because I say what I want to say when I want to say it.”
Her sharp tongue and feisty attitude she said, have led to more than a few fist fights between them, although she insists she is not in an abusive relationship.
“No I’m not being abused because I hit back. There are times where he hits me in the face and I hit him with a frying pan.”
Although the police have been involved quite a number of times in resolving their rather physical disputes, Sheila and Jones have a more effective way of resolving their differences.
“Sex. That is probably why I’m staying too. Africans have the best sex in the universe! No other race can give you sex like an African man can.”
For Sheila, she will always choose an African over an African-American, who to her make some of the worst partners.
“African men treat you in a nice way but they do it in a taunting controlling way. With African-American men, they will embarrass you in public and they will leave you and say that the baby that clearly looks like them isn’t theirs. African men will step up to the plate and do what they have to do.”
With what many will consider as a very emotionally confusing and combustible relationship that has strangely led to a marriage, what binds Sheila and her “African Mandingo” is something a lot of people may never understand. They have been together for over 3 years now and still have a lot of fuel in them to burn. If there is one positive outlook to her marriage, it is the fact that she and her husband grow closer with each passing day.
“From how I see it, he either might kill me or I might kill him or we might get used to each other and finding out that we are meant to be together.”
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