I FOUND myself laughing to the point of tears the other day when I read an update on Facebook.
It was a clip of a newspaper ad which read (and I kid you not): Single Tanzanian Lady 35-47 searching for European, American or Australian man for intimate relationship. The ad went on with the lady describing herself fully — that she has been working hard on her career and now is the time for her to start a family.
It went on to say that the successful candidate would be expected to provide hands-on help around the house. Benefits of the job would include (but limited to) loving home environment, laughs hugs and loyalty. It went on and on and ended with ‘Ex-boyfriends need not apply’.
The whole ad had me laughing but the last part had me gasping for air. Ex-boyfriends need not apply. She was looking to hire a man; offer employment in the position of her significant other, possible future husband and father to her children. We have resulted in newspaper ads.
What next? Billboards on Ali Hassan Mwinyi Road with your enlarged passport size picture with brief background and full contact details? My first thought was who approaches a relationship, any intimate relationship, as a job? Who wants to be loved as part of a job? She was clearly off her mark on this. That’s said, there was the part of her choice.
Advertising in a Tanzanian daily searching for a European, American or Australian man was a titbit limiting for her to gain positive results. I mean, how many of these fellows are in Tanzania? How many are single and ready to mingle with a Tanzanian lady who advertised on a newspaper?
These guys usually travel with their families or at the very least have a girlfriend on standby back in their countries. I would expect questions would come up — Is she social? Would she expect a great relationship to come out of a newspaper (job) ad? Would she expect to treat the relationship as a job?
This was not the first time I saw an ad like this and in fact my girlfriends and I always discuss how Dar is such a small place and that meeting new people is hard. The ratio of men to women grows more uneven with there being more and more gorgeous, well educated women in Dar and in Tanzania in general.
That said, placing an ad on a newspaper daily searching to start a relationship is not the way forward. A relationship which could also be described as a business partnership or employment opportunity. How does that work? What happened to the thrill and excitement of meeting someone and enjoying the different natural phases of a human relationship? Would it have been better if she didn’t place an ad on a newspaper? Yes.
Desperation has never been a good colour on anyone. It has taken the human race years to wrap its head around Internet dating sites; we’re not yet there with newspaper ads especially in Tanzania. I can’t speak for men but based on the knowledge my Dad bestowed on me of their thinking, she won’t get far.
A friend of mine brought to my attention another newspaper ad of the same nature. But this one didn’t ask for a mzungu, but rather a Tanzanian. What Tanzanian man you know would answer a newspaper ad from a lady looking for a husband? They would all ask the question, what is wrong with her?
She would have a better chance of getting a relationship with a man by walking up to him, hitting him over the head with a blunt object and taking him back to her home and placing him under house arrest.