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Demystifying African women’s attraction to white men

What is it that African women see in white men? Is it that white men treat them better than African men or have more money? Is it both?

Whatever it is, relationship experts such as Dr Chris Hart think there is a universal tendency for women to have a preference for foreign men.

“It doesn’t matter where you come from. It happens all over the world. In Uganda, for example, you will hear the local women praise Kenyan men, yet if you asked Kenyan women, they think that their men are terrible… and yet they’re talking about the same men,” Dr Hart says.

There is a belief among  Kenyan women that Europeans and Americans treat women better. The secret of the white man, these women believe, is that they are raised to respect women.

Some of the women we talked to say most white men do not differentiate chores for men and women. White men are said to help with work around the house, pull chairs and open car doors for their women, buy flowers and shower their wives with endearments, attributes that probably make Kenyan women find them attractive.

There is, of course, the money factor. White men are believed to have a lot of it, and because of this, Kenyan girls looking for an easy way out believe the white man is their ticket out of poverty.

“In general, a person who can afford an air ticket is sure to have a certain amount of money. That’s for sure, but  does not mean that this person is rich?” Dr Hart asks.

Dr Gidraph Wairire, a sociology lecturer at the University of Nairobi, believes  the allure of the white man boils down to Africans’ inferiority complex, which makes African women to believe that white men are better than their African counterparts.


“Owing to colonisation, many black women tend to be submissive to the white race, and this often makes them think that white men are superior to black men.

“This is why many tend to scout for relationships with white men, even online,” Dr Wairire says.

Majority of the white men in relationships with black women have been in previous relationships with white women which failed, hence they want to try out a different avenue, according to the scholar.

“When they meet these girls — women who are very vulnerable because of their perception that white men are superior — our girls become easy prey,” he says.

Social media has aggravated this fad, making bi-racial relationships only a click away. A big number of bi-racial couples met online, on Facebook and other networking sites, which are their main channels of communication.

The Rev Loise Noo, a counselling psychologist, is sceptical about such relationships.  “A very low percentage of couples who meet online actually go on to have successful relationships that lead to marriage,” she says.

By the time one goes online to look for a partner,  one may be trying to avoid the scrutiny that a face-to-face meeting would allow, says the counsellor, who is also an Anglican Church of Kenya priest.

She thinks that often, those who prefer to meet online want to hide something. “It may be physical imperfections that may not allow them to fit into what society thinks is beautiful or it may be an emotional flaw they are afraid will come out to light too early.”