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My Man

It must be the sex, definitely

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"Where did you go to school in Kenya?" (Translation: "Do you have an education?) This question comes after "complements" on my English and dress sense among other frivolities. Still I smile and answer the questions.

I am very good at answering not the question asked but rather the intended question. I have spent the day fielding these inquiries. "Have I travelled widely?" (Translation: "How many countries has he taken me to?) The answer is I travelled widely before I met him.

"Whom did I date before him?" Some guy, I answer knowing fully well that they are asking after the identity of the white guy who took me on all those trips. "A Kenyan Kenyan?" one asks skilfully avoiding the words 'black' or 'African'. I respond in the affirmative and clarify that I did not travel with him either. I rolled on my own steam.

The final question comes a couple of minutes later. "Are you planning to go back to school?" Yes, probably in some western country. I see the light set in. Now they have the reason, either a visa or fees, I am dating him. Then they pay me one more complement, "you are a very good dancer." (Translation: "The sex must be amazing for him").

Just like that they have ascertained both our motives. I smile watching them struggle with their envy. See normally they would just be curious whites marvelling that an African girl lives in the same "world" they do but this time their motives run deeper.

I am surrounded by blonde blue-eyed girls, each of whom deems themselves a better candidate for his affections than any of the others. Each of whom thinks anyone of them is a better recipient of his attentions than I am. My motives must be financial; they are struggling to make peace with his choice of me. It amuses and irritates me in equal measures.

Nobody envies the black girl with her ninety-year-old Italian retiree at the coast but the young man in question is not only handsome and intelligent but also from what is described as a "good" family where 'good' is code for 'rich'. This third generation Kenyan is the white boy every black girl should date; if only for the experience of being envied by entitled white girls.

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