Toke Makinwa's comment reflects the big culture of transactional relationships in Nigeria.
Media personality and vlogger Toke Makinwa has a knack for rousing Nigerians.
Her regular vlog on love, sex and relationships regularly stir up a backlash from Nigeria's Twitter community that is insane about relationships.
Toke Makinwa's opinion on preferring when men actually make telephone calls than WhatsApp calls and texting has managed to piss off people again.
The on-air-personality did state it was her personal opinion and not a rule of thumb but the mob will be the mob. Half of the mob are calling for head and the other half are in support of what she said.
Toke Makinwa has a right to free speech so this is not about what she said. The important thing about her statement is that it reinforces the transactional relationship culture in Nigeria.
Feminism is making strides in Nigeria and it slowly but gradually changing the narrative on the equality of sexes. Both man and woman are equal and are expected to invest the same amount of time, money and energy in a relationship.
This is meant to be the ideal but there are many who believe (both men and women) that men have to spend a whole lot to gain the attention of a woman.
Listen to Nigerian pop songs. Most of them are filled with lyrics of a man promising a woman heaven and earth. The singer begs a fair maiden to look his way and he will spend all his money on her and even go broke because of her.
In standard Nollywood movies, a Nigerian man woos a woman by taking her out to eat, shopping and to the beach. It is an unwritten rule that in Nigeria that a man must spend money before a woman can be with him. Yes, there are people who are exceptions to this but they are few, they don't even make up a sizable minority.
The expensive bride price in certain parts of the country has reinforced this belief that a man must do away with his money to show he is serious about a woman.
Data to make a WhatsApp call is cheap, a negligible amount of money. Still, it is the notion behind it that a man must part with his money no matter how little. And unknown to Toke Makinwa and her supporters both parties actually pay for WhatsApp calls and not the person calling.
There is no crime in a woman picking up the phone to call a man she is interested in. Nigerian women like this do exist but when an influential person's opinion comes out, the highly impressionable would latch on to it as the truth.
The WhatsApp statement further reinforces the culture that men must splash the cash before a woman takes him seriously. It's an outdated culture but unfortunately, a lot of people are benefiting from it.
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