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Opinions of Thursday, 19 October 2017

Columnist: Nana Obiri-Yeboah

Sex is the gateway

Life is empty and meaningless without someone to love and take care of you genuinely like your parents. One of the saddest thing in life is, coming from a poor home or economically weak family background, especially in Africa where I come from where the family support system is collapsing or virtually non-existent.

I had a conversation with a wealthy man from Ghana about why he can’t offer help to vulnerable women without expecting sexual favors in return.

He looked at me as if I was crazy. ‘I want to assist a woman who is independent and who would be more of an asset than liability’, he responded.

The wealthy man prefers helping a woman who can be grateful to him in a special way(sex). To him there are pros and cons to helping women from poor backgrounds but the cons outweigh the pros.

He believes a lot of poor women have an insatiable appetite for money, and then become greedier and ungrateful. So he prefers “Sex for Money”. At this point I concluded that most women do things out of desperation.


My name is Nana Ama, a final year student of a university in Ghana. During the first few months, I made my meager wages selling second hand clothes on the street. I was making barely enough to live on, but working on my thesis left little time to work during day time.

I was getting hungrier and hungrier, and I couldn’t even buy a vegetable. I was doing my normal routine after a long research day, but it was already late, I was very tired, and there was barely anyone around.

I was getting ready to pack it in, when a guy approached me, perhaps in his late 20s or early 30s. He watched my routine, and applauded me politely, then asked if I wouldn’t mind going for some drinks with him.

We went to a local drinking spot, and he bought me cocktails, and we had a lovely conversation.

He said he had a hot tub and invited me back. I said I didn’t have a swimsuit, but he told me it was okay, we could go buy one. He picked out a blue one-piece for me and we headed back to his place.

Whiles there, I changed into my new swimsuit and went out to the hot tub, and he was already soaking in there with drinks prepared, I climbed in and they made some more. Ssmall talk, until, seemingly out of nowhere, he said “How much?”

My heart skipped. Up until this point, I honestly thought we were on a date and he was interested in me. But I tried to not let it show. I was hungry, and barely scraping by, and desperate times… but I had no idea how much a fair price would be.

“How much do you think?” I asked. He said Gh70. I laughed, and wanted to see how far I could push it. He said Gh100. I didn’t even acknowledge it. Then he said Gh120. I talked him up to Gh150. I couldn’t believe I was haggling for my body.

He reached into his pants, sitting on the concrete next to the hot tub, and dug Gh150 out of his wallet, he asked me to sleep with him first, I HAD NO OPTION. I turned around, facing away from him.

He got behind me and pulled my bathing suit off to the side. My heart was in my throat, and I was nearly trembling. I couldn’t believe what was happening. Then, just like that, he was inside me and there was no going back.

As far as sex goes, it wasn’t bad. He ended up taking me back to the apartment I was squatting in. I remembered later that we hadn’t wore a condom. I freaked out for a while, until all the tests for everything came back, but once I found out I was not pregnant and clean, I wasn’t relieved.

I cried. Being homeless had already made me invisible to most people, and scum to the rest. Now I had sunk even lower. It’s strange, the things people do out of desperation.


The answer is messy and undeniably complicated on all levels. Rich or smart men can easily take advantage of some ladies or dictate their own happiness.

Women who are consistently taken advantage of by men are often kindhearted individuals looking to please everyone or with poor backgrounds.

Their obvious desire to make everyone happy, get promoted at work, more money to follow fashion or get support for their upkeep and feel appreciated is often seen as a weakness or a soft spot. Their vulnerability is taken as weakness and men often capitalize on this trait to bend on to their benefit.

It is never easy, especially in Africa. Settling in a company, that does not have your best interest at heart sets you up for inevitable trials down the road as a woman. An awful thing, but it is, unfortunately, a reality many ladies face every day.

Emotional imbalances and a fear of walking away can lead ladies to stay or fall in situations where their interests and actions are easily taken advantage of.


Girls from the poorest families in the developing world are mostly victims of child marriage. Sometimes girls themselves believe that marriage will be a solution to secure their future.

Giving a daughter in marriage allows parents to reduce family expenses by ensuring they have one less person to feed, clothe and educate.

Families may also see investing in their son’s education as more worthwhile investment. In some cases, marriage of a daughter is a way to repay debts, manage disputes, or settle social, economic and political alliances.

In some communities, when girls start to menstruate, they become women in the eyes of the community. Marriage is therefore the next step towards giving a girl her status as a wife and mother.

Traditional practices often go unquestioned hmm.


To keep her job? This is something I will touch on in my subsequent editions.


When you are good to a woman, a GRATEFUL woman will always remember you. You may never know that, but she will.

She will think about the way you sacrificed for her, made her laugh or the way you dried her tears. She will remember the way she could speak to you for a few minutes but get everything she wants.

She will remember that you genuinely made her feel like a woman, that even when she was wrong, you still make her feel like a woman.

You will be the standard for all of the men in her life that follow. If they can’t compete with you or do better, they become bottom of the barrel. You are the man whose shoes no one has yet to outshine. Continue to be that man because there is a woman who is going to adore you and appreciate you for everything you are worth.

Some women may choose to be UNGRATEFUL. That woman who you once picked from nowhere and catered for, will become less caring, and less nurturing.

Her heart will grow colder. She won’t recall anything you did for her. She is blind and will continue to hurt you, stab you in the back and lie about you. She will think its okay to disassociate herself from you after getting all the necessary push in life.

Romans 12:17-21

Says: Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. : “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”
On the contrary

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

This does not mean that you allow yourselves to be treated badly either, but it means opening your heart to good women. It means being a compromising person. It means being forgiving, and nurturing… the kind of man who would make a good husband and father.

Do not be a doormat for a woman who does not appreciate your effort, however, if the woman needs you, be kind and DON’T look for anything in return because we live in ‘De-Unpredictable’ world.