“I No Be Gentleman At All"

This phrase* is a major line in a song by a legendary Nigerian artist, Fela. I had to go listen to the song again today to make sure he was talking about what I thought he was talking about. And he wasn’t.** LOL!!
Well, anyways, to me that phrase is the perfect opening line that a lot of guys these days should use when approaching a woman ‘cause man oh, man, what on earth has happened to chivalry and overall “gentlemanism”?
Where do I begin? I guess defining what a gentleman is is a good place to start. The dictionary definition is kinda boring (Lol) so lemme give y’all the layman definition: Basically a guy who is gentle. Ok, I’m kidding. A guy who is kind, considerate, somewhat protective, and pleasant in his interactions particularly with women is how I would define a gentleman. Let me give some examples.
A gentleman:
- Holds the door open for a woman
- Offers his jacket when it’s cold
- Pulls out the chair at the restaurant
- Walks beside (and almost behind) not ahead of the lady
- Helps her with bags when she’s got a lot to carry
- Opens the door of the car
And the list goes on. It’s usually about the little and simple things. Am I saying a lot of guys don’t do stuff like this? Yeah, pretty much. I’m not sure why but it seems like guys don’t feel the need to do stuff like this anymore.
I feel as though women are partly to blame. It’s that strong, independent woman thing. Perhaps guys have offered many times and women have refused the help and so they have given up. I do that sometimes and I witnessed a lady do that recently. The guy kept insisting to help her carry something/walk her to her car (at least that’s what it looked like from where I was) and she kept telling him not to worry but he insisted and went all the way (Cue round of applause). Now, I am by no means making excuses for the brothas ‘cause there are guys who don’t care or see the need and there are others who have no clue. What I am saying though is that I think ladies need to give guys more opportunities to be the man. If he offers to hold the door open, let him. If he pulls that chair out, let him. If he offers his jacket, use it (as long as it’s not funky! LOL). You get the point. I’ve been told that guys need to feel needed and if they don’t feel needed they back off. One guy even said he broke up with his ex ‘cause she always “got it”.
And guys if you’re wondering if I’m making this stuff up and if you think women don’t really care about the little stuff, well, get this: I conducted a survey recently asking the women if they care if the man holds the door open and they said they did ‘cause it made them feel special.
Can we go back to those days when things were simple? Please? When men were men and ladies were ladies? Is that too much to ask? Ain’t nothing wrong with being a strong, independent woman but it’s gotta be balanced. And guys, ain’t nothing wrong with being a kind, considerate, somewhat protective and pleasant man either. For some guys, perhaps you weren’t brought up that way so learn. Watch other guys. Watch romantic movies, search the internet. Do what you gotta do. Lol.
I’ve had/seen guys do the opposite of some of the stuff listed above like the guy would be walking in front of me, he’d open the door, walk in and not really bother to see if the door hit me in the face. Not cool at all. When that happens, all I do is think “I no be gentleman at all”, shake my head, and keep it moving.  And by the way, guys like that usually get put in a particular category. Hehe.
Y’all get my point. So what do you think? Ladies, what other “ungentlemanly” things do guys do? Guys, wa gwan? Why do you think chivalry has taken the back seat?

** "I no be gentleman at all" is pidgin English for "I'm not a gentleman at all" :)
**Fela was talking more about how he’s an African man and not a gentleman.  You kinda have to listen to the song to get it.


  1. It’s really that
    strong, independent woman thing sometimes

  2. There are different answers to this. Some girls actually would laugh at a guy doing aome of these things, saying he is "forming americanal or "forming oyinbo"! Guys do not like that!

    1. Hmm, I'd say if you do these things naturally, keep being yourself and doing them. The right woman will appreciate you for your "oyinbo" ways ;) You'd be surprised how many wommen actually like guys that do these things - a lot more than you probably think.

  3. Had me a man who did the whole 9yards,pulling out chairs,opening doors..all that good stuff..and it felt GREAT!!but I didn't really know hw to respond to it cos I was not use to a Naija brother pulling out all the stops...and it wasn't just an act cos the whole duration of our r/ship he did that..till the bitter end!I believe there r still some chivalrous Naija bros out there..the challenge is they are in hiding..!lol!keep hope alive ladies..your 'gentleman' is on his way..any day now...;)


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