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Kulani Nkuna
3 minute read
9 Jan 2014
7:00 am

Finance and romance go hand-in-hand

Kulani Nkuna

Over Black Label quarts and ciders, a conversation at Chaf Pozi, Soweto, gave birth to the "Range Rover theorem".

TROUBLE. Women want to avoid future financial trouble by choosing the "right" man from the beginning. Picture: Supplied.

The ladies at the table contended that any potential suitor keen on getting their attention must at least drive a Range Rover. Because, you see, they are of a certain class and income level and their ideal mate should be of the same (or ideally higher) income level as they are.

The reasoning goes further to suggest that if a fellow drives a Range Rover, dialogue can be established and other pre-requisites for a potential union can be further explored.

“With men, tears and pain is a guarantee,” says Tsakani Mayi-mele, 27. “So it is better to cry in a Range Rover than a taxi. And you can go and buy some shoes afterwards to ease the pain.”

CALLING CAR-D. Cars are usually a good indicator of wealth. Picture: Michel Bega.

CALLING CAR-D. Cars are usually a good indicator of wealth.  Picture: Michel Bega.

Mayimele, like many black South African women in their late twenties, has climbed the corporate ladder quickly and is at an income level that her male counterparts have not yet reached. Women like her drive luxury cars of their own. Some own property and are generally independent.

“Experience has taught me men always feel intimidated when a woman brings home the bacon – and this affects other aspects of the relationship,” says Mayimele.

“They will feel inadequate and make you feel guilty for making more money than them.”

SECURITY. Tsakani Mayimele believes financial prosperity is more important than love. Picture: Supplied.

SECURITY. Tsakani Mayimele believes financial prosperity is more
important than love. Picture: Supplied.

In essence, the crux of the Ranger Rover theorem is not about gold digging. It is about finding a mechanism to avoid the problems involved with possible male inadequacy in the future.

What happened to “love conquers all”? Researcher Xolani Tembu, says socio-economical factors are constantly at play when choosing a partner.

“Today, one cannot dare date below or above your class,” says Tembu.

“Dating has become somewhat tedious as men have become the psychologically hunted. They can no longer freely choose who they want to date without belonging to an appropriate class or being in possession of its perks. The opposite is not true, as women are the ones who have set these standards and they’re neither bound by, nor obligated, to adhere to them. While a question about what a woman needs from a man may yield a response such as ‘someone honest and trustworthy’, the real meaning would be ‘someone who can take care of financial needs’.

“Most men would attest to this truth as most have at some point in their lives been denied, owing to their lack of financial stability, German wheels or ownership of an abode in a secure complex.”

Some constants in terms of seeking to settle down or getting married still remain goals for women, due to traditionally patriarchal views. Marriage that’s not necessarily motivated by love seems to be a relatively more attractive option, however.

All hope is not lost, though, as poet Apiwe Mjambane, 22, recently posted this dreamy status on her Facebook profile: “God please, this year I want to be with someone who has a brain, dreadlocks, they must be light in complexion and they must have a goodlooking bum. And there must be a big heart somewhere in there. And they must also have an insert coin in between their front teeth. An unquestionable love for children is a must and God please, they must have an awesome sense of humour and a tremendous love for jazz. They must also have a great passion for learning … And God … if they don’t love poetry … don’t even bother sending them to me. Amen.”

This is a rather detailed description that hasn’t alluded to financial wellness.

“If I date a person and he has money that’s great for him. I earn my own money,” explains Mjambane.

“I know that in today’s materialistic world, relationships are about who brings what to the table and sentiment is secondary. But money is not a pre-requisite for me in getting into a relationship. I am independent.”