Disharmony among the ranks of male professional blacks fills the air with unease not too dissimilar to that of being black in that province with bicycle lanes and De Klerk Boulevard. Suitable places to meet women are becoming limited. For peers in their late twenties and early thirties, the appeal of clubs and bars has long lost its taste. Homebrewed approaches in the real world are also afflicted with the need for temporary economic relief.
Let me explain.
Recently, in the suburb of Meadowlands, Soweto, Nyiko Maluleke, was in the throes of courting one yellow complexioned, Precious Zondi on a balmy Saturday afternoon. While Zondi appeared to be listening attentively to Maluleke’s lyrical prose and smiled warmly at his comedic turns, she maintained a silence which in the mind of our Romeo, could have meant that she was shy or something was amiss. After enquiring about her sedate demeanour despite his unleashing top drawer material, she voiced her concern about an upcoming job interview she had to go to on Monday.
Zondi needed some money to go to an internet cafe to print her cv; she also needed taxi fare to get to Sunninghill for the interview. As a professional black, Maluleke was down for the cause, and gave Zondi R100. He felt that the deed would also go a long way towards cementing relations between the two - and if anything he would have played a small part in helping a sister find a job.
Later that day our romantic hero bumped into a friend that lived on the same street as his potential Juliet. He related his encounter with Precious to this character who was the sort of chap who always seemed to take pleasure in delivering bad news to people.
“Hawu boy, ulahlile mfana,” this person said to Maluleke. “Lo mntwana uthenge ilast number yekota ne two litre ngale clippa umgaye yona. CV for what, interview for who?”
Disillusioned but not discouraged, Maluleke had to seek another approach to finding love.
Maluleke sought counsel from his friend and confidant Zamani Sedibe, who had become engrossed in Tinder, the dating app which lets you choose potential mates solely on the strength of their pictures. If you like a lady you swipe right, if not then you swipe left and a new one will appear. If a lady reciprocates your right stroke then you will have a match wherein you will proceed to have a chat.
Maluleka liked the sound of this and immediately downloaded the app on his smart phone. But soon enough, Maluleke realised that he had to wade through white girl upon white girl before getting to a black goddess. He became accustomed to swiping left that he would often do it by mistake on black women due to the lack of blackness. He was not about integration and assimilation. Sedibe urged Maluleke to remain steadfast.
“When I got on the app a year ago, I would see a black lady once a day,” Sedibe explained.
“The number of black women is certainly growing, you just have swipe through the riff raff until you find black women.”
Maluleke persevered and found joy on a number of occasions and even secured a date with a pretty woman. When he first got the match, he asked himself what a beautiful lady was doing on such platforms. But he decided to relegate this thought to the back of his mind. When she walked into the restaurant for the date, he knew why. She was overweight, his mind immediately shot back to the pictures he had poured over several times, and he realised that all of them were head shots and nothing below the shoulders. She was pretty alright, but there were no full body images. He felt deceived once again, but he was a gentleman and made sure she had a good time.
He went back to Tinder, and this time he looked beyond the images and delved into the bios of those who decided to take time to write one. Although the number of black women joining the app increased by the day, he was stunned by some of their bios.
“I am a 22 year old chick from Ghana but currently based in Sandton until my mission is done in South Africa,” began one bio.
“I am just trying my luck here, but please note that I am not interested in Africans, Indians, blacks and coloureds. If you are stingy please move along. I am looking for a guy that can spoil me. I am not interested in poor guys, you can call me whatever you want to, I don’t care. I’m just being honest.”
Gentrification and their bloody markets also made sure that everyone described themselves as “foodies” or “wine lovers” in their biographies. Black Tinderists love nature, cats, horses, dolphins and are arborists.
Maluleka, started thinking that perhaps, Precious makota was not so bad after all. None the less he retained his faith in Tinder, noting that blacks are merely late adopters and that one day Tinder will be as popular as Mxit, Whatsapp and Facebook is in the black community. If Black Twitter can exist, then Black Tinder is surely on the cards.
This article first appeared on Sunday World