Where Can You Find A Date With An African? New York

Saturday, May 21, 2011
By ugandansabroad

Match-making event strives to bring single Africans and non-Africans in the New York City together. 

By Arao Ameny

Ugandans Abroad—

If you are an African living abroad, and you’re young, single, and living in New York City, you are probably looking for a date.  Maybe you want to date someone from a similar background as yourself.  Or you would like to meet someone from another country, race/ethnicity, or culture who at least appreciates the unique African cultural values you bring to the table.

New York is a great place to find an African date.

That’s where Date My African Friend comes in. 

‘Date My African Friend’ is a social event, held at different venues around New York City, to help single Africans meet, socialize and network, and hopefully walk away with a date.

The most recent social took place on April 23 at Manhattan’s Natsumi Japanese restaurant. Previous events have taken place at Bunny Chow, a South African restaurant that serves food and wine; Rare View Rooftop at Fashion 26, a rooftop bar and grill on top of the Fashion Hotel, which is now the Hilton hotel.
Naturally, Ugandans Abroad was keen to check out, and see if it could offer fun solutions for Africans in the diaspora looking for a fun date.

Vincent Nwachukwu, Nigerian-born New Yorker, and young business man is the brainchild of ‘Date My African Friend’.  Nwachukwu said he that started the unique project in 2010 and strives to bring singles, typically young professionals, together in a warm, welcoming environment to find a suitable mate. The event, which typically reflects a party-like atmosphere, caters to single men and women in their twenties.  Men are typically 24 and up, while women are 21 and up.

Vincent Nwachukwu, African dating guru and entrepreneur, is also a bachelor in New York.

The event features an icebreaker called “the number system”which matches individuals to one another anonymously, and allows guests to mingle with different people throughout the night. In a speed-dating-like form, men and women move around the room talking to each other until they make a connection.

In a conversation with Ugandans Abroad, Nwachukwu said the event was for “Africans and those who love Africans.”  He described the event as not only for Africans, but also a place where non-Africans who are interested in dating available men or women can connect.

“Anyone who is ready to meet one of our beautiful sisters or meet an available guy is also welcome,” he said.  “Everyone is welcome.”  The men and women hoping to find a good African date span the continent, from Cameroon to Nigeria and Kenya, as well as Americans looking for an African partner or friend.

One thing that led Nwachukwu to create the event is that he feels Africans abroad don’t date other Africans as much as you may except.  “I find that we don’t really date among ourselves,” he said.

He said there are other nationalities or cultures who want to date Africans, but don’t necessarily understand the cultural nuances or “dating norms” within African communities.

As a result, he decided to break that barrier by bringing individuals together and creating ‘Date My African Friend’ in a culturally welcoming environment that encourages diversity.

Single people looking for a good time in an African context abroad.

“I have Jewish friends and Italian friends that are always asking me, where can I find an African girl in this city [New York City] and they say our African women are beautiful but the don’t know how to talk to them because of cultural differences,” he said.

Nwachukwu said that he has observed Africans not dating outside of their culture or race to avoid being questioned by family or their own African communities where they reside.

“Others who don’t understand us may think we are closed off, but we [Africans] are not. You have to approach us. And sometimes, you like others [from a different culture, race or country] but you don’t want our parents to talk to you (or bother you) about dating a white person or a Nigerian or a South African,” Nwachukwu said.

“It’s a mental thing and so after so many times being asked that question of ‘where can I find an African girl or where do I meet an available guy,’ I decided to create a platform where Africans and non-Africans can come and mingle and date each other,” he said.

People of all nationalities seeking an African date.

Date My African Friend serves as a one-stop venue for singles in to meet, network and socialize.  And it also provides a safe, welcoming environment for individuals to bring their single friends who may be looking for a fellow African to date, or bring their non-African friends to find a suitable mate from the continent.

Nwachukwu, who likes to go by “Spyon Vincent,” says that the ever-present, thriving population of Africans in New York City, particularly young African professionals, is a great place to start the Date My African Friend project.

The entrepreneur plans to establish the project here in the city first before spreading out to other cities or locations in the Tri-State area.  He says that some people have embraced the concept, while others are still trying to get used to the idea.  “With consistency and visiblity, more people will start coming out,” he told Ugandans Abroad.

Date My African Friend also has a website that showcases single men and women in the New York metropolitan area looking to find a mate. Individuals may also be featured on the website as bachelor or bachelorette of the month, giving them more exposure.

Like any Africa-inspired event, music is key. Afrobeat, dancehall, reggae, hip-hop and R & B are played throughout the night.

What’s Next?

The Date My African Friend project is a testing ground for other things to come, Nwachukwu said. “I hope to build a social website, where single Africans can meet each other or non-Africans. You can connect with a person on the website and then meet the person at one of our events or vice versa.” He said that he doesn’t want it to be another typical online dating site but instead, wants to provide a platform to network.

Young professionals looking for an African sweetheart or friend.

The young businessman said that some of the short term goals for the uniquely African project is making sure that he publicizes his message and makes it clear and consistent with his brand—a brand that unapologetically embraces the diverse African cultures in New York City, without trying to water it down.

“I am proud of where we come from and I’m not going to be something we are not,” he said.

 

Dating Across Faiths In the African Diaspora

Nwachukwu also hopes that to connect singles from varying religions, a sensitive topic in African communities, especially when it comes to dating and marriage. He said his social event strives to encourage mutual respect and understanding among people.

“I want to have what I call ‘unique differences’ in our program, like having a Muslim dating a Christian and both of them respect each other’s beliefs,” Nwachukwu said. “The same thing with an African and a non-African,” he added.

Even if individuals don’t walk away meeting ‘that special someone,’ he at least wants them to walk way learning something new about another culture, fostering cultural understanding and mutual respect between Africans and non-Africans.

And what about dating non-Africans?

When Ugandans Abroad asked about the inevitable, awkward questions that may arise during dating situations between Africans and non-Africans, he said that he wants his guests to embrace curiosity, even if it may feel uncomfortable. “Many people don’t know about Africa or Africans in general. You may have to educate someone who asks if all Africans marry multiple wives,” he said laughingly.

Women having fun at the mixer.

He suggests being tactful instead of upset, hoping that curious individuals will walk away from the event more informed that not all African men take multiple wives, something that he says may be cultural for some but boils down to a personal choice, not necessarily a mandate.

Other than playing ‘match-maker’, other ventures that Nwachukwu is involved with include Spyon TV, a multicultural online television network that provides entertainment news from New York City and around the world.

Another project, AfroJam, which he started in 2007, showcases local African artists like musicians, singers or poets in the New York metropolitan area. The other side of AfroJam, the non-profit wing, which is being developed right now, will raise money for underprivileged kids in Africa who are interested in music. “Our main goal is to be able to help kids who want to buy a musical instrument or simply finance music classes,” he said.

For more information about ‘Date My African Friend,’ visit www.datemyafricanfriend.com or link up with ‘Spyon Vincent’ on facebook.

Arao Ameny is a Ugandan-born journalist based in New York.

If you find this information helpful, please

to Ugandans Abroad.

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4 Responses to “Where Can You Find A Date With An African? New York”

  1. Becky what happened to the Newsletter of Ugandans Abroad? and what happened to the links, that we had? eg like the New Vision, Monitor, Observer etc?

    #54175
  2. I would like to get a sponser fm any ugandan lady fm uk , who is still sing and having awell caring am areal ugandan born, having 27years ,well educated but looking for some one to pull me up. wherever comes to my notice should reply to me on my email address. thanks.

    #54459
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    #73237
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    #73238

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