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After our phone conversation last night, I have had the chance to think through what you told me and like I said, this is not the first time that I have heard of a ‘borga’ asking for naked pictures or videos from a girlfriend down here.
Until you mentioned our childhood friend Fiifi and his marriage proposal, I only had fading memories of our time together, which ended two decades ago.
Nevertheless, I was delighted to hear that he had sent his mother to tell your parents about his desire to marry you soon after he arrives in Ghana, this December. And now a couple of weeks after getting reacquainted with you, he is asking you to take pictures of yourself naked, for him.
Even though you would prefer him to get to know the kind of person you are with your clothes on, he has reiterated that seeing your nakedness is the only thing that will seal his decision to marry you. Hmm ɛden oo!
Here is my own story. Bennett and I met on Facebook, but we proceeded to use every accessible social media site to propagate our agenda of being together as a ‘couple’. There is a general perception that long distance relationships do not last, but I suppose things are a bit easier for us, the internet generation. We would chat and make audio and video calls, which would often last deep into the night, just as any normal couple would do.
He was everything that I ever wanted in a man; his physique, his level of intelligence, his sense of humor and even his financial status (as had been revealed by him). We shared everything about ourselves – or so I thought. Three months later, I had fallen in love with no hope of salvation. I grew to trust and respect him so much that when he asked me for nude pictures of myself, I did not hesitate to click away all my clothes. This phase metamorphosed into having phone sex, which I became accustomed to after a while. I started dreaming of what the ‘real action’ would be like, since it felt as if I had already shared the most intimate things of myself with him.
I was not so naïve, as to have failed to have recognised that we had never met in person and so I must tread cautiously. However, I was also of the view that I had to ‘give it my all’ if there were any chance of the relationship surviving.
One day, I got a message from an unknown ‘abrokyire’ number, which I later got to know belongs to one of his friends. We started chatting and all of a sudden, this guy starts babbling about how he admires my long legs and would like to “know me some more”. I was taken aback for a while, so I inquired if he knew I was dating his friend. He confirmed that he knew about it, but his friend wouldn’t mind since he has on many occasions seen the things that I’ve been sending to my boyfriend.
My head started reeling and I dropped my phone, as though I had been burnt. I could not believe that the person, whom I had come to know over the period would do this.
Hours later, I calmed down enough to question my supposed boyfriend and he appallingly admitted to sharing everything with his friends and said that they also share such things with him. Immediately, the scales began to fall off of my eyes. I wondered if anything that I knew of my six-month old internet relationship was real. Did I see what I had wanted to see or had I misread what was presented to me?
It is normal to find lovers in short or long distance relationships making certain demands of each other, be it conventional or not. This particular situation appears universal; therefore, it may not be so bad for some couples to exchange nude photos, particularly those who are so comfortable with each other’s bodies.
I do understand where Fiifi is coming from as well, because, people consciously or unconsciously have a set of attributes which they would like to see in a potential partner; including physical assets. Hence, as distant lovers, I believe Fiifi wants to convince himself that what he’s seeing in clothes, over a digital medium is what he’s going to get, when it has finally been unwrapped.
Speaking of which, the internet presents a medium where we can stay connected to our relations. What we need to remember, however, is that the internet never forgets. Your innocent actions could blow up in your face big time, if something like your nude pictures were to get into the wrong hands.
It is possible that Fiifi would not dream of doing anything remotely close to what Bennett did to me, but the question is what if someone else chances upon these images?
Well, I’m glad to know that you have not given in to the pressure, as he has refused to answer your calls or return them for the past week. This is absolutely your decision to make. Marriage is important my dear friend; but find someone who will respect your boundaries without questioning every move you make.
Till I hear from you again, walk with your shoulders high and do not second guess your principles, for anyone.
The writer, Akosua Asor Amponsah, works with Citi FM/Citi TV. She enjoys fiction and relationship writing.