You Can Love a Broke (“Struggling”) Man, But He Can’t Love You.

There is an infestation of quotes directed and possibly written by women urging young ladies to support their struggling or hustling men. Quotes such as “Support his dream”, “A real woman stays by his man’s side when he has nothing”, “Victoria Beckham started dating David while he still lived in an apartment now they have a mansion”. Sure enough, these are cute and inspirational. Given that the African man is by default hindered by professional prejudice while his woman is trying to break the glass ceiling. There is space and need for such rhetoric to keep us motivated in our goal to reach success in the highest form: self-realisation. However, there is an untold story about a broke man…


The Three Types of Broke Men

There are millions of broke men, even those with jobs and cars. It’s in those millions of broke men that women have to choose boyfriends, partners and potential husbands from. Let’s sum them up into three types; There are those who are hopeless nje, given up and generally fucked up. And there are the stable ones. Making the most out of minimum wages and salaries to provide for themselves and the woman or children in their lives. Stable, assured, moving slowly and patiently saving up for this and that, a car here a gap home loan there. If you take him you will be assured of a regular income but forget about owning anything expensive till debt do you apart. Then there are “Risk Takers”, those that are trying to get that call for a certain job, role, contract etc… He speaks the right language, moves in the right circles, a clear dream worth millions but not the actual millions so he basically has nothing… for now. And as women grow older they begin seeking certainties and fewer possibilities. And with a Risk Taker I mean, is a risk-taker. If a lady chooses him in the now she is essentially plying on the risk herself. There is still a large opportunity that he will completely fail and head straight to fucked up. And this is after supporting him with your income, or even leave you for a UJ student when he makes it… or maybe even for a white girl. There is no telling with dudes these days.

A Broke Man Can’t Love You

The ultimate sign of self-love for any male of any species is a success. As humans, success has been in most parts about succeeding in realising our dreams and ambitions, and these are evidenced in material form. Let’s not get into the Taittinger on Murcielago seats on a random Tuesday kind of material. I am talking about the regular income, self-maintenance, bills paid and take a girl out on a date type of success. Just these seemingly simple accesses are rarities to millions of 20 and 30 something-year-old men. These millions are the very same basket women have to choose boyfriends, partners and potential husbands from. So as women go through their selection rituals, God forbid they judge on dick game because broke men really lay pipe. I mean what else is there to do during the day? I digress. There is the real fact that a man who is still struggling is actually in a constant battle with himself. He is fighting to prove to himself that he is a man and like one he should justify his existence by buying the very breath he takes in every day. He can forage through trash sifting for recyclables to trade for money for food if needs be. That’s the first level: Physiological need according to Abraham Maslow. Achieving this is love for himself because he is keeping himself alive, therefore successful, because he is in control of another day above ground. And sure enough, there is a woman who will see this success and they will immortalise themselves through kids like any other species or get drunk and kill each other… whatever. They found each other in any case.

You Always Will Be A Sidechick To A Broke Man

For purposes of vividness will make set this stage with the risk takes. A risk-taker already has a commitment, a love he thinks about day and night. His ambition takes all of his attention and passions. As much as he is part of the relationship he will hardly be present. You see, his drive for ambition is in actual fact a pursuit for his very own life. As any normal functioning self-aware being, he comes first. His purpose is the very life he lives. With the best intentions at hand, you may be his partner. That means you will share everything the frustrations, the tantrums, the depression and success and the failure. So do what you want with a broke dude but remember that the odds are stacked against you going in. Be prepared to look at yourself in the mirror and forgive him for whatever outcome, because you choose your life, it’s yours.

Writer: Banele Rewo

  • Phelo_
    1st Oct 2015


  • Thandi Lugojolo
    1st Oct 2015

    At the end of the day we choose experiences we want to partake in and I would find it very childish (in lack of better word) to have expectations when none were promised.

  • Sibusiso E Mahlangu
    1st Oct 2015

    Well put. Well a broke man I am, do I lay pipe? most def, my dreams come first for sure, and I learned the hard way that me laying pipe has nothing to do with the future I want with a partner. We broke up about a year ago after being together for 8years, really messed me up but made me want to achieve my dreams more than ever and I’m sure about my success but now my fear is never finding love.

    Ta Marvin

  • Sthembile Mbelu
    19th Apr 2016

    Interesting view on what a “broke man” is.
    It raises a lot of questions, leaves a bit to be desired and hints on a bit of bitterness from a relationship gone wrong.
    In my opinion, some of us men:
    (1) Get used to being provided for – giving room to be complacent.
    (2) Get hurt by women who have met men who never really did much to make their ideas work. We get crushed and end up being the kind of man described above.
    (3) Some of us really don’t know how to make a leaving beyond the salaries we get due to a couple of reasons (Not knowing how to start; long processes f registering own businesses; ideas being shot down; red tape,etc) The need to provide and secure the companionship of the woman we settle with will see us open up debts that will take a lifetime to finish off.
    (4) Most importantly though, we come from a generation that has never allowed young men to face discomforts arising from dealing with reality. The one advantage women have over us is the ability to confront their issues, work through them, deal with them and move on.

    It takes a woman to raise a boy into a reputable man, one who will know the true meaning of his title and what it takesto be called: a MAN.

    • Rahaba
      11th Apr 2020


    • Mya
      14th Apr 2020

      You could have made your point without sneering upon her writing.

      Rather use this to work on yourself instead of feeling attacked because the exact way you feel right now is what will make it hard for a relationship to work with you and that’s exactly what she explained

  • Lulama Mahanjana
    22nd Apr 2016

    hmmm… I wonder how then it works when you are both broke. My husband ( note husband- I went and married my broke man) fits all the bills of broke… and so do I. How then do we define ourselves as women and how do we navigate as a broke couple. Both on our seperate hustles… but hustling together… I am lost. Perhaps I am taking this too literally.

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