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Back to basics

By Nosipho Sokhela

The ultimate male was the kind that telegraphed letters confessing his undying love, the kind of man that would open the door, kiss your hand before diving in for the big one. Confident enough to catch your attention yet humble enough to retain it despite his initial success.

Time and again I have come across this figure in movies from the 1990s such as Pretty Woman, Sleepless in Seattle and Notting Hill… The kind of chivalry that takes one’s breath away. How we long for those days.

It seems in the technological-era that we find ourselves grappling with today, a video call with a background of a dozen roses is as romantic as it will ever get. To blame the catastrophe, that is a lot of women’s experiences, solely on Skype would be absurd; it probably begins with the brain of a man and how it functions.

Men in general put minimal thought in most of the things they do (for women), not in any way is this meant to be offensive, but it can be said that there is only one thing men put serious thought into pertaining to us females.

I figure that men would receive more praise from their female counterparts if they returned back to the basics; writing letters, door-opening gestures and perhaps even a dozen roses every once in a while.


The title of perfect gentleman is not attained through suave clothing and the size of your bank account (though that does count for something substantial). It lies somewhere between the presentation of the self, the vastness of your vocabulary, and nobility.

I once read in an article that the perfect gentlemen drinks but does not get drunk, he does not own a cat and he speaks less of himself, rather allowing others to do so on his behalf. That guideline is respectable enough.

On the long list of all trending things in the 21st century, being a noble man should be on the forefront alongside “making it on the Forbes list” and all other developments considered important in the masculine world.

Without using any clichés, our male equivalents need to go back to basics and look to modest times where there was no need to annihilate one’s bank account in order to impress a woman. Simply use the intelligence of your forefathers and perhaps watch more movies from the 1990s.

It is bound to produce fruitful results as far as being the alpha male.

Nosipho Sokhela is a 21-year-old law student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.