A well dressed, outspoken, hardworking an ambitious man full of character. Amadou Chico is the definition of a gentleman. He will stand before greeting someone, give way to others, speak gently but clearly and always treat women with utmost respect. He is committed to making every man a gentleman.
Pendotalk: Tell us about yourself. What do you other than host the Gentleman’s show? What are your hobbies?
Chico: I am an Angel Investor, a daring Innovator and a serial Entrepreneur. As I run my Innovation and Investment firm Chico’s Innovators Limited, I lead the Business & Entrepreneurship training at the YALI East Africa Regional Leadership Center in Nairobi and represent the Guinean Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Crafts in Kenya. I am a Mandela Washington Fellow with a vision of catalyzing a culture of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Excellence in Africa. My overall life goal is to enable a billion people to earn an extra dollar a day, every day, especially women. I am married to a wonderful friend and partner and we have 5 beautiful girls, a son and 11 dogs. My favorite time is either spent with my family or spent praying, exercising, reading and writing, watching movies and listening to music.
About the Gentleman’s show
Pendotalk: What exactly is the Gentleman’s show all about?
Chico: The Gentleman’s Show (TGS) is an Exclusive Men’s Lifestyle, Fashion, Events and Media brand.
Pendotalk: When did you start the Gentleman’s show and what inspired you?
Chico: I first had the idea in early 2015 after many discussions with single female friends who were complaining about the state of their relationships and the need for more men to be educated in manners of chivalry and romance. On the other hand, being a father to girls, I wanted to be part of creating a better culture and mindset for the future generation of young boys and young men. Inspire them to take responsibility of themselves and their lives. To respect women and have a better image of marriage and relationships. Having had many experiences good and bad in relationships myself, I thought it would be interesting to create a YouTube channel and share my own knowledge and experiences. From there, I did the research and a business model of what the platform could be and how could I make it sustainable. And surprisingly, I found that the name was available, and I knew then and there, that I was on to something. A year later, I met Biko Orlale, who was one of my students at the YALI Center and who was running Mr Lapel Kenya, an online Men’s Fashion brand. After the training, I saw that he would be a great partner for the brand and I invited him to join my team as Managing Partner. From then we set out to make of TGS the most exclusive and valuable online platform for educating and inspiring young African men into Gentlemen, while offering them knowledge, products, and events that fit their aspirations. So we now produce videos, conduct photoshoots, host events and design tailored made suits and accessories.
Pendotalk: What makes you feel that you are the best person to teach men about how to be gentlemen?
Chico: I honestly don’t believe I am the best person to teach men or women about what it means to be a Gentleman. I am much better in teaching people how to build businesses than how to be a Gentleman. However, I do believe that because of many years spent learning about relationships, sexuality, attraction, dating, self-confidence, seduction and leadership, I have been able to improve myself and many others to a point where I can confidently advise anyone on how to improve themselves and their relationships.
Pendotalk: What exactly is a gentleman anyway?
Chico: My definition of a Gentleman is someone who wants good for himself and does well for humanity.
Pendotalk: What differentiates a man from a gentleman?
Self-awareness: A gentleman knows who he is and what are his strengths and weaknesses.
Self-discipline: A Gentleman is master of himself and of his destiny. He is in control of his emotions and desires.
Vision and Ambition: A gentleman is here for a purpose and lives for something greater than himself. He will do everything to achieve that purpose because he knows other people’s future depend on it.
Honesty and Integrity: A gentleman says what he believes, does what he says and thinks before he does it. He knows that life is a journey and not a destination. Today’s shortcuts will lead to tomorrow’s downfall. He knows that at the end of it all, he will only be remembered for how he made people feel and how he dealt with them.
Loyalty: A Gentleman is accountable and loyal to a cause and people that matter to him the most.
Pendotalk: Coming from Guinea and having traveled to various other countries, do you think men’s behavior in different countries varies? If so, what do you think causes the difference?
Chico: I do believe that culture, race, age, social economic status and educational backgrounds have a profound impact on people’s behaviors. May it be men or women, we are all affected by our environment. I’ve had the privilege of dating wonderful women from different races, ages and backgrounds. And each one of them had a different cultural belief about our relationship because of what their parents or peers used to tell them about dating a black guy, a West African, a Guinean or a man in general. In my quest to understand what differentiates men and women from different countries, I found that underneath all the cultural, religious and historical stereotypes, we are actually all the same. Everyone values honesty. Men have their egos, they want to prove a point and stand out. Women want to be respected, comforted and understood as individuals and not as “chics”. A foreigner is almost always more attractive than a local, because he or she is simply different.
Pendotalk: Which one bad habit would you say is a common trait of a Kenyan man? How do you think they should work to get rid of this bad habit?
Chico: From my own personal experience in Kenya, I believe that Kenyans, men and women are living in a hyper competitive environment, where everyone often tends to forget their gender. The noise, the speed and the rush for pesa(money) makes people look at each other as enablers or obstacles towards a goal. And how this reflects itself in the relationship is that men are so consumed with their competition with other men that they ignore their women. The women, to be heard and seen are also finding their place and voice in society through competition. You can almost hear the women screaming silently “I also exist, it’s not all about you, and your football team, your rugby team, your boys, your car, your next car, your dreams, etc…”
So one thought I would have to the men who want to stand out, would be to play smart, rather than playing strong. Women of today are much more educated, exposed and knowledgeable than your moms. They are saposexuals who are looking for intellectual stimulation, romance and chivalry. They don’t care if you’re the loudest, richest, most known jerk in the place, what matters to them is that you see them as unique. Any Kenyan man who is successful with women knows that and applies it. The others think they need money, success and material for them to be validated. All they need is authenticity and there will be a great woman to appreciate them just the way they are, and will be willing to walk with them towards their own greatness.
Gentlemen in relationships
Pendotalk: We noticed love and relationships is one of the main topics on the Gentleman’s show. Do you apply the lessons you teach in your own relationship? Do you think starting the gentleman’s show has made you become a better husband yourself?
Chico: Definitely. I am always driven by the thought that to help other people improve, you must first improve yourself. I’m grateful for my 10,000 hours of dating and relationships, my divorce and my new found love and friendship. I have been a cheat, a playboy, a seducer, broken hearted and today a loyal, committed and dedicated partner. I speak from experience and wisdom that I’ve acquired from learning from my own mistakes and challenging stereotypes. So, I’m constantly challenging myself and being challenged by my wife to become better, and I really love it. It’s good for me, for my marriage, for my children, my friends, and even my employees, because I realized that most problems at work are related to problems at home.
Pendotalk: People say that when approaching a lady, a gentleman ‘always makes the first move’. Is this true?
Chico: I think its general culture that a man should take initiative. However taking initiative isn’t an exclusive trait to men. Women also take initiative, and in some cases they can be the one to make the first or last step that leads towards a great relationship. Nevertheless, in a normal setting, a Gentleman should always approach the lady he desires or wants to get to know more. This approach is also an art in itself, however that would be a whole other article.
Pendotalk: How can a lady tell if a man is genuinely interested in her? (We are talking about “I want to have children with you and grow old with you kind of love…)
Chico: I think that many ladies tend to have their heads full of voices and noises that distract them from the reality which is in front of them. A real, healthy and growing relationship is one that is living and moving forward. If it’s stagnant, dormant or painful, then it means it’s not the right relationship. There is no point to prove to anyone and one doesn’t or shouldn’t –mustn’t –get married to please a parent or to be socially accepted. (Read about developing nations overvaluing marriage here) A relationship should uplift you and bring you closer to God and your highest ideals in life. If it doesn’t do that after 90-300 days, it will not do so 900 or 3000 days later. The same scrutiny you would put in choosing a gynecologist, should be the same you would want to have for a life partner. Having children and growing old with someone means that you will be spending a lot of time together. And for that time to be worthwhile, then your friendship has to be one that can withstand the test of time and the seasons of love. So your question to yourself should be, why am I with him? And ask him, why is he with you, 5 times until you get to the core. There you should find that you are together for more than love, attraction, social recognition and material. You should be together because of what you enable each other to become and what each of you wants to accomplish in life and how the other person is a booster or a stabilizer for that purpose to be fulfilled.
Pendotalk: Some men say that within the first few minutes of meeting their wives, they knew they would marry her. Can men really make such a decision so quickly? If so, is it correct to assume that those who are uncertain for a long period of time have no intention to marry the lady they are with?
Chico: I don’t believe that there’s a cookie cutter formula to finding the right wife or husband. Because every individual is unique and lives the world in a different way, every relationship is different and unique. The mistake is to look at a friends who say that for them it was love at first sight, and then look at your relationship and think, well since ours wasn’t love at first sight, then there must be something wrong. Some Men are ready for the next step, and they’re actively looking for a suitable mate, friend and partner. They have gone through enough experiences to know what they want, what they need and what the difference is. They’re ready to commit and will not settle for less. They are usually very open about their relationship because they know the value of the woman they’ve got and how grateful they are to have her.
Others are learning as they go. They didn’t have as many experiences in their past, so they still don’t know the difference between their wants and needs. They think that their personal lives, their relationships, professional lives, friendships and finances are all separate and should stay that way. They are often difficult to get along with because they don’t want to make concessions. It’s their way or the highway.
All depends on what type of woman you are and at which stage you are in your life and maturity. If you are at a stage where you want to settle down, but you still need to hang out with your friends and party, get drunk and have your own schedule, then you have a conflict of values. You want something, but need the opposite. If your man is the type that needs to settle down and wants to build a family, but is not taking the next step, it may be because he’s not sure you will satisfy that need. So the parameters are many that define a relationship, but the rule is to look and start within –which I have discussed in-depth in my upcoming book on how to innovate yourself, improve your relationships, and inspire others.
Pendotalk: Do you believe that a woman can change a ‘bad boy’ into a ‘good gentleman’? If so, how?
Chico: I don’t believe any women can change any type of man, be it a bad boy, a playboy, a cheat, a thief, a liar, lazy or dependent. What she can do is change herself, in order to attract the type of man she wants. If you are with a bad boy, it tells a lot about the type of woman you are. If you are with a drug addict or an alcoholic, it means you have something in common with him. The mistake people make is to think that they were born for one specific type of individual. If they are single, they go looking for this particular individual. And if they’re already in a relationship, then they feel like they must make this individual fit their belief. That’s crazy. You must improve yourself to become attractive to the type of partner you need and want and reject the types that you don’t want and need. Imagine your ideal partner. Describe all the traits and characteristics that would make this person great for you. Then observe yourself. What are your needs and what are your desires? Then ask yourself, what are the needs of this ideal partner, and what do I need to improve or change in order for them to be attracted to me? What do I have or need to develop for me to be great for them as well? After this, you will either inspire your bad boy to change or dump him.
Pendotalk: What advice would you give to women on how to talk and act in order to attract the right kind of man?
Chico: Become the type of person you want to attract. Become the solution to the problems that the type of person you want is having. You want an honest, loyal and committed man, become an honest, loyal and committed woman in everything you do. You want a man of class, become classy. You want a smart and enterprising man, learn to support and encourage smart and enterprising people around you. All Gentlemen have needs and are conscious of those needs. We’re all seeking for a woman who can fulfill those needs more than a woman who can satisfy our wants or desires. Many women can satisfy a Gentleman’s desires, very few can fulfill his needs. And vice versa.
Pendotalk: How should a gentleman treat his lady?
Chico: Respect. Respect. Respect. Everything comes after respect. Because if a man doesn’t respect his lady, he doesn’t respect himself, and a lady shouldn’t be with a man than doesn’t respect himself, because he won’t respect her.
Every woman is special in her own way. Your role as a Gentleman is to help her express her uniqueness and let it blossom for the benefit of humanity for the time that you will spend with her. That means being honest with her even when she doesn’t like it or it may bring conflicts. A relationship is as strong as the truths it can support.
Care, gentleness and emotional support. A Gentleman knows how to take care of his lady without being obsessive, possessive or dependent. He knows she needs time with him and time to herself, even if she doesn’t say it or acknowledge it. He has his own life, and knows when to make her a part of his life and when to deal with things on his own. His kisses and caresses are always gentle, profound and in the right places. Playing with the tempo in order to increase the sensations gradually and progressively until climax.
Pendotalk: If you were given the power to decide whether homosexuality should be legal in a country, what would your decision be and why?
Chico: My personal opinion is that homosexuality will become legal in many more countries than it is at the moment. It’s a very controversial issue because of the religious and cultural beliefs that are tied around it. However from my interactions with different people from across the globe, I’ve been challenged to not only look at the issue from a religious and cultural perspective, but to see it from a psychological, physiological, and most importantly personal perspective. And having had friends who are homosexuals, I was surprised that they were just like anyone else. The only problem was that they had a “disability” that made them feel different and look different than their sex is supposed to be like. However, they had decided to go against the grain and find a way to live with it and overcome the social stigmas that come with it. And I admire that resilience, despite all the social dissonance it may make.
Pendotalk: If there was a way you could communicate with all the men in the world and you were sure they would listen but you could give them only 1 message, what would that message be?
Be yourselves and believe in yourselves. Despite all that you have gone through in the past, you are still worthy of love, respect and consideration from your partner and from everyone else you interact with. So keep your standards high, and constantly improve yourself. The better you become the more you are capable of becoming. The more you become, the more you can accomplish. The more you accomplish, the more you will receive.