Love lost its significance when the groom saw the items on the bride’s list. The romantic engagement he held months back had gone viral on the internet and we were expecting an extraordinary wedding. Woes betide us for believing this affair was arranged in heaven. Intra-tribal marriages often experience fiction when it comes to paying bride price especially from the eastern part of Nigeria.
The intended groom and his family walked out on the bride’s family. The wedding was over! The list was exorbitant and the value of the money could fetch him a bungalow in his tiny village in Kano State. The bride collapsed and panic set in. The confusion was heightened pulling everyone to scene.
There has been agitation to stop bride price in Nigeria especially on the social media. Unfortunately, no matter how people try to become activists when it comes to this tradition, they are going to be disappointed. It may take years to abolish this tradition but for now, it is something every man who wants to marry a Nigerian lady.
In many villages, a woman is not considered married if bride rice is not paid even if the couple has given birth to kids and living together for years. Bride price is a vital part of the African wedding tradition. There are some places that a woman cannot bury her father until the man she is living with as husband pays the bride price.
Bride price is respect, it is pride and it is compulsory in Africa. You may get the most lavishly appointed wedding in Paris or London, you are not recognized as a married lady until you pay your dues in Nigeria-Bride Price.
Those that are of the notion that bride price payment should be scrapped from our tradition buttress their point saying that bride price payment connotes that the father is “selling out” his daughter, particularly in the Eastern part of the country where the bride price is very high.
The money paid is usually a chicken change but the list of things to do is where the argument begins. There are homes that have made it easier for their in-laws when it comes to paying for the items on the list , while there are families that insist you must pay to the last kobo. There are also families in places where it is believe that marriage is expensive, who make it cheap and vice versa.
Bride price is one of the highest honors confirming a bride’s womanhood and value. It gives the husband the full support of the bride’s family to economic, sexual or procreative powers of his wife. Relationship is fostered between families, offering a pledge that the children and the woman is safe and will be well treated.
Bride price does not in any way equate the worth of a woman. In fact, no amount of money can buy a wife; her value is inestimable in human terms. No man can pay for all the inputs of those who raised a good woman and all the benefits she brings, her love, care, help and companionship far outweighs any monetary value.
Yet, many men cringe when they remember that they are spending much to get married. Why not marry without the bride price? You are not a vagabond African man! This is one of the reasons why you should pay. However, it is not a do-die affair. There is room for negotiation between the two families. This is the solution to those who are unable to pay for a list that may be exorbitant.