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Bride Price/dowry, Do You Support Or Oppose It?

On this controverisal topic, Bride price should be abolished since there shouldn't be a price tag on a human being. My opponent argued that modernism should not replace our dear (?) tradition, and so on, we argued back and forth with each side presenting some convincing views on either to abolish or retain this custom. I am of the view that the bride price is primitive, it stiffles a woman's place in her matrimonial home and thereby has no place in today's world. It is akin to auctioning your child to the highest bidder. Surprisingly, one of the ladies told me that it is not a must that one has to pay for the required sum, but it can be haggled, but now, I wonder, must women be reduced to the status of a commodity to be haggled for (like you would for a price of nintendo at Aba Market  Wink )just so that the 'right' sum of money could be paid to the parents. Then another lady asked me, "Nna, you wan marry woman for free"? And I retorted, "Sure, I could pay the price, but I would expect her to fulfil the traditional obligations required of her in the matrimonial home and concluded that I wont entertain her views  that "this is the 21st century, honey, get with the flow".

A family friend of my cousin, an MD recently got married to a Pastor in Nigeria. What should have been a happy occasion was sort of tempered by the attitude of the bride's mother, because her new son in law is a pastor. Is it any wonder that the teaching profession is not a desirable position in Nigeria. But there is a catch towards this trend. Occasionally, when marital dispute arises, the man might taunt his wife, "Upon the money that I paid on your head, yet, you can't prepare a decent meal for me". An insult to the status of the madam of the house and a step backwards to the primitive days when women had no say in the society. Would you agree with me that the woman's role in the kitchen was already cemented when the man had paid her dowry so that she would clean, cook and take care of him?

Men and women, abi, Ladies and Gentlemen, what are your views on this subject?

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31 answers

The issue is not with the 'bride price' per se, but with parents who feel they deserve hefty material compensations for giving out their daughter's hand in marriage, and might go as far as giving her to the highest bidder. Abrogating the bride price would not change this, as such parents would seek the compensation under a different banner.

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it's part of African tradition, it's not a bad tradition, it's not killing anyone so No, it shouldn't be abolished.

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I see nothing wrong with the practice. It is a symbolic depiction of appreciation. Anything beyond that (like asking for an elephant and 900 cows) is an abuse of the genuine concept of dowry or bride price.

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Well, I'm not sure about other groups of people in Nigeria, but for Igbo people, the price is never set. There also is no standard amount, because it differs from region to region, and even from tribe to tribe, and even from clan to clan, and even family to family in Igboland. It can also be negotiated (from what I know). I also know that the actual bride price amount can be, and sometimes is returned after the aspects of traditional marriage are complete. This is all I know in regards to the practice in Igboland. So no, I don't think there should be a limit set on what to pay,

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But shouldnt there be a limit on what to pay? Supposing the parents of the bride insist on 5 million naira as the bride price, what do you do?

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I support bride price practice. I don't see anything wrong with the practice itself.

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It's been abused, but still, it emphasizes the role of the man in his family.

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It should be abolished although not by any law but by individual parent, they should look far into the future and see beyond a common mere tradition that brings about controversy in views and ideas. You still have more to benefit from the union than bride price, your grandchildren, the peace and happiness of your daughter and the respect you earn from your inlaw. Anyways as for me I'm ready to pay any amount to have my girl signed sealed and deliever.

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I think the bride price is a remnant of the old school culture when the bride-to-be was viewed as an extra set of hands and the provider of lots of male children for the grooms' family. It was a token to the girl's parents to show appreciation in advance, and also proof that the man could take care of his new liability.

Now seeing as I'm going to be working outside the home just as much as he is, and I'm not intending on relying on him financially, I don't think bride price will be necessary. Exchanging gifts between both families would be nice, however.

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It is symbolic, as you have written, but have you not heard of some parents who have demanded an arm and a leg from their future son-inlaw?

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I do support it fully, however, they should not combine it with greed, cos with greed to it, it becomes sales of a wife to a petential husband that has money.

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@ndipe

na you know! haven't you heard that some women need rescuing from "baaad" husbands?

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Take back their daughter? Cant women make their own independent decision, without being bounced from place to place to place, like a football?

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my view is that even if its not scrapped totally, the bride price should be just a token for symbolism sake. in my family the bride price is ridiculously low. i mean low enough that it fits into the family album. so that when the man f**ks up the girl's family can whip out the naira bill and slap him in the face with it and take their daughter back! Lol.

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no, never, nada, nah!!!

which other slang dey for no?

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@topic

its all tradition!

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If they are not selling their daughter why does money exchange hands in the first place? What is the point to giving money to recience it back? That the most ignorant s*hit I heard all day.

If she is not being seen as a possession then why is money such a big factor. Surely her family shouls be most concerned at whether he would be the right PERSON for her. Not the right Money flasher.

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I support the bride price and by the way, most family return the bride price to the groom's family on engagement day stating they are not selling their daughter, they give her to the man and the man should take good care of her.

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I respect traditions but only when they enhance us as a people. That top me is slavery "I buy you" "You buy me"

We're talking about people NOT fruit at the market.

It also gives the man an unwarranted sense of superiority.

Gone are the days of the plantation.

BTW- that money could have gone towards the couple buying a house or a car but instead it went on some patriarchal, exploitative, bull s*hit practice.

Down with Bride prices!!!!!!!!!!!

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soooooooooo whats ur piont @seun

pleople should disobey god? when god command you to do something -it is for a clear purpose.

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Personally, I don't support the practice. In some cultures, paying this bride price has become a big burden for potential couples, even causing engagements to be broken because the man can't 'pay' what the brides family think its suitable for their daughter. In other cases 'unenlightened' men take this 'payment' to mean they own their wives, leading to abuse and what not, not a good situation either. In other cases, it is just a way of showing we haven't lost our cultural background/heritage. People/families should just be reasonable, if you can afford it fine, if not it should be done away with. there are enough difficulties for the intending couple to worry about, no need to add bride price to it.

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bride price is okay. even in the bible peole pay bride price for their wife.

there is nothin wrong with it- if it is done in the right manner and mindset.

u cannot never buy ur wife 'cos she's priceless. the bible says she is worth more than rupies.

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@dominobaby

Simply because a pracise is sanctioned by our African culture does not necessarily mean that it is the right way. I am sure that you are aware that some African culture permits female circumcision, which in my view is wrong.

Why should we blindly follow tradition, instead of questioning it?

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I personaly do not c anything wrong in it. Its our culture. What i do not like is when some fathers decide to make money out of that, thereby asking for some ridiculous amount!

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Parents who collect bride price are broke Bottom niggas! It's supposed to be a symbolic thing but people now ask for thousands of Naira as if they are selling off their daughters. No wonder some men end up treating their wives like acquire property.

When I got married, I paid a dowry but it was returned at the ceremony.

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If u have the money, pay it and dont be stingy. Its not like you are buying her cos u cant, Every human is worth more than $100Billion. Its just a ceremony, Its our culture and there is nothing wrong wit it. Its a sign of appreciation.

However, when purpose is not known, abuse in inevitable. Some men think they are buying the way (how parochail?). Such are the men who turn their wives to slaves.

All in all. I see nothing wrong in paying the bride price but at the same time father of brides shouldnt spoil the rite by turning it into business.

In yorube lan, you might be asked to bring oke (5kobo or so) as bride price. U'll sure sweat for that but its not like they want to make money out of it.

It depends on the purpose but basically i see nothig wrong wit it except u r stingy. You should be able to give anything for your wife.

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Give unto Ceaser, what is ceaser's.

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@bright.

Are you serious? What of the islamic faith that sanctions polygamy?

Please bride price does not in any way deter a man from having a harem of wives. I am even surprised that someone on this board is writing that it is just a ceremonial role. Whether it is or not, it's been abused and should be abrogated , yeah, govt should look into it.

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Yes i support bride price/dowry, it limit many men from polygamy.

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um, I'm not sure it's taken as seriously as it used to. I think in a lot of cases now its plays a ceremonial role, besides paying a dowry has nothing to do with how your husband will treat you. An abusive man does not need the excuse of a dowry to lay his hands on you or keep you down.

Afterall I beleive in India the woman pays the bride price. They still have cases of women being ill-treated by their husbands.

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