In Nigeria and some other countries in Africa, so much emphasis is being laid on bride price and the need for a man to fulfill certain obligations as custom demands before he is allowed to whisk a woman away and make her his wife.
As a matter of fact, paying the bride price is an integral part of the marriage process and a marital rite that is as important as the old institution itself. No one is trying to tamper with the aged belief of paying bride price but it would be nice for us to review the clauses attached to this tradition.
Apart from the fact that some tribes are thought to be more expensive than the others, some people have misconstrued the entire meaning of the marital rite and have abused it. Some families see it as an opportunity to sell off their children by giving the families of the intending grooms a ridiculous list of things to produce.
The bride price normally should be a token or some amount of money given to the bride’s family by the groom as the tradition demands. However, the present day society has made it a huge affair by demanding all sorts of things from the family of the groom.
This has brought us to ask if the bride price scheme is indeed an avenue for the families of the bride to milk money from the groom’s families or a way of selling off the children.
We have also noticed that some families are starting to realize the implication of taking bride price from their daughters’ partners as this gives men the right to act the way they want with the women.
We have also heard cases where the families of the bride would not relent even after several years; in cases where they lose their daughters to death, they would request for the bodies to be returned back to them as the bride price was never paid.
The bride price degenerates to a vengeful scheme where the families do not care whether the husbands are bereaved or not.
Some men avoid paying the bride price because they do not have what the families are demanding for. Many relationships have ended as a result of the pressure laid on the men to pay up what the custom demands. Here, the bride price becomes a painful exploit.