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High Bride Price Leads To Late Marriage

cakeBride price is also known as bride token which is an amount of money, property, or other form of wealth paid by a groom or his family to the parents of the woman, he just married or is just about to marry. Bride pride can be compared to dowry which is money and/or property that, in some societies, a husband must pay to his wife’s family when they get married. The bride price may or may not intended to reflect the perceived value of the woman.

In the past, tradition of bride price is believed to have given formal recognition to marriages and protect wives against abuse, stabilize the partnership and to join the two families together. Today, the practice appears to have become commercialize and have lost much of its traditional value in many instances.

There have been worries in many families, when female children fail to be married when they are due. Oftentimes, ladies as old as 40yrs remain unmarried, not because they do not want to get married but the high rate of bride price as against the tradition associated to their customs.

The disadvantage of high bride price is that it leads to delay in marriage for the ladies because those men who were supposed to come and ask for their hand in marriage cannot meet up with the demands.

Based on the high bride price, finding has shown that marriage is not meant for boys, but matured men. Therefore, only real men who are ready and well equipped financially can pay the exorbitant bride price and provide all the items in the list brought by the family of the bride, which include goats, bags of rice, tubers of yam, clothes and cash for various categories of people. Sometimes, it is even made a condition that the bride must train one of her siblings up to the university level.

One begin to question the essence of marriage. Save companionship and the importance of marriage is to raise children who will take care of their parents when they grow old and are weak to work. It is unfair to see parents working at an old age in order to cater for their children just because of high bride price was demanding which eventually led to late marriage.

Recently, a friend of mine expressed her anger and frustration. She is of marriageable age but unmarried. She had brought home four different suitors but her parent’s greed had caused her delay in getting married. Each time a suitor called, they insisted on a high bride price, and when these suitors were unable to pay, the relationship would be brought to an end.

Some people have argued in favour of a high bride price, their argument being that the intending husband do not have to pay as much as it took the family to bring up the lady, he want to have as his wife. Another sees it that if men are allowed to marry ladies cheaply, they would not respect them, and help people to see women as valuable members to the society.

High bride price is not and can never be an emblem of love and affection from a man. Parents should know that placing high bride price on their daughters is to the detriment of the girl’s future. The chances of your daughter having such opportunity might by-pass her.

What should be considered on the path of the daughter is whether or not the young man will stay peacefully, provide and cater for his wife or his family, receives their daughter and makes her feel at home.

Women were not meant to stay in their father’s compound forever, they were meant to be given out in marriage but placement of high bride price have made some women remain without marriage even have children from different men, as a result create problem for other siblings coming up.

Bride price has lost its value, as it is now an avenue for parents to amass wealth for themselves at the expenses of their daughters.

It is an honour for a young man to ask your daughter hand in marriage, which many other women don’t have such opportunity, let’s not abuse it by demanding high bride price.

It is my candid opinion that we should do away with the requirement for the payment of high bride price. This is because the practice reduces women to objects of sales, who values is equivalent to money or material items and no man, no matter what he pays as bride price can really pay what parents invested in their children lives from birth to marriageable age.

In essence, bride price should be kept for what it really is, an emblem of a union between two families and a gesture of appreciation, honesty and sincerity. It should not be seen as a means for parents to accumulate wealth. ###

Edith Nse Friday

08025293937

fridaynse@yahoo.com

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