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Brideprice and the dilemma in eastern Nigeria

A typical brideprice in Nigeria

In Nigeria, Bride price is an integral part of their culture when it comes to marriage. If you want to marry a Nigerian lady, you are required to pay her bride price to her family members.

This culture is common among the three major tribes in Nigeria. The custodians of this culture believe that they are not selling their daughter but want the groom to understand that nothing precious comes for free.

They expect the groom to gift or pay a certain amount to the bride's family before the union can be accepted.

This cultural trend is also common among the Indians but, in the reverse case as the bride is expected to pay the groom's price.

The reason why bride price is being received in Nigeria is to state the fact that precious things are never free. This is a clear indicator that their daughters are precious. And when you think about how much you spent before making her your wife, you won't want to make some nasty decisions. This is synonymous with the belief that ‘our heart will be where your money is’.

This Brideprice could be as low as N100 or forty-one tubers of yam in some cultures and quite higher among the Igbo tribe or the Eastern people of Nigeria. Their bride price usually comes in a long surprising list.

Has this culture been fair to young couples from the eastern part of Nigeria?

A post went viral on Nigerian Twitter after a man called off his wedding because of the enormous bride price list.

The man was planning to marry a girl from the Igbo tribe in Nigeria and he was slammed with a long bride price list. The lady’s bride price included a part payment for a CAR! Yet, they insist that they are not selling their daughter.

Some lists require the man to build a new house for the bride’s father, buy Cows for every man in the family, buy cars, or do something ridiculously unnecessary.

They believe that they have spent so much money to nurture their precious daughter and you are expected to pay them back for their hard work hence, the outrageous list. if the girl is educated, the bride price is expected to be more expensive than others based on the level of her education.

This culture has gone overboard as it seems that the bride’s family uses this as an opportunity to make money.

A bride price list for an Igbo lady

The expensive price tag attached to the bride has caused some men to end their marriage plans with the lady. This is why some women end up not getting married or are advised to get pregnant out of wedlock so that they won't be disgraced (this advice usually comes from the same people who provided a long list that ruined their marriage plans).

This makes some ladies so materialistic when it is time for them to choose the men they want to spend their happily ever after with. This is because they know how expensive their bride price is.

It is usually a joyous moment for eastern ladies when a man pays their expensive and outrageous bride price.

This same culture has had its ample effect on the family and the society at large.

When some men think about how much they spent before their marriage, they usually have the feeling that they purchased their wife. Imagine splashing millions of naira on the bride's family – it takes time to recover from such spending and sometimes brings in the feeling of regret.

This has caused some women to be maltreated in their marriage. Some were emotionally and physically assaulted but if the woman decides to leave her husband’s home because of the assaults, her parents will have to refund her bride price in full, a list her family can’t afford. Instead, she is advised to endure the relationship till death.

After paying the bride price, some men decide to cut off their in-laws because they believe that they bought her like a piece of item from her owners. They see no need to build any form of relationship with her family.

Some even become broke after their marriage. They end up going from coast to coast to beg for survival.

This culture has also led some men to delve into criminal activities and ritual killings. Since they want to prove that they are truly the man, they do all they can to get the money so they will be able to pay the bride price. Some become armed robbers, fraudsters, or even do money rituals just because they want to impress their bride's family.

An interesting thing about this is that no one questions them about how they got their money. They are usually concerned about them paying the price, thus encouraging MORAL DECADENCE.

Some ladies end up not getting married or having children out of wedlock because of the condition the brideprice list placed them to be.

In some other cultures in Nigeria, they prefer to request something little as brideprice to avoid building a sad home.

If the eastern people can reduce their bride price or fix a list that suits the man’s lifestyle, all these appauling scenarios could be avoided.