Bride price is considered an important aspect of marriage tradition in Nigeria. Even though the country’s diversity has created room for different approach to marriages, the payment of bride price has remained constant.
The tradition, which is the act of giving money and gift items to parents or guardians of a female partner by the groom’s family, is still being practiced in many parts of the world today. The amount to be paid by the groom varies from family to family and from one culture to another.
Many see the payment of bride price as an essential part of a valid customary marriage, but some have argued that the practice should be phased out.
THE WHISTLER sought the view of some Nigerians on whether men should continue to pay bride price. Below are some of the responses.
Mrs. Treasure Okon (Civil servant)
“Yes, men should still pay bride price. It is not all about the money, it is our custom that helps to give respect, honour and dignity to the institution of our traditional marriage. Paying dowry does not mean that the lady is sold, remember it is negotiable between the in-laws. I believe it is a good practice, as I explained before, it should be continued but should be done with the interest of the young people. It shows how serious and well prepared the young man is for the institution he is about to enter. Nothing good comes cheap. If it is properly done, it does not have any disadvantage.”
Mrs. Adanma Nwakwo (Banker)
“Men should continue to pay bride price based on the tradition of our land. It is a good practice that started long time ago, it can only be amended in terms of the amount to be paid. The benefit of bride price is the value the father derives in giving out his daughter. Also, the husband will be respected among his follow men and will also respect the wife he married and the marriage will be recognized.”
Mrs. Nnennaya okoro (businesswoman)
“Yes, they should pay bride price because it is a sign of commitment and seriousness, because anything that you get free of charge people done value it. Bride price has been and it will continue because my husband payed my dowry and my husband has also collected bride price of his daughters. That prepares the man because when you want to marry you begin to save for the task ahead knowing that you have to pay bride price it makes you serious and mature as a man also make you responsible, it make you to stand on your feet to build your home . The benefit of paying bride price is when you know that if you sack your wife and you have to pay another bride price for another woman it will make you to value what you have because it will make you not to spend another money trying to pay bride price , you will cherished and appreciate her the more. It will be in conscience that she was not given free to you. In my place if your mother bride price was not payed and you want to get married, your husband will first of all pay your mothers dowry before paying yours that’s to tell you how important it is.”
Mrs. Grace Daniel (Civil Servant)
“Of course, men should still pay bride price, they are the one who wants to marry the woman and some else also payed their mother dowry so is something that has been and will still carry on. Is part of our tradition it shows that the man has every right over the woman he married, a situation where he did not pay that woman is not his wife no matter how long he has been with the man she is just ordinary girlfriend I believe strongly that bride price should not be discontinue is a mark of respect for the man, woman and their family. The benefit is the man having authority over the woman and the been called a real wife, also it shows that the woman do not run to the man and the man family will accord her respect she deserved.”
Mr. Muhammad Danjuma (Fashion Designer)
“It must be paid, that is the sign that he has married you, pride price is very important as long as the holy scripture is concerned because if you don’t pay even if you have children from her, she is not your wife until you do the needful. Every clan is different from others, as Muslim we don’t charge people according to our believe, whatever you can afford is what the family will accept. For instance, if am giving away my daughter in marriage I will not like the husband to empty his pocket. Bride price cannot be removed, it has been from time memorial it can not be taken away. Is only when he has paid that you will know he has married. Is also sign of respect for you and the woman among your people and mate. Is very important both for my religion and other religion is also from God”.
Mr. Abdul Rahman (Businessman)
“Sure, men should pay bride price. It is God ordained and our believe, and my reason is that the holy book told us to because is sacred. The name called marry is pride price, when a woman and a man stayed together is not marriage until he pays the bride price. Bride price is not something you can charge too much is whatever one has even if is cola nut in Muslim we call it ‘Dervino’ is also a bride price because it can also be used as bride price before you be called man. The significant of bride price can never be over looked and it can never be abolished, In the holy book it says when a man have not paid a dowry and have a child that child is a bastard, In the time of my fore father were religion was not there, they still pay bride price. Is something that make your wife stand out also the money being payed belong to the lady, she uses it for her self not for the family, the family can share other things that came with it.”
Mr. Auya Iliya (song writer and coach)
“Bride price is mandatory, every man supposed to pay as sign of fulfillment, is also a covenant between the both families involved. Is when a man is taken responsibility to take care of the woman forever, the woman is now your bonding not the family again, its saver as a witness to the both parties that today you have been pronounced as husband and wife. Bride price is defer from culture, education, background because is not a fixed amount it depend on the family, where am coming from the lady is the one who determines what the man pays, it dignifies marriage and is very important it brings respect and maturity makes the marriage unique and concrete. If you have married for many years without bride price people will make jest of you, it can not be taken away is a symbol of marriage. It can not be stop because other culture is collecting huge amount of money, am not encouraging people that are doing such because is not good that is what is causing problem in our society today”.