Emancipation;No Bride price

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I think a lot more analysis ought to be taken on if at all this dowry debate is to end.
Personally I have taken my time and keenly looked through the importance of bride price specifically considering the value our old wise men and women attached to it.
My conclusion is,bride price whether it’s returned  after things have gone bazaar or not,has lost its value.
In the olden days,women where paid for,yes paid for,let’s stop sugar coating it as appreciation,or maybe we can,now that it is just a fulfillment of trends. These girls, right from childhood where taught to work as women, mothers and most especially as wives.
The time came when you were paid for,and  off  you went to your marital home for fulfillment of specifically two major duties;childbirth and conjugal rights awarded to the man,of course also maintaining  the home, I can add that,this is what girls where trained to do. This is where the notion a “woman’s office is in the kitchen” came from.
Anything beyond that was to be taken care of by the man.They where also brought up as men,taught to  hunt,given skills to run a home, singly as a man should. The food,the children needs and most importantly the woman’s needs,where never anyone’s worry,but the man’s.
My point is the men were men,they were the heads of the home. Women were paid for,because basically they stayed home diligently preparing for the husband’s return to a warm meal.
With emancipation, and blaming our economy as well ,a woman cannot afford to sit home and look at her husband for everything. Times have changed. In this era it’s no surprise you take a woman home and she cannot cook, cannot iron or boil drinking water,now I pause my question,”What where you paying for?”
In this era,you find the laziest of men, the kind that can’t fix a bulb,or maw the grass, how disastrous!
The men need our help,its now a partnership. With the way women are advocating for the men’s sits calling it emancipation,I think it’s time this bride price game came to a stop.

©valerie

16 thoughts on “Emancipation;No Bride price

  1. Interesting read. I disagree with you on though on the point that bride price is “payment” for a woman. I do not believe that we are goods that are bought, even from the time of our fore fathers; Bride price is a form of appreciation to the bride’s parents for educating her, taking care of her and giving her to you. It is my opinion that if a woman turns out to be less than expected, her parents should not be dragged into the mess by demanding return of the bride price because the appreciation was already done. Just let go of the woman and let that be it.

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    1. Charlotte i disagree we surely are sugarcoating it and calling it appreciation….have u asked ur self why its a”PRICE” not “GiFT” or lets say brideprice not bridegift….aprice is the exchange value of agood or service in monetary terms…so u can agree with me that brideprice is just in exchange for abride …thats why failure for one to pay this there was no marriage or bride given…..i also say it is taking as(women) as property the huggling that takes place between the man’s side and woman’s side to agree on which price or lets call it bride price is to be paid.
      I strongly believe and feel that if it was appreciation one there would be no value attached like say my daughter is worth 10cows.No huggling would also take place for the two partiea to agree on what price is needed for fits the value of the woman in question.If it is appreciation it shuould be clear appreciation let the man bring thing(gifts) that he feels he can afford and most importantly love to give the parents willingly as atoken of appreciation…..i wud go on and on and on………#nobrideprice

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      1. “That which we call a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet”. If the name is the problem, we can change that fact. So let us imagine bride price is indeed ‘payment’ for a woman. That payment ought to be payment for the care her parents gave her and for her education plus their permission for the man to have her.Note that I have left out doing housework and her marital capability. Since all the former has been fulfilled, it is what was paid for and not the latter so a bride’s failure in the marriage oughtn’t lead to return of the bride price for the parents fulfilled the duties for which they were paid. The problem with the men these days is that they are so petty as to want to claim back a gift that they gave to a bride’s parents, assuming a circumstance where it is considered a gift. I believe marriage is a risk that one takes and a man has the duty to take enough time to study the woman he marries before he does to avoid issues like her inability to do house work if that is a deal breaker for him. If things turn out wrong, then he should simply leave the woman without demanding pay for what did he expect her parents to use the gifts for anyway? To keep and never put them to use? If parents had to keep things such as cows in case their daughter’s marriage ended, then bride price would have no relevance. So provided it is there, expecting return is utterly unreasonable.

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  2. Charlotte it was payment even when you got problems and run back home “okunoba” they usually said go back they paid for you,ebintu twabilya,what does that imply??And if it was appreciation why would they demand for it in case things went bad?

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    1. I believe they said ,”We already ate the things” because the rule on ground was that the “things” had to be returned if their daughter turned out to be insufficient. Had the rules on ground been different, it would have been a different story.

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  3. Bride pirice is not a payment but rather a form of appreciation. Its a culture that puts a vulue to a woman, raising a daughter is not an easy task. Bride price does not constitute enequality if thats what you are afraid of nor does it mean male dominance. Its just a culture.

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  4. A small question for Charlotte,
    “…the parents fulfilled the duties for which they were paid…”
    so you expect to be paid for raising your own daughter? for perfoming duties you are supposed to do?

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  5. The reason it is called ‘bride price’ is because the white man, as always relegated the name to it. It’s very much similar to the words, ‘Female Genital Mutilation’ as named by the white man. If you notice, the English language will negatively connote anything that the English man may not have agreed to, much less understood. As regards dowry, it was very much a sign of conjoining two families/clans etc. As a result, the white man(as always) came to view it as payment. In the olden days, items for dowry included a few things, for example local brew and a few food stuffs, and that was it. The introduction ceremonies included only the immediate family (as told to me by my mum and aunties). With time, it increasingly came to be viewed as a “price’ because of the exaggeration that people put into it. Also, a lot of people are mistaking the court’s ruling as saying, “No, there should be no Dowry.” All it is saying that the man should not feel entitled to some sort of payback, which in the first place should not have been viewed as such.

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