The Bridge One Must Cross

“He that find a wife, finds a good thing……” Proverbs 18:22

Some days ago at work, a female colleague showed me the list sent to her fiance. Honestly, the sight of it nudged me to malaise for customs and traditions and sent shivers down my spine. Again I didn’t say it’s for the wedding proper o, I mean the list of the items the man was expected to bring. I tried so hard to figure out why a family or community would demand such items before letting go of their daughter. I thought I could keep this to myself, but apparently, I couldn’t.

There were times when the first line of the first stanza of Sunny Nneji’s hit-track , Oruka, sounded really confusing. Yes! In a case whereby a man has found a wife but is struck on the face by the long scroll of items to be bought and the amount to be paid to the girl’s family. Can I say he has found a good thing?

Usually, there’s a flurry of Wedding invites this time of the year. But we all know those statistics don’t reflect the reality of the mood and the man’s “bottom line” after the events and celebrations. A huge chunk of the expenses is on the fulfilment of the traditional list. And sadly, this ritual is usually seen as the sound conduit between both families.

Make no mistake; bride price palaver is becoming a stinker in most tribes in Nigeria. The list handed out by some families is becoming a bitter pill to swallow.

The percentage of guys that get married before 35 has dropped significantly and my proof is the number of them claiming “beard gang” up and down. So this leaves me wondering. Is bride price becoming a kryptonite? This seems like a trivial question until you consider the number of Men that shelve their frustrations and just take the financial gamble because they do not want to let a good girl go.


Ideally, every parent want to be sure that their daughter will be in good hands. This entails questions like what do you do? Where do you live? Who is your father? And some even funny ones like what car do you drive?

These might sound like harsh judgements, but the margins are unless you thick these boxes, you might just be in for some torrid time convincing them you’re right for their daughter. Especially in this “change” regime, nobody feels that incentive to support your development.

Recently on social media, a man ranted against bride price in Africa. He accused Africans of having no class and selling their daughters. Who knows if his was similar to the one I saw last week. Just saying! But some people wouldn’t mind. All in the name of Love, someone will gather his inheritance and embark on a suicidal journey for just introduction and village rites. Toh!

All of my critical assertions so far should be directed to some of the negative aspects of the traditions some of our communities hold on to. It’s time we Africans realise that marriage is never a market square where we price the most eye catching items or where we engage in trade by batter; pay me before you take away my daughter.

In one of my publications earlier in the year, I stated emphatically that no one can truly say they love without accepting the challenges that tag along, but not in this kind of situation whereby love is being tied on a stake and thrown into the Lagos lagoon to test how far it could survive under water. My brother, nobody should manipulate you to the point where you’re going into debt just to show a family you really love their daughter. That rubbish must end this 2017!


Right now I am considering the weight of my pocket and how far it could carry me in settling any of those exorbitant bride prices that could come my way.

So please help me confirm because the pressure is mounting. Pesin don dey old small small. How much is bride price in your village? Edakun……epp me.

13 thoughts on “The Bridge One Must Cross

  1. Lols……………….Come to my family, the bride price isn’t much.

    On a serious note, this should be looked into because it has even made we ladies to double our hustle too if not pesin go get grey hair for im papa house.
    I don’t know who invented this rubbish, what we know from the scripture is that the men give whatever they can afford to the family of the girl but in Africa both the people you have never seen in your life has a portion in the list.


    1. Chi, your responses really cracked me up. And to answer your question, honestly I don’t know the best panacea to tackle this, but re-orientation to these elders wouldn’t be a bad start.

      It makes no sense after fulfilling the necessary traditional requirements, the couple struggle to then find their feet.

    2. I feel you Chi, the way e dey be these days ladies contribute to help their man pay bride price. For pride sake sha some men push that contribution post bride price for wedding ceremony but all na two of one thing.

      E’m, biko direct me the address of ina family house first…lol!

  2. #100 lol…well dis can mostly b found in d eastern part of Nigeria… Where u av to pay a lot n train ur wife’s siblings.
    Especially if ur wife is educated….in marriage u are xpected to av children dat will tk care of u at old age buh nowadays u kip on struggling to train dem till u die….buh Bros u av no choice, u av to pay😜

    1. My dear, I used to think this was prevalent with the Easterners but hell no. The southerners too get their own wahala o.

      Now to your comment. Placing exorbitant prices on ladies just because they are graduates doesn’t make sense. Most times, the man who’s asking for her hand is also well educated. I just think it will make more sense when parents and elders support their potential in-laws. Marraige is a life time friendship, no be one day them dey use marry wife finish. 😊

  3. Good piece. Parents in-law to be has a role to play. I remembered during my traditional wedding. My Mum told my husband that he should make sure he provides all that are needed by our compound people and the villagers that she is not selling her daughter. All the items listed for mother that he should buy few. To further my point why I said in-laws have a good role to play, the way you present your sons in-law to the villagers matters, if you allow them to drain his purse you will receive your reward in future. A particular man after the tradional marriage banned his in-laws not to step into his house forever because of the huge pride price he paid.
    One of our uncles wife we were told asked the secretary of the village women to alter the list for her, any item stated as one should be double, etc.I have heard of places you will build house for your in-law as part of dowry. You will also train one of the younger ones in tertiary institution. Some men end up pregnating their fiance as such to avoid the the traditional wedding etc. Haba is not suppose to be so and it was not like this before.
    We will become parents in-law one day and can change this trend. God will help us. Tony God will direct you to a God fearing family who understand what the real meaning of dowry and marriage is. Isaac paid dowry in the Bible, little things he gave out as dowry. Two are joined together and they become one.
    Well done and more inspiration.

  4. Fantastic Piece of writing. Like you said in your write up ” Reorientation of the Elders” will definitely bring some drastic change to old culture. Let’s sustain the tempo and in no time the Elders will change for good.

  5. lol…..this really has become a hitch in our society, putting d young men and women in the box by exorbitant marriage rites all in the name of customs and traditions.
    Its amazingly annoying how pple dat neva knew or contributed to your growing up would surface from no where to benefit in bride price or even increase the list of items, making it frustratingly difficult for the intending couple.
    But we can break out of the box of traditions and customs by the power of knowledge and good conscience tru God. Anyways…..God help us all.

  6. Worry not, when that times comes, you shall cross over.
    The basis is understanding between the two parties involved (the lady, her family and the guy).

    No body should kill theirselves because of marriage.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Etta. Truly, nobody should go ”overboard” because of marriage.And in these modern times too, our people in the village should help matters. Biko, help me tell them!

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