So recently I had the pleasure,-maybe not so much-, of taking part in the preparation of a dowry/bride price visit. I am yet to recover from the shock!!!!!!! At what point did a young couple’s intention to get married become a get rich scheme for the bride’s clan and a crippling endeavor for the other family (read groom).  How do the so called elders sit around in a circle and come up with this things!!!! Perhaps my experience was one sided, maybe there is a rational and reasonable criteria that they apply to come up with their list of demands. All I ask is if by any chance, however slim, such a criteria exists, let someone share it with me!!!!
I acknowledge that you value your daughter. I also acknowledge that you may have an urge to value your daughter equivalently to a small island in the Caribbean, but get this; the fine young man that your daughter brought home to all-so-proudly introduce comes from a family, much like yours that probably places way more value on him than you can muster for your daughter.
What makes this even more saddening is that none of these outrageous sums of money (always put across as heads of cattle or goats) goes to the couple. This leaves the new couple waist deep in dowry debt and with a wedding to plan that will bury what’s left of them in about 3-5years of debt if they are lucky.
I am okay with dowry, but not as a payment, or as a debt to settle. Call me crazy but I think it should only be a token of appreciation for allowing your daughter to join her husband’s family and hey, He Who Finds a Wife Finds A Good Thing, if I could quote the good book. I just didn’t know the going rate for a daughter changes more dynamically than the shilling fluctuates to the dollar. Human trafficking might be illegal, but sit through one of these dowry shindigs and you will realize they got sleek with it.
Gone are the days we gave birth to kids to get cheap manual labor or be regarded as wealthy. The same way you struggled to educate your girl is  the same way someone else did for their son. The young man wouldn’t even be eligible in your daughter’s eyes were it not for someone’s struggle. So, when this someone accord’s you the respect of visiting your home, to ask you to allow his son to marry your daughter, the least you can do is respect their struggle and be freaking realistic.
The greatest gift you can receive from and for your children is gratitude and appreciation, and these are things that are shown in many ways and often come with sincerity and a kind heart. You will not get the same if you demand and solicit for undeserved goodies only because your daughter fell in love. So kindly resist all urges of plunging your child’s matrimonial life in the drain even before it starts.
Last but not least,
Dear almost married lady, you have all the power to speak your peace and get your folks in order because if you can’t and they decide to make it their retirement fund, it can only end in two ways;
He decides you are not worth the drama and the cost and walks
Or he bares the weight and you start marriage with a list of debts longer than the voters register…..



  1. Well put darling, the purpose of dowry is not money or sale
    of a bride. I believe just like you it is meant as a token by he who has found a good wife to his parents for taking good care of his wife… If it was the bride price then what would it make the wife?.. A slave?.. Bought from her parents?…

    Liked by 1 person

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