WIFE FOR SALE: NIGERIAN BRIDE PRICE by OKOYE GODWIN

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BY OKOYE GODWIN
  
It’s a unique criteria in Africa for a woman to pass through training from the hands of her parents , family members (extended relatives) ,school ,church , and the society all for the sole purpose of keeping her safe for the “Golden day” (her marriage), this is usually the joy of the family who wear-on smiles to compliment their earned moralistic value inculcated in their daughter. Traditionally, it is also understood in the typically  African society like Nigeria that for the “Golden day” to take place certain amount of money must be paid in “exchange” for a bride ,that is, a price is paid for a bride.
Today in our African society the bride price is considered by various cultures to have various significance either economically or traditionally. Economically, it is noticed that various ethnic group especially the  igbo culture take the bride price of their daughter as a source of money making and extortion , sucking all that is left of the “poor” gentleman who has found love and has decided to go for what he loves . The mentality of the Nigerian culture towards bride pricing makes it look like a market-trade encounter between the families   were price is bargained rather than marriage , bride pricing is supposed to be the first step to uniting the both families for a greater goal.
Psychologically, the high cost of bride price has led to the broken marriages today. Imagine a  situation were a man has spent his life- savings in paying a bride price and eventually gets married ,during the course of the marriage he may eventually wake up to see his wife as a product which he bargained and bought rather than a bride and companion. It’s important for Nigerian parents to understand that their daughters are not for  sale and should not enforce high bride price on their daughters like a price tag on a product in the market but as a gift which is given in anticipation of better things.

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