Its my culture; pay the bride price
It began with a YouTube video I stumbled on a video answering a question , a white man with a Zimbabwean fiance who did not want to pay the customary bride price. The woman responding to the question initially started off well and highlighted the need to respect to his fiances culture since she valued it.
Then there it was “you know bride price is common in African countries because women have no value “
What???? I was outraged! Bear in mind the person responding to this question is not African but is basing her assumptions on what she has seen in the media (which we all know is very objective ). I felt like I had been punched in the face, I thought about my dad and countless other dads ,of my friends and family who had paid fees out of pocket from kindergarten to university to ensure their daughters had a good education.
Who does that for people with no value?
I digress. I decided to look at the comments which we all know is a treasure trove. Almost immediately I saw a response by an Ethiopian correcting her. She explained that bride price originated because parents (fathers) wanted to ensure their daughters married men who could provide so they required the prospective husband to produce evidence of his ability through a bride price. The logic was, if he was unable to pay the bride price he certainly could not provide for their daughters.
As the conversation progressed other Africans explained how bride price had evolved in their countries and the reason for it, including the fact it was cultural emphasizing to the non-Africans it was not a bill of sale. A peculiar thing happened as the conversations progressed “that is so barbaric “said one, “Africans always look for an excuse to mistreat women “said another, “why would you want to you sell your daughter” said the other. Statements like this were repeated over and over again.
I even joined the conversation explaining the items (it’s not usually solely money) were shared among all the members of the extended family because in the Nigeria you are marrying a family not a person. All this to no avail. “Barbaric ““savage ““primitive “the contempt was unmistakable.
I realized in that moment what I had been recognizing more and more, of course it would be perceived as barbaric, it is African isn’t it? To anyone western all things African are barbaric, most westerners will NEVER accept anything from Africa to be anything BUT barbaric. If it’s not theirs it is NOT good or acceptable it is WRONG. This is why the images of Africa continue to be of famine, war and destruction despite development and growth that has occurred in recent times.
Those images validates their sense of superiority.
I am Nigerian, proudly Nigerian, my morals and values come from my Nigerian culture.
I do not need western validation for any part of my culture, I love my culture from dress & dance and yes payment of bride price.
I don’t care what YOU about think of it, its strangeness to you, and your inability to understand it.
It is not for YOU, it is not about YOU, so exit stage left .
I have aso-ebi to buy for a traditional wedding.