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Cisi Eze: Women Should Start Paying Groom Price

Cisi Eze

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“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

Have you ever seen a Nigerian man leave his father and mother go to his wife’s house? Heu, Chi’m! We have been disobeying God. Imagine!

A religious country as Nigeria has gone against the word of God. Maybe that is the reason Yahweh/Allah has refused to answer our prayers for good roads and constant electricity supply. We have to retrace our steps, and I think the best way to go about this is by admitting we are still holding on to the pagan practices of our ancestors where women went to their husband’s house.

My country people, it is time to start paying groom prices, not even dowries.

A dowry is “an amount of money or property brought by a bride to her husband”. Unlike dowry, we, women, would go to the groom’s family, his people, to drop something. Hia! It is not easy to raise a man, o. O dighi mfe!  We have to appreciate these men and make them understand we value their worth.

Here are reasons why we should pay groom price:

Men are beautiful creatures
Women, have you ever taken five minutes to look at a man? God took time to carve their bodies! All that beauty and grace! They ooze sex whenever they wear agbadas, suits, or anything. And when they take it off? You get to see how gorgeous they are with broad shoulders that narrow down to sexy waists. Then their derrières are so ample… if you are not careful, you would want to do inappropriate things to them, especially when they visit. (Some of us rape them, you know? Have non-consensual sex with them, through different means – could be by drugging them, emotional gymnastics – but that is not the issue for today.)  The wonderful thing is that we make babies with these gorgeous creatures. (Wipes single teardrop threatening to fall on black T-Shirt.) Do we even deserve men?

Men “biologically” contribute to the union.
How do we get our children? Men have to contribute their sperms. Men are so powerful that they could decide to end humanity. All they have to do is decide to always use birth-control techniques, especially the withdrawal method, aka pull-out.

They are strong
“Vibrators couldn’t move heavy stuff around the house and so God decided to make men.”
I can’t recall where I came across that quote.

Men are very strong and we should be grateful for their strength. All the strength they have can be channelled to scrubbing bathrooms, washing cars, sweeping the house, name any chore -asides cooking, because obviously, culinary skills come from the vagina. Or why is there a strong emphasis on women to cook?

They financially contribute to the marriage
Society has stated men are the ones to provide for their families; ergo, they work so hard! We fail to realise that all the money they get from working hard could be channelled to their parents. It is imperative we compensate the groom’s family before the marriage.

Because
Yeah, we should pay groom price because. Just because.

They give us their names
Like, before marriage, our names are really dumb and irrelevant; this is why society believes we have to change our names, get the Mrs. Status,  before it respects us. Or is there a logical reason to change your name after marriage? Well, some people say women in Africa should change names because it helps to keep the lineage. Why should a child take only one parent’s name if he/she belongs to two people? There you have it; a woman’s surname is dumb. The least we can do is pay groom price.

I could give more reasons why we need to make some payment before acquiring grooms. Why are men even paying bride price? Why should they pay bride price when they are the ones that determine the sex of a child? They are the ones that hustle everyday in order to provide for their wives and kids. Let’s be fair and start showing we respect their worth. Who knows? They might be lowkey angry with us, women, for not paying groom price and misogyny is their cry of anger.

P.S. Do you find this ridiculous? Then, you should find paying bride price ridiculous. What is the justification behind paying bride price in the 21st century? We say we do it to express we value a woman’s worth. What worth? Doesn’t the man have worth, too? This absurd practice of paying bride price was tenable at a time when women were reduced to objects, when there was so much emphasis placed on virginity. It is the 21st century; women are more than objects

If society wants to appreciate a woman’s worth, it should let go of misogyny by updating, not erasing, all social institutions that enforce patriarchy, to ones that enable women to be seen as humans, not just two breasts and a vagina. It should stop restricting our minds based on our bodies.

When we act like human beings, society should not insult us by saying we are trying to be men. We are not trying to be men; women only seek to achieve the best things in life. Men are not a basis of comparison or competition. In fact, no one should be seen as competition because we all are different. Stay on your lane and flourish there.

We are women; we are priceless! Paying bride price, buying brides, does not make sense anymore.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime| Adou Innocent Kouadio

Cisi Eze is a Lagos-based journalist, writer, comic artist, and graphics designer.She feels strongly about LGBT+ rights, feminism, gender issues, and mental health, and this is expressed through her articles as a guest contributor on Bella Naija, her blog – Shades of Cisi, a podcast she co-presents – We Said It, and an online radio show – Stirring the Waters. Aside these, she has works on Kalahari Review, The Rustin Times, Outcast Magazine, Holaafrica, Mounting the Moon, 14: An Anthology of Queer Art Volume 1 and 2.Cisi’s art challenges existing societal norms.

48 Comments

  1. Enn

    May 24, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    I disagree on the Sex appeal part..that generalization is too much abeg, it doesn’t apply to all these men carrying beer guts arnd that even put some baby bumps to shame..Biko.

  2. O_o

    May 25, 2017 at 12:30 am

    Thank you!! I have always wondered how a concept like bride price payment still exists in the 21st century. Worse for me is the enthusiasm of some ladies, who otherwise proclaim themselves as feminists) when discussing having ‘a high bride price’ or men clamoring for return of bride price like women are commodities purchased.

    • Cocolette

      May 25, 2017 at 4:57 pm

      Any woman who does not want her ‘bride price’ to be paid should tell her people not to collect it. Simple as ABC! I don’t know how this will become another reason for quarrel ?

  3. random

    May 25, 2017 at 12:30 am

    Is this some kind of a sattire? This piece can only be a ridiculous joke..lol.

  4. Aisha

    May 25, 2017 at 2:43 am

    Why speak from both sides of your mouth?
    One one hand, you mention bride price being a pagan concept….any you think bearing the man’s name isn’t?
    Please, read!

  5. Manny

    May 25, 2017 at 3:20 am

    This is called trying too hard. It’s tiring Cisi. It really is.
    I get this is “satire”. I get that you’re trying “to bring positive social change in Nigeria by provoking people to rethink and reconsider certain beliefs they have clutched to their chests like it were a medal”.
    But then there’s just something off about the way you put your thoughts across. It’s like I’m such a smart, non-conforming thinker and y’all are so unrefined. Some sort of Dunning–Kruger thing there, I think.

    • Honest!

      May 25, 2017 at 10:13 am

      I agree with you Manny. Cisi I have no doubt that you are a talented writer and a brilliant somebody but you have no respect for your readership and very low emotional quotient. You are so bent on appearing like a forward thinker that you go on to insult the sensibilities of your readers and possibly go on to think that we are so insulted because we are close minded. You also have no acceptance of other peoples beliefs or preferences – the same thing you accuse us of being. Repent!

    • mz Titilitious

      May 25, 2017 at 10:30 am

      Hmmm, u right.

    • appy

      May 25, 2017 at 12:29 pm

      But why are you surprised?don’t you know Cisi is A Real Nigerian? That is the best she knows as far as communication is concerned. She has superiority complex. Whether as Bruno, ARN or CISI …

  6. Nikki

    May 25, 2017 at 4:07 am

    *yawn*
    Poor writing and I couldn’t tell if the writer was making a comic attempt or trying to pass a serious message. Fail!

  7. Darius

    May 25, 2017 at 4:35 am

    This is the best article ever written! Cisi you toyally rock!

    • Darius

      May 25, 2017 at 4:35 am

      totally

    • Californiabawlar

      May 25, 2017 at 4:47 am

      King Darius ologbon dori eja mu….

    • Darius

      May 25, 2017 at 5:06 am

      @Californiabawlar, translate pls!

    • funmilola

      May 25, 2017 at 7:22 am

      I’m sure you’re joking

    • Darius

      May 25, 2017 at 8:56 am

      @californiabitch, out of curiosity, I asked someone to translate your comment and I was shocked. What you wrote is so uncharitable! . You’ve just helped to solidify my hatred for the yorubas. I can’t recall the number of times a yoruba person has insulted me in yoruba. You people are just the same – too loud, foul-mouthed, foul-smelling, hateful, promiscuous, very dirty and stupid.

      Thunder will fire that your amala mouth and those ugly hands you use to type. Rotten bitch!

    • Darius

      May 25, 2017 at 12:40 pm

      Hey, @californiab**ch, out of curiosity, I asked someone to translate your comment and I was shocked. What you wrote is so uncharitable! . You’ve just helped to solidify my hatred for the yorubas. I can’t recall the number of times a yoruba person has insulted me in yoruba. You people are just the same – too loud, foul-mouthed, foul-smelling, hateful, promiscuous, very dirty and stupid.

      Thunder will fire that your amala mouth and those ugly hands you use to type. Rotten b**ch!

    • californiabawlar

      May 25, 2017 at 2:34 pm

      Lmaooo! Yooooo! talk about spazzing out to the max ? It’s really true that racism/tribalism is a mental illness o. I’m happy to have helped trigger your final stage of psychosis publicly though. At least now we all know.

      p.s. To a non-Yoruba speaking pedestrian wondering what the hell happened.
      1. Please ask King Nebuchadnezzar over there.
      2.. ‘Ologbon dori eja mu’ = A wise person holds the head of the fish.
      Wether or not it’s worth tearing cloth to enter market obviously depends on how many lose screws you already have ?

  8. Marian

    May 25, 2017 at 6:56 am

    I can’t get over the misinterpretation of the bible verse.

    It’s hard for me to comment on your articles because I can’t tell if you actually believe the things you write or just write them for the comments. I kinda see you grabbing popcorn and having a good time reading through the comments and shaking your head at the people who take you seriously.

    I can’t take people who directly or indirectly insult others who do not share their opinions and you seem to that a lot with your articles.

    Are you going to marry?
    Are you going to wear a white or ivory gown on your wedding day?
    Are you going to have bridesmaids?
    Will you carry a bouquet?
    Will your father or another male relative walk you down the aisle?

    We are all different people and will never share the same opinions when it comes to some things. In trying to provoke people to rethink and reconsider certain beliefs they have clutched to their chests like it were a medal, understand and accept that some will want to and that is okay.

    Years ago i met women with college degrees who just wanted to be stay at home moms. I probably looked down on them and thought I was better but i know now that i was wrong to even think that. I accept that we are all diferent and that is Okay.

    I actually like the whole paying brideprice thing and to me it symbolizes acceptance by my husband’s family. The umbrella that came with my bride price is my only working umbrella right now and it’s been raining nonstop.
    Not sure about other cultures but in the yoruba culture there is actually a very good and symbolic meaning to the items they package.

    P.S: I think it’s sad we no longer put emphasis on virginity.

    • Babym

      May 25, 2017 at 8:43 am

      Well done Hun, ur head is there ?. My bride price was 5 Naira! Lool obviously it’s just a symbolic act that doesn’t jack in term of what I am worth. If the writer is being honest, she knows in this day and age bride price is a non issue but with the need to be non-conformist she ended up sounding a bit silly… without the petty generalisations and insults, she could have started a decent dialogue.

    • Fabulous

      May 25, 2017 at 9:15 am

      God bless you Marian. You just said my mind.

    • Many Years ago

      May 25, 2017 at 9:47 am

      Symbolic of acceptance?

      “I actually like the whole paying bride price thing and to me it symbolizes acceptance by my husband’s family”

      Marian, that’s not a symbol of acceptance. If you weren’t accepted in the first place they wouldnt allow you marry their son (vice versa) If you live in the 21st century, you should be able to confront, review and challenge the old ideologies. You ladies have challenged the old ideologies to suit you but want the ones that don’t favour you to remain.

      What symbolizes the acceptance of the man by your own family?

  9. Marian

    May 25, 2017 at 7:07 am

    I forgot to mention that i actually like the topics you write about just that your writing style is not effective in reaching your target audience. Do you want them to just get mad, hiss and dismiss or actually think?

    • Manny

      May 25, 2017 at 6:12 pm

      I agree Marian. I’m all for social change, in some areas.
      The problem with Cisi’s delivery is that it’s like preaching to the choir. The people who get the satire are likely to share similar views. The people who don’t get it get angry/dismiss it and how do you then effect the change you want?
      On this matter of bride price, they don’t collect where I’m from but I would prefer some foreskins.

  10. Pink

    May 25, 2017 at 9:16 am

    Cisi tries too hard. End of…

  11. jadesola

    May 25, 2017 at 9:30 am

    Good or self-serving intentions, poorly thought of, poorly communicated.

  12. Many Years ago

    May 25, 2017 at 9:34 am

    Many Years ago, I was taking a course called SOCIOLOGY OF THE FAMILY, and the lecturer was talking about bride price. As young a si was then, i asked him why should there be bride price and there wont be groom price?

    Your parents sent you to school, so also did my parent send me to school
    Your parents spent on you to train you, so also mine
    You are living your parents house, so also am i.
    I will even be the one to carry the burden of the majority of the responsibilities

    So why wont there be a groom price?

    In places like where they determine the bride price by level of education, it makes no sense to me, didnt i go to school?

    I most cases, as ladies like to marry up, the guy is even more educated, learned, versatile, got more work experience, more finances and resources(so to say)….why should there be bride price?

    Is this commercialization? are we paying for a commodity? Are w ebuying something? #2 or #5m. Forget all those silly MY BRIDE PRICE IS 50kobo…..Do you know how much your parents actually collected? Buying wine, hollandiase cloth, wrapper, 50k for your ancestor who has long died? some for your mother, some fo ryour father, some for the boys in the compound, some for the deceased, some for the masquerade in your lineage, 100 tubers of Yam, palm oil, 50 crates on mineral…..You should have just told me i will feed your entire village na

    We are man enough to pay but we question the ideology!

    • Californiabawlar

      May 25, 2017 at 3:57 pm

      I understand your reasoning. It depends on the culture really. Where I’m from the bride price is actually paltry. The ‘other stuff ‘ is almost standard: yams, one goat, bananas, a bible and one box filled with fabric for YOUR new bride. All the other stuff is usually from the grooms family trying to show off. And to offset most of what the groom brings, the brides family throws a huge party… that’s why most Yoruba weddings are outlandish. The groom bringing plenty stuff to show that he’s able to care for his bride and the bride putting on a show to make it clear that you’re not picking her out of an impoverished family.

  13. #WhatDoIKnow

    May 25, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Some points made anyway. However, I look forward to the harmonization of trad, church and court marriages as a single ceremony. We can’t go on with this triple marriage thing…I am of the opinion that trad should be the only marriage with a Priest/Imam & Rep of Registry/Customary court playing their role at some point in the ceremony. We need to amend our constitution accordingly to lessen our burden. Good morning Lagos.

    • newbie

      May 25, 2017 at 12:20 pm

      They cannot be harmonised into a single ceremony because they are different, administered by differend institutions. Each of them in its own right will suffice as a valid marriage, but our people seem to want to do all three, so what you should really be advocating is that people choose one.

  14. Many Years ago

    May 25, 2017 at 10:33 am

    BN please post comments asap or leave comments to drop without been ratified. Takes ages to see your comments approved. If you dont want us to drop comments, just diable the comment section. Plus this a social site, people should be able to say whatever they wish (in a respectful manner though) without trying to play to the gallery so their comments can be approved

  15. jayden

    May 25, 2017 at 10:45 am

    U got jokes!!

  16. Nitomeya

    May 25, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Cisi I tire for you oh, you have come back again with ya remixing. Well done ma. And I hope you guys (gooners) enjoy the Europa league next season. As for this topic, you should do better than this.

  17. Tosin

    May 25, 2017 at 11:23 am

    original and funny. love.

  18. deel

    May 25, 2017 at 11:54 am

    Cisi Eze, life is not that serious mbok.

    • Puzzles

      May 25, 2017 at 12:10 pm

      It may be serious to her o. She might be from those places in Igbo land where to marry wife is at least 3M. Can’t you see that it’s chasing away potential husbands? Even men from those places are marrying outsiders.

      Years ago, my mother’s place was like that. When the Igwe observed that there were so many unmarried women and the men were marrying outsiders, he reduced the bride price drastically. That helped many women including my mum to eventually get married.

      Personally, i see brideprice as a symbol, not as a business transaction, afterall the brideprice in my place is 200 naira. However, i think the greed some families manifest in the name of brideprice needs to stop.

  19. Grace

    May 25, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    My darling, some things are actually just symbolic.

    As an Anambra girl, the bride price is just a symbol though men with wealth do things for their would-be families to earn their respect as per ‘ogo bu chi onye’ but it has never been a deal breaker.

    Let me tell you the history of bride-price in my part of the world.

    In the olden days, wars used to break out because men were defending their sisters from men who maltreated them. This got so serious that people decided that there had to be a better way. When a man and woman decided to get married, representatives from both sides would come and drink wine. If there are issues, only those who drank wine during the negotiations will come for settlement holding the horn used in drinking the wine as a symbol. Wars reduced, men and women were called to order and life got better.

    Now, people can just go to court and divorce hence bride price may no longer be relevant but I tell people something, while men and women are equal, we are very different. Men were created to value what they pursue and sacrifice for. If a man cannot go to your village and try negotiating with your family (let’s be honest, few families really demand the world), how do you expect him to actually make sacrifices for you. Before you ask if women shouldn’t make sacrifices too, we all know most women would cross oceans for men who love them unconditionally; some even do it for men who don’t deserve it sef.

    You cannot be smarter than God. He wanted to take a bride for his son and he paid a price for that bride. Read the bible, the church is the bride of Christ and she was bought with a price; the life of Christ himself.

    The fact that you have a low E.Q has been over-flogged. I just pray God heals you of whatever it is that ails you.

    • Bruness

      May 26, 2017 at 9:34 am

      @Grace Ada Anambra iji ezigbo okwu. Daalu ri nne.

  20. Baymax

    May 25, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    All of you demanding that there should be groom price, FYI the brides in India pay dowry. Sadly, there’s a high rate of dowry death in India as a result of this practice. Groom and their families kill the bride either because she doesn’t pay additional dowry or because they want to marry another bride in order to collect another dowry.

    Here in Nigeria, in spite of the bride price, women are victims of domestic violence and most men are not treating them well. Imagine if dowry was now demanded from the women. What is happening in India would be child’s play compared to what would happen here.

    • Baymax

      May 25, 2017 at 1:41 pm

      Additionally, the groom and his family demand higher dowry and if the girl and her family are unable to pay, they move to the next one. As a result, there are a lot of women from poor homes in India who are unable to get married. Some of these women end up alone or prostituting themselves. Anyone who has watched 3 idiots can remember that one of the friend’s sister was unable to marry because the groom’s family demanded a car as dowry.

      Imagine this practice coming down here in Nigeria, where men are already misbehaving when there is bride price.

    • californiabawlar

      May 25, 2017 at 2:48 pm

      You did your homework! The situation in India was my first thought! There are social campaigns all over trying to end the male dowry system. How the author didn’t consider this is totally beyond me. Fact is that it’s a man’s world…they win either ways. Nobody should be paying anyone jack fcking shist! My family (and a lot of other Yoruba families) already does this though… your pay the N1.500 and my family gives you your money back. We don’t sell our women.

    • Manny

      May 25, 2017 at 6:17 pm

      well, she didn’t actually mean that groom prices should be paid. It was more tongue in cheek. She was trying to flip the script on men, trying to point out that the bride price culture promotes an ownership of women. And that if women paid, would the same rules and expectations apply?

  21. Marian

    May 25, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Wow! Brotha Darius well done o! Patewo fun ra e!!!
    Some of yall just be forming posh and enlightened on this blog.

    BN moderators!!! E pele o!!! Someone can write bitch twice and una no see those kind comment to send to your spam box.

  22. Yellow sun

    May 25, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    Even the bible acknowledges bride price to be paid…it is our culture..it is not barbaric…it can’t be abolished because it doesn’t suit ur western ideologies madam..
    Sha continue writing ur articles like the readers are daft ….

  23. [email protected]

    May 26, 2017 at 8:59 am

    Mumu talk. You had to come to social media to let everyone see your mumuism. Continue. While you are at it write an article on reasons why women should not bother getting pregnant when they can leave that to a man.

  24. nneka

    May 26, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    I look forward to when children wont have to answer only the father’s name. Maybe the both parents name can be coined. Also, when women don’t have to be Mrs a man’s name.

    • john

      May 27, 2017 at 12:54 pm

      continue looking forward but meanwhile please stay single ..Don’t go and tranfer that confusion and frustration on some poor guy

  25. Josephine

    May 27, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    Wow, Darius. You’re really sick. So pressed you had to post such filth twice! And who are the 49 fellow sick ones who liked the comment? And where was the BN comment police who allowed this? This blog is disgusting.

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