There is a difference between dowry and bride price. Bride price is presented to the bride’s family by the groom while dowry is wealth presented to the groom’s family by the bride or her family.
Bride price payment has long been respected in the African culture, it is still been practiced by many Africans. They say bride price is a token of appreciation to the girl’s family for raising a wife.
On #TheNiteTalk there are a number of issues that cropped up as we discussed what was really the value of a woman in relation to bride price. It was discovered that the more educated the bride is the more the groom might have to pay for her. This was one criterion used as a factor in determining bride price.
Two, the feeling of entitlement among men. The woman is taken to be more of property than a companion (as stated in the Bible), hence there is a likelihood of mistreatment as the woman was literary bought to serve the man and more so give him children. The token of appreciation dies at this point. Cases of domestic violence too may not be ruled out.
Then what should one look at before determining the value of bride price? #TheNiteTalk
— Ⓜunene Thambu (@mcmun1) September 8, 2017
Third, the fact that one could pay high bride price for his bride but her ability to cook the conventionally accepted foods like Ugali in Kenya is zero. This, many men argued, is unacceptable.
Last, during bride price negotiations, many noted that in today’s context there are many who take advantage of this practice so as to extort money from their soon to be in laws. So the assumption that the bride price is to make the newlyweds start off their marriage on a good note is questionable.
Unfortunately, bride price is sometimes misconstrued as the idea of girls being their families' cash cows #TheNiteTalk
— Certified Savage (@Harrymb254) September 8, 2017
The discussion might have left the question about determination of the value of a woman in terms of bride price unanswered, but there was a discovery that there are cartels who make bride price negotiations look like business in a stock exchange market. Question is; should the practice of bride price and dowry payment go on being practiced or should it stop?