bride price and other stories


It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages

Friedrich Nietzsche

You sure must have heard about the young Kenyan lawyer who wants to be an in-law to the Obamas. I have no issue with that. I mean he the man has lovely daughters. What I take issue with is this lawyer thinking they are for sale and offers to pay livestock in exchange for her hand in marriage.

I have found no good reason to justify bride price or dowry and I am not going to make exceptions when I decide to get married. Any woman who thinks the measure of how committed a man is could be determined how he readily endures those silly negotiations with your relatives must count me out.

Sometimes I get surprised at how stupid some people in the US are. A week ago, I think, that social media craze called snapchat featured Nairobi and some of the tweets that followed are so silly, it is unbelievable.

There is an open letter to a Njoki Chege who has decided to offer men in Kenya lessons and set standards for her would be husband. The woman got guts, that I give her.

I am afraid, the I know it all Njoki Chege is dead wrong on why people have extra pair copulation. And it saddens me that several of those who comment on her posts agree with her inflated sense of importance.

Happy Sunday to all who pass by this spot.

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

114 thoughts on “bride price and other stories

  1. okuodo says:

    I think its better be called pick n pay than bride price

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  2. Cara says:

    The bride price/dowry. Where & how this inane custom started, I don’t know, but it must end. Speaking as a woman (a white, Italian-American woman who has lived a first world life in the US) I see it as, well, insulting to women. I mean, a man wants to marry…but rather than ask the woman if she WANTS TO spend eternity with him, he insisted goes to her father with a wad of cash, or a fatted goat (or other livestock) and if the father determines the offering of cash/livestock to be sufficient, he gives over his daughter, whose wishes obviously don’t matter.

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  3. Difficult to believe we’re in the 21st century sometimes.

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  4. I couldn’t agree more, and it’s certainly no way to start a happy marriage. The link you posted to Njoki’s post turns my stomach they are so vile the words written there. An ideal example of why some people have no real respect for their partners, nor indeed themselves.

    Happy Sunday to you too my friend *smiles*

    – s.u.t.Cloud

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  5. Ruth says:

    I didn’t read the whole post you linked to. I had to cover my eyes and peek between my fingers to read what I did.

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  6. I find the idiotic tradition of buying ludicrously expensive jewelry to show your “engagement” to be little different than a bride price. it says nothing more than “looky, looky, how much I’m “worth””.

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  7. fabryhistory says:

    Good one from Nietzsche. Also, Njoki is a nag!

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  8. Ain't No Shrinking Violet says:

    “I have found no good reason to justify bride price or dowry and I am not going to make exceptions when I decide to get married.”

    Mak are you saying a bride price is still common in your country? This does not happen in the US…I’ve never known a single person who did bride price/dowry. Here a man is expected to buy his fiancee an engagement ring (doesn’t have to be expensive), and she also buys a ring for him that is given to him at the wedding. I can’t believe there are women you date who would demand a bride price or show you the door!

    I read that post by Njoki Chege you linked, and have been left somewhat stunned and speechless by it. She seems, ahem, rather judgmental.

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  9. Oh dear. Njoki Chege is a product (no pun intended) of her own environment. From what I gather, she’s Nigerian. I once watched an interview on YouTube with Christopher Hitchens. He said there is an impulse for men to want to own women. One of the outcomes of this impulse was religion. “Men used religion to own women.”

    I couldn’t agree more with the quote by Nietzsche.

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  10. pinkagendist says:

    I want something for getting married! Does it have to be a cow, or can I have a polo pony? Maybe an elephant, I’d love to have an elephant living in the garden. I should have insisted on a dowry, but it’s probably too late now.
    What do very poor people get? A chicken? An egg and an incubator?

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  11. A Guy Without Boxers says:

    I simply have one question about dowries (bride price). Is the customer satisfaction guaranteed? If not, it the unsatisfied consumer given a full refund? Just curious.

    Much love and many naked hugs, my Nairobi brother! Have a terrific week! 🙂

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  12. Joseph Wahome says:

    But seriously, any woman who supports the dowry nonsense is not thinking. Getting dowry paid for you means that you are the property of that man. And from then on, some men understandably can’t understand why they have to still treat their wives as equals in the relationship. Because of this, women should be in the front-line protesting against dowry payments.

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  13. “What I take issue with is this lawyer thinking they are for sale and offers to pay livestock in exchange for her hand in marriage.”

    He is muslim of course he thinks they are cattle. because in Islam they are. All women are subhuman, less than a man. All women are for sale.

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  14. I’ve always wondered how many goats, cows, horses, chickens I would be worth? /smirk

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