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Outrage as high bride price in Kenya becomes unmanageable, turns men off

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Outrage as high bride price in Kenya becomes unmanageable, turns men off

Outrage as high bride price in Kenya becomes unmanageable, turns men off
December 13
21:43 2017

Embu Deputy Governor David Kariuki has appealed to parents of youths seeking to settle down in marriage to reduce demands during dowry negotiations, saying it discouraged them.

Mr Kariuki said cases of men shying away from proposing to local girls are on the rise due to unrealistic conditions imposed on them.

Speaking in Embu Town, the official cited a recent incident where a resident of the county fled his would-be in-laws’ home after the bride price was raised and penalties imposed on him.

“Many youngsters are not settling down in marriage because of the exorbitant bride price being demanded,” said Mr Kariuki.

“Recently, you heard about the man who left in a huff after various penalties were imposed on him.

“He was subjected to many fines until he felt he couldn’t take it anymore. Let us make it easy for our children to marry and start homes.”

Meanwhile, a man from Kathanjuri Village, Runyenjes Constituency, was beaten up by his in-laws at the weekend after his wife reported that he had insulted her as they argued over the dowry of about 20 cows that he had paid.

The man, only known as Ngari, was said to have told off the woman, claiming that the cows had ended up “with hyenas”.

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  • On the morning of their planned ceremony, Mbogo’s girlfriend notified him that the money he had sent her family was not enough
  • Upon arrival at his fiancé’s home, Mbogo’s entourage was slapped with several fines forcing him to boycott the ceremony

Negotiations and presentation of dowry is supposed to be a fun moment. So when two love birds from a rural outpost in Embu County agreed to have their families meet over the same a fortnight ago, only entertainment and merriment was expected.

With Mbogo unaware of many of the traditions and the seriousness they were treated with, he made several mistakes that saw him fined heavily.

So much so that he walked out of the ceremony to express his displeasure.

An infuriated Mbogo left in a huff, vowing never to set foot in that home again because his would-be-in-laws seemed hell-bent on extorting him.

A lot of planning had reportedly gone into the ceremony, with the young lad sending his fiancée’s family about Sh40,000 to cater for food, tents, chairs and a public address system.

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He had also set aside Sh60,000 to pay his bride price which is calculated based on the value of a number of cows and goats that the two families agree on.

“On the morning of the big day, Mbogo was shocked when his girlfriend called and inform him that the money he had sent was inadequate and the dowry negotiation committee had decided that he sends an extra Sh20,000 that morning,” said Kabiru, Mbogo’s relative.

Mbogo reluctantly coughed up the money and had to make several phone calls to friends for emergency soft loans as he was not prepared for the new demand.

In a fleet of hired cars and a school bus, they arrived at the fiancée’s village, hooting joyfully to announce their grand arrival.

But since there was no one to guide them, they made a detour to the wrong path and ended up into a different homestead instead of the girls’.

For this, the delegation was slapped with a Sh10,000 fine, which they paid grudgingly.

“Feeling exploited and harassed, Mbogo paid up the fine and we settled down for the ceremony. The introductions proceeded smoothly, followed by food as music rented the air,” said the relative.

Drama, however, ensued when several girls were paraded into the compound covered in lesos from head to toe and Mbogo asked to guess who his fiancée was.

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He studied the girls, who were of similar height, sniffed around for his girl’s perfume but all was in vain. He pointed to the wrong women, leading to yet another fine of Sh5,000.

The girls were shepherded back to the house and covered up before being paraded once again. Just like in the first try, Mbogo picked the wrong one, leading to yet another fine, something that sparked furious protests from his delegation.

A furious Mbogo excused himself to visit the loo, only to slither out of the home in fury.

He is said to have hopped on to a passing motor bike and headed to the nearby market centre.

“Efforts to reach him proved futile as he had switched off his phone,” said Kabiru, adding that the ceremony collapsed, even as the lady’s kin begged Mbogo’s delegation to prevail upon him to return and conclude the negotiations.



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