You proposed and she said yes. You are elated. At last, the woman of your dreams is yours. You walk around with your chest held high until you see the ‘list’.
500 tubers of yam, Vesper bike (for grandma), laptops, land, bundles of expensive lace clothing, cartons of assorted drinks, five white goats.
Second to meeting her parents for the first time, the list of things requested by the bride’s family is the most dreaded part of marriages in Nigeria.
You are still reeling from the effect of the list when her pastor tells you only a white wedding done in his church will be recognized in the eyes of God.
And the Lord help you if your bride to be, wants an Instagram-worthy wedding. 11 bridesmaids, choreographed dancing, reception at Orientals with Baskemouth emceeing.
With your now deflated chest you sit quietly in a corner and ask yourself is she worth bankruptcy? Yes, bankruptcy is what it takes to get married in Nigeria.
The rules of marriage first instituted by God in the garden of Eden is universal.
A man finds a woman he likes, approaches her family and is told what the bride price is.
Immediately he pays the bride price she becomes his wife. Every other thing is just additional, the marriage is over.
Everybody knows this. The pastors know this. Yet they insist you must also get married in church after getting married traditionally.
By law in Nigeria, Customary marriage (traditional marriage) supersedes church marriage and magistrate courts will not join you together if you are yet to do the Customary marriage.
So why do pastors insist their members get married in a church, with some churches even carrying out pregnancy tests and inspecting the brother’s house.
As far as I know, the father of the bride, not a pastor determines the rules but in a religious country like Nigeria the pastor hold sway.
So our youths grow old and gray hustling for cash to fund three marriages only to marry one wife.
Cash that should be spent on the welfare of the new couple is wasted catering for uncles, aunties, and friends who have never given a dime to neither bride nor groom in their entire life.
A lot of these unions have collapsed because after borrowing or spending their capital to get married they have no funds to take care of basic needs.
Marriage, simple and beautiful thing, has now being corrupted in Nigeria.