If money is the least of your problems, you have a 100 percent chance of living the best life in a money conscious society like Nigeria. Like every other thing you can use money to acquire, marrying a Nigerian bride, also taking into consideration all the customs and tradition you have to observe, having the right amount of money is the major determinant in wether the wedding will hold or not.
You can singlehandedly determine the time and duration and manner in which you want the wedding ceremony to run because you can lift the financial weight of marrying your Nigerian bride. There are other stakeholders who should normally have their say concerning the whole event, but everybody looks around only for the money bag and they act accordingly. This frequently thrown-around statement best describes this scenario: “money stops nonsense.”
Love don’t cost a thing?
Who ever said ‘love don’t cost a thing’ had better wake up from their ‘Lala land’ they are snoring away to. Nigeria is one “world” I know money turns around in its own axis, because you can get virtually everything done with money here. There are other challenges that money cannot solve though. But having liquid cash can make them seem nonexistent as people only value you by how much money you can doll out, not so much as other qualities or values you might possess.
The moral decadence
Who would want to develop good virtues and values when, while growing up, it seems only the people who possess certain amount of money and wealth the Nigerian system work for. Because you know it is survival of the fittest, a jungle, you had better from your tender age, start looking for all available avenues to make this money — no one cares in the society how you made it — they are just waiting to praise God for how he has blessed you and, also having faith your kind financial breakthrough will happen to them, too.
Rich vs not so rich
What do you think will be the outcome when you have a civil case with a much richer opponent and the police had to be involved. Like an auction goes to the the highest bidder, you might as well look for a relative who is more richer than your opponent to come to your aid if you don’t want to lose out before it even gets to the court. You know auctioneers would naturally favour the highest bidder. That is why you’ll see someone who is richer than you tell you they will deal with even when they are the one at fault.
Even on the street
Do you just wake up in the morning feeling like you owe everybody in Nigeria some money. From the courtesy visit from the beggar who waits on hand for you to collect your change from the commercial bike man, so that you can put it into good use by handing it directly to him.
To the street boys that stay on you like guided missile until you come up with some kind of magic that draws some naira currency from you. To the bus conductor who holds on to your change long enough, even after entreaties from you for your change, so that you forget and he can ride home with someone’s money he stole without using a gun.
Buy your way to good grade
You are about to finish school and you realise you have ‘worked really hard’ maintaining a low cgpa from you 100 level to 300 level. To get yourself a higher cgpa is just a matter of applying your money in the right places, and all you have to do is just feel accomplished.
That job can be yours. Where is the money?
Looking for your dream job? Hey, save enough money, we have a market out there where the juicy jobs are sold to the highest bidder. What is the whole essence of getting trained in the university in the first place anyway.
You can buy voters too
You are a politician. You can ditch your manifesto. We don’t have that much education to care about what’s in it for us in the next four years. Who cares about them anyway.
You know how well you and your colleagues in your political class have mismanaged the economy to a halt, hence earning us the ‘prestigious’ title of ‘poverty capital of the world.’ Therefore, the only way you see yourself winning an election is sharing money to the electorate who have been disenfranchised for so long and just want to satisfy their immediately want. They are usually the people who have suffered under repressive economic policies, looting and mismanagement by their leaders.
Skull miners on the prowl
And there are those who withdraw their own money from the dark spiritual realm. A place where the unfortunate is sent to by way of killing them and severing their body parts and using it for money rituals. You see and hear cases of missing persons, and when they are found, they are usually dead, hands, eyes, private parts, heads missing. You wonder what ferocious beast is lurking around doing this — people like you with pretty and handsome faces everywhere — they are looking for money.
Relationship between the transactional side of marrying a Nigerian bride and a society that prioritise money over morals and values
The groom, the bride, and both their families are an integral part of a society that cares more about money than other things of value which a healthy society yearns for. So there is no gain saying when I conclude our culture and traditions as regards the wedding ceremony; only puts serious pressure mostly on the groom to make available money every step of the way in a typical Igbo or Yoruba wedding.
As an outsider who is experiencing a Nigerian wedding for the first time, instead of observing and appreciating the rich culture and traditions that a typical Nigerian wedding has to showcase, all that can be beclouded by the intense and vigorous involvement of making one payment or another at every step of the way during the ceremony. This is direct reflection of what is generally obtainable in a society prioritise money over morals and values.
The transactional aspect of marrying a Nigerian bride
Nigeria as we know has three dominant tribes: Hausa/Fulani to the northern part. Igbo to the eastern part. And Yoruba to the south-western part of Nigeria. All the weddings ceremonies that hold from all other tribes, about 300 of them, in Nigeria are influenced in part or whole by these three major tribes. Therefore, I am only going to dwell these three starting from the Hausa-Fulani tribe.
The Hausa-Fulani Sharo wedding festival
What fascinates me about the sharo wedding practice, is the fact that you have to go through life threatening pains, in a flogging bout with your opponent, in order to prove yourself worthy of the bride. They say love is pain. This time around it is not emotional pain; this is you getting beat up with cain by the other suitor contesting for the bride against you.
On one occasion a suitor lost his life on the account of subjecting himself to a flogging match with an opponent who, unintentionally target the back of his neck and it was light out. On getting to the hospital, before they could attend to him, he was already dead. He paid the ultimate price for a transaction affair of marrying a Nigerian bride.
The Yoruba igbeyawo
It is a tradition in the Yoruba wedding (igbeyawo) that the groom with your friends and family must meet their waiting in-laws at the venue of the ceremony. The time between getting to the venue of the “igbeyawo” and actually meeting the bride’s family, is riddled with hurdles of sundry payments which, many are times, bore out the groom and his family. It is payment galore within that period.
And when the groom and his family eventually meet their in-laws to make official request for the hand of their daughter in marriage, they are subjected to various other payments that have no receipt. Marrying a Nigerian bride does not involve you having a receipt, sorry.
At a point, the bride’s parent will return the bride price back to the couple emphatically stating that they are not selling their daughter into marriage and they wouldn’t want any harm to come to her. However, prior to the date of the “igbeyawo,” the groom must have spent a fortune checking every item on the list of things required of him by the bride’s family.
One thing you cannot take away from the Yoruba in-laws is that they can be flexible and accommodating of the groom’s financial inadequacy. Don’t bank on that though. Be prepared.
Marrying the bride from Imo state
The Igbo people are some of the most business oriented people In the world. A typical Igbo man wakes up in the morning thinking of profit and loss, and his day-to-day activity has to be something that brings in money. If it will not result to some profit for him, forget it, he has no business dealing with you.
The same goes for the Igbo father who is giving his daughter out to marriage. Such a man knows what have many daughters mean — payday upon payday. A suitor who is aware that his bride-to-be is from mbaise, Imo state in the east, “has to buckle his belt” properly so that his trouser don’t fall off. Because, the things he’ll be asked to buy (the list), the amount of money need for it is no child’s play.
When it is not affordable
In some instances, suitors have had to postpone the traditional marriage because they could not come up with the amount of money needed to take up all the requirements for the wedding.
For those intending couples who see this as barrier because of the groom’s financial state, and they don’t want it to stop them from being a couple, they go ahead living together as man and wife. However, the husband is always reminded that if he doesn’t come to do the things required of him, the kids he has with their daughter are not his yet; they belong to the bride’s parents.
Nigeria is one society where amassing stupendous wealth puts you on a level where you feel you are invisible to life challenges of a regular citizen. You can get away with many and everything as along as you know the price to pay any opposing force or entity. The cultures and traditions we claim to uphold and cherish are nothing without money. Especially with the traditional weddings, when there’s no application of money, it may turn to an event with bad bloods and counter bad bloods.