Kenyans react to “insane dowry budget”

By Brian Ukaya and Vincent Kejitan | Tuesday, May 28th 2019 at 12:29
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Getting a woman to marry is slowly becoming a tall order for bachelors especially with the tough economic times and the exorbitant amounts asked for during dowry payment ceremonies popularly known as Ruracios.

If some of the figures being shared online are anything to go by, many young men will cuddle themselves to sleep for years to come.

Nearly every week our friends head out of town to start dowry negotiations, dressed in fitting Ankara outfits hopeful of reaching an agreement with the girlfriend’s family.

While some settle on reasonable figures, others drive back home immersed in thought: “Is she really worth it?”

This week, a 'dowry payment guide’ was shared online and it evoked mixed reactions.

The dowry payment guide which has since gone viral had totaled to Sh824, 000.

Kenyans online reacted differently with some complaining of the “insane budget” owing to the hard economic times our country is facing.

"This dowry budget can pay Kenya's debt to China," one Calvins Otieno commented on social media.

"This budget is two plots of land plus a kabiashara on top," said another social media user.

Others agreed with the budget arguing that a woman who is educated should attract a higher dowry.

"Kama mwanamke amesoma bei inapanda," commented one Elizabeth Njeri.

The history of dowry in our Kenyan society dates back to the olden days when different communities carried out different cultural practices in the name of dowry.

But in spite of this different variants, there is one common characteristic: the fact that money, goods or symbolic items are provided by the bridegroom (or his family) and passed into the hands of the father of the bride.

Sometime back an issue was raised on how Kenyans are grossly misusing the custom of dowry with some terming it ‘barbaric’.

After seeing the dowry payment guide that is the talk of town right now, most young men have come out to object the excessive dowry budget and some are even contemplating staying out of marriage.

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