Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Many Find the Bride Price Calculator Funny, But There is a Petition to Remove It?

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I confess, I was not upset at all by the Bride Price website [read here], but found it funny. I didn't over think it, probably because I've been really saddened by the high spate of violence in Nigeria and needed something to make me laugh. I did the price check with Atala who pointed out how it could be problematic.

We talked about bride price, he was not there when mine was agreed and paid, and does not know exactly how much it was. I know for a fact the token amount is about N500, though of course there is some traditional haggling to add some umunna and parentals reward to the package.

I have my issues with the traditional marriage rites in Nigeria and the financial burden on young couples, but I can say categorically that the bride price is the least of it. In most ethnicities, the "bride price" on its own is less than 5% of the total cost of a traditional marriage. The bulk of the spending comes from settling greedy parents and kindred and throwing a big party for the village which the couple are pressured to do either by their perception of their own status in the society, or by the families.

Is there any real clue of how much bride price is? ThisDay reports that the Agbarho Customary Court, sitting in Delta State, ordered the family of the Mrs Ekpiwhre (a former Nigerian Minister of Science and Technology) to refund to the court’s registry the sum of N120 paid as customary bride price by her husband Mr Ekpiwhre when their marriage was contracted 1985.

Back to the bride price app, from the very first page and disclaimer, you get the sense it was all humorous. From checking for friends and enemies, to the disclaimer, to the consulting elders, to the premium babes, cord lace, NAFDAC numbers, wars in Africa and chewing gum boys, everything said it was a joke! Even the exorbitant amounts were a joke, I want a married person who can come and tell me their bride price - bride price o, not list - was up to a million naira.

Anyway, after doing a literal check, I actually went back and selected all the worst variables and strangely enough, the resulting score doubled. That was when I decided to blog about the fun aspects of the app.

But not everyone is finding it funny. In fact, there is a petition to the makers of the app to take it down.

Take down the app that promotes objectification and misogyny towards women

Petition by Ikechukwu Onyemelukwe; Loughborough, United Kingdom

"Misogyny is a central part of sexist prejudice and ideology and, as such, is an important basis for the oppression of females in male-dominated societies. Misogyny is manifested in many different ways, from jokes to pornography to violence to the self-contempt women may be taught to feel toward their own bodies." - Allan Johnson

Bridepricecheck is a web app that assigns virtual monetary value (in Naira) to women in an attempt to calculate their bride price based on factors such as their level of education, skin colour, nationality, weight, beauty, physical features, spoken accents, country of residence, employment status etc.

A bride price is a practice popular in many Asian and African cultures, which involves the payment of an amount of money, or property, or wealth by the groom or his family to the parents of a woman as a symbolic 'token' upon the marriage of their daughter to the groom. It is a cultural heritage that has always been used as a gesture of good faith and support, and a way for the groom to demonstrate his ability to maintain the bride in marriage. The amount paid as bride price can vary from a small token to a great sum. In recent times however, there have been concerns about the effect that payment of bride price has on gender equality, early or forced marriage, as well as domestic violence towards women.

The Bridepricecheck app promotes racism, sexism, discrimination against women. By assigning a price tag it devalues the true worth of a woman; it promotes the ideology that women are the lesser gender, and are expected to please men. The app assigns a lesser monetary value for having darker skin and a greater value for being mixed-race/ lighter. The app assigns greater value for being tall, having no tribal marks, and deducts value for having a particular accent. It even goes as far as limiting the level of ambition and education women are expected to have (by deducting monetary value for women who obtain a PhD degree). This is not in anyway different from the mentality that the terrorist group Boko Haram have towards women, and how they have demonstrated this with the kidnapping of over 200 Chibok school girls. The world is still dealing with the actions that ensue from such repressive mentality, and on a daily basis we get reports of rape, violence, oppression, and harassment of women.

Please join me in raising a voice against such a repressive mentality being subtly spread by an app in the name of harmless fun, and to ensure this app is taken down permanently.

Thank you.

So would you sign the app? Do you find the app denigrating or funny?

Here are some screenshots via Spicebaby [who also find the app insulting] of the various indicators and monetary values ascribed by the app;


  1. Sorry but I think this guy is making mountains out of molehills. If you're saying abolish the dowry culture in its entirety then that will make more sense, that in itself is what devalues. Those factors in the app; complexion, accent etc were not brought about by the app. He should first petition banks that employ based on complexion, petition "aristos" that pay their bedmates based on their skin colors (sorry I had to add that) petition TV stations that employ based on how thick your britico accent is, petition nigerian companies that employ only those with foreign degrees. He should petition employers that will not employ an overweight person. He should please leave an App that aims only at humor and focus on the things that matter. This problem is bigger than a Bride Price app. No Myne I did not find it denigrating, I had a good laugh. It did not in anyway make me feel less good about myself because I'm dark skinned and the app applies lesser value to that. I know who I am and I know what I'm worth and I feel sorry for anyone who had their self-worth influenced by a bride price app.
    When Mr Man petitions Multinationals and other Nigerian companies then I will listen and I will applaud him. (I have a friend who was given a job just based on the fact that he has an accent and did his masters abroad. That was the only interview that was done. Today he earns tons more than people more qualified for that job).

    1. Thank you Thelma, nothing further to add to what you said.

  2. But Myne, I complained in the comments yesterday that I did not find the app funny. I guess each to their own.

  3. I thought it was pretty hilarious. I was actually hoping for a "husband material" app as well :) As for the bride price, I don't think I paid up to #1000, it was just a token. Like you said, I do have issues with the costs of traditional weddings, it can be outrageous sometimes.

  4. I didn't just find it funny, i thought it was hilarious!
    It was clearly created for fun. And is for laughs.
    SOme people just need to chill abeg.

  5. Wallahi, some people take some things too serious

  6. Can't believe the seriousness being attached to app. I have tried diff combinations just to get a laugh out if the conclusion of "the elders". Ppl need to take life easy, otherwise they get HBP just cause ppl r smiling.

  7. Let's not sugarcoat this, it is offensive to most women except that Nigerian women have been desensitized to misogyny.

  8. Of course it is hilarious, it was intended to be. We have refused to choose our battles wisely. This has nothing to do with reducing self worth or not. In fact, there is nothing to say to it. Other than, it is and was intended to be a joke, obviously. Superficial, yes. But funny? Of course.


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