The Senegalese marriage market
Nowadays, marriage has become an industry in which the miserable exploited employees are the suitors and the happy exploiters the bride and her parents. Wooing agirl means that the young man exposes himself to a monstrous waste of money. He has to pay visits to the girl and at each visit he is expected to give "ndiegu guru" away, which can vary from 5,000 to15,000 francs. That's the cousins, aunts and sisters' part of the cake. Worst of all, the visitor's love is measured by the amount of money he offers; the more he gives; the more he will be consideredand well appreciated. Add to "ndiegu guru" the awful lot of money the visitor has to spend on comfortable bed, jewels and pompous wedding and one can see that a Senegalese bride costs around 500,000 andeven more.
It isn't an exaggeration to say that marriage instead of being an eternally happy union has become a nightmare for the young couple. The expensive wedding ceremony is a disaster for thehusband. The high bride price has pushed him to run into debts or to embezzle money from his place of work. The bride soon feels miserable, she finds it hard to understand why her husband who made bigsacrifices to get her is visibly unhappy and is showing less affection. But how can a man be happy and kind to his wife with all the debts he has to pay back or with the threat of prison if he hasrobbed his employer's money?
In order to avoid being miserable for the rest of our lives, we girls ought to change attitudes towards marriage and choose our future husbands not because of the richesthey display but because of the moral qualities we appreciate in them. Let us not sell ourselves to men, dear sisters; if we do so, we will run the risk of becoming tools in their hands and they will useus as they like.
A well-loved and respected wife is the one whose husband spent little money to marry her. Do ponder over the matter before you make your own decisions. That might save you from...
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