I don’t believe in paying dowry….


What is this new age African men that come to the western world and decide that they do not believe in paying dowry???
I have recently met not one but a few young African men who open their mouths to say that they do not believe in paying dowry because it demeans women or they would rather spend the money on investments and buy meaningful property. Some further say that it shows that women are a property that is to be bought so they don’t believe in it, and this allows men to treat their wives any kind of way. Excuse me? I beg to differ. Paying dowry is our African custom and it has been handed over to us for years. To me it makes the man respect his wife. Also it will make people think twice before they head to divorce court, knowing how much it took for them to earn their wife. Why would we throw that away because we managed to get a visa and come to the western world? Granted the white wedding is glamorous and some people turn it into a circus thing, with cakes as big as houses and thousands of people etc. I personally would rather spend less money on the white wedding and focus my resources on the traditional marriage.
I give kudos to our African sisters who marry outside the African world and make the oyinbos, and foreigners come to our homeland to pay the dowry and do right by them!
I tell these men that some families in Africa have chosen to do away with the tradition of paying dowry because they do not find it relevant and have given away their girls in marriage without collecting a dime. So if these men do not believe in paying a dowry, then they should adopt the same and not collect for their daughters. However if they want to marry a woman that her family requires a dowry then they would have to pay up or walk…
What do you all think? As Africans, is it ok to skip the traditional wedding, introduction, bride price and only do the white wedding because we are in the western world?


  1. It seems like this post is referring mostly to cultures where you have to pay loads of money as dowry cos in my tribe (southern Nigeria), the 24 kobo or so that's paid as dowry is definitely not enough to "rather spend the money on investments and buy meaningful property" LOL. I won't point fingers but I'm sure we all know the people that demand loads of money before you marry their daughter(s). I like the culture of paying dowry, its no big deal (judging from my own culture o!)

    *my 24 kobo*

  2. No!..If my man wants to marry me..he better pay oh.

    why would you think you can just come and carry me from my fathers house for free?

    where were u when he was paying for my school fees?

    where were u when he was paying for my feeding and upkeep?

    and now u hv come from nowhere and u want to carry me home then change my name from my FATHERS name to yours for FREE??? for real!…thts not even happening. u have to show him and my fam respect! so guys u either pay or walk and I prefer traditional weddings to white anytime anyday. so be it!

  3. I agree with you belladonna. The purpose of dowry is not to demoralize the African woman but rather to remind all those involved that your are getting something of great value and nothing valuable comes without costs. In my place the groom also brings gifts to the bride's mother as a thank you for raising a wonderful daughter. It is important to remember that all of these traditions pay homage to the institution of marriage but more importantly to the family institiution. It is because of these traditions that despite all the terrible things that have happened the african family has still endured. Read any commentaries on the fall of western civilization and they will tell you that it began with the deterioration of the family. Look at cultures where there is a heavy interest in the family and see that they have similiar traditions. I think its time for the west to start taking notes from everyone else instead of vice versa.

    • well i was getting ready to pull up my references docs & all of my main points, but u beat me to it!! i agree 100% with you. especially the part where the man pays homage and honors the parents for raising such a beautiful girl. On Lagbaja's record, Paradise, he said (this my translation i can't remember it word for word), "If we didn't take care of her and raise her like we did… would you still see her and say she's the one you want to marry?!" The answer of course is NO!! So pay up!!! lol

  4. I can see why the girls are in full support of the dowry—–money is involved and they are at the receiving end.lol I support the dowry for some reason.

  5. Haha!!! It is a very "funny" man who will say that he won't pay my dowry!!! Every point that people have put down are very valid ones. To tell the truth though, the main point of the dowry, be it 24 kobo or 24,000 dollars is the fact that it is tradition and it is a good tradition that has stance in a good symbolization. I also come from a tribe where the bride price is not exorbitant but no matter how much it is, it is what it stands for that matters the most so in you refusing to pay it, you are sending me such a negative message even from the beginning. So, you WILL pay my bride price no matter how much it is or we won't have unity from the beginning, i mean even come on, when i explain what it means to me, you should even WANT TO pay it as your sign of love to me. And the traditional wedding is definitely just as important as the white wedding, it is the one that my people will give their blessings to our union so it def has to be done!

    • Yep. I am urhobo and our bride price is very minimal. We even have a tradition of giving some of it back. It is our tradition and it should be embraced.

  6. I think you are generalizing this tradition a bit. My family doesn't believe in getting dowry because some men think paying dowry on their wives means ownership. I am a very traditional person. i agree with most thing in my culture but paying dowry is something i don't agree with. Whether the guy pays dowry or not doesn't mean he'll respect the girl. What if he pays the dowry, take her home and uses her as a punching bag ( where is the respect there) or what if he cheats on her ( another subject for another discussion) but where is the respect there.

    • well that just has to do with marrying the right. What if he still doesnt pay dowry and he still beats her/cheats on her? It is possible for dowry to have some negative effects on a marriage, but that's ONLY

      • my bad idk what happened….

        that's ONLY because that man or woman had mental issues before. I saw mental issues as in certain ideologies/thoughts that arent correct PRIOR to the dowry being paid. For some people, if someone does something nice to them for them, they pay them back with taking them out to eat, money, cook a nice meal, buy a nice clothing item but they DO something tangible. That's all dowry is, a token of appreciation. If someone sees it as buying another human being, then that's slavery NOT dowry and they shouldn't do it. In fact I think the bride should help to pay her dowry as a token to her parents too for supporting her and raising her well (if that's the case)! As for me oh, my wedding (whenever it comes lol) will not just be my husband paying my dowry…. I would rather we both put money together to give to my parents and his. but hey that's just my opinion.

  7. Oh please! Paying dowry does not make a man respect his wife, it makes him feel he is her all in all. You said our forefathers bequeathed it to us, have you forgotten that our forebears were primitive polygamists? Despite they paid dowry, they married harem of wives, since all it required was to pay certain amount, even when the bride was not interested, her parents would force her into it once bride price was paid.

    I'm not against paying dowry but this "custom" we all clamour is fast fading away. People who started it never lived in apartment meant for their wives and children alone, they lived in compound house with other members of the clan and never sent female children to school because they believed she would be sold out someday. Both families should exchange gifts, since the two will come together as one, not groom taking possession of the bride.

  8. Rushed reply,

    What about we switch roles, let Women pay dowries, and before any of you hypocrites jump at me, I just want to say I have met a Nigerian woman who paid dowry to her Indian husband. She is from bini, and when i asked her if she would do the same for an African man, she said NO(looking at me like i just stole her wig),and from the convo i had with her, it turns out that she is not the only "blackwomen" who has paid dowries to foreign men.

    I like the culture of paying dowries, but i believe African men are duped. In India and other Asian cultures, the WOMEN pay DOWRIES. Marriage itself is not natural, it is all social construct.

    According to a naija lesbian feminist friend of mine(She dated oyinbo men before turning to oyinbo women), she said and i quote "Whatever ancestors came up with paying dowries must have invented productive means for pimping". From a Masculinist point of view, i feel her comments are one of the major reasons why some African men run away from such custom. My greatgrand father married my greatgrand mother, not because of love, but because of settlement rights. He was a hunter,farmer and trader from Ijesha, that settled in Ijebuland. He took my ggmother home after two years of completing the payments.He didn't oppress her, he took care of her and his family, but she is not the woman he fell in love with. The woman he loved was from the former Oba-idan, and he didn't get to know her, date her, nothing. Decades later, he saw the daughter of the woman he loved at my grandmother's store, and from her looks, he could still remember his first true love, all he could ask for was her mother in a shattering voice. I was young then, and everyone present knew something was wrong with Baba Agba, he just kept quiet after learning the woman died giving birth to her daughter.

    Anytime i think about this, i feel sad. Majority of African men went to their graves without knowing the meaning of LOVE, thankx to the African culture. This led me to research educated naijamen in marriages with foreign women, and till this date I'm yet to meet naijawomen sing praises of naijamen the way this women praised their husbands.And yes, the Nigerian husbands paid dowries to their foreign wives(It was a joke to some, but their female relatives envied them).I also believe this culture of dowry is one of the reasons why African women place soo much unrealistic, unapologetic, materialistic standards on the men. This must come from the cultural fact that, you can't pay the price, you don't measure up(Name me one Wealthy naija woman that married a poor naijaman??). Instead of accusing the men, maybe you women need to come out clearly and discuss the positiveness of dowry, because your feminist sisters are wailing around the world saying it is oppression. And please don't go on about gender equality and yet expect dowries to be paid to you. Also there are naija women paying dowries to foreign MEN, what do you have to say about that???

    African culture needs to be challenged, reform thoroughly. What is kingdom yesterday, is nothing but villages today. What is language yesterday is vernacular today. The beauty of yesterday is a FAT girl today. The complexion of beauty yesterday is the "ugly darkskinned" of today. What is money yesterday is cowries fashion today. Women hairstyle of yesterday are wore by MEN now. so what is AFRICAN CULTURE and why do you women always find comfort in the cultural aspect that involves money????? or should i rephrase my feminist friend

    "Whatever ancestors came up with paying dowries must have invented productive means for gold-diggers"

    Just my thoughts.

  9. My husband and his family paid my brideprice and brought some other stuff to marry me and we had a beautiful traditional wedding. It made him feel good as a man that he used his income from his Residency to marry me and guys! chill out. Its our tradition and its not about ownership of the woman but respect to her parents, family and village for raising her right for you to marry. its a small token to what they spent to raise her this way so you dont own her.

    For my brothers and sisters who have a problem with that, how about the reverse where the woman pays the brideprice and you pick up her maiden name…yeah! I said it. so relax, you are not paying to own her but as a respect to her family for raising her right!

    God bless yo'all