Nigeria’s Bride Price app: reason for debate, but is it just a sly social commentary on the last?

Honey, so your life shall be sweet. Palm oil, to lubricate life’s aches. Salt, to preserve and keep you. Kola nut, i can not keep in mind precisely, but is it maybe perhaps maybe not enough that it’s the absolute most symbolically Nigerian thing, across all lines that are ethnic?

Exactly what are these? Collectively, they form section of a “bride cost” – money and gift ideas written by a guy’s household to a female’s upon their wedding. At school in Nigeria, during Yoruba history course, we had been told about women that attracted extremely high bride costs, determined by their characteristics. Inversely, there were ladies whoever bride costs had been therefore paltry, it had been an embarrassment. I do not keep in mind the certain gift suggestions and whatever they safe signify any longer, but I actually do understand that these classes for which we had been taught about our history were, for contemporary budding feminists, a tough pill to ingest.

I will be considering bride price again this week, however, due to a brand new software that’s been doing the rounds when you look at the African corners of my internet life. Initially, I happened to be reluctant to create relating to this application after all. The narrative of Africa and Africans in the united kingdom along with other Western, mostly white spaces is really old, therefore outdated and false, so wearying, that we conserve African tales for my safer areas, places where there isn’t any empathy space. I like speaking about Nigeria without some internet stranger telling us to “simply get over it! ” Speaking about Africa – its good as well as its bad – regarding the internet wears me away. So when we third-culture kids meet up, occupying that center area when you look at the Venn diagram that overlaps our moms and dads’ countries using the West’s, we are able to laugh about this. That is what this software is all about.

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The Bride Price app calculated that I became well worth the “Premium Babe”-ly amount of 494,500 naira that is nigerianNGN) –about ?1,816. Just How achieved it get to this figure? Via a number of questions, and they’re the star that is real of application. You’ve got the solution to check always “for yourself” or “for the friend/enemy” – because as Nigerians, a very important factor we have been constantly conscious of, even though we can not see or hear them, is our enemy.

Therefore, also before we clicked, I became smiling. Then arrived the actual concerns: my height; my fat (choices included the extremely standard “medium”, and the harder-to-decipher “Mama Ronke” – so what does that even mean? ); my leg form (“straight”, “sexy bow leg (Beyonce)” etc); my facial beauty (from “intimidating” to “complete no try”) an such like. Each solution possesses value that is monetary no kola pea pea nuts here – often a “discount”, 60 % if you should be regrettable enough to end up being the indecipherable “Mama Ronke”. The application does take time to determine the bride price and provides a jaunty message by having a blinking green shekere (a West African musical instrument): “Please wait – the elders are consulting. By the end of the test”

The expression “if that you do not laugh, you’ll cry” appears, more than ever before, to be manufactured specifically for Nigerians. The narrative that is accepted certainly one of woe, a country lurching from pillar (of calamity) to publish (of disaster) despite a resource wide range that may effortlessly end up being the response to our dilemmas. The idea of bride pricing is a screen to the past, a past that will be not necessarily glorious or edifying whenever viewed through a lens that is modern.

But this software is sly – the nuance may possibly not be noticeable to all optical eyes, but it is here. Under skin colour – which might or might not have had an effect on bride cost within the days that are olden definitely things within the hierarchy of beauty today – comes five groups. “Half caste”; “Light epidermis”; “Dark”; “Whitenicious”; and “Lupita” (like in Nyong’o). The worth for every decreases as you get along record, beginning with +NGN50,000. Issue – and solution choices simultaneously acknowledge the colour-struck manner attribute of a swathe of Nigerians, in addition to noting without fuss the number of tints we can be found in obviously. There is certainly an level associated with Lupita complexion, that will be a thing that is small yet not.

There are more markers. On teeth, a “white with gap” gets the highest value (my mom has expressed dismay that none of her kiddies inherited our grandmother’s “beautiful” diastema), while “Ronaldinho” is sold with a -NGN40,000 label. The location and citizenship concerns are fine “don’t cry – laugh” examples (America happens tops in both), and a Masters is desirable, but a PhD features a penalty of -NGN100,000. Employment sees oil and gas show up trumps (+NGN100,000); my journalism job has a value of just +NGN20,000. Fortunately, i will be “redeemed” by my English accent – the greatest – respected at +NGN45,000.