Nigeria’s Bride Price app: reason for debate, but is it just a commentary that is sly social days gone by?

Honey, so that your life shall be sweet. Palm oil, to lubricate life’s aches. Salt, to protect and help keep you. Kola nut, i can not keep in mind precisely, but is it maybe not sufficient 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 suggestions written by a person’s family members to a female’s upon their wedding. At school in Nigeria, during Yoruba history course, we had been told about women that attracted bride that is incredibly high, determined by their characteristics. Inversely, there have been females whoever bride costs had been therefore paltry, it was an embarrassment. I don’t keep in mind the certain gift suggestions and whatever they signify any longer, but I really do keep in mind that these classes by which we had been taught about our history had been, for contemporary budding feminists, a difficult pill to ingest.

I will be contemplating bride price again this week, however, due to an app that is new’s been doing the rounds into the African corners of my internet life. Initially, I became reluctant to create about that software at all. The narrative of Africa and Africans in britain along with other Western, mostly white areas is really so old, therefore outdated and false, so wearying, that we conserve African tales for my safer areas, places where there is absolutely no empathy space. I love discussing Nigeria without some internet stranger telling me personally to “simply get on it!” Dealing with Africa – its good and its own bad – from the internet wears me away. So when we third-culture kids meet up, occupying that middle area into the Venn diagram that overlaps our moms and dads’ countries utilizing the West’s, we are able to laugh about this. That is exactly what this application is mostly about.

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The Bride Price app calculated that I became well well worth the “Premium Babe”-ly amount of 494,500 naira that is nigerianNGN) –about ?1,816. Just just How achieved it reach this figure? Via a few concerns, plus they are the genuine celebrity for this software. There is the solution to check always “we are always aware of, even when we cannot see or hear them, is our enemy for yourself” or “for your friend/enemy” – because as Nigerians, one thing.

Therefore, also before we clicked, I happened to be smiling. Then arrived the true concerns: my height; my fat (choices included the very”medium” that is standard 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 – no kola pea pea nuts here – often a “discount”, 60 % if you should be regrettable adequate to function as indecipherable “Mama Ronke”. The application needs time to work to calculate the bride price and provides a jaunty message by having a blinking green shekere (a West African guitar): “Please wait – the elders are consulting. by the end of the test”

The expression “if you never laugh, you will cry” appears, inside your, to be produced specifically for Nigerians. The accepted narrative is one of woe, a country lurching from pillar (of calamity) to create (of disaster) despite a reference wide range that may effortlessly function as reply to our issues. The idea of bride pricing is a screen to your past, a past that will be not necessarily glorious or edifying whenever seen through a contemporary lens.

But this application is sly – the nuance might not be noticeable to all eyes, but it is here. Under skin color – which might or might not have had a direct impact on bride cost into the days that are olden undoubtedly things in the hierarchy of beauty today – comes five categories. “Half caste”; “Light epidermis”; “Dark”; “Whitenicious”; and “Lupita” (as with Nyong’o). The worth for every single decreases while you get along record, you start with +NGN50,000. Issue answer and– choices simultaneously acknowledge the colour-struck manner attribute of the swathe of Nigerians, along with noting without fuss the number of tints we are offered in obviously. There was an level of this Lupita skin, that is a small thing, although not.

There are some other markers. On teeth, a “white with gap” has got the highest value (my mom has expressed dismay that none of her young ones inherited our grandmother’s “beautiful” diastema), while “Ronaldinho” is sold with a -NGN40,000 label. The area and citizenship concerns are fine “don’t cry – laugh” examples (America is released tops in both), and a Masters is desirable, however a PhD features a penalty of -NGN100,000. Employment views oil and gasoline show up trumps (+NGN100,000); my journalism profession features a value of just +NGN20,000. Thankfully, i will be “redeemed” by my English accent – the greatest – respected at +NGN45,000.

If you can’t look at social commentary in this software, then perhaps it is not for you personally.

Anyhow. The application proposed my prospective in-laws deliver 100 yards of cable lace to my ancestral household homestead as befitting my “Premium Babe” status. Finally, a software that gets me…

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