Religious Leaders Slash Bride Price After Outcry

  • Bride prices have been a source of headaches for aspiring husbands who cannot wait to share their lives with those they love. 

    According to a report by Citizen Digital on Tuesday, November 26, religious leaders in Ijara, Garissa County came to the rescue of such men who were subject to the extortion that comes with weddings and bride prices.

    The new rules set to tame such extravagances clearly spelled out that a bride price of only four cows or an equivalent of Ksh 60,000 was substantial. This is down from the previous Ksh 100,000.

    An undated photo of a Muslim bride showing her decorated hand.

    According to Abdul Hassan, a source who spoke to, the extravagant wedding and dowry expenses were common among the Cushitic subgroups.

    Abdul also disclosed that in other sub-tribes, the aspiring grooms were required to pay in camels, which are very expensive.

    A groom's family is required to foot the cost of the wedding, inclusive of the bride's gown, makeup, and food for the feast.

    The leaders, therefore, ruled that the bride was to spend not more than Ksh 20,000 on her gown as opposed to the Ksh 50,000 that had been budgeted.

    As confirmed by Hassan, the bride is often decorated using henna, which is affordable. However, the set price for the decoration was Ksh 7,000 before the elders slashed it to Ksh 3, 000.

    In the new rules that are to take effect from December 1, photography during the nuptials was abolished and the wedding convoy set to only two cars.

    "In the Cushitic traditions, the young man was required to have a well-furnished house before marrying a woman," Abdul disclosed.

    The elders, however, changed the position, stating that  “House furniture must not exceed a dressing mirror, wardrobe, bed and cooking utensils.”

    A stern warning was issued to those who would break the rules. However, those who wanted to spend less than what was stipulated in the new rules were welcomed to do so.