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

Honey, which means that your life will be sweet. Palm oil, to lubricate life’s aches. Salt, to protect and help keep you. Kola nut, i can not keep in mind exactly, but is it perhaps maybe not sufficient it is the absolute most symbolically Nigerian thing, across all lines that are ethnic?

What exactly are these? Collectively, they form section of a “bride price” – money and gift ideas written by a person’s household to a female’s upon their wedding. In school in Nigeria, during Yoruba history course, we had been told about ladies who attracted extremely high bride costs, determined by their characteristics. Inversely, there have been ladies whoever bride rates had been therefore paltry, it was an embarrassment. I do not recall the gifts that are specific whatever they signify any more, but I actually 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 a brand new software that’s been doing the rounds within the African corners of my internet life. Initially, I became reluctant to publish about that software after all. The narrative of Africa and Africans in britain as well as other Western, mostly white areas is indeed old, therefore outdated and false, so wearying, that we conserve African tales for my safer areas, places where there’s no empathy space. I love dealing with Nigeria without some internet complete stranger telling me personally to “simply get over it! ” Speaking about Africa – its good and its own bad – in the internet wears me down. 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 utilizing the West’s, we are able to laugh about any of it. That is just what this software is approximately.

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The Bride Price app calculated that I became well well well worth the “Premium Babe”-ly amount of 494,500 Nigerian naira (NGN) –about ?1,816. Just How achieved it reach this figure? Via a number of concerns, plus they are the genuine celebrity with this application. There is the choice to check always “for yourself” or “for the friend/enemy” – because as Nigerians, something we’re constantly alert to, even though we can not see or hear them, is our enemy.

Therefore, also before we clicked, I happened to be smiling. Then arrived the actual concerns: my height; my weight (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 response features a value that is monetary no kola pea nuts here – often a “discount”, 60 % if you should be regrettable adequate to function as the indecipherable “Mama Ronke”. At the conclusion of the test, the application does take time to calculate the bride cost and provides a jaunty message by having a blinking green shekere (a West African guitar): “Please wait – the elders are consulting. “

The expression “if you never laugh, you are going to cry” appears, inside your, to be produced particularly for Nigerians. The accepted narrative is certainly one of woe, a country lurching from pillar (of calamity) to publish (of catastrophe) despite a reference wide range which could effortlessly function as reply to our dilemmas. The idea of bride pricing is a screen to the past, a past that will be not at all times glorious or edifying whenever seen by way of a lens that is modern.

But this software is sly – the nuance is almost certainly not noticeable to all optical eyes, but it is here. Under skin color – which could or might not have had a direct effect on bride cost into the olden times and definitely things in the hierarchy of beauty today – comes five groups. “Half caste”; “Light epidermis”; “Dark”; “Whitenicious”; and “Lupita” (like in Nyong’o). The worthiness for every decreases while you get along the list, beginning with +NGN50,000. Issue – and solution choices simultaneously acknowledge the colour-struck manner attribute of the swathe of Nigerians, along with noting without fuss the number of tints we can be found in obviously. There clearly was a level associated with Lupita skin, which can be a tiny thing, yet not.

There are more markers. On teeth, a “white with gap” gets the value that is highest (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 positioning and citizenship questions are fine “don’t cry – laugh” examples (America is released tops in both), and a Masters is desirable, however a PhD includes a penalty of -NGN100,000. Employment views oil and gasoline show up trumps (+NGN100,000); my journalism job features a value of just +NGN20,000. Fortunately, i will be “redeemed” by my English accent – the– that is highest respected at +NGN45,000.