Kalenjin Bride Price demands that June Ruto’s Nigerian husband Ezenagu could have been asked to pay ▷ Kenya News
In Kenya, Nigeria and beyond, social media pages are full of beautiful photos of the new bride in Nairobi, June Ruto and Alexander Ezenagu.
June is a career diplomat, and the daughter of Kenyan Vice President William Ruto and Ezenagu is a professor of taxation and commercial law, originally from Nigeria, but who has practiced her profession across the nations.
In a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in Parliament on Thursday, May 27, hours before his daughter’s wedding, Ruto said delighted;
“My daughter works in foreign affairs and marries a foreigner”, tickle the gathering.
Photos showing the bride and groom, Ruto, his wife Rachael and other high profile politicians, some of whom wore ornate clothes that would pass them off as Kalenjin elders and bride price negotiators, have made the news many Internet users.
A critical issue in African weddings and pre-weddings was that the bride price didn’t get much attention in conversations where expensive sets and other wedding components dominated.
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It is not in the public domain how much the Nigerian brother could have been asked for a beautiful educated Kalenjin girl – education is still part of the criteria to come up with a bride price.
TUKO.co.ke explored how bride price negotiations are conducted by spiritual elders praised for their ability to sell snowflakes to Eskimos.
The negotiation of the gifts and the price given to the family of the bride is between the elders on the side of the groom and his suitor.
University of Eldoret graduate Mark Kiptum recalls the ‘difficult procedure’ he went through to arrive at an acceptable bridal price from his fiance in County Kericho in 2019.
Kiptum was prepared for the event and understood that on certain occasions the groom’s negotiating team would be dispatched from the negotiating room several times until they came up with an acceptable offer.
On the other hand, women do not actively participate in this exercise, although the usefulness of female relatives in such rituals varies from sub-tribe to sub-tribe.
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“Generally in all Kalenjin sub-tribes, the presence of women is not required on the negotiating table and is only called upon when an agreement is reached to lead to ululations and celebrations. In rare cases, they witness the bargaining but remain silent until the end ”. explained John Seii, Chairman Emeritus of the Nandi Elders Council.
Each sub-tribe has their own slightly modified version of the dot pattern, which has always been improved from generation to generation, according to Seii.
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In the Kipsigis sub-tribe, several young people have always maintained that their requests for dowry are the highest compared to others.
Kiptum revealed to TUKO.co.ke that his then-engaged wife was his college mate at Eldoret University, claiming that after feeling ready to settle in, they kicked off the wedding plan by visiting parents first.
“I had heard complaints from my peers that the Kipsigis community was slightly sky-high in terms of bride price requests, but that couldn’t stop me going for what my heart wanted. That was until my parents, along with my grandparents and other elders, were informed that we had to pay the dowry of KSh 1 million,He said.
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According to Kiptum, he had armed his negotiators with 50,000 KSh just in case they demanded money in addition to the cattle, which are the basis of all dowry negotiations.
“After hours of discussions and adjournments of the sessions, the elders who represented me gave in to a request for 200,000 KSh. The bride’s side indexed the price to the education level of their daughter, who was a college graduate. They said his departure would leave a huge void. We had to pay part of the requested amount, we agreed to add five cows before the pre-wedding event could continue. “ Kiptum explained.
According to Daniel Cheuron, an elder from Kipsigis, the basic bride price package includes five cows, three goats / sheep and an agreed amount.
“The monetary value is based on the education level of the girl, if the man had stolen (started to cohabit with) the bride before visiting the parents and therefore had to pay a fine, among other problems peculiar to each couple, “ Cheuron explained.
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He added: “We normally have teta netinye moia, roriat, iywaget, eito, neiumi nego, mengit, kwesta, chepngapai and finally chepkureret (lactating cow, heifer, cow that has already given birth, bull, cow, male sheep, ewe, sheep for step- mother ). “
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In the Keiyo sub-tribe, Seii noted that the dowry basically comes in the form of five cows.
“We also have a seat allowance for seniors which ranges from KSh 2,000 to KSh 26,000 depending on the groom’s region of origin. “ he said.
The Keiyo community has long been known to allow couples to have children without necessarily paying the agreed bride price first as is the case in other sub-tribes.
“The laws are not that strict. We have older families who pay the dowry during their sunset years when their children have grown up. said Kevin Kiptanui, a resident of the Flax area in Keiyo.
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The main focus of the Nandi sub-tribe is based on the five animals, which appear to be the standard figure of the larger Kalenjin community.
“Currently, our elders are now accepting money equivalent to the five herds of cattle, especially for those tribes who want such an arrangement. This is because sometimes the groom may not be able to transport live animals to the farm,Said Joshua Sitienei, an elder from the Nandi community.
Having these factors in mind, Ezenagu could have generously paid June’s dowry given that she is educated and even works.
On the other hand, was a patient man, not to run away with the beauty, could have saved him from additional fines intended to serve as an example to men who “steal girls” without the blessing of their parents. .
Story by Mercy Chebet, correspondent for TUKO.co.ke.