The beautiful tradition of the Ogume people

In every race, there has always been ways marriage ceremony are celebrated. From Europe, to Asian down to Africa.

In Africa, traditional marriage ceremony differs from one tribe to another. Though there might be few similarities but at the end of the day it is culture or tribe specific.

In Ogume Kwale, when a man sees a lady he loves and wants to settle down with her, he visits the home of the girl three times at different intervals. On the third visit, he will make his intention known to the parents of the maiden. He would be welcomed but told to come back another day, a day agreed by both parties.

The reason why he was told to come on a certain day, is for the parents to discuss with their daughter. They will ask her if she loves the man, what she knows about him, and what is her take on the proposal. If she agrees with the proposer then the man will be fully invited into their home without question.

He will visit the home of the lady for about five to six more times. During this time, the parents study him from their own perspective. Meanwhile, every time he visits, he must bring kola and drinks. When they are convinced he his worthy of their daughter, then they will tell him to go ahead with his plans.

The next step for the man is to inform his parents about his soon to be wife. The parents of the man will then go and visit the ladies family. The visit might be two or three times. This is done for both families to introduce themselves.

When the families have gotten to know each other, then a day is fixed for knocking on the door this simply means the introduction day for both extended families. When they are coming for this day, they must bring the usual. Drinks and kola.πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆ (more on kola

On the day of the introduction, the list for the marriage ceremony will be given. It includes clothes for both parents, drinks, spirit, kola etc. This day, pepper soup and goat meat are served and drinks to wash it down. Although it also depends on the financial status of the guy. The gathering is usually done indoors with close relatives of both sides.

After the introduction, the man will visit the ladies family one more time and on this visit, he will inform the family the day in which the proper ceremony will take place.

When the date has been fixed, he goes to see the girls mothers people. The other extended family members from the mothers side like sister, brother, great grand ma if there is any and all others. As usual he must bring money, kola and drinks. Then he goes to see the girls father people also bringing the usual.

All this is done for him to know his soon to be relatives before the big day. It comes with lots of spending, so one must be adequately prepared before one embarks on this road.

Prior to the due date for the marriage, the mother of the girl will request for a visit. This visit is held if the parents of the girl are not okay financially. It is customary for the mother of the girl to present some pots, plate, spoon, wrappers, on the day of the ceremony. Let’s say mostly kitchen utensils. If she does not have money to afford this things, she then seeks help from her soon to be son-in-law to avoid shame. However, if the family is buoyant she can even present a car on that day.

Some items presented on the ceremony day.
This is also essential because they love to pound yam.

The deal day. The bride price would have already be mentioned on the list so it’s on this day it is paid. The bride price differs from tradition to tradition. For this people, their bride price is based on two things. One

If the man comes from the same village with the lady, his bill is much lesser than an outsider.

Secondly, the educational status of the girl is valued. If she is a graduate or Masters holder, the money is different.

The money ranges from 10,000 upwards. 10,000 is for secondary school holder and the price keeps going higher. So it is not a fixed amount.

On the day of the ceremony, inside a private room is the family of both parties. The bride price will be presented in this room. However, before the presentation, there is a little drama. ( click to know more about bride

When is time to present the bride price, the parents of the man will asked the parents of the girl how much is it. They could say #500,000. The parents of the boy will request for them to reduce it but the other party will refuse. The boy and his parents will now leave the house. When they get to the gate, they will turn back and bid again. The parents of the lady will also refuse their offer. Mind you, both parties already knows how much is required.

This game will go on for three times until the initial amount is agreed. Also, if the initial agreement was #10,000 and the man added #1000. It means the value of his woman is worth a thousand. Their will be shout of joy in the house and singing, dancing, and drinking commence immediately.

A bride kneeling to accept her groom after the bride price has been paid in the private room
Acceptance of the bride by the groom in the private room

After a while, they all join the other friends and family for other entertainment. It is during this period the mother of the girl presents her gift. At the end of the celebration, the lady goes home with her husband and they live happily ever after.πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€­πŸ€­πŸ€­πŸ€­πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜.

Before now, it is said that the lady does not go home with the man on the marriage ceremony day but another day called execution day. This is the day the lady and her peer groups will go to his house and on this day, there is also item 7. However, due to long distance relationships and finance, this part is no longer practice.

Forward now to our present day. Follow up from both relatives have reduced drastically. Also traditional marriage is no longer held in high esteem because some people feel and believe that without the white wedding celebration, the joining is not complete.

Please people help me solve this. Why do we do white wedding in Africa, in the first place? Is it biblical or what? Why do we finish our own grand celebration and still add the white celebration to it? The white wedding is just the White traditional ceremony. What is it that makes us feel as if without the white wedding the union is not complete.

Please Africans go to your root. It is interesting and charming. Do not let our identity become shadows in the eyes of her future generation.

On this note, I say have a nice day and thanks for stopping by.😊😊😊😊😊😊

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  1. Michael Orvainya

    Another top notch writing, I read with so much zeal with a cursor within me to discover the difference between the Kwele culture and my own culture, the details seems almost similar except the visits, which I feel is way much but practically is interesting to know that all of this visits bear with respect to the tradition and custom of the people. My disagreement is on two fronts, I am disturbed with the bride price; which is particularly paid on the level or status of the girl, rather than her moral standard. I remember I read with so much pride the Book β€œJoys of Motherhood” by Late Buchi Emecheta, her piece explains the standard held by the people as to the value of the girl child was to the virginity she preserved, this was a pride to the family and the husbands, I think something sedentary is better used as to standard of the bride price. Secondly; the notion of white wedding is just a vernacular used to describe church wedding, we must understand that religion is a way of life also and it deals with the faith of a people, for those who accept this faith must therefore be in communion with their faith, hence, solemnization of matrimony or blessing of marriage in the church does not disregard the place of tradition but acts in line with the Matics of their practice. For the records in the Catholic Church, there must be testimony that you have the consent of your tradition else marriage will not be contracted.

    1. Dolor Abigail

      Thanks for your comment Michael. Virginity of a female is a good standard but I still believe the educational level is also important because some father’s do not want to train their female children to school. They always school sact level but the male child gets the privilege of going to school. A lady being a virgin and low upstairs is as good as every lady because there is more to marriage than sexual pleasure.
      Also in terms of the church wedding, I still believe that we are practicing it wrong. It is not Biblical at all. On what grounds what’s it established? It is just religious hypocrisy.

  2. Sheryl Gim

    Hi, Dolor! Thanks a lot for following Thoughts of SheryL!
    You have a great blog! πŸ™‚

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