Tana River man turns down hefty dowry, only demands Ksh7 bob

Seven shillings
Seven Kenyan shillings. [Photo: Nation]

In the African traditional setting, dowry is a crucial part to give way to marriage between a couple.

Usually, the gist of it all lies in the cash given “as dowry payment” and from here, things are set for a union to begin. The amount varies from one pocket to another but large sums of money are involved.

However, one Hussein Maro surprised his village after turning down hundreds of thousands as dowry.

Maro, now 63 who resides in Tana River’s Majengo area only asked his daughter’s suitor for only seven Kenyan shillings. This was the bride price for his daughter.

“My fellow elders, it is a great joy to have your daughter married to a good family. Therefore as my daughter and I had already agreed, we shall take seven shillings,” he said according to Daily Nation.

This took the suitor’s family in surprise and for a moment, the thought the old man had just lost his touch and made a mistake when naming his price.

However, Maro explained calmly that he only needed seven bob which surprised elders who were shocked as they did not expect this.

The elders quickly called him for a short meeting but he told them all he wanted was seven Kenyan shillings and nothing more.

When he returned to the negotiation room, he gave his blessings much to the surprise of the crowd and his entire village.

But the groom was at first reluctant because he had already made his budget and thought his to-be father-in-law was missing a mark in his pronouncement.

“You know when you are used to a tradition where parents demand their sweat from their son-in-law for educating a child, such requests look like aspects of witchcraft, so you have to be cautious,” the groom’s uncle Joseph Jarha stated.

With no coins in their pockets, the groom’s brother set out for a nearby shopping centre in search of coins which were so hard to get that he had to borrow from the nearby homes. Eventually, they got to seven and he returned home.

The bride’s mother, Asha Maro said her husband does not treasure money at all; all he demands from the groom is respect for his family.

When he married off his firstborn daughter, Maro only asked for prayer beads and that was it.

“If the man promises he will love, respect and take care of his daughter, he weighs the words from his heart. If he feels they are genuine, then he accepts. If he feels they are not, he will turn down the man,” she said.