Chimamanda Adichie, an award-winning Nigerian author, says she finds the idea of bride price “disgusting” because it has been commercialised in most cultures.
Adichie made the remark during an interactive session in Lagos on Saturday.
During the event, the author spoke on a wide range of topics including feminism and leadership, tips for aspiring writers, the fight for social justice, and the relevance of bride price to modern marriages.
When asked about her views on bride price as it relates to feminism, the author said the practice has evolved from its natural form to something that should be gotten rid of.
“If you go back in history, the idea of marriage is different from what it is today. Yes, there was bride price where fundamentally you sort of give things to the bride’s family, but there was also an exchange of gifts… and it was a bit more fluid,” she said.
“Now there is commercialism to the whole idea that I really find disgusting.
“At the same time I’m a person who has a lot of respect for my culture. There’s a lot about African culture that I find very beautiful.
“So it then becomes a struggle to find what things in that culture I find worth keeping, and what things do I think we should get rid of.
“I think these are ways to start to change it. In my opinion I think we should just get rid of the whole idea of money. I think it just ruins things.
“I think that we really need to rethink the way that marriages are done. It’s dangerous on so many levels. People always use culture to justify everything, but I keep thinking so many things have changed in our culture. There are things we can still change. I’m not a fan of bride price. I feel very conflicted about bride price.”