Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Most Romantic Story...I've read

I read a lot of stories growing up and for reason unknown, even as a child a particular story stuck to me as being romantic. Even in my early/middle childhood I found the story more romantic than the Disney's "happily ever afters". Now, I can't remember it in details and I might add a few things [unconsciously] which were not in the original BUT I'll definitely include the main idea.

It was about an African village that had a marriage practice that placed importance in the beauty of the wife to be. That was evident in the bride price paid by the suitor. Now what we have in most Nigerian culture is a situation where the girl's family demanded anything regardless of the 'physical status' of the girl and tilted towards social status. This village was different, you can't expect to give birth to someone ugly and demand a high bride price, then again, who defined who was 'ugly'? Now, since there was no fiat money involved, as in cash, cattle and livestock were used. The least attractive girl got a chicken while the most got a cow. The highest offered was two cows to the beautiful princess of the land. Not that cows were expensive but what it symbolised was high value.

There was a girl who believed she wasn't attractive, who could blame her? The most her 'beautiful' sister got was a goat. She avoided marriage because she didn't want to be insulted by being presented with a chick as a bride price. She had a man who constantly told her how much he wanted to marry her and poems about how beautiful she was, BUT she turned him down. She liked him but she was scared of being humiliated with the bride price. Her friends were getting married while she was being left out. Out of pressure from friends and family she decided to say "yes" to the guy. One of them had told her, "Growing older won't make you more beautiful".

While she stayed at home expecting her suitor with his family she hoped he at least present a hen, that would be a surprise. When they came she was surprised by what he brought even though it wasn't a hen. The guy came with a herd of cattle, over 50. The whole village were present at her house and looking at her after seeing the cows they realised how 'beautiful' she was. Not only that, the all assumed there was something very special about the girl that made her worth that much, something the lucky suitor found. They had placed too much value on the bride price a girl received and that now dictated how beautiful the girl was and not vice versa. From that day the girl became the most beautiful girl in the village and due to how she was being treated afterwards she felt beautiful. Everywhere she went mothers would tell their daughters, "That's the girl whose her bride price was over 50 cows".

One of the interpretations I have of this story is regardless the original value of what we have, it was the way we treated it that determine the 'true value' and most important the way others would value it with us. Your friends and people around you would use you to determine how to respect those things you value. If you are one to talk down about your boyfriend/girlfriend to your friends, don't expect them not to do the same and this would hurt you if you do have strong feelings for them. If you call your girlfriend ugly or a bitch, don't expect me to call her a queen. That's why I know that no matter the looks, past, or flaws of who ever I get married to [if I get married], once I offer her 'over 50 cows' all those won't matter.


  1. aww.. this is reallt sweet :)
    i love this stowie, am goin to tell my children about it,lol

  2. @kitkat you have more than enough stories to tell your future grand children that I'm sure they would describe you as, "That Granny that wouldn't stop talking'. Lol