Cost Of Traditional Marriage Rites In Mbaise, Imo State

Cost of traditional marriage rites in Mbaise, Imo state. Mbaise people are known for higher quests of education which to some greater extents influences the marriage requirements of their educated daughters, so the more educated an Mbaise lady is the higher of what it takes to marry her but still yet, it all depends on each family to decide.

Whether Mbaise or not, what we do know is that marital requirements in the eastern parts of Nigerian, the Igbo tribe is on the high side when compared with other other tribes with varying cultures.

Generally speaking, traditional marriage rites in Mbaise is filled what all sorts of controversies and is highly criticized by the rest parts of the country because of demanding too much from  their daughters suitors .

Ask some young men of between 30-45 years of age of why they have not married and they will tell you that the cost of marrying from their place is very high and could nearly push a person to rob a bank. But are such claims really true, and if it is, then to what extent could it be placed?

One true fact about traditional marriage requirements and list in Mbaise is that it varies from family to family and the issues related to ‘Osu caste system, high bride price and maltreatment of widows which were all wicked practices of the ancient times, still exerts some influence on some of the indigenous people who has refused to read the clear hand writings on the wall.

Traditional marriage rites in Mbaise, is not just a straight forward discussion because without trying to dig around and understand some hidden factors about why things were the way they are or is said to be in the region with regards to marriage and the requirements, one would be presenting some false stories and driving men away from getting closer to Mbaise ladies.

The controversies surrounding marriage and bride price in Imo state as a whole, not just Mbaise in particular did not start today.  As far back as in 1956, the issue of bride price has been raising dust in the area to the extent that the state government in 1979 commissioned the state branch of National Council of Women to look into the problem and provide a possible solutions.

After deliberating extensively on the issue, a maximum cash expenses of N500.000 (five hundred thousand naira) which the then government turned down on the ground that an earlier provisions of the limitations of dowry law still holds.

Despite this harsh conclusions, Four members of the Imo State then House of Assembly stood up against this in 1981 and introduced a Bill that places a limitation on the Bride Price Law with the intention to re-appeal the 1956 Law which prescribed a bride price of not more than five hundred naira where no incidental expenses are paid.

This matter never became law and has dragged on ever since then down to 2014 when the present governor of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha organized a traditional parliament to look seriously into the bride price saga in different communities in the entire Imo state which Mbaise happens to be part of, and yet the commission never made any headway as many contrary opinions swept across the hall with divided opinions.

Some in favor and others against, reasoning that the traditional leaders lacked the powers to determine bride price, since they neither make any contributions to the child’s up bringing. This therefore places the power into the hands of the families, which many people today happen not to be aware of.

Why then has bride prices been on the increase in Mbaise despite all these moves and reforms? To this, an Mbaise man said “It all depends on the family and the lady involved” and that to me, nails it on the head!.

These days even with the fears of marrying the woman at death should any eventualities happens, the ladies and their men suitors are no longer interested in the rigorous traditions that leave most of their women prostitutes at best.

As it is today, once an Mbaise lady meets a man of her choice and her immediate relatives and parents rejects whatever her suitor could afford, they will overlook them and stand up to any consequences and move on with the man of their choice.

But nonetheless, for one to marry in Mbaise and be applauded, be ready to spend between N350-N500.000 for your in-laws. But still, this could be negotiated.

Many factors come into play in the average Mbaise traditional marriage requirements and list. Some families are out rightly greedy, inclusive of the lady in question and thus could go to any length in scrapping the man of all that he have, whereas some are very considerate and could even offset the traditional requirements just to have you marry their daughter if the love is there.

Again what saves a person from the extravagant bride prices of Mbaise lady is usually his bargaining power. In a situation where the prospective in-laws could request for up to eighty tubers of yam and every other things in excess, what some guys do is simply to put the lady in a family way thereby forcing the parents to give her away to them until when he is able to fulfill the marriage traditional rites.

Traditional marriage rites in Mbaise and the whole of Imo state, has been a long time controversy because of the “As it was in the beginning’ and so it shall continue” mentality. The Mbaise and the entire tribes in Imo state are not extra-ordinary humans requiring some extra-ordinary treatments when it comes to their traditional marriage requirements, they are just like every other states in the eastern part of the country in Nigeria with their own peculiar traditional and cultural requirements.

Rich and colorful traditional marriage ceremony in Imo state | Photo credit:
Rich and colorful traditional marriage ceremony in Imo state | Photo credit:

Therefore if you are thinking of marrying from Mbaise but is held back due to fears of high bride price in the area, damn it and just go ahead with your wife to be and use your bargaining powers and have them dance to your tones.

As long as you know that you are capable of taking care of a family and is quiet convinced of providing on the average all that is required in a marriage, go ahead and employ all the necessary strategies you could and do your best for the love of your life not minding all the traditions of the yesteryear that are bent on taking things backwards instead of progressive movement of the present day societies.

If you are ready to empty your life savings for your Mbaise inlaws to be, for sure, they are ready to help you do that but if you know what is good and is ready to provide them for your in-laws, no one can stop you, not even the extended relations of whom it has become clearer that most of them are just being highly mischievous by evoking some dead traditional marriage rites.

Can you afford the following for that Mbaise damsel of your choice? Things like these:

(1.) Bag of rice

(2.) Clothes for both parents of the girl-traditional attires preferably

(3.) Hot drinks and assorted drinks of various types

(4.) Kola nuts

(5.) Basin filled with clothes and assorted provisions for the bride’s mother and her neighbors

(6.) 30 tubers of yam

(7.) 25 litres of red oil and groundnut oil

(8.) 30 litres of Palm wine etc.

Yes, Mbaise has a custom like every other parts of the country but the only problem is that it is overblown. Their marriages also starts like every other marriages. First of all reaching agreement with a lady of one’s choice and observing the traditions which is not in any extra-ordinary ways different from other states of the federation.

The above are not a make-up list but real lists that those that recently married from Mbaise presented. N/B. This is not a comprehensive list but when you look at them, you will discover that it falls within the ranges of what are obtainable on the average traditional marriage requirements.

Traditionally wedded MbaIse bride dancing in admirations of her husband | Photo credit:
Traditionally wedded Mbaise bride dancing in admiration of her husband and friends | Photo credit:

So narrow your mind to what is affordable and worry less of all other extravagant demands of some greedy ones among them who still live in the past. Just like the saying goes, ‘you need a round peg in a round hole’ Mbaise’s bride price has been a source of controversy for time immemorial but despite that, people has been marrying from Mbaise and other parts of Imo state.

As it is now and from what is categorically known by the average Nigerians, marrying from Mbaise is no longer what it used to be. Hence, depending on that as the reason why you haven’t married, is like giving an empty reasons for doing what you feel incapable of doing.

Everyone of us know what is right and that should guide us in whatever we are doing. If you marry from Mbaise, especially from a good family just as it is common in every other tribes, count yourself lucky and do away with all the empty stories that people go about telling because of a dead long traditions that some greedy ones capitalizes on.

If there is equal love between you and your wife to be, please disregard whatever hindrances that some jobless elderly men/women along with some unexposed youths may be projecting before you and concentrate on building a solid relationship with your real in-laws and not noise makers.

As a general advice, never because of that one or two days celebrations, and put a lasting strain in your life by emptying your life savings and even borrowing just to feed those who are not hungry after all.

For emphasis sake, take your time to go through the list below and tell me of who could possibly provide them to the later just because he wants to marry an Mbaise woman or from any other parts of Imo state. I hope you would be patient enough to go through. Happy reading!


1. Traditional Marriage List For The Family:

1. Ego maternity N1,000
2. 1 Body cream, lux soap and big towel
3. Ego ogo cherem N 50,000
4. 20 tubers of yam
5. 20 sizable Snails
6. Okporoko (stockfish) 1 big tray

7. Ibu or Ngwa Efere Nwanyi:

8. Fourty tubers of yam
9. One tin of red oil (palm oil)
10. Two legs of goat (Ukwa anu ewu)
11. Morning rose powder
12. 25 pomade
13. Ten packets of Sugar
14. Ovaltine – 2 big size
15. Bar soap – 1 carton
16. Tablet soap – 1 carton
17. One carton of bar soap
18. One carton of tins of milk
19. Twenty four loaves of bread
20. One bag of rice
21. One carton of tin tomatoes
22. Five to ten pieces of Okporoko (Stockfish)
23. Two pieces of Hollandis wrapper
24. 25 litres of Kerosene
25. 2 bags of salt
26. Six crates of Soft drink
27. 40 bulbs of sizable Onions
28. Ten thousand naira, Ego ala abo
29. One thousand naira, Ego nfotu ite
30. Two big basins
31. Two family sized umbrellas
32. George material – 2 pieces
33. One rubber of Groundnut oil (25 litres)
34. Blouse material – 2 pieces
35. Two Head ties of high quality
36. Wrist watch – 1
37. Two pairs of shoes
38. Big box
39. Lamp
40. Hand bag
41. One or more pieces of Nigerian wax
42. Gold necklace and ear ring

2. Traditional Marriage List For First Daughters In The Family (Umuada):

Part A, The first section

1. 2 Bottles of seaman’s schnapps
2. 8 Packets of Benson and Hedges
3. 8 heads of tobacco with potash
4. 1 Goat for umunna
5. 2 Crates of minerals
6. 1 Carton of maltina
7. 2 Cartons of star beer
8. 1 Carton of Guinness small stout
9. Gallons of palm wine or cash equivalent
10. 2 Bottles of Ground snuff
11. Lump sum (Ogbe-ego) N2,000
12. 8 Kola nuts or the monetary equivalent

Part B, The second Section

1. 20 Kola nuts or cash equivalent
2. 20 Gallons of palm wine or cash equivalent
3. 2 Crates of minerals
4. 2 cartons of maltina
5. 2 cartons of Guinness small stout
6. 10 cartons of star beer
7. One roll of Benson and Hedges
8. 12 Heads of tobacco with potash
9. 4 bottles of seaman’s schnapps
10. 4 bottles of ground snuff
11. Ego ala ezi N1,500
12. Officers money N1,000

Part C, The third SECTION

1. 32 kola nuts or cost price
2. 30 gallons of palm-wine or cost price
3. 2 crates of minerals
4. 2 cartons of maltina
5. 2 cartons of Guinness small stout
6. 10 crates of Star beer
7. Two rolls of Benson and Hedges
8. 32 Heads of tobacco with potash
9. 4 bottles of seaman’s schnapps
10. Umunna Ahuna Ego
11. Toasting of wine
12. 1 bottle of seaman’s schnapps with 500 naira for Onye Eze (Village chief)
13. Ego Umuama N1,000
14. Ego mpatu Anya (Jealousy money) N1,200
15. Ego mkpotu (Noise money) N1,400
15. Ikpo Onu Aku Nwanyi (Bride price)  Negotiable

Having gone through these endless list of traditional marriage requirements in Mbaise, what do you have to say? The points remains very clear that most of these long lists are just endless at best and that many people are no longer having sleepless nights because of them.

The youths are getting wiser and especially those that know what they really want in life, the customs of their forefathers should not pose unnecessary hindrance to marrying their choice husbands/wives.  Likewise non indigene that are interested in marrying from the area. The Mbaise women are homely and are ready to endure through thick n thin with their husbands besides being known for their hard working in doing anything possible to keep their families in the right status in the society they found themselves. They are bold and daring!.


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