Marriage in Nigeria is now a big franchise, it’s more likely to a building project. Young men are afraid to get married all because of the inane cost. Now, marriage is in steps, just like a building project. First, you’ll dig the foundation, you’ll rest; after another six months you’ll come back and lay the blocks, then rest again, come back for the lintel , roofing and then do the finishes.
I doubt if there is ever a ‘finishing’ in Nigerian marriage. Other developed countries work fine with either the court wedding, or the church. Back in the days of my elementary school, I was taught kinds of marriage in social studies. If I could recall, I know we have court, church and traditional marriage. But I think the social studies text book should be reviewed, because nowadays, we do all, plus extra...all in one.
I got to learn about the extra when I began my own marriage plans. Title of events were just coming up anyhow. I heard one called ‘knocking-at-the-door’ (and this is money leaving your pocket), then you’ll do the proper introduction when you would be given the list (another mega expenses), then it progresses to traditional marriage where you present the items on the list and payment of dowry, then god save you she’s not Yoruba, you’d do engagement party then sent-forth for the northern girls, and then you would head to court, and finally the church.
As if these layers of struggles aren’t enough, annoying in-laws would come with their own notion and troubles. At a point one would start looking at his wife as a merchandise that he bought with his money. I wonder what you’ll call Nigerian wedding system, where you have to mix court, traditional and church wedding? ‘Courtrachurch’ marriage, I guess. Funny nation, funny people.