Yes, they are traps!
In Rwanda, the matrimonial institution is highly valued to the extent that at least every weekend someone is getting married. With most of my friends getting married I decided to open a savings account.
There is this mentality that if you contribute to someone’s wedding they will definitely contribute to yours. I don’t know how true that is unless you keep record of the people you gave wedding contributions. If that’s the case then it’s justifiable and I can safely say that my wedding has been catered for already!
Last year, I tried telling my family and friends that I was planning to go back to school and needed financial support, but none of them seemed to care. But I believe if I said I’m getting married next month, they will be more than glad to contribute.
I believe it’s a good gesture to contribute to a friend’s wedding, but the one thing I avoid nowadays is wedding meetings because I feel they are a total rip off. A month ago, I attended a wedding meeting and my transport and dinner were indirectly ripped from me. With just Rwf4,000 on me, on entering the room where the meeting was held, I was fined Rwf2,000 for coming late.
It was weird how they didn’t give me the chance to explain myself or do some other task other than lose my weekly transport to work. I smiled sarcastically while opening my wallet to pay the fine, but in my head I was beating myself up for having even walked into the room. My initial plan was to attend the meeting which was to end at 8:30pm and then go to a nearby restaurant and have a cup of hot milk and a snack for dinner. I could not risk ordering for tea at the place where the meeting was held because African tea costs Rwf 2, 000.
During the meeting, the gift contribution started. I decided to excuse myself to go and pick a call when I was asked to put Rwf 1,000 in the gift bag before stepping out. I felt like I had been told to put my hand in a bag full of ants. Reaching into my bag to give my day’s dinner was painful. They let me go pick the call unaware of the curses in my head.
From that day on, I promised never to attend another wedding meeting again. Just so my friends never go through what I did, there will not be meetings for my wedding. I believe if anyone wants to contribute to the wedding, they can directly bring you the contribution…on their own terms and own will.