I had waited for this day all my life. I used to say fantasize about it when I was a child, and all the way as I grew up. I always waited for the day I would get married.
I thought about the numerous things I would do if I got married. I imagined beautiful and strong cultural dancers on my wedding day, receiving gifts from elders and later giving birth to children—I saw a bright future ahead of me.
Marriage was the most important thing in my life and nothing else would beat it.
Back in January 2008, I had secured a great job; the pay was great because within eight month I had saved up and bought a house and a nice RAV 4. Of course anyone that had such a vehicle, then, was rich.
I was developed physically and financially strong.
The following year my wish partly became. I fell in love with a pretty daughter of a minister. Intelligent she was, her looks were intoxicating—she was the kind of girls I spent my whole life searched for.
She was the kind who grew up from the city and she understood style. When Lynda dropped by my place to see me, she would tidy up my place, cook, and clean up afterwards—she was a promising wife to-be.
Two, four, six, eight months passed and we still lived happily in love with each other. She had a good job and so we gladly shared the expenses. Surprisingly, she was not the kind who was extravagant despite the fact that she had been raised from a rich family.
A year into our relationship, we decided to introduce each other to our parents. Mum and Dad liked her the first time they saw her. It was now my turn to please her parents.
Her parents were pleased to see her.
Shortly after her mother’s warm welcome came compliments about how handsome I was. She was thrilled by the fact that we were engaged.
However, her father did not say much.
Our Gusaba (introduction ceremony) was planned. With my father uncle for escorts, we went to pay our respects to Lynda’s family because we wanted to make it official—I wanted to marry their daughter.
I told myself that I would pay any amount and give anything for Lynda.
Basically, we talked, agreed and laughed about everything until it came down to dowry—Lynda’s father demanded for 20 healthy “Freshian cows!” without which, her daughter wouldn’t be married off.
Obviously, I was not that rich to give such a huge amount of dowry, let alone the party and wedding preparations. Shockingly, some other man I never knew or even heard of was willing to give even more than 20 cows as dowry to take my fiancée way from me!
I wasn’t sure anymore, I watched as my dream wedding and marriage threatened to crush down.
Lynda had been secretive about this other man so that she would spare me the disappointment.
We then, planned to elope out of town so that her family and the rich man’s plans of marrying my Lynda off would be destroyed.
However, the worst came my way when our plan leaked out; how, only God knows. Her father had me arrested for a kidnapping attempt—he was a minister and I could not defy his rules anymore.
Lydia got married with two kids but we still keep in touch.
That is how I missed my beloved fiancée simply because she was equaled to 20 heads of cattle. I now live to say that dowry is cursed in Jesus’ name.