A Pride price which allows a man to have full access to woman as wife in a Ghanaian society, has been condemned by a Zimbabwean female lawyer who believes the move is outdated and should be cancelled.
According to lawyer Priscillar Vengesai, she had mounted a legal challenge to abolish the move, known in Zimbabwe language as “lobola” by which she believes reduces women to mere “properties.”
Filing papers in Zimbabwe’s highest court according to the Herald newspaper reports, lawyer Vengesai is asking the court to cancel the Lobola (bride price) which she feels the practice was violating her rights as a citizen.
Ms Vengesai, stated she wants to be re-married, and does not want her experience in a previous marriage to be repeated.
“I did not participate in the pegging of the lobola price. I was never given a chance to ask for the justification of the amounts which were paid.
“This whole scenario reduced me to a property whereby a price tag was put on me by my uncles and my husband paid.
“This demoralised me and automatically subjected me to my husband’s control since I would always feel that I was purchased.
“I belong to the Shona tribe and I intend to enter into marriage as soon as this matter is concluded.
Under the Shona culture, lobola must be paid for a woman before the marriage is acceptable in the family and the society.
In scenarios where lobola is not paid, parents and relatives of the bride would not allow the parties to legalise their marriage under the Marriage Act.”
However, in Ghana, the essence of the bride price is not to purchase the woman, but to honour her family’s efforts and labour in preserving and grooming her into the beautiful ‘flower’ she has become. It is also to seek formal permission to live with someone who belongs to another (in this case, to the bride’s parents or guardian).