By Polycap Kalokwera
In 2018, Komakech, now 37, perceived the idea of asking his partner for a hand in marriage.
To him, marrying his partner at the youthful age of 17 was a dream.
“I come from the Payira clan and we treasure the marriage institution as one of our cultural values,” Komakech says.
The teacher by profession and a resident of Gulu City was asked to pay Shs22m in cash as part of the bride price and 14 head of cattle, plus goats and chicken.
“This family had received Shs30 million in dowry from a rich in-law and I thought they would be lenient with me, considering my background,” Komakech says.
Following years of negotiations, his offer of Shs7m was rejected by the girl’s family and he was forced to call off the marriage.
On his part, Mr Joseph Lubangakene, 29, says the parents of his wife-to-be asked him to pay Shs15m as bride price, which was reduced to Shs12m after negotiations.
He adds: “Besides the money, I was asked to buy a big solar panel and other electronics, which to me never existed in Acholi traditional marriage.”
However, Mr Lubangakene says he could not afford any of these since he did not have a stable source of income.
“We cohabited for some time and broke up after having a child,” Mr Lubangakene says.
For long, such high bride price has been a cause of concern among many liberal Acholi who describe it as commercialisation of traditional marriage in the cultural institution.
To answer cries of many young men, the Acholi cultural institution has now passed a by-law, stipulating the standard bride price one can pay. Click to read more…